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ASO vs SEO: Why & How They Are Different

ASO vs SEO: Why & How They Are Different

App Store Optimization or ASO is often referred to as ‘mobile SEO’ or ‘SEO for apps’. This analogy comes in pretty handy to understand the overall principle of App Store Optimization. However the app stores and the web are two very different ecosystems, hence there are quite some differences between ASO and SEO.

ASO vs SEO: Definition

ASO Definition: ASO or App Store Optimization is the process of improving an app’s visibility in the app stores with the objective to increase organic app downloads. Apps are more visible when they rank high on a wide variety of search terms, maintain a high position in the top charts, or get featured by the store.

SEO Definition: SEO or Search Engine Optimization is the practice of increasing your webpages in the organic search engine results pages with the objective to drive more qualified traffic to your website.

ASO vs SEO: Objective

ASO Objective: In general the objective of ASO is to increase an app’s rankings on high volume keywords with the ultimate goal to increase downloads. As discovery gains importance on both the app stores, ASO experts now also start to focus on strategies that help increase their app’s visibility in editorial content, stories or similar app cards.

SEO Objective: The ultimate goal of SEO is to drive more qualified traffic to your web pages through the organic search engines and help people find answers to their questions or discover new products or services.

ASO vs SEO: Search Intent

Search Intent on the App Stores: Search queries in the app stores are in general shorter than on the web. People tend to search for specific apps by their brand name or are looking to discover new apps that can serve an exact need. Search queries therefore tend to me more functional and are related to specific features of an app.

Search Intent on the Web: Due to the abundance of information on the web, search terms tend to be longer and more specific. When searching the web, people in general seek answers to specific questions or they make transactional queries looking to inquire information or buy a certain product or service.

ASO vs SEO: Ranking Factors

ASO Ranking Factors:

On-Page ASO Ranking Factors:

  • App title (iOS & Android)
  • App subtitle (iOS) and short description (Android)
  • Long description & keyword density (Android)
  • Keyword Field (iOS)
  • In-app purchases (iOS)
  • Publisher name (iOS & Android)

Off-Page ASO Ranking Factors:

  • Total number of downloads and download velocity (iOS & Android)
  • Conversion rate (iOS & Android)
  • Retention and engagement (iOS & Android)
  • Reviews and ratings (iOS & Android)
  • Crash rate (iOS & Android)
  • Backlinks (Android)

Learn more about the differences between ASO in the Apple App Store & Google Play

SEO Ranking Factors:

On-Page SEO Ranking Factors:

  • Keywords in the title tag
  • Keywords in header tags
  • High quality and relevant content
  • Content structure and length
  • Optimized urls and meta tags

Off-Page SEO Ranking Factors:

  • Pagespeed
  • Backlinks
  • Domain authority
  • Click-through rate and bounce rate
  • Time spend on page


Just like SEO, ASO is an ongoing process and there does not exist a one-time-shot or magical trick. A successful ASO strategy focuses on careful monitoring and gradual improvements that focuses first and foremost on building a high quality app. Detailed keyword research can help you understand user behaviour in the app stores and uncover opportunities to increase your app rankings gradually over time. Below we have listed some of the metrics you should use to measure your success:


  • Organic downloads and installs
  • Conversion rate
  • Keyword visibility and rankings
  • Average ratings and reviews score


  • Organic sessions
  • Conversion rate
  • Keyword visibility and rankings
  • Bounce rate
  • Pages per session
  • Average session duration
  • Page load time
  • Number of backlinks and domains

As ASO and SEO are two different eco-systems serving different user intent it is very important to optimize your user acquisition strategy accordingly. AppTweak provides you with all the data and insights you need to find new keyword ranking opportunities, research competitors and monitor your app’s performance in the app stores.

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