Creating An Effective ASO Strategy From Scratch
App Store Optimization

Creating An Effective ASO Strategy From Scratch


Buse Kanal

With 6.7 million apps in circulation between Google Play and Apple and 230 billion downloads in 2021, any developer entering the markets today faces extraordinary market volatility and an unprecedented pace change. In addition, competition for the attention and brand loyalty of market segments up and down the US is bubbling over as the race picks up to get one’s nose ahead of the chasers. While this may look stressful on many fronts, opportunities abound for those who understand the rules of play.

One realization emerging from the market turmoil is that App Store Optimization (ASO) – or ASO marketing strategy (often called) – is a vital business initiative. It’s an essential ingredient to push ahead and grow sales revenue. Yet, despite the dynamics driving the app market, many marketers don’t realize that ASO is the ticket to developing a brand’s customer base. It’s a massive black hole that looks formidable at first glance. However, it’s not as overwhelming as it seems if you take a step-by-step approach. Methodical planning accelerates visibility, customer awareness, listing page conversions, and more and more downloads.

What is ASO, and why is it important?

When developers kick off an ASO program, they invariably build it around getting noticed in an app store through natural user searches. Consistent effort in this arena generally results in downloads spiking up. How does this happen? 

  • ASO works in your favor when your app comes up frequently in the top results of popular searches – it’s as simple as that. 
  • Keyword optimization is the “open sesame” to search term prominence – the more searches that pull you to the top, the better. 
  • Other ways include striving for a ranking on the top charts or earning a feature position in a popular app store (i.e., the primary marketplaces for apps.) 

Inside the industry, savvy developers talk about their apps’ discoverability, meaning how visible it is given all these ASO channels (as described). Operationally, it boils down to:

  1. Achieving conversion rate optimization – other words for transforming app store impressions into downloads.
  2. Making sure that you maintain your visualization intensity through app store optimization strategies.  
    • In short, it involves a continuous process of ensuring competitors don’t usurp your search position. 
    • At the same time, fighting to gain a foothold in their search categories. One could say it’s a case of defending and attacking in one coordinated move. 

Making a name for your app is a massive step toward establishing a featured listing in the App Store. Moreover, it’s an integrative activity centered around keyword optimization. Thus, it’s a viable pathway for you to strengthen your categorization and push effectively for more conversions.

Optimizing Keywords & your Metadata 

A. Build a keyword bank the right way.

This is a lengthy process that focuses on developing numerous keywords. The latter can number anywhere between 200-300 at various search intensities. You’ll find that your list cuts across words in three search volume groups:

  • High
  • Mid
  • Low

High-volume words may look enticing on the first go-around. However, it pays to opt for the low-volume ones, provided they come with reciprocally low competition. So, elect the latter, rather than trying to squeeze a result out of the popular terms that everyone is fighting tooth and nail over. It means: 

  • Getting a more significant share of a small segment than hoping for an insignificant sliver of a bulky market. 
  • You’ll probably see numerous search rating gaps – very lucrative if you pursue them to the end. In our view, they’re prime opportunities.

There are numerous ASO tools available that define these search terms by volume and competition so you can zone in on segments most responsive to your app. One thing always on your side with ASO keyword searches is that you are interacting with a deeply committed audience. Did you know that:

  • 70% of app store visitors enter the search modem to find their next app.
  • 65% of downloads occur at the end of those searches.

The takeaway is that you’re entering the app race severely handicapped with weights on your legs if ASO is not in your armory.

Creating An Effective ASO Strategy From Scratch

B. Metadata Optimizations and how to learn ASO mechanics.

At this point, keyword metrics shift into the equation. You apply the latter to identify which keywords work best for you. The most telling signals, in combination, are:

  • Volume
  • Relevancy
  • Efficiency 

Get digital in-house analytical skills in your corner (or contractually) to guide you through the process. Crucially, locating these depends on checking the conversions of active keywords in your bank to derive the ones bringing you through the traffic congestion. Of course, the meta descriptions will give the keywords you insert extra firepower but don’t “meta-integrate” them if they rank low on your list. You want to bolster your penetrative weapons, not give the ineffective ones a nudge that still goes nowhere.

