Leverage Synergies between ASO & ASA for App Store Success

Anthony Ansuncionby 
App Growth Consultant at AppTweak

6 min read

Apple Search Ads can significantly enhance your ASO efforts. Running ASA campaigns alone can boost organic visibility, conversions, and keyword rankings through increased downloads. By adding high-converting ASA keywords and creatives into your ASO strategy, you create a powerful loop that boosts your App Store visibility and conversion. This synergy is vital for continued app success, maximizing impact across channels by leveraging ASA insights to improve ASO.

In this blog, we’ll share some key insights on how to create successful synergies between ASO & ASA (Apple Search Ads) to help you boost your paid and organic visibility on the App Store.


Why to align ASO & ASA strategies?

Let’s take the example of March Madness, the college basketball season in the US.

There are essentially just two apps available for live streaming the games without needing a cable subscription: Max and Paramount+.

On the first day of March Madness, Max outranked Paramount+ on almost all March Madness-related keywords.

By incorporating high-volume March Madness-related keywords into its keyword field early in March, Max managed to secure a strong organic ranking for these terms before the competition heated up
By incorporating high-volume March Madness-related keywords into its keyword field early in March, Max managed to secure a strong organic ranking for these terms before the competition heated up. Source: AppTweak

Based on data found on AppTweak, we believe the following happened:

  • Max added high-volume March Madness-related keywords to its keyword field early in March – well before the search demand peaked. By adding the keywords so early, it was able to rank well for these keywords organically before the competition intensified.
Max achieved a high ranking for the keyword "March Madness" immediately following a version update and strategically included the keyword in their metadata just as the search volume for March Madness was reaching its peak
Max achieved a high ranking for the keyword “March Madness” immediately following a version update and strategically included the keyword in its metadata, just as the search volume for March Madness was reaching its peak. Source: AppTweak
  • Like many other apps, Max tapped into the March Madness excitement by bidding on related keywords through Apple Search Ads. It also rolled out March Madness-themed custom product pages (CPPs) for these keywords to boost relevancy and increase conversion rates. 

The secret here lies in the coordinated efforts to synergize ASO & ASA:

  • Early keyword integration: By adding March Madness-related keywords to the keyword field before the seasonal surge, Max signaled to Apple the relevance of these keywords for its app.
  • Organic relevancy: Building organic relevancy positioned Max advantageously for the Apple Search Ads auction, as Apple weighs keyword relevancy heavily in determining auction winners.
  • Targeted bidding: By bidding on March Madness-related keywords, Max enhanced download velocity for these specific terms.
  • Custom product pages (CPPs): Running CPPs helped increase the conversion rate for these keywords.
  • Impact on organic rankings: Both download velocity and conversion rate are key metrics Apple uses to rank apps organically.
  • Cyclical benefits: This improved organic visibility signals ongoing relevancy, which can help reduce Cost Per Install (CPI) in Apple Search Ads.

By timing and planning their March Madness campaign well, Max well outdid Paramount+ in terms of visibility in the App Store.

Seasonal ASO & ASA strategy wins

Now, let’s explore the different factors to consider when planning successful ASO & ASA seasonal strategies on the App Store.

1. Maximize your visibility

  • The seasonality battle is won early: Update your metadata early and incorporate seasonal keywords well before the hype of the events builds up and competition on these keywords increases.
  • Group your keywords: Organize keywords into categories, for example, during different sports seasons, categorize terms such as NFL, NBA, etc. and monitor keyword volume for these keyword groups carefully so you can act on volume changes quickly.
  • Optimize spend for high-performing keywords: Take high-performing keywords out of your discovery campaigns. Then, leverage ASO keyword research tools like AppTweak’s Keyword Clusters to find more keywords closely related to these high-performing keywords.
  • Collaborate between teams: The ASA and ASO teams should work closely. For instance, ASO teams should incorporate high-potential ASA keywords into their organic strategy early on so that they can start building relevancy for them.

2. Adapt creatives to increase conversion

  • Knowing when to adjust your app’s creative elements is crucial. For instance, sports apps can leverage seasonal trends by introducing NFL-themed screenshots during the football season to increase their appeal and relevance.
  • Choosing what to highlight in your creatives – whether it’s star players, beloved teams, or major sports events – is an ongoing dialogue with your audience. Discovering what lights up your users’ eyes can boost your download numbers.
  • And here’s where A/B testing comes into play. To find what truly resonates with users, systematically test different elements (players, teams, channels) one at a time. This helps optimize your creatives for different seasons and ensure that the data collected is actionable and directly ties to user preference.

3. Use seasonal research to design effective CPPs

Leverage insights from metadata and creative research to inform your custom product pages (CPPs) strategy:

  • Use past research to know when to start your ad bids before the competition heats up.
  • Customize your pages based on what users want during different seasons, using insights from previous research.
  • Apply findings from creative research to make your CPP visuals and content appealing.
  • Update your CPPs with the right seasonal keywords to attract more users.
  • Keep testing different CPP versions to see what works best and update based on performance data.

Discover powerful insights into your competitors’ CPP strategies with AppTweak’s CPP Explorer

4. Boost engagement with in-app events

Leveraging in-app events can also help you engage and retain your audience on the App Store.

So, why do in-app events matter so much?

  • Unlike typical screenshots, in-app events can pop up in search results for broader keywords, catching the eye of potential new users.
  • Apps or games related to specific sports or events can attract more downloads by offering timely content that matches users’ current interests.
  • Choosing which event to feature depends on what engages users most. Compare how in-app events vs default visuals affect your conversion rates.
  • Identify what type of events got your competitors featured to uncover niche or seasonal events you might have overlooked.
  • Finally, timing your in-app events with the ebb and flow of user interest around seasonal events can dramatically boost their impact.

5. Leverage app reviews for ASA & ASO

Your app reviews are a goldmine of feedback! They tell you exactly what people love and don’t love about your app. It’s super important to keep an eye on those reviews.

Your app store reviews can even help boost your app’s visibility and strengthen your ASO. For example, if a particular feature is popular with users, highlight it in your app’s screenshots. This can make a big difference in your download numbers.

Remember, don’t brush off negative feedback. Use it as a stepping stone to improve your app. It shows you’re not just about the tech, but you really care about making your users happy. And when potential new users see you’re actively engaging with feedback, they’re more likely to give your app a try.

Start free trial


Anthony Ansuncion
by , App Growth Consultant at AppTweak
Anthony is an App Growth Consultant at AppTweak helping apps improve their store presence. He is passionate about sports, movies, video games and has way too many shoes.