Paid Media x ASO: What are the key differences in mobile app marketing?


Every individual who makes the decision to invest in mobile app marketing share the same doubt:

What are the best strategies to increase visibility inside the stores? Paid Media or ASO?

Before stepping into any sort of debate about mobile app marketing, let’s clarify an important point:

Paid Media and ASO are not opposite strategies, rather complementary. Both have specific pros and cons. And you don’t necessarily need to pick one or the other.

Every company has its own targets and goals. There’s not a pre-made cake recipe or some one-size-fits-all strategy for mobile app marketing. Each case is different.

To give an example, these are some of the variables involved:

  • Budget
  • Targets
  • The situation of your app.

So we are going to start enlisting the differences between paid media and ASO. And the pros of both. That way you will have a better understanding of both concepts and learn a bit more about mobile app marketing.

Mobile app marketing: Differences between paid media and ASO

If you are already in the mobile app world, it’s important to understand the different methods that are used in terms of mobile app marketing. You can be sure that you are going to need all the weapons to stand out among the completion.

With more than two million apps both in Google Play and Apple Store, making your app more noticeable and easily discoverable is something quite challenging. Let’s talk about each of these strategies:  

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Why do you need to focus yourself on constantly changing the ASO?


Changing the ASO can shape your app’s future and the positioning. And, indeed, you are aware of that.

Nonetheless, something quite important, of which most people are unaware, is that these changes (or, better put, adjustments) need to be continuous.

Changing the apps on a constant basis is something crucial for two main reasons:

1. To readjust the strategy of App Store Optimization (ASO), relying on metrics and A/B tests;

2. To always keep your app’s page updated and in the top positions.

The ASO process demands a steady frequency when it comes to performing text and graphic changes on your app’s page. Arriving first per se is not enough. One needs to hold that place.

Grasp the importance of constantly changing the ASO

What happens is that app stores constantly update their organic search algorithm and also the factors that allow any given app to hold the first place or not.

You probably already know that those app-related modifications can have their say in app store rankings. But did you know that sometimes, the best ASO best practices can win or lose relevance depending on the strategy?

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Do you know the different types of app reviews?


We are living in the golden age of UX and, because of that, app reviews have increased their influence on the strategies for the App Store Optimization (ASO).

Brands are now introducing new ways of interaction, in a way never seen before.

Expectations are high. In terms of mobile marketing, we are not only competing with the best experiences overall in our own market segment.

The clash is currently set against the best experiences that users have had in their whole lives.

Every single time a company offers an app-related experience that is acknowledged as being valuable and unique, the consumer’s list of demands increases in size.

On the other hand, if the experience is deemed frustrating, that very same user may never give the company another shot.

App reviews mirror the user experience

The quality of the app itself is shown directly by app reviews and the ratings given by its users. Briefly put, they show the experience that other consumers had with your product – and your brand.

More than 75% of the traffic of the app’s page only happens to be converted if the majority of its reviews are positive or if the rating varies between four and five stars.

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How do the metrics work in ASO?

Peter Drucker has said something quite interesting about metrics: “What gets measured gets improved”.

This quote fits the present day and it is real, not only in relation to App Store Optimization (ASO) but also in terms of data measurement in general.

Drucker is not merely the father of the modern administration. For many entrepreneurs and marketing professionals, his pontifications are truly incitements among the entrepreneurial culture.

Indeed what cannot be measured cannot be improved. The metrics in ASO, also called Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), are conducting wires in the adjustment process of the app’s mobile marketing strategies.

These are continuous measurements which direct constant improvement. Therefore, one should always keep an eye on them.

One way to have a better understanding of how metrics work in ASO is to know each type of measurement. And so we will show how the main ones work.

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Why do we love to analyze competitor apps?

The App Store Optimization (ASO) is the process of app optimization in order to improve your visibility in the search results of app stores.

You probably already knew this. And you should also know that ASO is one of the smartest methods to acquire qualified traffic, improve your visibility and decrease the metrics associated with uninstallation.

What you perhaps do not know is that the analysis of competitor apps is extremely crucial for the effectiveness of the ASO strategy. Did this seem weird? We’ll explain it better.

Keep your friends close. And the competitor apps even closer!

The whole ASO process encompasses several factors. And one of those is precisely the analysis of the competition of your app and its performance in the app stores’ rankings.

When analyzing which keywords are used by your competitors to climb up the ranking, or which application pops ups when searching the selected keywords, we are able to strategically identify the terms that will help your app to have a better ranking.

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Predictive Apps are the New Relationship Between User and Smartphone

computer-shopper-crystal-ballThe development of technology in the mobile handset industry is increasingly innovative. Nowadays, the cell phone is no longer just a means of communication with voice or text messages. These functions remain, of course, but with the possibility of a mobile device providing so many other purposes, with computational capacity and sensors, obviously, that promise was positive.

