Curious if you should go ahead and leverage App Store Optimization tools in your mobile app marketing campaigns?
Ok, I may not know the type of campaigns you’re using to promote your app, but I can tell you one thing – App Store Optimization is the king of mobile app marketing.
You see, while there are numerous ways in which Android and iOS users continue to find new apps, the Google Play Store and Apple App Store have always been the top app discovery channels.
According to a U.S study by Google in conjunction with Ipsos, nearly half of all smartphone users discover new apps while browsing Google Play Store and Apple App Store. An earlier Forrester report, on the other hand, places discovery by App store search at 63% for iOS apps, and 58% for Android apps.
Now that’s precisely where App Store Optimization comes in. And to help you with the whole thing, this article provides insights into:
- What App Store Optimization is all about.
- The relevance of App Store Optimization tools, and why you need them in your mobile app marketing campaigns.
- The five types of App Store Optimization software, and the leading tools across each category.
- The 7 best overall App Store optimization tools in the market today – along with their key features, pricing, as well as the pros and cons.
As such, you can think of this as the ultimate guide to App Store Optimization tools for both Apple App Store and Google Play Store.
Now to start us off, why the heck do you even need ASO tools in the first place?
Why Use App Store Optimization Software?
By now, you can bet that most app developers and app publishers are aware that App Store search is the principal driver of app discoverability. So, to boost their app downloads and app installs, they tend to tweak their app keywords, app titles, and app descriptions – for both Google Play Store and Apple App Store apps.
These App Store Optimization techniques are meant to improve their app ranking in the keyword search results. And yes – after working with over 3,250 apps so far, I can confirm that the methods are indeed effective when it comes to enhancing your app’s visibility.
But, here’s the thing according to Statista – with over 3.1 million Android apps in the Google Play Store and nearly 2.1 million iOS apps in the Apple App Store, it’s obvious that ASO competition is now tougher than ever.
The limited slots at the top of the App Store search results are now reserved for the few apps that go beyond just basic keyword optimization. I’m talking about the smart app publishers who choose to cleverly take advantage of advanced App Store Optimization techniques – which are often facilitated by ASO tools.
You see, with App Store Optimization tools, you get to:
- Gather app market intelligence and App Store Optimization intelligence for informed decision-making.
- Run tests on various App Store pages to identify the one that connects best with your target app users.
- Gain insights into what users like and hate about your mobile app.
- Conduct accurate keyword research.
- View keyword suggestions.
- Track your app ranking across Google Play Store and Apple App Store.
- Keep tabs on your competitors’ performance.
- Enhance your Apple search ads.
Don’t get me wrong, though. You won’t find all these capabilities in one App Store Optimization software. Instead, you’ll notice that each ASO tool specializes in just a handful of functionalities.
They come either as app keyword optimization tools, review and sentiment analysis tools, A/B testing tools, search ads optimization tools, or App store intelligence tools.
Here are the details of each category…
The 5 Types of App Store Optimization Tools
#1. App Keyword Optimization Tools
Just as the name suggests, app keyword optimization tools are built to help you find the best keywords for boosting your app’s visibility. You can, for instance, generate relevant keyword suggestions based on the keyword ranking of similar apps, your competitors’ keywords, etc.
Some of the best app keyword optimization tools include:
- Keyword Tool
- Priori Data
- App Radar
- Sensor Tower
- Mobile Action
#2. Review and Sentiment Analysis Tools
Review and sentiment analysis ASO tools, on the other hand, are more concerned with your mobile app’s reviews and ratings. They give you insights into what your app users feel about various app features, so you can use them to improve the app and score better ratings.
Some of the top App Store Optimization tools in this category include:
- Mobile Action
#3. A/B Testing Tools
A/B testing tools compare different App Store pages to help you figure out the ones with the best app download and app install rates.
Some of the best App Store Optimization software in this category include:
- Raise Metrics
- Google Firebase
#4. Search Ads Optimization Tools
If you’re looking to run paid ads on Apple Search Ads, this category of ASO tools will help you tweak your campaigns accordingly.
