Mastering ASO: 8 Successful Steps to Become an App Store Optimization Expert

  • ASO

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.

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

Google Play Store

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 apps and games 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.

Example in Action: Take, for example, Spotify. They continually optimize their app store presence with A/B testing, frequently updating their keywords, and altering their screenshots to enhance visibility and improve conversion rates.

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

Tracking app - ASO

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.

ASO Tools: To make your journey towards becoming an ASO expert smoother, there are several tools that you can use. These include keyword analysis tools like Sensor Tower, AppTweak, or Mobile Action, and A/B testing tools like Splitmetrics or Storemaven.

5. Be creative

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.

6. Study the competition

competition - aso

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

Update google play
User with laptop and smartphone synchronizing. Cross-device syncing, cross-device synchronization and operation concept on white background. Bright vibrant violet vector isolated illustration

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.
  • Follow the best mobile growth experts on social media, mainly on Twitter and LinkedIn where most of them are the most active.
  • 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

Team - ASO

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.

The Power of Networking: Networking events, industry meet-ups, and professional online groups can provide you with an opportunity to connect with industry experts. Learning from their experiences can be invaluable and give you a real-world understanding of ASO.

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!


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