7 Key ASO Takeaways From 2015

By Laurie Galazzo
7 key ASO takeaways from 2015

This week, we’re happy to collaborate once again with Steve Young from AppMasters.co. 2015 has been an intense year for the app industry: new products, new improvements and major enhancements have surfaced. Apple and Google, the two dominant players, have both released considerable developments. What impact will these changes have on App Store Optimization (ASO)? Find below 7 key ASO takeaways from 2015.

Read the entire post on AppMasters blog.


Looking back at 2015, can we predict 2016 to keep up the pace, granting the app ecosystem a plethora of innovations and developments? Only time will tell, although it is most likely that this crazy mobile world will maintain its amplification. Or should we say, rather, “appification”?

2015’s novelties have certainly impacted the way we behave towards our mobile devices, especially with the recent technological improvements brought to apps. The user experience is getting more personalized and cross-functional. App developers, therefore, are confronted with a new type of user who is more demanding, with higher expectations.

Apps are today real experiences, answering questions, solving problems, entertaining their users and simplifying their lives.

To succeed in the app world today, a whole new set of elements are required. Not only should app developers emphasize the quality of their apps, but they also need to build a powerful app marketing strategy.

App Store Optimization (ASO) remains a major focus for app developers and marketers willing to optimize their acquisition campaigns. ASO is indeed a powerful weapon to increase app store visibility, discoverability and, ultimately, conversion.

Let’s review the 7 major novelties brought by Apple and Google in 2015 and how these affected App Store Optimization.

1. App Store Algorithm Update (November 3rd)

Given that 65% of apps are downloaded after a search made directly in the store and knowing that there are about 1.5 million of app in the Apple App store, app store discovery has become a major focus for app stores’ players.

The App Store is unfortunately characterized by a notable imbalance, where bigger publishers with higher marketing budgets can obviously be found much more easily than small studios or indie developers.

Consequently, smaller app players, baffled by this uneven competition, struggle every day to get their app noticed by users, and many of them fail.

Moreover, the App Store algorithm has shown certain flaws, especially for smaller apps, as it mostly relied on downloads and apps rankings.

Apple has recently made several moves attempting to help and encourage smaller actors. One of these is the adjustment of its App Store algorithm, which is now a lot smarter, especially regarding keywords rankings.

Since November 3rd, search results are now more relevant as a whole new set of variables have been implemented in the equations. Here are a few things to know:

  • Competitors from the same sub-categories (automatically organized by Apple’s Ottocat system) now appear in the search results.

  • Contextual keywords match apps that don’t necessarily target them. The algorithm now associates apps with keywords targeted by their competitors or with keywords from the same semantic field (words grouped by meaning). For example, if you rank well for “house”, you have high chances to rank for “home” as well.

  • Keywords with similar spelling can also be associated. For example “slot” and “sloth” are likely to be coupled by the algorithm. In this case, this is not optimal as their meaning differs drastically, but it is a smart way to incorporate spelling mistakes into the equations (“friends” and “freinds” for instance).

  • Apps with similar core functionality and on-page elements will be linked in a certain way. The point is to provide users with more accurate results and therefore with relevant apps that match the search but might not have specifically targeted the keywords in question.

New iOS algorithm

ASO Takeaway:

It is actually the first time that Apple has ranked apps for keywords not in their app title or keyword field. This opens up new opportunities for app developers, as their apps will appear in more search results, which will be more relevant for App Store users.

In practice:

  • Choose the best categories for your apps.
  • Don’t use your competitors’ app name in your keyword field as you already stand high chances to rank for them automatically.
  • Optimize your app’s content and in-apps purchases with strong keywords.
  • Place the most important keywords at the very beginning of your app title, even before your branding name. Focus on the first 55 characters.
  • Use A/B testing to increase conversion rate.
  • Use relevant keywords as search conversion is taken into account by the algorithm.

2. iOS9: Search API and Deep Linking

Another important milestone for Apple was the implementation of universal deep linking. Now, apps are all linked together with […]

Want to know more? Read the rest of this post on AppMasters blog.


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