Popular examples include:
- SearchAds by Mobile Action
#5. App Store Intelligence Tools
App Store intelligence tools help you take your campaigns to the next level by offering relevant in-depth insights about the app market. You get, for instance, to learn more about your app market trends, competitor trends, ASO keyword ranking, etc.
Some of the best App Store Optimization tools in this category include:
- PreApps AppReport
- Priori Data
- Sensor Tower
- Mobile Action
- App Annie
Ok, I know how overwhelming all these options might seem. So, here’s the thing – to help you choose the best app store optimization tools for your mobile app marketing campaigns, we’ve narrowed down the list to the 7 best overall ASO software in 2021.
These were carefully selected based on our mobile app marketing experience over the years – in which my team and I have had the chance to try out various app store optimization tools, as well as track their results across various campaigns on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.
So, here’s the truth and nothing but the truth…
The 7 Best App Store Optimization Tools In 2021
#1. PreApps AppReport
Ok, I know what you might be thinking at this point. And no, we are not blowing our own trumpet. The PreApps AppReport tool has deservedly won the top spot among the best App Store Optimization tools because it offers pretty much everything you’d want from an ASO intelligence software.
For starters, it covers both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. That means you can track your mobile application’s ASO parameters across the two leading app stores.
And speaking of tracking, the PreApps AppReport tool is built to leave no stone unturned. Once you enter your mobile app’s name and then hit the “Analyze” button, the tool digs deep into your selected App Store and then provides a comprehensive report of your ASO strategy and performance.
You get to find out how your mobile app is ranking in different regions, how it’s performing in your app category, as well as its most recent search ranking changes.
In addition to that, PreApps ApprReport lets you know how well you’ve optimized your mobile app. It basically reveals all the ASO areas in which you’ve passed, stuff that you possibly need to improve, plus the accompanying critical errors. You’ll even find a detailed breakdown of the whole analysis, covering not just the app title and keywords, but also the app icon, subtitle, publisher name, app screenshots, app reviews, app description, and localization parameters.
Then while you scroll through the various App Store Optimization sections, you’ll be pleased that PreApps AppReport further provides suggestions on how you could improve your mobile app’s search ranking. It offers insights into optimizing your app icon, app title, subtitle, keywords, publisher name, screenshots, app screenshots, app description, etc.
PreApps AppReport Key Features:
- Comprehensive search ranking reports.
- Tracks search ranking performance across the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.
- Identifies ASO areas in which you’ve passed, stuff that you need to improve, and the possible errors.
- Analyzes all the relevant App Store Optimization elements – from the app icon and keywords to the publisher’s name and localization parameters.
- Displays search ranking performance for different regions and categories.
- Offers helpful suggestions on improving your mobile app’s App Store Optimization.
PreApps AppReport Pricing:
PreApps AppReport won’t charge you anything to conduct its ASO analysis. This web-based tool is free of charge and open to all app owners, developers, and marketers.
Pros and Cons of PreApps AppReport:
|PreApps AppReport Pros||PreApps AppReport Cons|
|It’s completely free of charge.||Doesn’t compare competitors.|
|Provides a comprehensive report covering all the relevant App Store Optimization parameters.|
|Lets you know where you’ve passed and what you need to improve.|
|Analyzes search ranking performance on both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, as well as in different regions across the globe.|
#2. App Radar
App Radar is an App Store Optimization tool built for individuals, as well as agencies.
App publishers, app developers, and app marketers can use it to manage release notes, track activities and app updates, keep tabs on competitors and their App Store rankings, plus conduct keyword research.
And speaking of which, keyword research happens to be the primary functionality here. You’ll notice that this ASO software comes with an AI-powered keyword optimization engine that’s capable of generating relevant keyword suggestions – based on machine learning analytics plus a database of more than 25 million keywords.
It can, for instance, provide just the right keywords for targeting local users. What’s more, it analyzes keyword difficulty and subsequently publishes the scores in real-time.
Another thing you’ll love about App Radar is its flexibility. You can use it for not only organic mobile app marketing but also paid app user acquisition campaigns.
