The App Store Optimization Stack- ASO Tools -min

aso stack framework for app store optimization-min

Following up on Part 1 (Increase Visibility) and Part 2 (Increase Conversions) this is the third post in the ASO Stack series, which will cover ASO tools.

As we uncover in each ASO tool’s profile in the upcoming eBook, many tools were created by ASO experts in order to accomplish their job more efficiently and effectively. Leveraging ASO tools to support your ASO strategy is highly recommended and can not only save you time, but help you make better decisions and increase your return on effort.

As a note, many ASO tools don’t specialize in one particular functional area, but instead include a set of features that span multiple sections of functional area tools listed in the ASO Stack framework.

Keyword Rank Tracking

Tracking keyword ranks without a tool (or your own custom API) would be quite a difficult task. Thankfully, nearly all ASO tools handle this tedious task for you, by allowing you to input a list of keywords and a specified country, wherein you can see your current day’s rank for each keyword. Some tools, such as AppTweak (pictured below) even allow you to compare your keyword ranks against the keyword ranks of tracked competitors.

keywords monitoring-min

Additionally, many rank tracking tools do a daily scan of hundreds of thousands or even millions of keywords, meaning that you can retroactively report on rank for keywords that are tracked, rather than only having a record of your app’s keyword rank from the day forward that you add a keyword.

Metadata Management

ASO tools can also help you create your store metadata. For example, SensorTower (pictured below) and AppTweak provide a metadata optimization feature, which ensures that your keywords are not duplicated across your title and keywords field, or within your keywords field.key word character count-min

AppRadar even allows you to publish your metadata directly to the App Store or Play Store.

Keyword Research

One of the earliest steps in KWO is researching keywords to include in your metadata. There are many smaller, standalone tools that can help with keyword research, such as (pictured below), which pull in auto-fill suggestions from the Play Store. The tool also shows Trending Searches from the App Store for US, Germany, Canada, Spain, France, Italy and China. -min

But most general ASO tools, such as Mobile Action (pictured below) also provide features that go beyond auto-fill data, including keywords sourced from competitors, related keywords (iOS), categories and other sources.

instagram keyword investigator-min

Keyword Prioritization & Weighting

ASO tools can also help you prioritize your keyword list for those with the highest potential for your app, by providing several data points, including:

  • Difficulty/chance score (i.e. a measure of how hard it will be for your app to earn a top 10 rank)
  • Search volume (ranges from Apple’s search popularity data point, to a proprietary blend of an ASO tool’s data). While nearly all tools provide search volume as an index number, TUNE takes search volume a step further and provides estimates of the total monthly searches for each keyword.
  • Total app results (can be used as a gauge of competitiveness of a keyword)

Ratings & Sentiment Tracking

Studying an app’s ratings and extracting insights from the keywords, sentiment and topics found in reviews provides excellent insight for increasing your app’s conversion rate.

While the Google Play Console offers a robust toolset for mining rating and review data, Apple’s iTunes Connect does not offer much analysis functionality for developers and marketers to tap into.

While many general ASO tools also provide rating/reviews aggregation and sentiment/topic analysis, AppBot (pictured below) is the most specialized 3rd party ASO tool for analyzing ratings and sentiment (and replying to user reviews). Appbot can help fill in functionality where iTunes Connect is lacking, or be a one-stop option for analyzing ratings & sentiment across both platforms of an app.

appbot popular words and critical words-min

In-App Rating Prompts

Your rating prompt is the process by which you encourage users (usually through a pop-up or banner) to leave you a review. By actively prompting users rather than remaining passive on the matter, you can increase the number of ratings that your app receives. As mentioned in part 2 of this series, your app’s rating is arguably the single most important factor influencing a user’s decision to download your app.

Tools like Apptentive (pictured below) help you take more control over your app’s rating prompt process by providing an easily adjustable process to optimize the when, what and how of your app’s in-app ratings prompt.

But, while ASO tools can help you implement a rating prompt process, it’s still up to you to decide when to prompt your users for a review. Learn more about when, what and how to prompt users for a review in this Incipia post.

picture keeper notification-min

Replying to Reviews

Not only is replying to user reviews correlated with earning higher ratings, it’s also easy to do! Both the Google Play Console and now iTunes Connect allow developers and marketers to reply to user reviews.

ASO tools also provide additional features not found in Apple or Google’s platforms. For example, AppFollow (pictured below) offers a feature that allows developers and marketers to receive and reply to user reviews, directly from Slack.

appfollow offers a feature that allows developers and marketers to receive and reply to user reviews directly from slack

Screenshot Builders

While simply using an in-app screenshot of your app’s UI is easy to do and preferred by Apple, many marketers and developers prefer to create custom screenshots, which can help an app stand out against the competition and improve conversion rate.

AppLaunchpad (pictured below) is an ASO tool that can make the process of custom screenshot building easy.


Competitive Intelligence

While some competitive intelligence tools provide features that overlap with general ASO tools (such as app performance reporting and keyword/top chart ranks), competitive intelligence (also known as marketplace intelligence) tools stake their ground by providing ASOs with data more difficult to obtain.

Tools such as App Annie offer estimates on data on competitor apps, such as:

  • Downloads or revenue stats
  • DAUs (daily active users), retention rates and frequency of use
  • Market penetration stats
  • Overlap of your users’ use of competitor apps
  • User base demographic breakdown
  • Advertising spend trends

This information can be critical for ASOs planning new app launches, directing ad budget or other resources, crafting messaging and many other use cases.

App Store Analytics

Most general ASO tools will provide an option to integrate with the Google Play Console or iTunes Connect and pull in performance data.

Yet, a few ASO tools provide an additional layer to this data, such as TheTool (pictured below), which estimates the organic uplift caused by paid download activity.

top chart rankings vs installs tracker-min

Some ASO tools, such as ASODesk even provide an estimate on the number of organic downloads sourced from keywords.

User Experience Feedback

User experience testing can mean a couple different things, including:

  • Surveying users to ask their opinion via a questionnaire on certain aspects of your app’s user experience. Tools to help with this type of user experience testing range from the lower-end simply sending users to a Google form, to the higher-end all-inclusive user feedback tool, Apptentive.
  • Testing the actual UX of your app, to increase activation and retention (which improves your app’s organic ranks) — Apptimize is an example of a tool that can help with this type of user experience testing.

A/B Testing Tools

When working on raising your app’s conversion rate by creating new variations of your app listing’s elements, it’s recommended to test changes before pushing them live, especially if you have a larger app, or you are unsure of how the changes will land.

While Google offers a robust store listing experiment engine that helps Android developers and marketers run A/B tests, Apple’s iTunes Connect, unfortunately, offers no commensurate feature (a common theme).

Splitmetrics (pictured below) is an A/B testing platform that can be used to run App Store (and/or Google Play) store listing experiments, as well as other unique experiments, such as search results page testing.

splitmetrics is an a:b testing platform

In our upcoming ASO Stack eBook, we’ll profile close to 20 different ASO tools in total, as well as create a matrix to help you compare features, pricing and other factors for both general ASO tools and A/B testing tools.

To conclude, ASO is a big job and requires a lot of information that can be tedious or even impossible to gather on your own; in fact, many ASO tools were built by ASO and app marketing experts to make their own jobs easier. Try using an ASO tool to get the data you need and be better informed in your ASO strategy.

Which tools are you using for ASO? Let us know in the comments. Also, if you liked this post, tap to spread the word.