TOP ASO App Optimization Mistakes in 2021

App Store Optimization is a set of rules that developers apply to increase their apps’ visibility and popularity on the stores. In order to create a successful ASO strategy, like here, it’s important to avoid the following mistakes when optimizing your mobile app:

1. Failing to understand ASO and its role in business

While it sounds trivial, understanding ASO is crucial. App Store Optimization is a strategy to generate more organic downloads and keep user acquisition cost minimum, thus helping your business run more effectively and efficiently.

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2. Thinking that ASO equals SEO for mobile apps

ASO and SEO are quite different. The former works by optimizing your mobile app on the stores while the latter can help your listing rank in search engines. So they’re similar but not exactly the same.

3. Not prioritizing product quality

When it comes to mobile apps, quality should be your priority; because users will rate the functionality, speed and performance of your app to determine whether it deserves a good rating or even worth-of-mouth.

4. Not learning about your app niche


Learning about your niche app means trying to understand the primary competitors in your category and the strategies they’re using to get their apps to the top, so you can apply tactics similar to theirs to rank your own listing.

5. Postponing work on ASO because the app hasn’t been released yet

ASO isn’t a project that can only be started after app release. No, you can jump start it to set an early optimization in place. In fact, having a jump start is better to fully prepare your app and its listing before launch day rolls around.

6. Not using the right keywords in the right fields

You need to use well-researched keywords for your app and choose the right place to put them. Google Play supports a 50-character title, 80-character short description and 4,000-character description. Meanwhile, App Store supports a 30-character title, 30-character subtitle and 100-character keywords field. Try to find good keywords that are not only widely searched but also fit these character limits.

7. Not realizing the importance of visual assets

Quality visuals are among the vitas elements of ASO that you can’t ignore. Videos, screenshots and icons all contribute in convincing users to download your app. So make them look as good as possible.

8. Skipping the A/B testing phase

You need to know what works best for conversion, that’s why you don’t want to skip the A/B testing phase. You can conduct A/B tests in Google Play Console using Experiments. As for Apple App Store, it doesn’t have such a platform, but you can use a third-party tool like StoreMaven or SplitMetrics.

9. Optimizing the wrong keywords

By optimizing the wrong keywords, you’re literally canceling the results you expect after your optimization efforts. This is one of the worst ASO mistakes you can make.

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10. Optimizing for Search but not for Browse

These days, ASO isn’t just about winning keywords in Search, but also about optimizing for Browse; because ways to find apps have evolved with sections such as Similar Apps, Featured Apps and Top Charts.

11. Implementing one ASO strategy for both Google Play & App Store

There’s no question that Google Play and App Store work differently, therefore it’s only normal that they require different optimization strategies. You can’t expect a single ASO trick to work on both platforms.

12. Thinking that there’s no relation between ASO and paid UA

The truth is, ASO and paid UA have an impact on each other. By optimizing your store listing, your app will be more visible and able to attract downloads. Besides, user acquisition costs can be slashed. Meanwhile, paid UA has also been proven to impact organic traffic.

13. Believing that ASO is a one-and-done work

ASO isn’t a one-time effort, but rather a process that keeps on running, so you need to continue working on it even after you get the results you want.

14. Not paying attention to the competition

Not monitoring your competition can cause you to fall behind. ASO requires you to recognize who your competitors are, what strategies they’re using, and how you can take your optimization further by learning from them.


15. Utilizing Black Hat ASO practices

Just as Black Hat SEO is forbidden, so is Black Hat ASO. Fake installs, fake reviews and the like; you better not try these dirty tricks if you want to get long term results. Even though they work sometimes, once caught by Google or Apple, it means game over.

16. Not using any ASO tool

Proper ASO App optimization does require the use of good ASO tools, without which you won’t be able to monitor the main KPIs and metrics. There are different tools available on the market. They provide you with a lot of precious data that you will never get with bare hands.

17. Not implementing localization in app stores

If your application targets users in different countries, then localization must be implemented by translating your application’s language and descriptions, as well as adapting its content to the culture of each target country.

18. Not tracking the stores’ algorithm changes

Algorithm changes are another thing worth watching out for, because you want to always adapt to the rules that apply in stores. Fortunately, if you follow the aforementioned experts, this task can become easier as you may hear about algorithm updates early from them.

19. Not keeping an eye on the important ASO KPIs

By not tracking your ASO KPIs, you’re missing a lot of insights and this will render you unable to improve the proper way. It’s crucial to keep an eye on the metrics that are important to you and stay focused on them.

Examples of important metrics are your and your competitors’ keywords rankings, featured rankings, top charts rankings, reviews and ratings, similar apps visibility and category rankings. Also don’t forget to monitor your organic installs, conversion rate, organic uplift and revenue.