And that’s not all. App Radar further allows you to combine self-service with managed App Store Optimization services.
Then to top it off, you can run it on both Google Play Store and Apple App Store.
App Radar Key Features:
- Apple Search Ads intelligence.
- Tracks user reviews and ratings.
- Edits App Store listings and Implements keywords.
- Finds the best keywords for your app.
App Radar Pricing:
App Radar starts you off on a free account. But, while that can only track 20 keywords and 2 competitor apps, a premium account stretches the allowance to 300+ keywords and 10+ competitor apps for as low as $33 per month when billed annually.
Pros and Cons of App Radar:
|App Radar Pros||App Radar Cons|
|Offers a permanently free account.||Intelligence reports are not extensively customizable.|
|Covers organic App Store Optimization and paid user acquisition.|
|Delivers keyword ranking reports to external platforms – such as slack.|
|Combines self-service tools with managed service tools.|
#3. App Annie
Third on our list of the best App Store Optimization tools is App Annie, a software solution that has made a name for itself as an advanced app market intelligence platform. It digs deep to provide comprehensive app analytics, competitor benchmarking insights, and data on market trends.
You can, for example, count on it to mine data from your competitors’ app reviews and ratings – which you could then benchmark against your app to track the user market trends. And while you’re at it, it’s also possible to filter the results further and get a good idea of where the user reviews are coming from.
But, it doesn’t stop there. App Annie even allows app marketers to dive much deeper into the competitor reviews and, subsequently, keep tabs on issues like feature requests and customer complaints. This alone could help you establish the app features that’ll keep you ahead of the competition.
Other than that, App Annie provides insights into your app’s keyword ranking, user reviews, user ratings, audience estimates, rank history, advertising estimates, usage estimates, plus app download and revenue estimates.
And yes- in case you’re wondering, App Annie is compatible with both the iOS App Store and Google Play Store.
App Annie Key Features:
- Creates teams to share app data.
- Discovers keywords to optimize your app’s visibility.
- Analyzes cross-app usage patterns.
- Reports on user demographics.
- Tracks and monitors competitor market share, growth trends, and rank trends.
- Provides engagement metrics including active users, market penetration, plus duration and frequency of use.
- Derives estimates from millions of apps to help you find out which store, country, category, or device is driving success.
App Annie Pricing:
App Annie offers a free package that specializes in App Store tracking. Otherwise, if you’d want more, the premium package comes with custom pricing.
Pros and Cons of App Annie:
|App Annie Pros||App Annie Cons|
|Offers comprehensive app market intelligence.||The free plan is extremely limited.|
|Pricing is custom based on your needs.||Premium options can be costly to small businesses.|
|Proves a free version.|
|Allows you to filter the metrics by country.|
After being recognized by the App Growth Awards community as 2018’s “best ASO tool”, AppTweak still continues to create ripples in the mobile app marketing industry as a highly analytical intelligence tool. It uses data science to help app developers and marketers improve their app downloads through enhanced App Store Optimization.
This is where you’ll find well-customized ASO reports that are easily digestible, and with sufficient actionable proposals for your App Store metadata.
AppTweak is not entirely about App Store Optimization, though. In fact, you can think of it as an all-in-one intelligence tool – since it goes beyond ASO to additionally offer market intelligence, app intelligence, and ad intelligence. Pretty much all the info you need to discover new growth opportunities, boost app visibility, and drive app downloads.
When it comes to keyword research, for example, you get to capitalize on AppTweak’s powerful keyword intelligence tool. Then to optimize your Apple Search Ads, you could use the accompanying Search Ads Intelligence Dashboard.
AppTweak Key Features:
- Reviews the ranking history of top app keywords across different countries.
- Monitors app downloads across various app markets.
- Discovers popular App Store search terms.
- Identifies relevant keywords for your app.
- Tracks the number of app downloads for each top keyword.
- Provides critical App Store metrics such as impressions, page views, and installs.
AppTweak starts at $58 per month when you choose its annual billing option. Otherwise, you should expect to pay at least $69 a month.
