App Store Optimization Factors

& ASO Trends for 2018 – Expert Survey

ASO Factors & Trends – Expert Survey

TheTool is introducing App Store Optimization Factors and Trends: Expert Survey, that is aimed to gain insights about the main factors responsible for Search Rankings and Conversion Rate on the biggest app stores – Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

The ASO Factors & Trends for 2018 study is based on survey data from over 60 ASO and app marketing professionals who were asked to evaluate the effect of different on-metadata and off-metadata factors on Search Rankings and Conversion Rate of mobile apps and games.

The following report is designed to help professionals in mobile apps industry: developers, marketers and agencies, to achieve better results with App Store Optimization and Mobile Growth. The results of the report are presented in two infographics, one aggregating the results of the survey about the most influential ASO Factors, and the second one presenting Trends for 2018 provided by the experts.

The TOP 5 factors responsible for ASO on Google Play Store and Apple App Store (on both Search and Conversion Rate level) are nearly identical: App Name / Title, Localized product page, User Ratings, Subtitle / Short Description, and User reviews.

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ASO Factors: Survey Results Infographic

ASO Factors Infographic

ASO Trends for 2018: Survey Results Infographic

ASO Trends 2018

Apple App Store ASO Factors

Apple App Store

The TOP 5 factors with the most influence on the App Store (both in terms of Search Rankings and Conversion Rate) are: App Name, Localized product page, User Ratings, Subtitle, and User Reviews.

The results of the survey reveal that among the most influential Search ASO factors on the App Store, on-metadata elements are prevalent – meaning that those elements fall under the direct control of the developer and thus, can be optimized and lead to better search rankings. Note that the results of the survey do not act as a direct proof of the App Store search engine algorithm, however, they can be used as a guidance in App Store Optimization efforts.

Conversion Rate as well is most highly influenced by on-metadata factors, however with some important off-metadata factors to keep in mind, that are User Ratings and Reviews.

Based on the findings, it is important to highlight the significance of the role of developers and marketers in ASO. Despite being influenced by certain off-metadata factors that can not be directly controlled by app developers, Search Rankings and Conversion Rate can be optimized by constant improvement of the on-metadata elements, supported by keyword research and market analysis.

Read more on how to optimize your iOS app: The ultimate ASO Guide for App Store.

Google Play Store ASO Factors

Google Play Store

The TOP 5 factors with the most influence on Google Play Store (both in terms of Search Rankings and Conversion Rate) are: App Title, Localized product page, User Ratings, Short Description, and User Reviews.

The results reveal that among the most influential Search ASO factors on Google Play, on-metadata elements are prevalent – meaning that those elements fall under the direct control of the developer and thus, can be optimized and lead to better search rankings. It is also notable that the installs volume of an app has a high impact on Google Play Search Rankings, illustrating the importance of user acquisition in mobile marketing strategy.

Conversion Rate (from store listing visit to install) as well is most highly influenced by on-metadata factors, proving the importance of the role of developers and marketers in ASO for Google Play.

Please note that the results of the survey do not act as a direct proof of Google Play Store search engine algorithm, however, they can be used as a guidance in App Store Optimization efforts.

Despite being influenced by certain off-metadata factors that can not be directly controlled by app developers, Search Rankings and Conversion Rate can be optimized by constant improvement of the on-metadata elements, supported by a thorough keyword research and market analysis.

Read more on how to optimize your Android app: The ultimate ASO Guide for Google Play.

