There are several factors which affect your app’s ranking in the app stores, with the key influencer being downloads and engagement. Downloads are obvious, but engagement is a combination of the number of daily and monthly active users: the average number of times each customer opens your app each month, along with how much time they spend in the app. Engagement correlates with the features of your app: great features that benefit users lead to higher engagement. Downloads, however, depend on your app being visible—and promoted—to customers. And this requires effort and money.
The tragedy of the app market is that the biggest developers also have the biggest marketing budgets and seem to attract the largest amount of free media coverage. Conversely, independent developers (whose marketing budget often looks like it was scraped together from between the couch pillows) often struggle to get any kind of media coverage, even if their app is pretty darn good. This gap is where app store optimization (ASO) and app store optimization tools come into play.
App metadata (app name, icon, description, screenshots, and the preview) is another critical factor to app ranking, and one that benefits the most from strong ASO. We have previously written about keyword research on our own blog, and while it is an important part of ASO, it isn’t the only part. This post looks at some of the best app store optimization tools available. None of these ASO tools will automatically make your ASO shine, but they will guide you towards having an app that is more visible in the app store.
Let’s dive in!
1. App Annie
App Annie delivers the most trusted app data and insights for your business to succeed in the global app economy. Over 500,000 registered members rely on App Annie to better understand the app market, their businesses and the opportunities around them.
- Market Data Intelligence: A premium product giving you detailed insights into your app’s users behavior and demographics, along with information relating to user retention, download estimates, and competitors activity.
- App Analytics: A free product allowing you to track app performance relating to usage, downloads, revenue, and spend across countries and app stores. Sister product to Advertising Analytics, which gives you a unified view of data relating to any app advertising campaigns you manage.
- Store Stats: A free product for basic ASO, giving you access to market data metrics such as historical rankings, ratings, reviews, and keywords for any app across different categories and countries.
Although App Analytics, Advertising Analytics and Store Stats are free, Market Data Intelligence is a premium product, with no published pricing info available.
2. Sensor Tower
Sensor Tower is a leading solution for mobile marketers, app developers, and industry analysts who demand competitive insights on the mobile market economy and are looking to increase app downloads through app store optimization.
- App Intelligence: Like Sensor Tower’s other products, App Intelligence is actually several tools bundled together. The focus is ASO, with tools that enable you to view and analyze reviews, the impact of being a “featured” app, daily sales and app analytics, category and keyword ranking, detailed competitive analysis, and localization analysis.
- Store Intelligence: This product offers insights into app downloads and revenues, with estimates for both viewable across multiple categories, devices, and countries, along with access to competitor research to assist with user acquisition.
- Ad Intelligence: Useful when you need to uncover insights into user acquisition campaigns being run by other publishers and developers. You don’t only get to see whether a boost in ad spend led to a boost in downloads, but also the creatives used in campaigns, along with who the top advertisers and publishers were each week.
- Top Charts and Leaders: Sensor Tower’s ‘basic’ product is free to use, and offers insights into the top performing apps across various categories, devices, and countries. This product also shows which apps have received the most ratings, and which have been updated recently.
Top Charts and Leaders is free to use, and is included in all Sensor Tower product plans. App Intelligence is the most suitable product for small businesses, with pricing from $79 per month.
3. Store Maven
At StoreMaven, the goal is to make App Store Testing accurate, quick, and more affordable. Since testing multiple store pages involves sending dedicated traffic to your tests, it’s crucial to minimize the sample required as much as possible, without harming the accuracy of the results.
Split testing (A/B testing) of your app page to see how different design and placement of your creatives impact on downloads of your app. With Store Maven, you are able to test:
- Rating and Votes
- Poster Frame (iOS)
- Feature Graphic (Google Play)
- Uber Page (iOS)
Additionally, Store Maven gives you access to a dedicated design studio, making it easier for you to design different app store pages.
Start with a free 30-day trial, then payment is required to use either StoreMaven or StoreMaven Lite. Extra costs include the cost of sending traffic to your test pages via Facebook mobile ads, etc.
4. App Figures
App Figures is the mobile app tracking platform of choice for top app developers. From indie devs and small studios to mega publishers and the enterprise, appFigures connects to everything that matters for your apps automatically, and turns your app data into powerful, easy to understand reports for your entire app portfolio.
A comprehensive reporting system that integrates with all the major app stores, ad networks, and in-app analytics providers. App Figures provides reports on:
- Sales and Downloads: Track sales, downloads, and in-app purchases
- Reviews: Get Slack or email alerts whenever someone reviews your app
- Ranks: Hourly updated ranks so you know how your app is performing, and how your competitors are performing
- Usage: Monitor sessions, active users, crashes, and other usage data
- Ad Monetization: Track ad performance and revenue across different networks, apps, and countries
- Top Apps: Know what the top apps are in any category, and any country
Their reports can be customized, integrated with other dashboards, and exported in multiple formats for further analysis.
