What is ASO Audit and What Applications Need It?
In this article, we’ll explain what an app page audit is, how we do an ASO audit in Checkaso (based on a real example), what it consists of, and what free alternatives to audits exist. Ready?
Why do you need an ASO audit?
An ASO (App Store Optimization) audit is an analysis of your app optimization quality. It helps understand how optimized your app is and what are the strengths and weaknesses of your ASO. An expert will analyze your data and provide advice based on what needs to be changed and what you should look for. An ASO audit is the foundation of a promotion strategy. You’ll get a lot of insights on how to efficiently attract new users, and get a breakthrough in the app’s growth.
What does an ASO audit include?
To conduct a quality ASO audit, we need to analyze all the elements of the app store page. Here is what the audit consists of:
- Total score
- Comparative analysis
- Analysis of text metadata (title, subtitle or short description, description)
- Visibility by title and subtitle / Search Visibility Index
- Keywords ranking analysis
- Installs by keywords and additional keywords to target
- Browse Visibility Index
- Graphics (icon, screenshots, videos)
- Rating and reviews
- Attracting traffic
Let us show you how an ASO audit is done on the example of a real case we have adapted for this post. In it, we share our ASO insights with the creators of the app «Buddha Wisdom: Buddhism Quotes».
We look at ASOindex, representation within a category, and the number of installs. Then we draw general conclusions.
ASOindex is an indicator of the level of optimization of the store listing. In terms of ASO, the app page is well designed and capable of competing. It can be seen that work has been done on both visual and text optimization, but there is still potential for growth and the generation of new installations.
Identifying and keeping track of similar thematic applications is an integral part of ASO. Competitor analysis will further help you formulate qualitative hypotheses to improve your ASO.
The main competitors of the app in the App Store are:
|Application||Buddha Wisdom||Zen||Buddha & Buddhism |
Compared to competitors, the app has one of the highest levels of page optimization in the App Store. It is worth continuing to promote the app and developing an ASO strategy to achieve leading performance and maximize the application’s effectiveness.
The second most important indexing factor is a short description for Google Play and a subtitle for the App Store. Remember to use relevant keywords only and avoid spamming with duplication.
The big advantage is that you strive to use the maximum number of characters, which increases the number of potential keywords by which your app can be indexed. Subtitle keywords have high Search Volume, but they are too competitive. Try to add more precise keywords, by which the application is more likely to lead in search results. Here are some examples of medium-tail keywords that can be used: “guided meditation“, “sleep helper“.
Your description should not look like a minefield. If you have a search query through each word, you will be spammed and you will get the opposite result. Keep the balance.
The application description is well structured and has an optimal scope. Less than 2% of users read the description (click the «more» button), so you should pay attention to the first sentences that the user always sees. In this segment, it is necessary to convey to the user the idea of the application and its USP (unique selling proposition).
The description is not indexed by the App Store but indexed by search engines. We recommend that you take this feature into account and use keywords when writing descriptions while avoiding spam. From three to five occurrences of one keyword will be enough.
Indexing and ranking by keywords
Here we analyze the indexing by keywords and app visibility in the store like keyword frequency and your search ranking. This may influence the conversion directly.
At the moment, the application is leading mostly for keywords with a minimum Search Volume. Keep in mind that if an app is ranked below the top 5 in search results, its visibility is practically zero. Try to use queries that will give your app a better chance of being in the top 5 of search results.
Search Visibility Index (SVI) shows how easy is to find the app by keywords. SVI of this app is 29%. The visibility level through the search channel is below the average in its category (81%). There is potential to increase the number of indexed words through text optimization and expansion of the semantic core.
Keywords ranking analysis
The app is not indexed by all relevant keywords, only a few queries have high positions. Key queries by which the app is in the top 1-5 search results are mostly either brand-related or have low Search Volume in the App Store.
|meditation||NI*||sleep meditation||NI*||sleep helper||NI*|
Above are some of the relevant keywords and app positions for them.
* NI – the app is not indexed by keyword
Continue to work on text elements, expand your semantic core and add more keywords that would be related to meditation, motivation, and concentration. Work on the effectiveness of external advertising campaigns to optimize rankings as they also have an unambiguously positive effect on the ranking of the application.
Evaluate the results of each action in subsequent iterations of text optimization. If a keyword does not bring high positions in App Store search results, try replacing it with another.
Above is a table with the total number of indexed keywords for applications, which determines the size of their semantic kernels. It depends not only on the level of optimization of the application page but also on the scale of promotion of the application.
The diagram on the right shows the overlap between the semantics of the Buddha Wisdom app and the semantics of other apps; the main competitors for traffic are also Chil, Zen and Buddha Quotes applications.
Keywords Movement Index is 1,3. It shows how effectively the app is growing in terms of keywords ranking. Over the past two weeks, there is a positive growth dynamics. Thus, during the last week, the number of indexed queries increased from 220 to 286, and the number of queries on the first position in the search results increased by two.