ASO Trends for 2018 by App Marketing Experts

We asked the experts what would be the main highlights in ASO in 2018. Here are the answers:

 
Big corporates finally do ASO decently.
Thomas Petit - 8fit ASO
Thomas Petit
8fit
Stores will give more weight to engagement and UX, over installs and CR.
Jonathan Raveh
Jonathan Raveh
CallApp
Engagement and crash free apps and more curated lists of apps.
Daniel Entrenas
Daniel Entrenas
Genera Games
Search keywords available in iTunes Connect and Google Play Console
Nadir Garouche
Nadir Garouche
Spil Games
Having install per keyword data would definitely shake the whole ASO game, as it indeed would change the ASO strategies and approaches to the whole topic in general for a lot of companies and other ASO specialists.
Mantvydas Lisauskas
Mantvydas Lisauskas
Runtastic
ASO (App Store Optimization) will evolve into AVO (App Visibility Optimization).
Victor Asins
Victor Asins
PickASO
Search ads with custom creatives? Let's hope 🙂
Luca Giacomel
Luca Giacomel
Bending Spoons
App store focus has shifted to center around the customer. User experience factors are weighted heavily, and "gaming" the system with search will not get you very far. Your app must offer a customer-centric experience to rank, influenced by ratings, reviews, and engagement.
Ashley Sefferman
Ashley Sefferman
Apptentive
Apple will put even more pressure on delivering high quality apps. Low quality apps will be outranked immediately. Apple will also give bigger boost to rank higher for apps that have healthy developer’s account (no reskins, less rejections) and have good quality app, with professionally designed store listing. We will be also able to track our current rankings on Apple’s Search Ads website.
Jiri Chochlik
Jiri Chochlik
AppAgent
ASO is not only about keywords or visibility. Conversion matters. Because of that maybe Apple will launch an A/B Testing tool (like Google Play experiments) in iTunes Connect so all developers can A/B test icon, screenshots, video, and text fields. Apple will also start using the content of description fields to rank apps in the App Store search results. Then the ASO game changes!
Miriam Pelaez
Miriam Pelaez
PickASO
Augmented reality apps will become more popular on both stores and among users. App store will push more augmented reality apps due to increase new devices with new iOS system sales. On the other hand, Apple Search Ads will go more global
George Natsvlishvili
George Natsvlishvili
Shpock
New and another ways and channels to discover apps will be more important for marketers.
Guillermo Gallardo
Guillermo Gallardo
Genera Games
The optimisation of more app stores outside of the big two. Amazon have put a huge amount of resources behind their app store, 15,000 new apps are added per month and downloads growing by the day. Watch this space!
Ollie Russell
appScatter
Genera Games
Engagement and retention will have more weight in app rankings.
Katerina Zolotareva
Katerina Zolotareva
TheTool
Keywords + install combination would be killer to see. Don't think it will happen though. ASO is going to get more "complex", just like SEO did in the past. With more elements in the algorithm, it will be harder to exploit the system.
Gabor Papp
Gabor Papp
Shapr3D
Stronger analytics released to developers and A/B testing capabilities on both Apple and Google gets more advance.
Adeline Lee
Adeline Lee
Clue
App Stores will evolve, so ASO will evolve. New layouts, new fields, changes in current fields, and, probably, some surprises... BTW, ASO is not dead and will still be funny in 2018 😛
Daniel Peris
Daniel Peris
TheTool
I assume that app publishers will start investing more in Apple Search Ads. Since Apple Search Ads is yet another factor influencing app rankings, it will be harder to grow positions in search for publishers who do not work with this user acquisition channel. That’s why I believe that Apple may start giving the installs data per keyword - that’s something that can allow publishers evaluate the potential of Apple Search Ads. I’ve heard an opinion that app descriptions will start influencing rankings. That makes a lot of sense because now publishers (again) can use descriptions to boost technical relevance of their app metadata and start running ads for the selected keywords. Given that app description impacts neither rankings nor conversions, publishers are basically allowed to add so-so relevant keywords to run ads. So a fair step would be to start indexing descriptions. Having said that, I do not really think that it is a high-priority feature for the App Store’s team and something that will be implemented soon since it leads to huge changes. Let’s see!
