ASO 2020: 10 Things to Expect and Optimize for

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Olga Padulosi
ASO 2020: 10 Things to Expect and Optimize for

Table of Content:

  1. Featured Stories and Editors’ Choice will be a thing
  2. App Localization will open more markets and opportunities
  3. Competition from branded apps will rise
  4. Using Search Ads will be more important
  5. App crashes will affect your chances to get recommended
  6. Similar Apps section will bring more traffic for you
  7. User Subscription Management will affect the market
  8. The Dark Mode will be a trend to consider
  9. App Reputation Management will affect ASO and conversion rate
  10. Consistent apps will achieve better results
  11. Download 2020 ASO Checklist

App Store Optimization (ASO) is the basis of traffic attraction in app stores. If you are quite familiar with the main principles of ASO it doesn’t mean you should not follow the latest updates and actual challenges brought by changing algorithms in the App Store or Google Play. In 2019 a lot of bugs and changes happened in both stores which led to apparent trends in 2020.

In the Expert Panel Discussion “ASO 2019 and Tactics for 2020” Thomas Petit, Mobile Growth Consultant, Simon Thillay, ASO Expert at AppTweak, Francesco Zucchetta, Head of ASO at Bending Spoons, and Ilia Kukharev, Head of ASO at AppFollow, discussed the main changes happening in the app stores: from which metrics you need to monitor to which channels will be important next year.

2019 was another landmark year for app store optimization. It has brought a lot of bugs in the app stores, but also now we can see some apparent trends which the App Store and Google Play Store are following now. In this article we are listing the important updates in 2019 and outlined trends in 2020 right below:

    There is a main trend in both stores - users started to see more and more app recommendations. Google Play adds Editors’ Choice in Stories section, the App Store brings more content like Today tab, Game/App of the Day or thematic Stories. Before they were shown in browse results but now they are entering search. The overall direction is moving from an organic search to an editorial or featuring choice. For example, the new search page in the App Store is not just a search anymore, it shows recommended apps.

    Image source: Google Play Store

    It brings more challenges for app developers to get traffic, they need to work on their brand positioning, look for trends in stores and adjust the roadmap accordingly.

    2. App Localization will open more markets and opportunities

      With app localization, you're able to push up downloads by 30% to 100% when you localize properly on a locale. It is a good thing not only to boost your downloads and rank in other countries but also it shows that you deliver a good product and care about global expansion. It can affect your app store position as well.

      Recently, the App Store added Arabic and Hebrew languages which is definitely going to change how certain companies do business in the MENA region. The same is true for Google Play, which allows custom store listings by country. You can localize your text to suit multiple dialects (for example, French for France and Canada) as well as your app’s screenshots, descriptions, subtitles, etc.

      3. Competition from branded apps will rise

        We have been seeing more branded apps in the app stores occupying a lot of space of organic traffic. It has a huge impact on how you do ASO, there is definitely a huge need to focus on keyword optimization to find your niche and rank for branded searches.

        4. Using Search Ads will be more important

          Search ads is going to be a big thing. For instance, the App Store released some APIs for search ads in 2019, it seems like proof that stores are pushing in that direction. So, you need to be ready to work with that and learn how to use ads for your target markets.

          5. App crashes will affect your chances to get recommended

            App crashes directly influence the possibility of getting recommendations. Google stated recently that crash rates are affecting the likelihood of getting one, so the more your Android app crashes, the fewer recommendations you will get. Try to build a great app that doesn't crash ever so often and Google Play will recommend your app higher.

            Image source: Google Play Console

            6. Similar Apps section will bring more traffic for you

              Google Play added Similar Apps section - it is a new possibility to get extra traffic and more downloads for your app. Systematically do market research for other apps within the same category, download numbers, conversion rate, and other similar metrics to reveal new opportunities.

              7. User Subscription Management will affect the market

                In iOS 13 some user-centric changes took place - now it's much easier to cancel your app subscriptions. In the long-term, it brings more value for users as it eliminates the chances they could be deceived with hidden subscription details and also excludes unscrupulous apps. It helps developers to focus on what the user actually needs and what the user is willing to pay for.

                Image source: App Store

                8. The Dark Mode will be a trend to consider

                  The Dark Mode is an absolutely unstoppable trend in the mobile industry. Make sure your ASO visuals (screenshots) look good and appealing for both the Dark Mode and the White Mode in the App Store or Google Play.

                  Example on how to optimize for the Dark Mode. Image source: App Store
                  Examples on the Light, Dark, and Black Modes

                  9. App Reputation Management will affect ASO and conversion rate

                    By App Reputation Management we mean working closely with app ratings and reviews. It becomes more and more important to keep up good app ratings and work with user reviews as they show the actual quality of the product and influence on conversion rate. At least 70% of users read the reviews before downloading an app.

                    Reviews with decreasing rating are among the most critical

                    By working with user reviews you can see what they like or hate about your app, as well as feature requests or bug complaints.

                    10. Consistent apps will achieve better results

                      Overall, in 2020 it will be much less about just the keyword you use and much more about the consistency of all ASO details: the visuals, featuring, ads usage, ratings and reviews and all the components which are connected with organic traffic and promotion.

                      In 2020 it is becoming clear that the way to optimize your app for growth is to start focusing a lot more on your app and a little bit less only on the metadata. App developers should think about the app itself, about the conversion rate, about the ratings, about all the reviews, about the crash rates - it's all about being better than the competitor. One thing that we see is that different sets of metadata perform tremendously differently on different searches. You have to really understand what is at the core of your app, what are the searches you're targeting, and to do it in a much deeper way than just visual optimization or textual optimization as separate efforts. It has to be something unique altogether. 

                      As you are going to optimize for 2020, keep this list in mind:

                      • Optimize for the store and browse over anything else.
                      • Keep tabs on your engagement rate and overall app quality.
                      • Localize for different markets and get more traffic.
                      • Monitor your average rating and feedback from reviews.
                      • Make sure strategy comprehensive. Localization or keyword strategies on their own aren’t enough.
                      • Stay consistent and repeat these tactics every day.

                      Watch the full webinar here:

                      Stay effective with your ASO and download an ASO Checklist that can help you to boost your traffic and increase conversion rate:

                      Download 2020 ASO Checklist

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