In 2017 Phiture and Incipia got together to write the first edition of our Advanced ASO book, which is now in its second edition. Back then, we had already been working in the field of App Store Optimization for a good number of years and our thinking about ASO as a marketing field had evolved in three phases.

In the very early days, a commonly heard phrase was that “ASO is SEO for the app stores” and the talk would focus purely or mainly on keyword optimization. Soon after, practitioners started to realize that in order to succeed in the app stores, Conversion Rate Optimization of your existing assets in the store was just as important or perhaps even more important. The third phase we entered into was that of considering ASO as a holistic to succeed in ASO, one needs to think about it as a complex and interconnected system of anything that might influence the two main goals of ASO, namely visibility and conversion. When we introduced the framework back in 2017, we identified for example that building good relationships with Apple/Google and in return gaining visibility via featuring, might for some developers be as fruitful as keyword optimization is for others. Or that your ratings & reviews not only have an impact on your conversion but also on your ability to rank highly for certain keywords.

We felt it was time for a revisit of our initial framework, as since we initially published it, the ASO game has changed a lot. First off, the interest in the field has increased significantly. We’re seeing similar interest in our ASO Stack Slack community, which has now more than 5,000 members who exchanged over 150.000+ messages. This has led to a lot more knowledge sharing and helped the team at Phiture gain additional insights on how to do ASO. Secondly, just as the community is becoming more advanced, so are the various ASO tools that cater to the increasing need for supporting insights such as detecting algorithm changes. Finally, the stores themselves have undergone changes.

ASO stack framework

I will walk you high-level through the main changes in the framework, my co-author of the ASO book, Gabe Kwakyi, will take you in the sequel of this post through all the changes in-depth. We will be linking out to that post.


  • We’ve acknowledged that Android Vitals and Backlinks can impact visibility in the Google Play Store. We felt that especially the 2017-introduced Android Vitals and the effect the quality of your Android app has on your installs, needed to find a prominent place in the visibility layer of the stack.
  • We’ve added App Bundles into the Search box. Ever since app bundles (apart from a paid app bundle) can now also bundle free apps that offer an auto-renewable subscription to access all apps in the bundle, they have gained a prominent place in the Apple App Store rankings.
  • We’ve removed the “Outside of the Store” layer. A lot of things can impact your work while doing ASO, such as a bad product (and thus bad retention) leading to a reduction in visibility. We tried to represent those things in the “Outside the store” layer but felt that this layer was the weakest link in the stack.
  • We’ve added a whole new Supporting Insights layer. The most exciting change of the new ASO stack is the layer of Supporting Insights which we feel are needed to understand what is going on with your metrics and to strategize around these insights: Correlation coefficients, Share of Voice, Organic Cannibalization, Feature visibility, Macro Influences, Search Term Data, and Benchmarks.

the aso stack 2017 and 2019

We’re looking forward to hearing your feedback.

aso stack 2019