Pros and Cons of AppTweak:
|AppTweak Pros||AppTweak Cons|
|It’s an all-in-one ASO tool for keyword research and app market intelligence.||Doesn’t offer a free plan.|
|Tracks app downloads.||Can get costly for small businesses.|
|Compares app performance across different countries.|
|Comes with a Search Ads Intelligence Dashboard|
#5. Sensor Tower
Sensor Tower is yet another mobile App Store intelligence tool that provides you with valuable data and insights into your app and ASO campaigns. More specifically, it relies on billions of data points to conduct real-time assessments of app market factors across different categories and countries.
Its app intelligence machine, for starters, is handy for tracking competitors, performing keyword optimizations, monitoring App Store pages, and reviewing app analytics.
Then the accompanying store intelligence reports, on the other hand, provide data on app downloads, plus the corresponding revenue estimates. You could even use the metrics to analyze various competitor apps and app publishers.
Then if you happen to be running Apple Search Ad campaigns, you’ll also appreciate the fact that Sensor Tower additionally offers ad intelligence reports. Just enough to help you build highly impactful ads.
Interestingly, however, its analytics doesn’t stop at the app download and app install stages. Instead, Sensor Tower proceeds to track your mobile app users to give you insights in the form of usage intelligence.
And if you’d like to find out how successful apps are built, Sensor Tower additionally comes with a feature known as “App Teardown” – which should grant you a peek under the hood of the successful mobile apps in your market.
In short, therefore, you could say Sensor Tower is a powerhouse for competitor analysis, keyword tracking, usage tracking, keyword analysis, app download intelligence, and app review monitoring.
Sensor Tower Key Features:
- Its Impression Leaderboard shows you which apps pushed the most inventory.
- Tracks competitors’ day-over-day spending on all of their ad networks.
- Digs into the details of ad creatives.
- Compare the retention rate across multiple apps at key stages of their user lifecycle.
- Follows the user journey post app installation to give you app usage intelligence.
- Reviews successful apps to identify the SDKs and technologies that exist within app binaries.
- Assesses downloads and revenue estimates for millions of apps, and thousands of publishers across all major categories and countries.
- Performs keyword optimization.
- Monitors your app’s localization efforts in each market.
- Analyzes your competitors’ keyword and category rankings, plus keyword selection strategies.
- Tracks daily category and keyword rankings for any app.
- Provides access to past reviews of your app by country, version, rating, and date.
- Reviews details such as app descriptions, screenshots, rank history, reviews, and monthly download and revenue estimates.
Sensor Tower Pricing:
While pricing information is not available on the Sensor Tower website, you can expect the all-inclusive plan to cost your app marketing team thousands of dollars per year.
Pros and Cons of Sensor Tower:
|Sensor Tower Pros||Sensor Tower Cons|
|Compatible with both Google Play Store and iOS App Store.||Doesn’t offer a free plan.|
|Comes with an ASO dashboard.||Only suitable for enterprise users.|
|Provides usage intelligence, ad intelligence, store intelligence, and app intelligence.|
|Keeps tabs of app localization strategies.|
Unlike most of the solutions that we’ve featured in our best App Store Optimization review, AppFollow isn’t limited to mobile app marketing. Rather, it comes in the form of a digital suite that holistically covers App Store Optimization along with app management.
That means that while you can use its features for market and mobile app analytics, AppFollow additionally allows you to manage your app from its dashboard while driving customer engagement.
The App Store optimization module, to begin with, focuses on sentiment analysis, social sharing, revenue tracking, channel attribution, competitor analysis, ranking assessment, and keyword tracking.
Then with the accompanying product management features, you get to track bugs, as well as provide customer support by responding accordingly to user reviews. What’s more, AppFollow allows you to coordinate customer support teams and your app developers.
AppFollow Key Features:
- Provides custom alerts about specific reviews (bugs, feature requests, and more).
- Packs an AI-driven Voice of the Customer (VoC) tool.
- Offers app page optimization tools.
- Conducts keyword research automation using real-time data with difficulty score and other keyword metrics.
