How to Combine ASO & Paid Acquisition?

 This is a guest post from ShyftUp.

According to ShyftUp, combining ASO and paid acquisition is among the most crucial keys to your app’s success. However, you might wonder, “How do I exactly do that?”

Well, you’re not alone. Hundreds of app developers and marketers would like to use both ASO and paid acquisition effectively. The problem is that they don’t have a clear picture of how to achieve it.

That’s why, in this post, let’s get a quick and comprehensive look at how you can take advantage of both ASO and paid acquisition.

What is ASO?

ASO is short for App Store Optimization. It is like Search Engine Optimization (SEO), but with more focus on app stores. 

Source: Apple App Store

ASO’s main objective is to increase an app’s visibility on app stores such as the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, which are the two of the biggest app stores today. By increasing people’s awareness of the app, the chance of a person installing your app goes up.

There are different ways ASO is done. It involves keyword optimization, A/B testing, and configuring the best way the app listing page is set up.

To effectively perform ASO, app marketers employ various types of app store optimization tools. Some ASO tool types include the following:

  • Keyword research and discovery tools
  • Search ad tools
  • App listing and product page tools
  • A/B testing tools
  • Sentiment analysis and review tools
  • Intelligence tracking tools

Here are some of the specific app optimization tools available in the market today:

  • Metrikal
  • Apptweak
  • MobileAction
  • App Radar
  • AppFollow
  • Apptentive
  • SplitMetrics
  • Storemaven
  • AsoDesk
  • PickFu

What is paid user acquisition?

As its name suggests, a paid acquisition is a marketing strategy that you pay for. It involves the use of paid advertising services in partnership with various advertising channels.

Some of the most common paid user acquisition channels include:

  • Google Ads
  • Apple Search Ads
  • Social media platforms
  • Search engines
  • Email marketing
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Influencer marketing
  • Traditional marketing

Paid user acquisition can help increase traffic, conversion, and installs.

Difference between ASO and paid acquisition

While both ASO and paid acquisition aim to increase your visibility and conversion rate, they differ in a lot of things.

Here are some of them:

  • ASO mainly happens within app stores. A paid acquisition can happen in app stores, but can also happen outside of app stores.
  • ASO primarily leads to organic results, which means you get more high-quality and engaged users compared to paid acquisition.
  • ASO’s benefits are more long-term. Paid acquisition benefits may only last as long as you keep on paying for the marketing services.

Why Should You Combine ASO and Paid Acquisition?

The main reason you should combine ASO and paid acquisition is to get the best of both worlds. Combining these two can increase not just organic results, but also paid ads.

How to Combine ASO & Paid Acquisition

While ASO can offer big results in the long run, it takes a lot of time and effort to achieve this. Paid acquisition is different. It serves as a “shortcut” to reach your audience almost immediately. With the right budget, you’ll see a quick spike in your app visibility.

Moreover, ASO simply focuses on app stores. How about the people outside of app stores? Well, that’s where paid acquisition comes in.

Depending on which paid marketing channels you use, you can get new users from Facebook, YouTube, TikTok, search engines, and so much more.

Moreover, ASO and paid acquisition can improve the professional image of your app or brand. With a better image, people would trust you more, and thus, they will choose you over other competitors.

Ultimately, since you have ASO and paid acquisition working together, you can increase your revenue and enjoy more sales.

How to Combine ASO & Paid Acquisition?

Now that you have a quick overview of what ASO and paid acquisition is, it’s time to know how to combine them.

The exact steps for combining ASO advertising and paid acquisition can be different depending on your app and overall goals. However, here’s how this generally works.

Step 1: Design your app store

Your job doesn’t end with just launching your app. You need to learn how to optimize your app store page to convert visitors into loyal users. You can only do that if you have laid the right foundation.

Your app store page is your virtual office. It is where potential users can visit you and decide whether they will download your app or not.

Thus, even if you have great app visibility, once they visit your poorly designed app store, they will soon realize it’s not worth installing your app.

So, what you want to do first is to ensure you design your app store in the best way that it convinces anyone to install your app.

Step 2: Perform App Store Optimization

Once you have designed your app store, you need to make sure it is optimized for maximum results. That’s where app store optimization comes in.

