In the ASO Monthly series, Phiture team reflects on the previous month and sheds a light on trends in app store optimization, algorithm changes, insights in conversion rate optimization and tools updates.

NB: Phiture is hiring for a key role to lead our ever-growing ASO team. You’ll be responsible for leading and overseeing the success of our App Store Optimization service team and help Phiture to lead the way in mobile growth.

Read more about the role here

This update was written by Anton Tatarinovich, ASO Consultant at Phiture.

ASO Monthly #45 January 2020- ASO Conference, New Research and Return of Priority Score

ASO Conference 2020 — Date announced!

Following the success of two ASO Conferences in 2019, we are happy to announce that our next ASO Conference 2020 will take place on May 13 in Berlin.

More info about the location and speakers will soon be available at and in ASO Stack Slack group. Stay tuned!

aso conference 2020 berlin

January 8 — Apple announces new single-day record for the App Store purchases

Apple announced its record-breaking single day record for the App Store, with $386 million worth of sales on New Year’s Day (20% growth compared to last year). The App Store also set a new record for sales between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, with $1.42 billion in revenue.

This is another reminder to app publishers to prepare an ASO strategy for seasonal spikes well in advance to ride the wave of booming consumer spend.

January 10 — Google Play Store tests a new section with app reviews

The new section will appear on the Google Play Store on the “My Games and Apps” page under the “Installed” tab. The main goals for the new section are to encourage users to leave reviews for apps and games, update old reviews and make the whole process a lot easier.

Since this potentially means more reviews per app on average, publishers should put even more focus on user experience to ensure good reviews and high ratings, which affect ASO.

reviews on google play store


January 15 — Apple brings back Priority Score metric

Priority Score — Apple’s own measurement of keyword search volume — became inaccessible through API on December 18, 2019, first noticed by members of the ASO Stack community. Removal of this metric made the evaluation of keyword search volume for countries without Apple Search Ads (where Search Popularity Score is available) much harder.

Thankfully, on January 15th API access to the Priority Score metric was reinstated. Thanks to ASO Stack member Ilia Kukharev for noticing the change.

January 16 — Upcoming Price and Tax Changes in Pakistan, Thailand, and Singapore

Due to changes in tax and foreign exchange rates, Apple introduces changes to the App Store pricing and payouts process.

  • In Thailand prices will decrease due to changes in foreign exchange rates.
  • In Pakistan prices will increase due to changes in foreign exchange rates
  • In Singapore, due to the introduction of 7% goods and services tax, Singapore-based developer will need to provide their GST number in the App Store Connect to not have their payouts affected.

[For more info]

January 21 — Phiture and SearchAdsHQ publish the research on estimating keyword visibility based on a Search Popularity score

The new research explores the correlation between Search Popularity and Share of Voice in order to make more accurate predictions on the available App Store search volume for a keyword.

searchadshq and phiture

Source: SearchAdsHQ

We found out that Search Popularity and App Store impressions follow an exponential relationship: for a Search Popularity of 60 the maximum impressions are at least 10,000, while for a Search Popularity of 82 there are at least 40,000 impressions.

For more findings & methodology behind the research, read the full piece 

January 21 — Apple starts showing Watch apps in the App Store

The new App Store search update, first noticed by ASO Stack member Phillip Schacht, seems to rank Apple Watch apps amongst regular apps in search results. Prior to this change, apps for Watch lived in a separate “Apple Watch Apps” section inside the App Store, and were not shown in search results.

If widely adopted, this will push down organic results for regular apps, result in even higher competition for the top spot, and — potentially — wider adoption of Apple Search Ads as the only way to ensure ranking 1st in the search results.

bring app store search

Source: Phillip Schacht, ASO Stack

January 23 — Apple starts including games from Apple Arcade into search auto-suggestions

Members of the ASO Stack group have noticed that Apple Arcade games are now appearing in search auto-suggestions. Games are appearing for all search queries and are highlighted by distinct Apple Arcade icon and caption, making them more prominent.

This is a sign of Apple’s commitment to investing in Arcade’s growth in the near future. For app developers who have their games in Apple Arcade already, this means priority treatment in search and potentially higher conversion rates.

Below examples are from the Austrian storefront:

austrian storefront

Source: Venkat Bugga, ASO Stack

January 24 — App Store is Down

On Friday morning on 7:27 a.m.PT App Store reported uptime issues. Some users reported problems with downloading apps, making purchases and signing into their apps.

Apple reported all services being back on track at 10:37 a.m. PT. It is unclear how big the losses were for Apple and app developers due to the outage.

Upcoming events in February 2020

Feb 4 in San Francisco — AGS Mastermind Roundtables SF

Feb 5–7 in Tokyo, Japan — Japan Marketing Week

Feb 12–13 in San Francisco — Mobile Growth Summit 2020

Feb 17–18 in Berlin — Digital Relaunch

Feb 24–27 in Barcelona — Mobile World Congress

Click here for more events

Tools updates

Search Popularity Score > Impressions Calculator

In a recent joint study, Splitmetrics and Phiture have estimated the relationship between Search Popularity and App…

[Product Update] Use Keyword Spy & Research to Rank at the Top

All ASO warriors know that one of the most challenging parts in ASO is finding the right keywords to target. Countless…

5.4: January Update

TL;DR: report offensive reviews from AppFollow and Zendesk, Amazon questions and Featured Reviews support, export your…

Interesting to read (and listen)

[Podcast] The Formula to Mobile App Growth with Andy Carvell

How many times have we heard about mobile apps that have quickly rocketed in popularity and got bought for millions of…

Most Featured iOS Apps across the Globe in 2019 | Infographic

Over 3,000 apps appeared on the main App Store page in 2019. Getting featured on the Today Tab is the dream of every…

Average App Conversion Rate per Category [2019] — ASO Blog

When talking about app conversion rates, most ASO experts refer to the ‘App Page Conversion Rate’ or percentage of…

Measuring marginal organic contribution from paid marketing

One trap that’s common for mobile-first companies to find themselves in is believing that organic installs are truly…

App Store Connect 🥇 The Ultimate Guide to Launch & Optimize iOS Apps

After seeing the success of our Google Play Console guide, we knew what the next step was… an App Store Connect (AKA…