4 min read

Is ASO Really Dead?

Reflecting on App Promotion Summit NYC, the article challenges the notion of 'ASO is Dead' and emphasizes a data-driven approach to App Store Optimization (ASO).

Michael Nathan

Table of Contents

It has now been over a couple months since App Promotion Summit NYC! Hopefully by now, everyone has been able to recover from the trip, vacations, travel, and/or anything in between and ready to implement the nuggets of knowledge that were presented about app marketing performance.

One of the lessons I gained from the summit was from fellow speaker, Nicole Weiss. Her topic was on "ASO is Dead". As soon as I heard that, my instant gut reaction was, "NO! That's not right!!" Apparently, that was her reaction too when she heard the phrase for the first time. Thankfully, she clarified her message to mean that the old days of making miniscule changes to the metadata and working on the next best Leonardo Da Vinci level creative alone would not be enough for the current state of app marketing. Now, there are so many different metrics, variety of user profiles and audiences, competitive analysis, and other data sets and tools to factor in to utilize the right marketing mix for an app. Whether that mix requires increasing focus on Custom Product Pages (CPPs), adjusting ad spend on target keywords, acquiring more data insights, or optimizing paywall and subscription services, it is ultimately left up to the app marketer to find out what is best for their app.

To add onto what Nicole was presenting on, ASO will continually play a primary role in the organic outreach of an app. The tools available to us marketers now compared to the past, are much better optimized and data-driven to make our decisions, and ultimately results, better and faster.

For this purpose, here is a small tip from years of experimentation. If you go onto the App Store and search, "kids apps", you will see a bunch of games pop up. Now, do a similar search except now, type in "kids app" (take the 's' off of “apps”) and take another look at the results. Are they different? The answer is yes. The next question on everyone's minds will most likely be, "Why?" The simple answer in this case would be to say because it is a different search term, and the search algorithm reads it differently. If that is the case, then why was it necessary to search either of those terms up? Especially since we as app marketers know that the average user will be more likely to search "kids apps" or any other type of “apps”. The point of this exercise was not only to show that to the user the rankings are different for such a minor change in search terms, but also that there is a way to show up in both and actually improve an app's rank. By inserting "app" or "apps" somewhere into the metadata (title, subtitle, 100 char., etc.) the Apple algorithm actually creates a relevancy score between both automatically without having to put both in. In other words, inserting "app" somewhere into your metadata will also mean that your app has a relative chance to also appear under "apps" as well! So, what happens when you put both in? At this point, an app will have a higher chance to appear for either "app" or "apps" just because the algorithm will have already created that relevance within itself. Over time, the app is able to see an increase in the number of organic installs for their app and thus climb the keyword rankings.

Pretty crazy right? Now the next question that is likely on everyone's mind, is that actually true? Well, you should definitely test it out yourself! If it is faster or easier to ask someone, I would certainly do that as well! And if that person is unable to answer or you're not sure who or what to ask, send me, Michael Nathan, a message and we'll talk. There are hundreds if not thousands of various experiments and tests that we have performed over the 10+ years of being in the industry and we are still doing tests on the market and app stores to better understand the trends and best practices for app marketers to implement. If you want to know more about the crazier experiments we have done, lets connect!

Learn more about our product, V.O.X, to automate your ASO efforts and maximize organic downloads. Sign up for a demo of V.O.X here.

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