Mobile phones, or smartphones, are no longer accessories but extensions of us, as users. They are personal assistants who remember the appointments, wake us up in the morning, store our contacts, photos, and music. As if that were not important enough, some sensors coupled to phones make it possible to get the pulse, cholesterol level, temperature, heart rate, location. With a database full of information, it’s easy to find out what we want, where we’re going, and what we’ll do.
Within the infinite possibilities, a new concept of the app is making the users’ lives easier, the Predictive Apps. Unlike a computer, for example, which needs an active operator to command the functions and click on programs for them to run, the Predictive Apps are proactive and automatically anticipate the user’s need.

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What is App Store Optimization (ASO)?


Quick Answer: App Store Optimization is the process of improving an app’s visibility in app stores ranking searches to get more organic downloads.

So do you really know what App Store Optimization is? It’s the process of improving the app visibility  in app stores so that the app is more often found by users and the number of downloads increases. Even if you have a lot of money to invest in user acquisition, ASO is important because it brings you free organic downloads from users who are browsing the app store or saearching for specific words within the app store. These downloads tend to turn into high quality users, because instead of being persuaded by an advertisement to download the app, they were looking for apps, which already shows an existent interest or need, so the user has a greater tendency to become a loyal user.

ASO is similar to SEO, which is the technique used to increase the visibility of web pages.

We can imagine the app stores as big department stores where the apps are the products. The user entering the app store can navigate through featured apps, which are chosen by app stores. The user may also be interested in a certain app category like games, shopping apps, tools like flashlights and other utilities. In a store, the products that lie ahead in the best positions on the shelves are likely to be more viewed and bought. Likewise, mobile apps in the best positions within the app categories will also be most viewed and downloaded.


Besides categories, the user can use the search tools of the app stores to find what they want. ASO also aims to optimize the ranking of the most relevant keywords to your app so that it is found more often by terms that really matter and you to get more organic downloads.


What are Organic Downloads?

Organic downloads are the ones you get without paying for them. That is, it’s those downloads that happen after the user searches for your brand or some word related to your app to find it in a natural way – that is, an organic way.

Billions of smartphone users are looking for apps to solve their problems or have fun daily. Whether it is to communicate, to turn on a light, to count or to solve a health problem, nowadays there is “an app for everything”. But not all Apps are known by name, so users constantly search for generic words to find for a solution: “Meal Delivery”, “Taxi”, “Flashlight App”, “Billiard Game”. All of these are examples of common searches on the App Store.


Search is one of the most powerful sources of downloads. Whether for large apps, with millions of downloads, or for new apps looking for their first downloads, App Store Optimization is a process that adds a lot of value and can be applied alongside other Mobile Marketing techniques, and it is also one of the approaches with the best Return on Investment.

The importance of App Store Optimization

A FIKSU survey showed that 75% of Android apps downloads come from search. 50% are searches using a brand name, then they are from users who already knew the app or brand before searching, and 25% are generic searches such as offers, logic games… This survey also showed that users who download an app during the search are 50% more likely to turn into loyal users.

Then, if all that potential of app store users is in search, you need to optimize the app to appear in the top positions. Having a good positioning can bring benefits like:

  • More visibility. Who is seen is remembered! In this case, the better your positions, the more visible – and more viewed – is your app which leads to:
  • More Downloads. As users tend to click more on the apps that appear in the first results, the more downloads you get.

Positioning in the App Store

For a better understanding of the relationship between better visibility in the app store and more downloads, you need to understand another data: 80% of the times a user searches for a word in the App Store search (Considering top App Stores such as Apple’s App Store and Play Store), the user downloads one of the applications that appears in the top 10 positions. That is, 8 out of 10 users only go to the tenth position in the ranking to check the apps, and the vast majority only downloads the firsts placed.

This is an example of opportunity for large vehicles that have soap opera content. Users tend to download featured apps, which in this case are not leading apps in the subject. This App Store Optimization opportunity would be better used if the best keywords were used along with other forms of optimization.

How to make App Store Optimization

App Store Optimization is not a simple process, but it can be done simply, quickly and automated with the tool RankMyApp. The tool combines all the factors that influence the search positioning to offer through an algorithm the best suitable opportunities for your application within your market.

Each market has specific characteristics. 3 factors have great influence in your optimization and positioning:


  • The competition within your market
  • The users’ interest in the subject
  • How optimized is your app

The first two factors unfortunately are not easy to manipulate: it is virtually impossible to control the competition and it is very difficult to stimulate a large number of users to search for a certain market unless you make huge advertising investments.

The third factor is directly controlled by you, responsible for the app. By optimizing the elements you can control, you can improve your app’s search position and achieve better results in organic downloads, which can bring more sales, more promotion of your service or product, lower media costs and many other benefits.

Do you want to understand more of what is App Store Optimization and automate the process? Check our services at RankMyApp and start getting more downloads.


