Taught by ASO Experts! 3 Effective Ways to Use App Annie

October 16, 2022

Nice to meet you. My name is Uno, and I am in charge of Sales & Marketing at Liberteenz.

As the title suggests, this time it will be an article in collaboration with App Annie Japan Co., Ltd. " App Annie " is a tool that can analyze the market data of smartphone apps, and I think it is one of the indispensable tools for app promotion.

In this article, our company, who has studied ASO for more than 10 years and claims to be “the best ASO expert in Japan”, explains how to use App Annie to improve the effectiveness of ASO measures and Apple Search Ads (hereinafter abbreviated as ASA) on a daily basis. 

I highly suggest focusing on the points that you struggle with since they’re listed according to situations you’d like to improve on with ASO and ASA.

At the end of this article, there is a recommended webinar for those who wish to learn more. 

You may want to read this article if you:

  • want to increase the search ranking of your app in the App Store
  • Want to increase the efficiency of user acquisition in ASA 
  • have introduced App Annie, but do not know how to use it 
  • You are considering a paid contract for App Annie in the future

table of contents

  • What is ASO?
  • Situation (1): I want to find out the factors behind the competitive app's ranking.
  • Situation 2: ASA CPI is high. I want to check the bidding status of my competitors and develop an optimal bidding strategy
  • Situation ③: I want to discover new KWs other than those currently being distributed on ASA

What is ASO?

Are you familiar with the term ASO?

In a nutshell, it is about optimizing the app store, but we roughly divide it into the following two points and define ASO.

① Measures to improve search rankings on the App Store and Google Play

It may be easy to imagine if you know SEO measures on the web. For example, if you search for “movies” in the App Store, you can imagine that the first app that appears at the top has a higher click-through rate than the fifth app that appears in the list. Therefore, it is a tool to raise the search ranking with the keyword that you want to focus on simply.

The general policy of our company's ranking improvement measures is that the keywords set in [Title], [Subtitle], and [Meta Keyword] are subject to the search index, so let's put the keywords you want to focus on in the above three. (There are many other factors, but we won’t focus on them in this article.)

② Measures to improve CVR by improving screenshots and icons

This refers not only to improving the ranking, but also to the general measures necessary to increase the install rate from impressions. Specific elements include app store screenshots, icons, and reviews.

I will explain further in detail about each of these topics in a later article.

After you’ve gained a quick understanding of ASO from the explanation above, I will explain the analysis and improvement methods for each situation.

Situation One: I want to find out the factors behind the competitive app's ranking.

If your ranking has dropped even though you haven't implemented bugs or ASO changes due to updates recently, it may be due to changes in competition. In this section, I will tell you what to look for when adapting to changes in competition.

1. Changes in ASO

First, check to see if your competitors have recently updated their ASO text and store creatives. App Annie's "Timeline" allows you to follow changes in titles, subtitles and screenshots. If there are any changes due to the update, you can check the date and Before/After of the change, so let's proceed with the analysis based on that. 

Main points to look at are titles and subtitles, such as whether the main keywords have been added/deleted or whether the order of words has changed. In the case of icons and screenshots, check not only for design changes, but also for changes in appealing words used. Icons and screenshots alone can improve CVR by 10% or more, which can lead to more installs and higher rankings.

How to check "Timeline"

  1. Search for the app name in the upper search box
  2. Select "Timeline" in "Information" on the left sidebar
  3. Changes in retention

In App Annie's "Usage data", you can also check the "open rate" and "number of active users" of the app. Since "startup rate" and "number of active users" indirectly contribute to the rise in search rankings, let's check the competition situation regularly. There are many cases where the number of active users has increased rapidly even though there is no change in the ASO of the competition, and the ranking of the own application has fallen.

How to check "Usage data"

  1. Search the app name in the upper search box
  2. Select "Usage data" in "Usage and engagement" on the left sidebar
  3. Changes in the number of downloads 

The rate of increase in the number of downloads is also an important factor in the search ranking. You can check the progress of downloads in App Annie's "Downloads and Earnings". If the number of downloads of a competing app has increased rapidly recently, let's do a thorough factor analysis.

The following are ways to find the reason of increased downloads through App Annie:

  1. You can check with "Download via advertisement" of App Annie, which is will show increases in paid advertisements
  2. You can see when and what item was featured in App Annie's "Feature" section. This will show you what was featured in the store recently.
  3. There are many cases where events such as collaboration campaigns are being introduced on the official Twitter or website of the app, so let's check it out as well. 
  4. You can consider if the app was introduced in commercials and TV If you search for "(app name) TV" on Google or Twitter.

