ASO strategies aim to improve every aspect of the mobile app presence within the app stores, from search ranking to unanswered reviews. Among the top ASO mistakes, the presence of inconclusive information especially within the screenshots that should give users a glimpse of the app’s experience was the most common. Unanswered reviews and the prevalence of negative reviews was also identified as a mistake impacting the positioning and relevance of the app within the stores’ rankings.
App market and distributionWhile advertising composed 67 percent of the app market revenues in 2022, app store spending generated 167 billion U.S. dollars in 2022, or over 33 percent of the mobile app market’s revenue, showing the centrality of consumers’ preference within the mobile services market.
ASO improves download conversions, increasing the share of users installing a mobile app after visiting its page on the app stores of their choice. During the first half of 2023, download conversion rates for mobile apps in the Apple App Store in the United States market was 30 percent, while download conversion rates for mobile apps in the Google Play Store was 31.3 percent in the same period.
Positioning of Apple Search Ads (ASA) and Google Play adsAs the two leading app stores in global markets, the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store offer different page fields for their in-store ads. The App Store offers the possibility to select keywords and an appropriate subtitle for the app to optimize app placement. Additionally at the end of October 2022, Apple announced it was allocating more spots within its app store for ads, adding new promotional spaces for its Apple Search Ads (ASA) in the Today tab as well as in the “You Might Also Like” section. These ads were originally only confined to the suggestion section in the search tab and at the very top of the search results after a user-prompted request.
In June 2022, the Apple App Store introduced the cost per tap (CPT) as pricing module for its search campaigns – a measure identifying the spending divided by the number of physical “taps” users were performing on pieces of ads placed in the Apple App Store. Between January and the end of September 2022, the average global CPT was of 1.45 U.S. dollars, with sports apps reporting to have the highest among all examined categories – 9.67 U.S. dollars.
When it comes to the Google Play Store, Alphabet adopted the same strategy of its competitor – increasing the number of monetizable slots within its main app distribution system, as well as promoting stronger user privacy features in its Android Privacy Sandbox to limit third-party advertising power. In comparison to the Apple App Store, Google Play allows developers to add a short description, as well as adding more user experience examples – such as YouTube videos showing the app’s interface and functions. In May 2023, the platform added new advertising slots in the search bar, which are displayed as suggestions right before users input their chosen keywords.