Why is ASO Important & What is the Impact

Alexandra De Clerckby
CMO at AppTweak

6 min read

Annual worldwide app downloads have grown 45% in the last 3 years to a record of 204 billion, according to App Annie. In-app and subscription spending in both gaming and non-gaming topped $120 billion worldwide and grew 105% in the last 3 years in the US alone. Consumers spend 3.7 hours a day on mobiles, up 35% from 2 years ago. The trends are clear; today, businesses have to think mobile-first. App Store Optimization is an important part of the mobile growth stack and if you are not investing in ASO you’re missing out on the largest discovery channel available to your app!

What is ASO?

ASO, or App Store Optimization, is the process of improving an app’s visibility in the app stores with the objective of increasing organic app downloads. Apps are more visible when they rank highly on a wide variety of search terms, or get featured on the store.

ASO focuses mostly on two pillars: keyword optimization and conversion rate optimization. A solid keyword optimization strategy will result in higher rankings. Great conversion rate optimization procedures will make sure the increased visibility leads to more app downloads.

Why is ASO Important?

65% of all apps are discovered through app store searches

Nearly 65% of all apps are discovered through app store searches. That means that, if you’re not using ASO to increase your app’s keyword rankings, you are missing out on the largest discovery channel available to your app!

aso search stats

Source: www.apple.com & www.apptweak.com

The division between downloads from branded vs generic keywords varies strongly from app to app. Famous brands like Uber receive almost 90% of downloads from branded keywords or misspellings. But other apps like Daily Yoga, Colorify and Elevate Brain Training receive up to 76% of downloads from a generic keyword. It’s crucial for these apps to understand app store search behavior, choose keywords with the highest volume to maximize visibility and optimize creatives to convert app store visitors into users.

branded vs generic keyword distribution

Branded vs Generic Keyword Distribution for Daily Yoga, Colorify and Elevate.

An optimized app listing will lead to lower CPIs

All users go through your app page at some point. Whether users land on your app page via search ads, native ads or social media ads, your app page plays a major role in convincing these users to download your app. It is crucial all app page assets are aligned with your marketing efforts and, at the same time, optimize conversion rate. A higher conversion rate will ultimately lead to lower CPIs.

Most marketers and publishers dream to have their app featured, but with more than 2 million apps in the app store, the opportunity comes to very few. A solid ASO strategy is necessary to increase your chances of getting noticed by app store editors! This includes:

  • Strong creatives that explain what your app is about.
  • A video that shows users what to expect when downloading your app.
  • A localized app listing in each country. Localizing is more than just translating – apps need to be targeting the right keywords and visuals to correspond with local preferences.
  • A solid review strategy. Both stores want to provide the best experience to their users and will only feature apps that have a great rating.

Learn how to create an effective ASO strategy

To ensure your ASO strategy stays effective, relevant and up to date, you should also pay close attention to today’s most significant ASO trends.

Your peers are doing it; don’t get left behind

Well, maybe you’re not yet convinced that ASO is a must – but most app marketers are. In fact, AppTweak data shows that over the last year the top 30 apps in the Shopping Category updated their icon more than 4 times, top apps in the Photo & Video Category updated their subtitle more than twice and apps in the Food & Drink Category updated screenshots more than 11 times. Don’t get left behind and keep a close eye on both your existing competitors and also new entrants!

metadata update benchmarks in the app stores

Metadata update benchmarks in the App Store for the Food & Drink, Education, Photo & Video, Shopping, Games (Puzzle) & Games (Casual) categories.

Best practices when updating your app store metadata

Impact of ASO

Need some stats to convince your team to invest in ASO? Have a look at the following examples highlighting the impact of title updates, icon A/B tests, and screenshot revamps on organic downloads.

52% increase in visibility after title update

CSR 2, a racing game, updated its title in Google Play from “CSR Racing 2 – #1 in Racing Games” to “CSR Racing 2 – #1 in Car Racing Games” (they added the keyword “car”). As a result, the game gained many rankings on long-tail keywords with “car.” For example, rankings for “car racing games” increased from 8 to 1! In total, the visibility of the app on long-tail combinations with “car” increased 52% after the title update.

increase in visibility after title updateVisibility Score for CSR 2 in Google Play after title update.

6% uplift after testing icon for dark mode

Deezer, a popular music streaming service, carried out an A/B test with their icon. They tested two different hypotheses – black background vs white background and brand name vs no brand name. The icon with the black background and brand name resulted in an increase of 6% on downloads. It is likely that the black background appealed more to users using Dark Mode settings. Also, including the brand name makes the app stand out in the app store search results which helped increase conversion rates.

The icon with the black background and brand name resulted in a 6% uplift.

+300 daily installs in France when updating screenshots for seasonality

When updating its screenshots in December as part of a broader holiday campaign, Deezer saw an increase in daily downloads of more than 300 for two weeks straight. For the campaign, they worked with French artists to create covers of famous Christmas songs to create the ultimate Holiday playlist, ‘Le Grand Noel’. App Store creatives were updated to reflect this campaign and increase conversion rate.

Screenshot update from the Deezer app in the Apple App Store in France during the 2019 holiday season.


In short, if you are not investing in ASO, you are ignoring a crucial part of the mobile growth stack. Not only are app store searches the main way users discover new apps, an optimized app listing will ultimately increase your UA performance and increase app store browse traffic.

Why is ASO important?

  • 65% of all apps are discovered through app store searches
  • An optimized app listing will lead to lower CPI’s
  • To get featured in the app stores, you need to have a solid ASO strategy
  • Your peers are doing it; don’t get left behind

AppTweak is the best ASO tool to help you get started! Our main features include:

  • 10+ Keyword Suggestion Tools
  • Ranked Keywords & History
  • Organic Installs per Keyword
  • Branded vs generic Keyword Analysis
  • Visibility and Keyword Impact Analysis
  • Featured Apps & Stories
  • Similar Apps
  • Ratings & Reviews
  • Competition Monitoring

Get started today with an 7-day free trial!

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Alexandra De Clerck
by , CMO at AppTweak
Alexandra De Clerck is CMO at AppTweak. She is responsible for developing AppTweak's marketing strategy and brand recognition across the globe.