01. Introduction

About the Authors 

With the app stores nearing their tenth anniversary, the field of App Store Optimization (ASO) has matured, albeit with  added complexity. According to Apple, app store search accounts for 65% of all Installs, and nearly half of that traffic  comes from generic searches, with a little bit over half coming from specific searches for brands (e.g. “Facebook”), app  names, and typos or misspellings. 

To help ASO practitioners, from those just starting out with ASO to seasoned veterans alike to solidify their grip on what  ASO is and how to be successful at it, Moritz Daan from Phiture in Berlin and Gabe Kwakyi from Incipia in Detroit, have  partnered to write this comprehensive guide to ASO. 

The authors, Moritz Daan and Gabe Kwakyi, have built up an extensive and intimate knowledge on the inner-workings  of ASO over the years, and have condensed their knowledge into this book, along with content from eight contributors,  as well as insights from numerous other ASO industry experts.

Moritz Daan and Andy Carvell
Moritz Daan and Andy Carvell

Moritz, who previously founded and sold two online gaming companies, started working in a full-time ASO role at  SoundCloud in 2014 when the term ASO had just come into swing. One of his first projects at SoundCloud was building out an A/B testing platform for testing App Store assets (in these days Google Play Store listing Experiments and third  party services like TestNest weren’t around yet). Moritz soon moved on to lead a growth team focused on International  Growth at SoundCloud. In 2016, he started his own mobile growth consultancy with mobile industry veteran Andy  Carvell: Phiture. With Phiture, he’s helped over 30 apps set up their ASO strategies. 

Gabe is Co-Founder and CEO of Incipia, a mobile app agency that builds and markets apps for companies and  entrepreneurs. Incipia has worked with apps of myriad categories and sizes, from indie developers to top 100 country  free-charting apps to optimize their ASO and paid app marketing efforts, including Keepsafe, 5miles, Wordscapes, and  WeatherBug. Prior to Incipia, Gabe worked as a veteran search advertising account manager at Microsoft Bing Ads,  helping clients such as Airbnb, the NHL and Spotify, to optimize their PPC budgets, managing more than $21 million in  annual PPC spend. 

What to Expect From This Book 

In preparation for this book, we built a framework that we call the App Store Optimization Stack, which we introduce in the first chapter. The ASO Stack is a perfect framework for people just starting out with ASO to quickly gain an understanding of what elements play a role in ASO. The framework also aims to help the expert to take a step back and analyze their own strategy for further opportunity with a fine-tooth comb. 

And, when Apple announced iOS 11 in June, it quickly became clear that the implications on ASO of Apple’s new OS  couldn’t be bigger – while this book was close to being completed, we decided to take the time to make some edits and  additions with iOS 11 in mind. To kick things off with a bang, we will summarize all of the important changes and their  implications in the chapter, Getting ready for iOS 11. 

For the subsequent chapters we’ll go in-depth on the two main goals for ASO: in chapter 5 we discuss Increasing  Visibility of your app store listing in the stores – this includes everything from keyword optimization to features and even category optimization. In the 6th chapter we cover Increasing Conversion of those anyone who generates a new impression for your store listing, by optimizing all of the assets at your disposal. 

In addition to the core themes of increasing visibility and conversion, we will discuss several other topics vital to  achieving success in ASO: 

  • Visual Word Recognition, i.e. how you can increase your keyword rankings by having more people convert on  a certain keyword search term 
  • Localizing your app store presence to increase visibility and conversion. 
  • Ratings & Reviews – one of the most important factors in convincing people to download, as well as giving a  good signal to ranking for the app store algorithms. 
  • Android 3rd party alternatives, to increase your share of total available downloads. 
  • Black Hat ASO and where to draw the line. 
  •  ASO tools – there are many tools (free and paid) helping ASOs do their job and we’ll provide a list of tools and  their use cases for your review. 
  • Factors Outside of the Store, which can influence your ASO success, plus neighbouring themes such as App  Packs. 

Thank you for joining us – your decision to sharpen your ASO skills has just begun, and we promise to leave you with much food for thought in the coming pages. 

Along the way, keep an eye out for special icons, which denote topics of particular interest, including: 

  • Beware: We use these tips to help you avoid problems or challenges one may face in managing ASO. 
  • Pro Tip: We use these tips to call out tactics that are unique or generally not common knowledge. 
  • Case Study: This is a series of sources related to the topic at hand. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet,  consectetur adipiscing elit. Vivamus at lorem quis lacus ultrices commodo. Ut interdum, est non gravida  porttitor, augue orci feugiat lacus, eget imperdiet metus orci porttitor nibh. 
  • Further Reading: This is a series of sources related to the topic at hand. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet,  consectetur adipiscing elit. Vivamus at lorem quis lacus ultrices commodo. Ut interdum, est non gravida  porttitor, augue orci feugiat lacus, eget imperdiet metus orci porttitor nibh. 
  • iOS: This icon denotes that the content following is specifically related to iOS apps.

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