- ASO Dashboard with major KPIs.
- Ratings and Reviews Dashboard.
- Keeps tabs on app downloads, app installs, app uninstalls, as well as the subsequent revenue and refunds.
- Automates support workflows.
- Tracks ASO keywords, conversion rates, organic downloads, and search result positions.
Individuals and startups can start off on a free package, before ultimately upgrading to a premium package for $55 a month. Large companies, on the other hand, pay at least $111 per month.
Pros and Cons of AppFollow:
|AppFollow Pros||AppFollow Cons|
|Facilitates App Store Optimization and app management.||Covers only a limited number of keywords.|
|Automates review management.||Doesn’t feature all the countries.|
|Publishes app analytics to third-party platforms such as Slack.|
|Conducts competitor analysis and keyword tracking.|
When it comes to App Store A/B testing, Storemaven is in a league of its own. So much so that it boasts hosting 60% of top app publishers – such as Uber, Zynga, and Google – on its platform. They popularly use it to run App Store Optimization tests – in a bid to understand how users respond to different page elements.
In essence, Storemaven likes to think of itself as a tool for increasing App Store conversion rates. It offers app designers, app marketers, app publishers, and app developers a range of testing tools that run on predictive testing and proprietary machine-learning algorithms.
With that, you get to conveniently find out precisely what works best in your app descriptions, app videos, screenshots, and app icons – across the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. That’s how you ultimately end up boosting your app conversion rates based on user preferences.
Storemaven Key Features:
- Custom dashboard for monitoring the progression and changes during the tests.
- Sends tests to different audience segments.
- Facilitates custom design variants.
- Creates your App Store page replica in a sandbox environment.
- Conducts A/B test on app icons, app screenshots, app videos, and app descriptions on the App Store and Google Play.
- Tracks app conversions and engagements with potential customers.
While its ASO toolbox comes free of charge, Storemaven’s A/B testing features can only be accessed after you pay a custom price- which is usually based on your testing needs.
Pros and Cons of Storemaven:
|Storemaven Pros||Storemaven Cons|
|Performs A/B testing of App Store and Google Play Store pages.||The ASO toolbox comes with limited optimization capabilities.|
|Offers a free ASO toolbox.||There’s no free option for A/B testing.|
|Provides customer engagement metrics.|
|Supports custom App Store page designs.|
Overall, the most important points to keep in mind are:
- App Store Optimization is the king of mobile app marketing.
- Most smartphone users discover new apps while browsing the Google Play Store and Apple App Store.
- With over 3.1 million Android apps in the Google Play Store and nearly 2.1 million iOS apps in the Apple App Store, ASO competition is now tougher than ever.
- App Store Optimization tools provide you with market intelligence, A/B testing, user insights, keyword research, keyword suggestions, app ranking data, competitor intelligence, plus ASO recommendations.
- There are five types of App Store Optimization tools – keyword optimization tools, review and sentiment analysis tools, A/B testing tools, search ads optimization tools, and App store intelligence tools.
- App Radar helps you to manage release notes, track activities and app updates, keep tabs on competitors and their App Store rankings, plus conduct keyword research.
- App Annie digs deep to provide comprehensive app analytics, competitor benchmarking insights, and data on market trends.
- AppTweak uses data science to help app developers and marketers improve their app downloads through enhanced App Store Optimization.
- Sensor Tower conducts competitor analysis, keyword tracking, usage tracking, keyword analysis, app download intelligence, and app review monitoring.
- AppFollow comes in the form of a digital suite that holistically covers App Store Optimization along with app management.
- Storemaven facilitates App Store Optimization tests to help you understand how users respond to different page elements.
Most importantly, though, bear in mind that while all these App Store Optimization Tools are capable of improving your app’s ranking, you might want to go a step further and supplement them with our marketing expertise.
Yes, that’s right. In fact, we’ve helped our partners drive over half a billion app downloads. So, of course, you can bet that we know the tricks to push your app to the topmost ranking positions.
Feel free to get in touch with us, and we’ll be happy to help you solve your app marketing troubles.