Want to become unbeatable in terms of ASO and discover the keys to be a master of mobile growth, but you don’t know where to begin or what to look at? This article is the perfect fit. Reading it will enable you to find all the resources you need to become the app marketing professional you always wanted to be & will definitely help if you wish to launch your own business or get a job in the industry.
Table of Contents
- How to become an ASO expert in 8 steps
- 1. Make sure you really understand what ASO means and includes
- 2. Learn the basics about the stores
- 3. Start working on ASO before even launching your app
- 4. Launch your app… And start tracking ASO KPIs
- 5. Be creative + try, try, try
- 6. Study the competition
- 7. Always stay up to date
- 8. Work in team & learn from others
- 8 tips to become an ASO expert – To sum up
How to become an ASO expert in 8 steps
Let’s dive right into it with the first step, the foundation of any successful ASO strategy.
1. Make sure you really understand what ASO means and includes
It is more than important that first, you understand all that App Store Optimization implies. It can sometimes be confusing what it covers or really means, so the very first step is to make sure you have it 100% clear before starting to go more into depth.
Quick & full ASO definition:
ASO is a process of app optimization, not only of the listing but of the product as a whole, with 2 main objectives:
- Get the most visibility possible in the stores, in Search (when users search) and in Explore (when users browse), to increase listing traffic and organic downloads.
- Improve conversion rate (CVR) to download (can be organic or non-organic traffic), which means reducing paid promotion costs. CVR impacts everything: non-organic and organic traffic.
You can make it short and simple by saying ASO = traffic + conversion.
Ratings & reviews volume and the average rating are very important, which means that the quality of the app also is, so make sure to fix any error the app might have.
Pro tip: make sure you ask for ratings at the right time when users should be kind minded, and to users that are engaged with the app (ie. that opened it more than twice in the 7 last days).
In short, the idea behind ASO is to generate more downloads at a lower cost and improve business.
2. Learn the basics about the stores
The second step to manage ASO like a pro is to have an in-depth understanding of how the stores work. Apple App Store and Google Play Store are the two main stores, but there are also other ones, such as Huawei AppGallery, Microsoft Store, Samsung Galaxy Apps, Amazon Appstore, etc. Most of the time, companies and developers work mainly for the App Store or / and Google Play, but some others are getting more and more important in the industry (eg. Huawei App Gallery).
It’s important that you master each store and its specificities so that you can optimize games and apps properly for each store. One big mistake that some developers sometimes do is to prepare one strategy for both stores, and this is definitely not something we recommend.
Focusing on Search, you should be aware of how keyword rankings work in Google Play and in App Store, which fields are indexed and what strategy to follow when adding / optimizing keywords to the listing. When working on Explore, it is important you understand what you need to do to make your app discoverable in the many sections available on the stores in Browse.
- Everything you Need to Know about the Explore Traffic on Google Play Store
- How To Get Your App or Game Featured On The Apple App Store
We can’t go into details in this article about all the things that you need to know about each store, but you should definitely read our full Google Play Store + Apple App Store Guide – there, you will find everything you need to know about the 2 most important app stores.
Note: In order to understand how the stores work you will need to read other people’s thoughts and… Experiment by yourself!
3. Start working on ASO before even launching your app
Before you even launch an app / game, you should definitely start working on ASO, doing research, study the market your app will be present on and future potential competitors.
Begin with the keyword research and start working on the content you will add to the listing. You can perfectly have defined the listing of your app before having it launched, for everything to be ready for the big day! If your product page is already optimized from the first day, you’ll have much more chance to get good results (visibility and downloads) as soon as the app is launched. ASO is, in our opinion, the base of any App Marketing strategy 😉
You can begin to have a look at the other apps you find on your market and analyze how they optimize their own listing, look at the changes they implement and how frequently they do it, all together with spying at their main KPIs to understand the impact of these changes.
4. Launch your app… And start tracking ASO KPIs
The best way to know how ASO really works is to launch a mobile app or game on the stores you want to work on and become an expert on. First, doing so will enable you to become more familiar with the developer consoles (Google Play Console & App Store Connect).
