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Home Blog ASO Basics for Beginners ASO Basics for Beginners: ASO Professional Terminology Explained

ASO Basics for Beginners: ASO Professional Terminology Explained

May 10 2021

ASO Basics for Beginners

ASO World has summarized some common terms used in ASO for developers and mobile marketers, which can be used by both beginners and experts in ASO to optimize or promote their apps in the future.

ASO terminology analysis

Understanding ASO

ASO is known as App Store Optimization, which is translated as Application Store Optimization in English. At present, the definition of ASO is divided into a narrow sense and a broad sense.

  • In a narrow sense, ASO refers to the process of improving the ranking of apps in the application market and search results.

  • In a broader sense, ASO refers to all processes that can help apps get better exposure in app stores and get more traffic and downloads. It includes ranking optimization, search ranking optimization, fine recommendation, user review optimization, etc.

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Understanding App Store

App Store refers to the Apple App Store, where users can download various applications.

Up to now, Apple App Store has more than 2 million apps, and the App Store has limited app exposure bits, mainly including leaderboards, app recommendations, search results and other positions, which leads to a large number of similar apps competing in the market, and ASO has undoubtedly become a must for various developers and marketers to compete for more exposure opportunities.


app store


In addition, the biggest revision Apple has made to App Store in recent years is that Apple directly cut off the three sections of "Ranking, Category and Recommendation" and replaced them with "Today, Game and App".

This move makes the ranking level entrance is canceled, but in fact the ranking is shrunk into the "Games", "App" two sections, only into these two sections and click "View All Only when you enter these two sections and click "View All" can you see the overall ranking situation. This revision has led to the weakening of the value of ranking, and the classified ASO of the app will be in demand.

About the app recommendation, the App Store editorial team regularly selects some excellent apps to show to Apple users, which will bring considerable download volume for the app.

Before iOS11, there were two different forms of displaying the best recommendations: one is the big banner on the home page, which is the most eye-catching position when entering the App Store; the other is the "Fresh App", "New Game of the Week" and some special recommendations under the banner.

After iOS11, the main exposure positions of app recommendation are: the daily app recommendation under the "Today" section, the banner under the "Games" section and "New game of the week", the banner under the "App The banner under "Games" section and "New App of the Week", "App" section and "Fresh App", etc.

App Store app recommendations cannot be bought with money, and the quality of app products is the most important factor. Apple said: "They will land extensive editorial teams around the world to better complete manual recommendations, and if it's worth recommending, our editors will present it to you".

This also indicates that the official recommendation traffic will be bigger and very helpful for quality APP. The era of who is big and who dominates the list will eventually pass, and the only focus is to get the editor's recommendation.


Ranking list

Ranking is "list". Generally speaking, the list in App Store is divided into "free list", "paid list" and "best-seller list", and it can be divided into "general list" and 25 category lists. The number of booths in each list is limited, and currently each list has about 150 display positions in the App Store, that is, only about 10,000 apps are displayed in the list.

The awkward thing is that most of these list traffic will be divided by the top ranking apps, and the traffic weight of each list is not quite the same. The following chart shows App Growing's app list monitoring.

In addition, the list update means that App Store will adjust the ranking of App list every day, about once every 2 hours, usually about 10 times a day, and the App Store list will be maintained for several minutes to several hours after each update.

Locked list means that sometimes App Store will not update the list ranking for a long time, usually this time may be Apple in the algorithm adjustment.


About keywords, here refers to the content entered by Apple users in the App Store when they get the App through search, not the keywords of 100 characters when setting App information.

From the perspective of ASO optimization, keywords can be roughly divided into the following categories: brand words, industry words, competitor words, product words, hot words, etc.

For the data of keywords, App Growing counts the data of each keyword in App Store, including search index, number of search results (number of keywords), TOP3/TOP10 keywords, etc.

(1) Search index

Search index refers to the search hotness of each keyword in the App Store, and the value is between 0-12000. Generally speaking, the higher the search index is, the more times the word is searched every day, and the more traffic. According to experience, the search index is only more effective for words greater than or equal to 4605.

