ASO Review #2: Fitbit vs Fitness Coach
ASO Review Series
Welcome to another ASO Review. Last November, we started a series where we compare the ASO efforts of two industry leaders from the same category and challenge them to a head-to-head ASO matchup.
For this new ASO Review, we decided to compare two apps from the Health & Fitness category, as January is a strong month for new year resolutions and fitness subscriptions. In this head-to-head matchup, we will be comparing the ASO efforts of two popular fitness apps: Fitbit & Fitness Coach. Both are leading home workout apps that also offer nutrition programs along with step, water and weight tracking. The main difference between the two is that Fitbit also sells wearable products (but the app remains usable as a stand-alone product).
For this ASO Review, we will focus on the app power, estimated downloads, category rankings, current metadata and creatives, recent metadata/creatives updates, keyword rankings and ratings & reviews of both iOS apps, and try to declare a winner on each criteria.
App Power & Download Estimates
The App Power is an indicator of the authority an app has in a store, the higher the App Power, the more authority the app has, and the easier it will be to rank on certain keywords. The App Power, a metric developed by AppTweak, takes into account daily downloads, overall category ranking, and competitiveness between different categories.
Since December 26th, Fitbit has a higher App Power than Fitness Coach. However, on average, Fitness Coach had a higher App Power than Fitbit in the past 6 months, with a score fluctuating between 92 to 99 versus 89 to 95. Trends from this month are probably influenced by a high number of people receiving Fitbit products as a Christmas gift which explains Fitbit’s peak of downloads on December 25th in the line chart below.
Comparing App Power for Fitbit and Fitness Coach on the Apple App Store in the US.
Despite a Fitbit receiving a huge spike in downloads over the holiday period, Fitness Coach did perform better in the past 6 months in terms of daily downloads with an average of 13.2k daily downloads versus 7.38k daily downloads.
Therefore, Fitness Coach wins this round!
Comparing daily download estimates for Fitbit and Fitness Coach on the Apple App Store in the US.
Metadata & Creative Updates
With such download volumes, it is important to consider what ASO efforts these apps have made to increase their organic installs. Looking more closely at organic store performance, we can dig deeper into recent metadata changes for both apps in the last twelve months with our Timeline tool.
Metadata update frequency for Fitbit and Fitness Coach on the Apple App Store in the US.
Fitbit has updated the title, subtitle and description once in the past year but has not modified creatives. At the same time, Fitness Coach has updated all of these at least twice except for its subtitle.
Let’s have a closer look at each app’s title and subtitle update on iOS.
Textual metadata updates for Fitbit in the US Apple App Store in the last 12 months.
Fitbit has included new generic keywords in the title and added a subtitle for the first time on April 15th, 2020. The metadata that was implemented includes a set of generic keywords such as: “health”, “fitness”, “activity”, “sleep” and “nutrition”.
From an ASO perspective, Fitbit has done a good job by targeting additional keywords in the title, as this will increase the visibility in the store. However, we can wonder whether or not adding “health & fitness” to the title is the smartest choice. “Health & Fitness” is also the name of the category and previous research has shown that rankings on category keywords are indexed differently and are harder to influence. The table below indeed shows that Fitbit does not rank very high and receives little visibility from the keywords added to the title.
Fitbit’s rank on keywords included in the title.
As for the subtitle, “sleep”, “activity” and “nutrition” are very general keywords and while they provide information on app functionalities they are possibly too generic. From the subtitle keywords only “activity’ is ranking in the top 20.
Textual metadata updates for Fitness Coach in the US Apple App Store in the last 12 months.
Fitness Coach updated its title by changing its brand name from “Fit - Workout & Fitness” to “Fitness Coach’’, thus taking a more conversion-oriented approach by centering its title on its app name only.
Fitness Coach thought really well about how to name their app. They chose an app name that describes well what their app does while choosing keywords that have very high volume. By not adding additional general keywords into the title, the app is tricking apple into thinking “Fitness Coach” is an actual brand name. This strategy seems to be working and Apple is ranking the app #1 on the term “fitness coach” consistently. We do think there is now room for Fitness Coach to build on this strength and add additional general keywords to the title to increase visibility.
