Why & How to Monitor Competition on the App Stores

Gwenaëlle Kolleggerby 

5 min read

Knowing the market in which you operate and who your competitors are is an important part of any business strategy. This principle is also true for ASO. You need to be aware of the threats and opportunities linked to your competitive environment. Let’s explore why it’s so important, and how to conduct a proper competitor research as part of your ASO process.

Why is ASO competitor research important?

Understanding your competition is vital in ASO. ASO competitor research is important because it will allow you to make better decisions based on their strategy and performance.

You’ll consider your competitors’ strategy for decisions such as:

  • Finding the right app category: You’ll want to check which apps rank in the top of each category that you think your app could fit into. This will give you an idea of the kind of competition you will be facing in each one. Make sure to consider the strength of those apps, their activity, and the volatility of the category.
  • Spotting new keyword opportunities: You can research which keywords your competitors are using to find new ideas or spot important keywords you missed out on. You can also search for keywords your competitors do not rank for and try to become visible on those first. This will be an essential part of building your semantic dictionary (a big list of all keywords that could be interesting to be ranked on).
  • Monitoring competitor’s app rankings & visibility: Check when your competitors update their metadata and monitor the impact it has on their app visibility. Also closely look at how visible they are on keywords that are important to your brand and your app. This will help you identify potential threats.

Learn more about how to build a Semantic Dictionary

Which competitor apps to monitor on the app stores?

The first step of your competitor research should be to establish a broad pool of apps with whom you compete.

  • Look for apps that have a similar core activity, those are your direct competitors. For example, Uber and Lyft.
  • Consider apps that have a few similar features, even if their main purpose is different from yours. For example, Uber and GoEuro.
  • Don’t forget apps that have a completely different purpose than yours but still competing for similar keywords. For example, look at driving games for Uber. We call these “ASO competitors”.

On AppTweak, we actually help you get started with that research. Once you’ve found your app in our platform and added it to your dashboard, we’ll suggest potential competitors.

How to monitor app competitors?

Once you have done your initial in-depth keyword research (either before launching your app or to do a major optimization of a currently published app) and you’re satisfied with your Semantic Dictionary, you can start narrowing down the number of competitors you’ll keep monitoring. Here are a few tips to decide which ones to keep and which ones to stop worrying about.

  • Take a look at competitors’ App Power: Focus first on competitors that have an app power currently close to yours. They’re the ones to watch out for. If you choose competitors with a much lower App Power, you will be comparing your app with low performers. On the other hand, if you focus on very powerful apps, you might be too ambitious, and end up targeting keywords that are too competitive for your app, instead of focusing on long tail keywords.

Comparing the App Power of your competitors will help you focus on the most relevant ones.

  • Understand how visible are your competitors: The competitors that outrank you on a significant amount of keywords relevant to your app need to be watched. Use AppTweak’s Visibility Score to identify which competitors are the most visible on your keywords. You’ll also need to see if your efforts are successful and if you’re making progress compared to them.

Discover how AppTweak helps you monitor keyword rankings

  • Compare competitors’ creatives: You also want to compare the look and feel of a game or app to better understand which competitors are most similar to yours. You can easily compare screenshots and videos of an app using our overview.

Easily compare the screenshots of several apps in a couple of clicks and get an idea of their look and feel.

With these three steps, you’ll be able to narrow your list of competitors to the most relevant ones. We generally recommend to follow up to 5 competitors for your ASO routine.

If you manage to include all those aspects in your competition analysis, you will be well informed to design your own ASO strategy! You can of course conduct this whole analysis on AppTweak, so don’t hesitate to check it out!

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Gwenaëlle Kollegger
Gwenaëlle worked at Apptweak first as a Business Development Manager in 2019 and as a customer success representative the next year. She thinks exciting times are ahead for mobile marketers and is always looking for the next amazing app to install on her phone!