Common ASO mistakes to avoid according to experts

App Store Optimization (ASO)

October 13, 2022

Now that you’re aware of all the upcoming trends in app marketing, we assembled all the common ASO mistakes our guest experts see people doing, and why you should avoid them. Whether you’re just starting out or you’re already a seasoned ASO expert, it’s worth checking out! 

Over-indexing⎮ Ryan Kelley

Often, when getting started in ASO, everyone is eager to fit as many keywords as possible. Quantity will always help, right? According to Ryan Kelley, ASO consultant, you might want to be more careful.

He has a lot of experience in App Store Optimization, and he learned that generic keywords bring in the least number of installs. Not only that, but they can drive away your focus, a focus that you could use to leverage more relevant keywords. And when you focus too much, “you over-index or you over-optimize”. 

Moreover, if you like to repeat keywords in the title, the subtitle, and in the hidden keyword field, stop it. Not only is it not useful, it can even be harmful. 

Ryan tells us that he even noticed that “the fewer keywords you use, the better it is”. Hold back on the rush to squeeze in as many keywords as possible. Sometimes in ASO, less truly is more. 

To help with over-indexation urges, know that the subtitle remains indexed even after you change it. With enough click-through, regular updates rotating your most important keywords can go a long way. Index less, but index right. 

Watch Ryan’s full interview here

Setting aside visual assets to focus on keywords ⎮ Zofia Wietecka, Flo Health

Now that we’ve cleared the air about using too many keywords, let’s talk about how focusing too much on them can drive you to neglect other sides of your ASO strategy, like visual assets.

Obviously, keywords are an essential tool to boost your app’s visibility (and its ranking in search results), but as Zofia Wietecka points out, it’s not enough. The app world is highly competitive and a great ranking on a keyword is not enough. 

You can’t rely solely on keywords, your entire ASO strategy must be high-quality, especially your visual assets. Between the highly-competitive industry and the arrival of ATT, visual assets are becoming even more prominent in ASO strategies. 

Zofia added that the Flo Health team is constantly working on improving their visual assets, most specifically screenshots because they are aware of their power to drive conversion. 

Good visual assets can change the game, even more, they’ll help your app keep the ranking you worked so hard for with keywords. 

Watch Zofia’s full interview here.

Relying too heavily on A/B testing ⎮ Enes Malik Turhan, Sensor Tower

Whoever you speak to about your ASO strategies, A/B testing will always come up. It’s an unmissable step of ASO. You’ll always need to test something, and whenever you’re in doubt, people always push you to A/B test. 

According to Enes Malik Turhan, people may like A/B testing a little too much. A/B testing is a powerful tool, but like any other tool, it has its limits. With great A/B testing, powers come great responsibilities, be careful about how you use it. Of course, it’s always good to test to gauge where you’re at, but think about when you need to test. For Enes, if you test too early in the funnel, it can do more harm than good. If you A/B test everything, you can even “find a local maxima that will mislead you”. 

While we’re at it, Enes advises you to beware of A/B testing tools in app stores, they’re not necessarily great and may mislead you more than they would help. If you test your current visual assets against identical versions (like an A/A/A test), you may see different results, they’re not 100% confident. 

This is not to deter you from testing, just to advise you to think carefully about when you want to test, what you want to test, and if that test really is necessary. A/B tests are not the gospel truth, they will help you, and point you in the right direction but don’t listen blindly, keep trying new things. 

Watch Enes’ full interview here.

Not connecting enough to the user ⎮ Gabriel Machuret

Gabriel Machuret believes app marketers don’t talk enough with their users. When establishing ASO strategies, people often rely on hard data. But according to him, the most important data will come directly from your users. 

He says it himself, “I would like people to talk to users more than dashboards”. Of course, collecting data is always useful, it can be a great insight to help your positioning. Still, you should check in with your users. 

Dive into your reviews, and see what they’re saying. Do the same with your social media, answer the questions they’re asking (and write down those questions!). Your users are just right next to you, figure out what they like and dislike with your product or your marketing. The more you know them, the more efficient your marketing is going to be. 

As Gabriel says: “You don’t have to start with a million users, start asking a hundred users”. You don’t have to talk to every single one of them, but chatting with even a small fraction of them will help you.

Watch Gabriel’s full interview here

Underestimating the usefulness of localization ⎮ Zofia Wietecka, Flo Health &  Iris de Vries, Bagelcode

Two of our guest experts agreed on that one, both Zofia Wietecka from Flo Health and Iris de Vries from Bagelcode are warning us about underestimating localization. For Zofia, the main problem comes from people assuming that English will be enough. To help your app or game thrive, you need to open your horizons. 

If you’ve started localizing already, don’t settle for a simple translation. Even worse, don’t settle for Google Translate. According to Iris, people often try to localize with a simple translation when what works is culturalization. You need to consider the unique aspects of each market (and its audiences) rather than copying your base listing, a listing that was tailored to a specific culture and audience. 

Zofia agrees localization needs to be more than keyword optimization. For Flo Health, she put a lot of thought into linguistic correctness, to ensure that textual content would be culturalized properly. More than keywords, adapt your visual assets as well. You’re not targeting a language, you’re targeting an audience with its own culture and habits.  

Watch Zofia’s full interview here, and Iris’ full interview here

What are the mistakes you’ve seen people make, ASO-wise?

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