Launching it from zero will enable you to go through all the steps one by one and get to know each store, their similarities, specificities, and differences. Keep in mind that the only way to really master anything is to try it yourself.
If you need help on how to launch your app / game on Google Play Console or App Store Connect, you can have a look at our guides.
Once your product is launched and available to download, it is time to start tracking the main ASO KPIs with TheRightTool 😉
- Google Play Console: The Ultimate Guide for Developers & Marketers
- The Ultimate Apple App Store Connect Guide [2020 Update]
- Metrics: How to Track and Optimize the Main App Store Optimization (ASO) KPIs
5. Be creative + try, try, try
One thing you cannot do if you want to be a real ASO rockstar is to set boundaries. The best way to find what works and what doesn’t is to try, be creative, test anything that comes to mind and you think could work. It might be a fail, but it might also bring you lots of users more and make your app / game take off! So don’t be afraid of failing. Failing is key to learning.
Go for it, learn from any experiment, find what’s making it work best… and always keep trying and testing! ASO is always moving and changing – there is no unique way to do things best, and App Store Optimization is in constant evolution. This is why you need, for example, to run A/B testing experiments, for each store respectively, and on a regular basis to always keep track of trends and what is working for your app.
- How To Use In-App A/B Testing To Optimize Your Store Listing
- The Effect of Backlinks Anchor Text (SEO) on Google Play ASO (App Store Optimization)
6. Study the competition
Keep an eye (or two) on your competitors. How are they doing? Are they succeeding? What are they doing well and what are they not? Competition can be a really good source of inspiration, as well as a great way to discover things that won’t work. We recommend you to monitor them, their KPIs…
Are they implementing changes to their listing? How are they ranking in Top Charts? Have they been featured? Has their average rating increased? What about their downloads? Study the answers to all of these questions and much more to understand how your competitors work and get great insights from them and their metrics.
7. Always stay up to date
ASO is very often described as an ever-changing matter, and for a reason. You must always get informed, test and try the stores to notice any change, be proactive.
There are different ways for you to stay, let’s say, 99% up to date on ASO:
- Consult the best ASO resources available online. They enable you to have free access to great insights that you can’t miss out on. Best ASO resources:
- TheTool’s blog – obviously, we have a lot of in-depth content in our blog that might help 😉
- ASO Stack – a full blog around ASO
- TheTalks by TheTool – a series of online webinars about mobile growth with the best ASO professionals
- AppMasters on YouTube – Steve Young, founder of AppMasters, runs a YouTube channel where you can find loads of insights about ASO if you’re not much of a reader
- Mobile Marketing Masterclass – a great App Marketing blog written by Oliver Hoss
- Apptamin’s blog – an insightful blog around mobile growth
- PickASO’s blog – for all the Spanish speakers out there
- Mobile Dev Memo – a media aggregator where you’ll find a lot of great content on app marketing
- Phiture’s podcasts – monthly ASO news in a few minutes. PS: for sure they use podstatus platorm.
- Follow the best mobile growth experts on social media, mainly on Twitter and LinkedIn where most of them are the most active, such as @thomasbcn, @danielperis, @ilyakuh, @AudeBoscher, Nadir Garouche, Alexandra Lamachenka, Jiri Chokchlik, George Natsvlishvili, @GabiBaella, @KristianRabe, @yemapell… and many others.
- Join ASO Stack’s channel on Slack, where more than 2,200 users and the best ASO experts exchange every day on App Store Optimization and any related topics.
8. Work in team & learn from others
You will not become an ASO master by working on your own. Yes, you can learn a lot from all the resources I mentioned in the former point, but it will never be the same as working with people and learning from others. Working in team will enable you to challenge each other and exchange insights on each others’ strengths and specialties. In the end, this is a transmission of knowledge and experience that is essential to your growth if you want to become a mobile growth expert.
8 tips to become an ASO expert – To sum up
And that’s all for our tips to become an ASO expert. In the end, what is important is that you constantly work and keep learning about ASO as, as we explained in this post, it is ever-changing and there is always room for improvement in ASO so… have fun, and keep on learning!
This post was inspired by the article How to become an SEO expert (8 steps) written by our friends from Ahrefs.