Free ‘Starter’ plan, with limited features and app tracking. From $4.99 per month to access all features, with a 14-day trial available.
5. Mobile Action
Mobile Action is a mobile data intelligence and actionable insights tool that provides usable reports and data you need for any app in the marketplace.
- ASO Intelligence: Includes four complementary tools: Keyword Tracking, Suggestions, Keyword Intelligence, and Competitor Tracking. Keep track of all your keywords and how your app ranks for each, along with seeing which keywords your ‘share’ with your competitors. Research new keywords, and get a list of related keywords, including long-tail keywords.
- App Analytics: Access to regularly updated category ranking across multiple devices and countries. App Analytics also makes it possible to analyze your reviews, from average rating and rating distribution, through to seeing the keyword density of reviews, along with comprehensive download and revenue history for your apps, and those of your competitors.
- Market Intelligence: The tool focuses on download and revenue estimates, using Mobile Action’s own algorithm to help you determine how many users you need to acquire to bypass your competitors.
Costs are from $59 per month, depending on the number of keywords you want to track, and which products you bundle together.
6. App Tweak
AppTweak is a cost-effective alternative to paid advertising which is usually expensive and often fails to target the right users. Their strong expertise in App Store Optimization and powerful tools and algorithms guarantee successful results and a major increase in organic app users.
AppTweak offers a comprehensive app store optimization (ASO) tool, with the following included:
- ASO Reports: The tool gives an overview of your current ASO performance. All critical metadata elements (app name, icon, description, screenshots, and app preview) are scanned, reviewed, and scored, and you receive actionable recommendations on how to improve. The ASO Report shows your app’s ranking history (versus your competitors, too) and allows you to do a competitive analysis of your competitors and other similar apps.
- Keywords: Three different tools: keyword picking, analysis, and monitoring. Not only can you perform detailed keyword research using multiple sources, competitors, and suggestions, but you can also see how specific keywords have performed over time, and get important metrics such as keyword volume, etc.
- Mobile App Analytics: Current and historical app performance (and versus your competitors), download and revenue estimates, and conversion rates are all available through AppTweak’s Mobile App Analytics.
- Reviews and Ratings: Helpful insights into ratings and reviews for your app, and those of your competitors.
Unlimited 7-day trial, then from 49€ per month.
Throughout the history of business, people use data to make more informed decisions. Apptopia helps make the app economy more transparent by providing actionable mobile app data and insights. Their goal is to make this data available to as many people as possible (not just the top 5%).
- Download and Revenue Data: Get daily download data, allowing you to analyze your app’s performance in more than 50 countries, and full revenue breakdown by paid downloads, in-app purchases, and advertising revenue.
- Daily and Monthly Active Users: Track daily and monthly active users of your app and those of your competitors. You get to analyze engagement and understand how often users open an app.
The free ‘Basic’ plan gives very limited access to top charts, rank history and market overview. Paid plans start at $79 per month, and include a seven-day trial.
Gummicube is a leader in providing App Store Optimization and app store intelligence software and services to growth marketers and app developers. Gummicube provides a complete ASO solution including an ASO service, DATACUBE software, live focus groups, and app reviews.
- App Store Optimization Service: Does what it says on the tin. This is the a full ASO service which allows users to focus on their app, whilst Gummicube ‘handles the ASO.’
- DATACUBE Software: This tool provides app store intelligence software that gives actionable intelligence to maximize app visibility and downloads.
- Live Focus Groups: Allows you to encourage thousands of users to provide immediate feedback for A/B multivariate testing of icons, screenshots, and more.
- Gnome Escape: A community that features and reviews apps, helping developers create buzz around their app.
There’s no published pricing available on the Gummicube website, but the tool is paid.
TUNE brings the mobile marketing ecosystem closer together by building the most innovative solutions, teaching the industry, and connecting marketers with the best possible partners.
- Attribution Analytics: This tool measures the effectiveness of mobile ad spend. Impressions, ad clicks, app installs, and in-app events can be attributed to hundreds of integrated ad partners.
- App Store Analytics: Allows you to boost app store performance and increase organic discoverability by tapping into analytics, along with giving recommendations on what to fix.
- In-App Marketing: Useful for optimizing the user experience with tools for audience segmentation, A/B testing, and delivery of in-app messaging and push notifications.
- Marketing Intelligence: Data visualization and reporting of valuable business intelligence for mobile marketers.
Depending on your interest in tools, plans start at $399.
While many of these ASO tools appear to offer similar features, they each have their own strategy—and algorithm—when it comes to assessing the strength of keywords, suggesting alternative keywords, and market intelligence. In addition, they all have pricing plans that try to accommodate all developers, from independent devs through to multinationals. So, regardless of your business size, and whether you are looking to simply measure your performance against your competitors, or whether you want to see how the use of different images affects the number of app downloads, you’re bound to find the perfect partner in one of these app store optimization tools.
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