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How ASO Can Help You Get Cheaper App Installs

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How ASO Can Help You Get Cheaper App Installs

This guest post is brought to us by Andrew Hubbard, founder of App Publishers Paradise: useful mobile app marketing resource. In this article, Andrew underlines the importance of App Store Optimization (ASO) in a Facebook App Install Ad Campaign. Find out how to get cheaper app installs through ASO.

If you’ve ever run any sort of paid user acquisition for a mobile app, I’m sure you focused heavily on targeting the right audience and creating an appealing ad/offer.

It’s crucial that you get these elements right if you are going to create a successful campaign.

But did you stop to consider other factors that might be causing your Cost-Per-Install (CPI) to be higher than it needs to be?

After working with clients across the app industry to help them create better Facebook Advertising campaigns for their mobile apps, I’ve compiled a list of common mistakes to look for. It’s often the same simple mistakes that cost developers a fortune in unnecessary advertising costs.

Rather than going through all of the mistakes I see app developers make with FB ads, I want to tell you about one of the most common ones.

All too often I see app developers overlooking the importance of non-keyword ASO when it comes to paid user acquisition. Keep reading to find out why non-keyword ASO is so important and how you can improve it to cut your CPI.

What is non-keyword ASO?

When I say ‘non-keyword ASO’ I am talking about the app icon, screenshots, preview video, title, description, and even the app rating!

You see, a person clicking your ad does not necessarily convert to an app download. After clicking the ad it’s up to your non-keyword ASO to seal the deal and convince them to download.

That’s why non-keyword ASO elements have a big impact on the performance of your paid ad campaigns.

Icon & App Name

The icon and app name that you use can have a huge impact.

Both of these are actually pulled directly from the app store (iOS or Google Play) and used as part of your ad. You can’t configure either of them manually in your Facebook ads.

This means that if your icon isn’t up to scratch or you use an obscure app name they will affect the performance of your ads.

Icon Description Example

Of course, people will also see the icon and app name on the app store page after clicking the ad. That’s another reason to make sure you do a great job with them.

Check out these 9 Tips to Make Your App Icon Stand Out if you think your icon needs some work.

App Description

Facebook app install ads have a very limited amount of space for you to use to describe the benefits of your app. You should be aiming to describe only the key features here to convince people to click on the ad.

When a person does click on one of your ads, they are taken to the app store page for the app. It’s here that they will look to your description to find out if the app really is right for them.

Your app description needs to complete the picture for them and really sell the benefits of your app.

Make sure the description isn’t in conflict with what you included in the Facebook ad. It should be a natural extension, continuing to expand on the benefits and features that appealed to the person when they clicked on the ad.

Screenshots & Preview Video

Like the description, people will use the screenshots and video to decide whether or not to download your app after they click on your ad.

These are often one of the first things people look at when they visit an app store page.

Try to avoid using your app store screenshots as your Facebook ad images. If you do use a screenshot image for your FB ads you are wasting an opportunity to showcase your app. People will be seeing the same image twice. First in the ad, and then again on the app store page.

Pages Screenshots Example

This example of Apple’s ‘Pages’ app demonstrates the role screenshots play in convincing a user to download your app.

App Rating

This one often gets overlooked, but it can have a measurable effect on the performance of a Facebook Ad campaign.

The app rating matters because Facebook actually grabs the rating from the app store and uses it in your app install ads. We all know how powerful social proof can be, so having a 4-5 star rating can be really beneficial.

If your app doesn’t have a rating or has a low rating your campaigns performance could be negatively affected. Try to get that 4-5 star rating as soon as possible if you are running Facebook ads!

App Rating Example

This ad for MyTime is a good example of how a 4-5 star app store rating can improve a Facebook ad campaign.

How Do You Know If Your Non-Keyword ASO Is Letting You Down? 

To understand if your non-keyword ASO is increasing the cost of your paid ad campaigns, you need to understand how well your app store page is converting.

To measure this you need to look at how many people visit your app store page compared to how many people actually download the app.

Google provides information about page visits & app download numbers to developers who link their Google Play and Google Analytics accounts.

Thanks to the recent release of Apple’s App Store Analytics we can now see this data for the iOS app store as well.

Based on the data I have seen for iOS, developers are seeing anywhere between 50-90% conversion rates for their apps. However you should not focus on trying to reach a particular number. Your focus should be on improving your conversion rate and getting it as high as possible for your apps.


Next time you are planning on running a Facebook ad campaign (or any paid user acquisition) for your mobile app, don’t forget to make sure your non-keyword ASO is excellent first!

You can create the best ad campaign ever, with great targeting and beautiful ads. But if those ads are sending people to an app store page that doesn’t convince them to download your app you are wasting valuable time and money.

If you would like to learn more about how you can get cheaper app installs using Facebook ads, sign up now for your free Facebook advertising training series.