Installs by keywords and additional keywords to target
In the table, you see a few of the indexed keywords that generated the most installs (second column) in the last week.
Other indexed queries brought less than 5 installs because of the low Search Volume of the keywords or the low position of the application in the search results.
On the left, you can see several medium and fully relevant keywords by which your application could be indexed and get additional installs.
In addition to the Search Volume, you can also evaluate the Impressions indicator to understand how many Installs you can approximately get from the keyword.
Browse Visibility Index
Browse Visibility Index shows how well an app ranks in the category chart, lists of similar apps, and other featured collections.
At the moment the application remains relatively small and unnoticeable in terms of the total number of installations, so the store algorithms give preference to other applications in the niche.
In order for your app to be more actively recommended as “similar” for the most relevant apps, we advise you to compose the text elements in such a way (using more exact thematic words) that App Store algorithms are more likely to perceive your app as “similar” to similar apps in the niche.
The icon should be «self-explanatory», evoke understandable associations, and stand out among competitors. Relevant information and texts often lack in screenshots.
The icon has a neat minimalistic design and reflects the concept of the application. When comparing with competitors, you can see that most of them also use the silhouette of the Buddha. But it is implemented in bright colors and more detailed. Against their background, the icon of your application may not be so noticeable due to simplicity and pastel shades; thereby, you have a conversion below. We recommend experimenting with the icon and testing other, brighter options. You can start small – make elements brighter or choose different shades.
Like the icon, the screenshots are made quite accurately and correspond to the modern trends of mobile marketing.
The text in the screenshots is quite small and is difficult to read even on a smartphone with a large diagonal. Reading is further complicated by the fact that some words are highlighted in turquoise color. The approach itself takes place only in the case of a large text and a less vivid and familiar highlight color. We recommend increasing the size of texts by reducing the size of smartphones.
You can also shorten text headings to leave only the most important words – which will be more effective in attracting users’ attention. The information on the interface is not as attractive and exciting as it could be. Use vivid images from the very first screenshots to catch the attention of users and stand out among competitors and famous quotes and parables. So you can attract the attention of potential users and will stand out among competitors.
Rating and reviews
The app rating may influence user trust levels. And, accordingly, the number of installs.
The number of grades and the general rating of the app affects the conversion, ranking, and the effectiveness of advertising campaigns. In your case, the average rating is as high as possible, but the number of grades is a no less critical indicator for users and conversion in general. We recommend setting up a system rating request within the application. With a specific action, the user will pop up a window asking him to rate the app. You can also choose the moment of appearance yourself, for example, after reading the chapter. But do not ask for an assessment in the first minutes, give the user time to evaluate the application, and get involved. It will help to quickly evaluate the app and significantly increase the number of ratings and reviews.
An equally important aspect of working with app evaluation is the active interaction with users through reviews. By responding to reviews, you increase user loyalty, get useful feedback about crashes and errors in the application and, in the case of negative feedback, you can quickly solve the problem and inform the user about it. In response to positive reviews, you can ask users to recommend you to their friends. In response to negative reviews, ask for a correction if the users’ problem has been resolved.
The application version 1.9.10 has a low rating compared to others (screenshot on the left). The second screenshot shows the rating dynamics and rating distribution for the last two weeks. There was a slight decrease in the rating on February 17. Users complain about the unstable operation of the application (some users cannot access any of the purchased items) and about high battery consumption.
We did our research based on publicly available App Store installer data. The above screenshot shows the total number of installations over 6 months.
The largest competitor is Zen, with nearly 80,000 installs per month. Most other competitors have a lesser number of installations. This volume may be due to the advertising traffic as well as to the quality optimization of the application which ensures a stable organic inflow.
Q&A with ASO experts
How often should I do an ASO audit?
The audit frequency depends on how proactive you are in optimizing your app. Frequent updates and changes to metadata entail more changes that need to be evaluated. At this pace, one audit per month may be sufficient.
Should I audit an app with a high ASOindex?
Yes, an outside perspective and fresh ideas are useful to everyone. It reveals growths and weaknesses. Typically, even a small increase in conversion from browsing to app installation makes a significant difference in revenue.
How long should I wait for better optimization stats once all the elements are improved?
Usually, you will need to wait a week to 1 month. In App Store, you will see the results faster because ranking algorithms are much simpler. On Google Play, the changes need more time to take full effect. This can take up to 1 month, depending on the type of change.
Is it possible for me to make it without an audit and analyze the data myself?
The fundamental things are not difficult to learn on your own, but beginners often do not take tiny details into account. The expert has a lot of both theoretical and practical experience, he can see the big picture and at the same time pay attention to important details. Moreover, his conclusions are based on data and accurate analysis.
Free alternatives to ASO audits
- Free ASO audit tool
- Free 7-day trial at Checkaso. During this time you can analyze your app and do a detailed ASO audit yourself.