How to check "Number of downloads and revenue"

  1. Search the app name in the upper search box 
  2. Select "Number of downloads and revenue" on the left sidebar

Situation 2: ASA CPI is high. I want to check the bidding status of my competitors and develop an optimal bidding strategy

App Annie has a function called "paid keyword SOV", and it is no exaggeration to say that it is an essential function for delivering ASA. Paid Keyword SOV is a function that allows you to see the impression share of paid ads for keywords in a ranking format. By checking this, you can understand how much you need to bid at ASA to win the ASA auction. 

You can also get the following information:

Competitive App Policy: Different apps have different bidding strategies. For example, there are many cases where the general policy is decided such that the bid is strengthened on Saturdays and Sundays, and the bid is weakened at the end of the month. Therefore, by tracking paid keywords SOV of competing apps on a regular basis, you can find regularity and set the optimal bid amount accordingly.

Ease of keyword targeting : ASA bids are determined by second-price auctions. Also, since there is only one search slot per keyword, bid amount is a pretty important metric for getting the desired keyword's placement. At each moment, it is important to see how much the competitors are setting their bids. For example, if you can easily get the #1 impression share with a slightly higher bid, then you should increase the distribution for that keyword. On the contrary, if you increase your bids and multiple competitors are increasing their bids each time, the keyword is a red ocean. Knowing this information gives you the upper hand to plan accordingly. Especially for big keywords (comics, dramas, RPGs, matching apps, etc.), competition will strengthen the bids. Therefore, the keywords displayed in the suggestion when searching is the target to bid on. The key to accurate ASA operation is how well you understand the keyword situation in detail.

How to check "Paid Keyword SOV" 

  1. Select "Keyword Search" in "Optimization" on the left sidebar
  2. Search keywords in the upper search box
  3. Select "Paid Keyword SOV" under the search box

Situation 3: I want to discover new KWs other than those currently being distributed on ASA

I think this situation is a point that worries a lot of marketers who operate ASA in-house. Here are two key points for new keyword expansion.

  1. "Keyword defense function"
  1. This function plays an important role not only in ASO but also in ASA. Are there any keywords that are missing bids among the keywords displayed in the top 30? Keywords that are searched organically often have a high affinity for ASA, so we recommend bidding without omissions, although it depends on the competitive situation.

  1. Competitor keyword expansion
  1. General keywords are inevitably limited in search candidates, so in order to maximize the number of downloads with ASA, it is necessary to distribute them appropriately to competitors as well.
  2. In this situation, the "affinity" of "app/mobile overlapping usage rate" may be the key. Affinity is an index that allows you to see the percentage of how many more users who have installed application A have also installed application B, compared to the percentage of users who have only installed application B. In other words, you can see which application has a high affinity for application A. The high affinity is thought to be due to overlapping user groups. In particular, apps of the same genre, such as walking apps, are not only popular among users for fitness and running apps, but are also similar in genre. So if you actually distribute them to competitors through ASA, they will be installed. Yet, it is highly likely. I think it would be a good idea to experimentally distribute apps that are ranked high in terms of affinity with ASA for a certain period of time. In particular, it is more difficult to draw a line of competition for game-type apps than for tool-type apps, so we recommend that you use Affinity well and try to distribute it effectively. 

How to check "download channel"

  1. Search the applicable app name in the upper search box
  2. Select "app / mobile overlap rate" in "usage and engagement" on the left sidebar.

How was it?

In this article, I introduced the skills to improve ASO and ASA. ASO/ASA is still very complex, and the contents introduced are only a small part. As you’ve learned, App Annie has a lot of practical functions and there are more contents I would like to introduce.

If you read this article and are interested in App Annie and our company, please contact us below.

◆ Contact App Annie

Contact Sales | App Annie

Let's talk about how app market data will help your business.


Inquiry Libertines

Inquiry|Provide maximization of app sales with ASO measures Libertines Inc.

Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions about the services and fees of Libertines Co., Ltd. “I want to keep my search ranking”


Last but not least, we will be co-sponsoring a webinar with App Annie on Tuesday, December 7th from 14:00 to 15:30! Liberteenz will deliver a lot of new features and case studies of the App Store accompanying the iOS 15 update, future ASO / ASA strategies, and much more. App Annie will introduce how to use their service one step further than what was introduced in this post, so if you are interested, please join us!

AppStore new features are finally here! Explaining the trend and latest cases of iOS15With the iOS 15 update at the end of September, three new functions will be implemented in the App Store, and the future App St


See you soon 👋