How to rank an app on PlayStore: all about organic traffic

RankMyApp Report for an app client (Category: Finances)

RankMyApp Report for an app client (Category: Finances)

Simple and smart actions such as providing the product description, build an online presence, attention for your user reviews and build good relationship between users are the main factors which impacts organic traffic in Google PlayStore.

Also, attracting the target audience, your app will consolidate the name and brand, which will lead to other benefits such as content sharing on social networks and praise which will help improve trust of new customers when visiting and/or installing your Android app.

Below we listed the main benefits and influence factors during an organic traffic improvement process:

Benefits of organic traffic

1. For new apps, the main benefit is that there is no cost to get your first qualified visitors. An user who installs an app after an organic search tends to be much more interested in your app than any other paid-user.

2. Organic traffic is considered a long term strategy because once you rank high organically, you start learning which keywords your organic public used to find and – most important – install your app. It means you have more control of your rankings and visibility in PlayStore comparing to the app competitors who does not do ASO.

3. Building organic traffic transcends into loyal customers and it tends to result in a path to establishing a brand from scratch. Without an appropriate organic traffic, it is almost impossible to have a reliable and long-term engagement and visibility in PlayStore’s Store Listings.

4. Still talking about reliability: transmit trust for new users, especially those who are just visiting your page for the first time or does not know your name/brand, is a benefit that an organic traffic can provide. Organic users means people who trusted in your product, with no paid-media influence.

Influence factors for ranking higher in PlayStore and gain organic visibility and traffic

1. Links are an important ranking factor in Google’s algorithm, not just regarding ASO but in all Google’s search algorithm and of course, it includes PlayStore. Build a web of links pointing straight into your app’s page help it ranks higher organically. (quick tip: use tools like “Ahrefs” to spy on your competitors and see where they are getting links and try and get links from similar and/or same quantity of sources).

2. Focusing your app’s page with keywords and assets (graphics) optimization is primordial while building or increasing your organic traffic in any stage of your app. Since it is a long-term process, it can take months to establish good rankings for days or even weeks in a row but regarding organic traffic (mainly visibility) nothing compares with good ranking positions after organic searches. (quick tip: not just because we are RankMyApp, but it is highly recommended to have at least one ASO expert taking care of your app and using a good ASO platform. The best ones are those which provide more features than just keywords search volume and rankings).

3. Be super-careful with keywords stuffing and avoiding alerts from PlayStore. It can affect your rankings as a “punishment” for days or even weeks.

4. AB tests are a good way to understand your users and make incremental improvements. It is free for Android developers!

5. Study your app competitors wisely. Not just the ones who have a similar functionality as your app does but also those which competes keyword traffic with your main keywords. Choose at least one who has more organic traffic than you and “stalk” everything that this competitor does and try to do the same in an appropriate way for your app/market.

6. Re-targeting is a very effective strategy because once a visitor check your app’s page, it means there was some intention and interest to download it and did not do it. Most times, it was necessary just a little push to complete it.

Organic traffic through social media

“Maintaining a good presence on social media is fundamental to any business, but when it comes to apps, this method will basically have two functions, which are: To get more people sharing your app and to promote the construction of your brand with the users.” – RankMyApp’s post about Inbound Marketing (link here)

Having a Facebook Page customized and with fresh posts for your app’s page is a must-have for an organic traffic strategy. It is the same for other social medias, such as Twitter and Instagram for example – that is why it is so important to understand who and where your target users are in an online environment.

In social media you can have a more straight connection with your potential, inactive or even current users of your app. It means you can ask them to install (or re-install) and review your app, you can offer an anonymous connection to provide honest feedbacks about how they like your app designs and features or any other important topics. Also, you can share any news about your app, new features launches etc. However, remember not to make your posts only about your app, though – here is the secret to have a user engagement through social media high-level content and increase your chances to gain more organic traffic from different channels.

“With increasing content on social networks, no doubt to increase the reach and engagement of your content, quality and uniqueness are the best bets.” – Answer from Quora user (link here)

User Reviews

“Positive comments, that indicate a good user experience, add value to your products and services and are the real marketing tools of content. Opinions like these are organized in index form in search engines, using keywords. Insert the words “review”, “comment”, “opinion” and “evaluate” in the fields where people leave their evaluations which assists in app optimization for search engines, improving its position in search engines.” – RankMyApp’s post about App Success and good reputation (link here)

A good way to gain recommendations is to focus on optimizing reviews and user opinions inside your app. Check out the UX/UI of your app and always try to insert screens to ask your most engaged users to review and rate your app at PlayStore.

Reply reviews with a special attention is a great strategy to create a closer contact with your unhappy users – and this should be your focus while building a great base for new organic traffic and of course new user reviews.

All this method offers numerous advantages that go beyond disclosure and also build customer confidence, a factor that is very important for any company.

Other factors

Seasonal optimization

Paid campaigns / Ads

Frequent updates

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