Fitness Coach’s rank on keywords included in the title.
Fitness Coach did not update the subtitle in the past 12 months. They are repeating the keyword “fitness” in the title and subtitle and this can be considered as a waste of character space as other generic terms could have been targeted.
Subtitle Analysis for Fitness Coach in the US Apple App Store taken from AppTweak.
Both apps still have room to improve their metadata in terms of keyword visibility. Therefore, this round is a draw.
Fitbit has not implemented any creative updates in the past year, while Fitness Coach updated the screenshots four times. Let’s take a moment to have a closer look at the screenshots of the two apps.
Fitbit’s latest of screenshots on iOS taken from AppTweak.
Fitness Coach’s latest set of screenshots on iOS taken from AppTweak.
Fitbit’s screenshots show the app’s UI without any additional editing, context and text. This shows transparency from Fitbit, but the absence of explanations can reduce conversion, as the viewer might struggle to understand the app’s unique selling features. Meanwhile, Fitness Coach takes a more user-centric approach. Each screenshot points out the app’s unique values, convincing the user that the workouts are “tailor made” and “adapted to (the users’) needs”. The screenshot design follows ASO best practices and likely result in a higher conversion rate. Fitness Coach has also taken its creative efforts to another level by uploading a video as well. Therefore, Fitness Coach definitely wins this round!
Ratings & Reviews
Ratings and reviews are one of the most important elements when it comes to conversion. Users are more inclined to download an app when it is well-rated and has been tested by many users.
Ratings & Reviews for Fitbit and Fitness Coach on iOS in the past month.
Both apps have an excellent average rating of 4 stars and above, but Fitness Coach stands out with an average rating of 4.42. However, when it comes to the reviews, Fitbit has a better average score of 3.7 stars, while Fitness Coach has received more negative reviews than positive.
Therefore, the winner of this round is Fitbit for being able to have a good average score on both ratings and reviews.
In order to determine which app has experienced a greater impact through their ASO efforts, we can look back to January 2020, when Fitbit and Fitness Coach had not yet updated their title and subtitle and compare keyword install growth since then.
Daily Organic Installs from Keywords for Fitbit & Fitness Coach
Since January 2020, both apps have increased the total number of ranked keywords in the US Apple App Store. However Fitbit has lost approximately 2k organic installs compared to last year, while Fitness Coach has gained over 1k organic installs.
For these two apps, we noticed that installs from generic keywords have increased by around 500 for each app, but daily installs from branded keywords have actually increased by 831 for Fitness Coach and decreased by 2864 for Fitbit.
|App||Own Brand||Other Brands||Generic||Total|
Change in daily organic installs from branded vs generic keywords: January 2020 vs. January 2021.
So which generic keywords did these apps gain downloads on since the metadata updates?
|Keyword||Volume||Previous Installs||Current Installs||Install Growth|
|Sleep & Meditation||36||0||4||4|
Fitbit - Top Growth Keywords (Generic)
|Keyword||Volume||Previous Installs||Current Installs||Install Growth|
Fitness Coach - Top Growth Keywords (Generic)
Fitbit’s title and subtitle update had a very minimal impact on the organic downloads. The app saw a slight growth from an increase in rankings on long-tail keyword combinations but did not receive any installs from the keyword “nutrition”. Meanwhile, each keyword included in Fitness Coach’s metadata brings them a more significant number of installs even as single terms. Also in this round, Fitness Coach Is the winner!
Both apps rank in the Top 10 free charts for the Health & Fitness Category and it is clear that each app is very powerful and well-positioned in the overall market. Fitbit has done the effort to add a subtitle and include generic keywords in the title. It has also done a good job in maintaining a high rating and review score. Meanwhile, Fitness Coach has focused more on conversion by investing in its brand and creatives. It does not target as many generic keywords in the visible metadata, but the ones that are targeted seem to be working for them. Therefore, Fitness Coach is the winner of this ASO matchup.
Stay tuned for the next edition of AppTweak’s ASO Review Series where we’ll take a deeper look into two more apps to measure the effectiveness of ASO and how industry leaders update their store listings.