I think it’s fair to say that the vast majority of Right Blog Tips readers are familiar with the idea of Search Engine Optimisation.
In a nutshell, the simplest definition of SEO is that Search Engine Optimisation is a process of increasing the visibility of a website in the search engines.
Of course, those more familiar or working in SEO will know that modern SEO is much more than simply increasing rankings or visibility.
What is ASO (App Store Optimisation)
To understand the difference between the two, we must first get familiar with their definitions. We have covered SEO already, so now let’s dig deeper into what ASO is.
App Store Optimisation is the process of improving the visibility of an app within the App Store.
The way to look at it is to see the App Store like a search engine. Just like with discovering content via Google, people search and discover apps by using the app store’s search system.
You can say that, in a way, an App Store is a search engine for apps.
The Main Differences between ASO and SEO
The main difference between ASO and SEO is the complexity or at least what we know about the ASO ranking factors.
While we know that Google is using over 200 ranking factors to determine which page should rank for what and in which position, we know very little about the ranking factors on the App Store. And the list of known factors is nowhere near as long as 200.
The list of known ASO ranking factors is much shorter. Here’s a list of the main ones below:
App Title – one of the most important parts of ASO. Pick the right title using relevant, well-researched keywords.
App Keywords – a very important field on the Apple’s App Store. It’s a little bit like the now obsolete Meta keywords tag. But this one actually has a big impact on the App Store rankings.
App Description – this is where you can explain what your app is about and encourage people to download it.
App Downloads – the number of app downloads seems to be one of the key factors. Popular apps rank higher.
Backlinks – these have no impact on the ranking of your app on the Apple’s App Store.
However, some people believe that backlinks can influence your ranking on Google Play. This makes perfect sense, given that Google already has a similar algorithm in place for its search engine.
App Ratings and User Reviews
This is another big difference between ASO and SEO.
On the App Store, each app has its own rating. Ratings act as social proof for the app: people are much more likely to tap and download an app when they see that it has a good rating.
And vice versa, even if an app manages to rank high, it is unlikely to get downloads if the ratings are poor.
Reviews play a very similar role; users’ decisions on whether to download an app or not are often influenced by reviews.
Keyword Research is a crucial part of SEO. It is also very important for anyone working on ASO.
However, there is one big difference: when it comes to Google, we can access accurate data with monthly search volumes for keywords using the AdWords Keyword planner.
But there is no way to get accurate keyword data for keywords searched on the App Store. Of course there are some useful ASO tools available. You can see a good list here.
However, none of them will give you the sort of data that SEO professionals take for granted when it comes to search engines.
An interesting report from TechCrunch suggests that the majority of app developers operate under the poverty line.
This means they hardly make any money from their apps. As the app stores get crowded with more and more apps, the demand for ASO will grow.
I hope this post gave you a good idea about the major similarities and differences between App Store Optimisation and Search Engine Optimisation.
Both have a similar goal: to increase the visibility of an app (ASO) or a website (SEO).
But the ways of achieving this goal and the search ecosystems have a number of big differences.
As the App Stores grow, their search algorithms will have to evolve and things will definitely change. We will also surely get to know more ASO ranking factors in the future.
About the Author
Izzy is a psychology student and SEO specialist from England. She loves reading and writing for digital marketing blogs. In her spare time show loves spending time in the gym.
Image source: author-owned