You should alter meta descriptions from time to time, aligning them with seasonal promotions, category shifts, and search dynamic alterations. To reiterate, it’s an ongoing process that demands keeping your thumb on the search pulse of the App Store markets.

C. Apple Search Ads (ASA)

If you go to the right page on the Apple App Store site, you’ll discover an efficient and seamless way to push searchers in the right direction to find your brand:

  • It’s a simple building block system. Through an “Apple Search Ads Campaign Management API 4,” you’ll find yourself structuring ad programs that tie your keywords in with controlled budgets and daily caps. Thus: 
    • Enabling you to protect your most effective keywords from the competition by keeping your bids ahead of the game. 
    • Letting you discover how a more sophisticated methodology gives insight into the keywords pushing your conversions the most. 
    • Simultaneously, extending your app into new regional markets you never considered.
  • Behind the scenes, your ASA activity assists your ranking in two ways by:
    •  Promoting the app’s chances of a featured position
    •  Improving organic search results.
  • One tremendous advantage is Apple sending through keyword recommendations (many of which may never have entered your mind). 
    • The App Store algorithm “thinks” more objectively to improve search efficiency and boost the efforts of ASA users.

Applying ASA will likely result in more conversions and downloads – thus, opening new markets faster than you expect. For example, different language keyword recommendations create awareness of innovative possibilities currently dormant, just waiting for you to take the initiative. 

Finally, ASA is substantially more cost-effective versus Facebook and Google, its CPAs (i.e., average cost per action) being significantly lower than the latter.

D. Promotional In-app Purchases

The iOS platform offers developers the opportunity to access Promotional In-App Purchases (PIAPs). 

  • You can overview in-app purchases directly on the App Store, through this innovative feature, and initiate one without first downloading your app. 
  • The benefit emerges almost instantaneously because promoted in-app purchases are visible on your product page and displayed in search results. 
  • You can even feature them on the Today, Games, and Apps tabs. So, you get a jump-start in creating discoverability for content previously only found inside your app because:
    • It works as an extension of your listing by occupying more space in the live search results. This way, PIAPs push competitors beyond the fold, thus positively impacting your conversion rate.
    • Users immediately understand what’s on offer, picking up quickly on brand features and subscription terms. In other words, it promotes your value proposition without unnecessary interference.
  • Moreover, the InApp Purchase system:
    • Indexes your promotional cards and title – a gateway to including more keywords in your text.
    • Simplifies the sometimes cumbersome task of purchasing and managing subscriptions, therefore driving more revenue your way by removing the hassle from the user experience. 

E. Don’t ignore your weakest KPIs and least effective keywords.

People naturally take comfort in the pluses by pushing the drawbacks out of their minds. ​​ However, frequently keyword selections and promotions that look like dismal failures can leap forward with a tweak here and there. Reviewing competitor upmanship on keywords requires painstaking analysis to appreciate why they’re not giving you traction and closing the gaps. 

Take nothing for granted. Evaluating change and the competitive intensity from every angle underlies a successful ASO strategy.  


ASO’s strategy drives the business success of developers trying to find traction in App Stores as primary marketplace inlets. The pressure of new apps flooding into the space daily, fighting for attention in every category, shifts the emphasis considerably. It goes from technological innovation to ASO know-how and sales enablement at the most sophisticated level. 

This article pointed you to numerous platform accommodations and features that should smooth the path forward and give your team a leg-up. But, of course, you can always rely on ShyftUp – a leading global User Acquisition Agency – to help you get your ASO planning where it should be. ShyftUp focuses on two primary services:

  1.  App Store Optimization (ASO) – unleashing the power of organic user growth by creating boosted visibility on the app stores
  2.  Paid User Acquisition – to help you grow your user base by converting your paid marketing budget into real users, thus revenue. Shyfttup specializes in Apple Search Ads and Google UAC channels.

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