Alexandra Lamachenka
Alexandra Lamachenka
SplitMetrics & SearchAdsHQ
Continued weeding out and cleaning of the App Stores of cloned and badly coded apps.
Scott Calonico
Scott Calonico
Kumulos
Conversion Rate Optimization in terms of graphics and work on ratings / reviews
Ekaterina Petrakova
Ekaterina Petrakova
Rocket Internet SE
ASO will finally become a must for each & every mobile dev team.
Evgeny Kruglov
Evgeny Kruglov
AppFollow
In-App Purchases will become more important for success in ASO (indexing) and also for generating revenue, which may become a (more) important ranking signal.
Gabe Kwakyi
Gabriel Kwakyi
Incipia
App Stores will allow users to put apps on a wish list for later download.
Stefan Bielau
Stefan Bielau
Dynamo Partners
Hopefully more analytics and transparency of Apples and Googles algorithms.
Johannes Von Cramon
Johannes Von Cramon
Growfirst GbR
User intention will overtake keywords.
Marcello Frisardi
Marcello Frisardi
Babbel
Google Play and App Store will be stricter about suppressing apps with poor performance and a high uninstall rate, in favor of better-performing and monetized apps. As for the utilities category, Google will continue to push their utility apps in the market and to integrate them natively with Android.
Michal Skvor
Michal Skvor
Avast Software
I hope 2018 is the year that we'll remember for having a new issue to deal with in ASO: app engagement! And thanks to this, great (and used) apps will be rewarded and bad apps nope 😉
Vanessa Estorach
Vanessa Estorach
Businesses will finally start taking ASO and engagement seriously.
Peter Godtfredsen
Peter Godtfredsen
Mobtimizers
We will learn how people truly discover apps in organic search thanks to Google.
Peter Fodor
Peter Fodor
AppAgent
More browsing, less search, more engagement signals.
Sagi Dekel Alroi
Sagi Dekel Alroi
Playtika
Google will fight low quality apps more aggressively On the other hand, it will be harder to get results just by organic optimization, paid campaigns are a must.
Jevgen Tarasenko
Jevgen Tarasenko
mysnapp
Quality: Engagement, Android Vitals, Retained Installers, Ratings, Conversion Rate, etc.
Ido Schoonen
Ido Schoonen
Lab Cave Apps
Manipulation of App Ranking via Keyword Search and Download will increase.
Gabriel Machuret
Daniel Entrenas
ASO Agency
The advance of its (now) pivotal position in a comprehensive app strategy and pioneering efforts to apply proven ASO principles to new stores and platforms (such as Alexa).
Peggy Anne Salz
Peggy Anne Salz
MobileGroove
A better clean-up of the iTunes App Store taking user engagement into accounts, not only total downloads. Too many fake/scam apps with thousands of downloads but 0 engagement out there! 🙂
Nathan Vander Heyden
Nathan Vander Heyden
TapTimize
Apple to introduce A/B testing solution to allow app marketers understand better how to improve their conversion rates on the App Store.
Rishan Weerakoon
Rishan Weerakoon
Yodel Mobile
Google will split Organic channel to Featured and Search Organic, add impressions in UA report, will add screenshots in search results of Google Play. Apple & Google will change twice or more a search algorithm. Apple will release Search Ads Basic for all countries (not Advanced), add detecting Search Ads campaigns in App Analytics.
Anatoly Sharifulin
Anatoly Sharifulin
AppFollow
In an ideal world... iOS: more room for keywords, ability to update information/screenshots without having to update the whole app, A/B testing.
Sara Ronzero
Sara Ronzero
lernin
Installs per keyword from both platforms would be a real game-changer, but likely too good to become true...
Giulia Tobaldin
Giulia Tobaldin
Zalando SE
Definitely, engagement will have more weight in ASO, actually I guess there will be more metrics involved, like users behaviour "inside" the apps, that they will be important for ASO.
Carlos Hernando
Carlos Hernando
ASOApp
ASO looks like a black box at the moment, hopefully Apple and Google will give us more segmented data and a better way to predict our ranking
Gessica Bicego
Gessica Bicego
Blinkist
ASO will follow the trends of SEO and become more nuanced and competitive, requiring diverse cross-channel skills for true success.
Emily Grossman
Emily Grossman
Engagement and crash free apps and more curated lists of apps.
Daniel Entrenas
Daniel Entrenas
Genera Games

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