By this time, you should have already designed your app store page. Now, you have to know if your current design leads to more installs and conversions.

You can test the different elements of your app store page. That includes your app name, app icon, description, app previews, and screenshots, to name a few.

A/B testing is primarily the best way for you to determine which version of your app store page element works best. There are different A/B testing tools you can use right now. Some A/B tools are available as part of the app store itself while others are available as a third-party tool.

Aside from A/B testing, you must also do keyword research. Through this, you can exponentially improve your app search ranking and therefore, your app visibility.

Step 3: Perform paid user acquisition

Once you have designed your app store page plus optimized it for search, then that’s the time you do your paid user acquisition. You don’t want to do it in reverse. 

Remember, the app store page is the foundation of your app and you’re not just trying to promote your app, but also your app store page. 

Doing your paid user acquisition after you have set up your app store page would help ensure a smooth journey of people, from being a visitor to a user.

Now, there are just so many things to know about paid user acquisition. Not only that but there are also various factors that come into play to successfully execute your marketing campaigns. In this case, ShyftUp is here for you to guide you from the start to the finish of your user acquisition efforts.

Step 4: Choose your paid user acquisition strategy

There are different ways for you to perform paid user acquisition strategy. It heavily depends on which marketing channel you choose. You have read some of the examples of these channels mentioned above.

Once you have chosen your marketing channel, this will also dictate how you will later combine your paid user acquisition with your ASO.

Step 5: Combine ASO and paid user acquisition

You have your ASO and user acquisition up and running. So, how do you combine them? The answer is doing them all at the same time.

For example, you can continually improve your app store listing through regular A/B testing. You want to know which app icons, screenshots, or videos work best. You also want to know whether your app descriptions and name are written to target certain keywords.

While you’re doing the ASO side of your app store page, you can also do various paid acquisition strategies.

For example, you can run paid ads on Google Play Store, Apple App Store, search engines, and social media platforms. All these would contribute to further increasing your app visibility and the chance of your app getting downloaded.

Step 6: Gather data

Gathering data is an essential way for you to better understand where you are right now and how you are going to get where you want to be in the future.

Now, gathering data doesn’t have to happen after you perform ASO and paid acquisition strategies. You can do this at any time in your marketing process.

You can and should gather data before, during, and after you do ASO and paid acquisition. The timing of your data gathering efforts is important. 

For example, when you gather data before a marketing campaign, it gives you a baseline and a better picture of your current situation. When you do it during your marketing, you would better understand how your marketing strategies are doing. Finally, when you obtain crucial information after campaigns, you get to learn how to modify and improve your marketing strategies.

Step 7: Analyze your data

Once you have gathered your data, you want to know exactly how your campaign is doing. What you want to do is identify which of your marketing strategies are giving you the best results.

Step 8: Update your marketing strategies

Now that you have gathered and analyzed your data, you can now better make a data-driven decision on how you can further sharpen your marketing strategies.

You need to be flexible when it comes to capitalizing on the best results and improving on the negative results.

For example, if you can see that app store ads are doing great, then you can study your app store ads and see what’s driving the positive results. You might find that certain keywords in ads are creating a spike in your traffic. You can even use those findings and use them on your ASO keyword research.

Another example is if you’re running ads on Facebook. Check how many people are actually seeing it versus how many people are engaged with it. If there’s low engagement, you can change the way your ads display or you can simply abandon it altogether and focus on other paid advertising channels.

Learn more about ShyftUp and their user acquisition services that has helped hundreds of clients around the world to find more users and facilitate app growth.

Frequently asked questions

After reading the details in this post, you might still have questions about ASO and paid user acquisition. Here are some commonly asked queries that you might have:

What is an ASO strategy?

An ASO strategy is the process of improving your app store page with the aim to increase its visibility and therefore, get more users.

How to Combine UA & ASO for Mobile Growth?

You can combine UA and ASO simply by doing these two strategies at the same time. Through data analysis, you can better see how UA and ASO can complement each other to bring about the maximum growth for your app.

What is ASA vs ASO?

In terms of mobile apps, ASA means Apple Search Ads and ASO means App Store Optimization. The main difference is that you directly pay Apple to run ASA while ASO leads to organic results.


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