(2) TOP3/TOP10 keywords

TOP3 keyword refers to the current number of apps ranking in the top three search results for the keyword, and the same for TOP10 keywords.

(3) The number of search results

The number of search results refers to the total number of search results when the keyword is searched in the App Store. The more the number of search results, the more difficult it is to compete in ASO optimization.

(4) Keyword ranking and keyword coverage

Keyword ranking refers to the ranking position of the app in the search results of a keyword, which is usually called search ranking. And the keyword coverage refers to the total amount of all keywords that can search the App.

Popular words

Hot search terms refers to the popular search terms displayed on the search page, before the iOS11 version, there are 10 hot search terms. In the iOS11 version, the hot search terms are reduced from the original 10 to 7, and the search page is more concise.

As for the ranking of hot search terms, App Growing provides the function of "real-time hot search term list", which can monitor more hot search term ranking data in addition to the 7/10 hot search terms currently displayed on App Store. The blue part in the figure is the 10 hot words on the search bar of mobile App Store.

Search index

Search index refers to the search volume of each keyword in the App Store, and the value is between 0-12000. Generally speaking, the higher the search index is, the more times the word is searched every day, and the more traffic.

According to experience, a word with a search index of 4605 represents an average of 1 search per day, and words with a hotness greater than or equal to 4605 are more effective. The following chart shows the monitoring of App Growing's search index for an App keyword.

Associative words

Associative words are words that are automatically displayed after a word is entered in the search interface, and generally the App Store will automatically match about 10 (iOS11's associative words are 7).

Regarding the coverage of association words, App Growing provides the function of "association word coverage detection", which catches the top 50 association words of a word, among which the top 10 words with blue marks are the words displayed in the App Store of cell phone.

Factors that influence the effect of ASO

Apple's algorithm

When it comes to Apple's algorithm, it has been a mystery in the industry. About the App Store algorithm Apple has not been disclosed, and Apple will often adjust. Although there are also many professional organizations trying to deduce the Apple algorithm, but there is not yet a very effective algorithm model.

In App Store, Apple algorithm has two main parts, one is the ranking algorithm; the other is the search algorithm.

According to a large number of cases and data analysis, we came up with the general Apple algorithm as follows: App Store will assign weights according to the data of an app, and then arrange the display position of the app. Among them, "download and activation" has the highest weight in the algorithm, while comments, paid conversions and other factors also have different weights, but the specific weight is not yet known.

List update and lock list

App Store will adjust the ranking of App list every day, and the App Store list will be maintained for several minutes to several hours after each update.

The update of the list provides the possibility for ASO optimization, and after ASO list/keyword optimization, you can achieve the application ranking improvement within a certain period of time, so as to get more exposure opportunities.

Different from the list update is the lock list, sometimes the App Store will have the situation that the list ranking is not updated for a long time, usually at this time may be Apple is adjusting the algorithm.

If the App has ASO optimization arrangement at this time, it is undoubtedly adding to the problem, which is unfavorable to ASO optimization, and ASO optimization should try to avoid the lock list time.


Apple has certain punishment methods for violation App, mainly including warning, downgrading, blocking, clearing the list, clearing the search term, shelving and blocking, etc.

If the App is violated by Apple for some reasons, it is undoubtedly an empty basket for the App with ASO optimization arrangement.

Conversion rate

Here refers to the conversion rate of the traffic brought by ASO optimization into download users. Generally speaking, the factors related to the conversion rate are: the relevance of App name and keywords, icon, title, comments, etc.

Factors affecting App ranking

  • App name and subtitle: mainly affects keyword coverage.
  • Keyword tag: mainly affects keyword coverage.
  • Download activation volume: It most affects App list ranking and keyword ranking.
  • User retention: The higher the user retention rate is, the more weight the App occupies in the app store.
  • App comment: It has a weak influence on App ranking, but has more influence on user conversion.


ASO viewpoint

  • In App Store, about 65% of app downloads come from search.
  • The more the word coverage, the easier it is to be searched
In the coverage of words, the more keywords covered by the App, the more it can be searched by users.
  • The higher the ranking the more likely to be noticed
In App ranking, the higher the list ranking is, the more it can be noticed and downloaded by users. In addition, the display position of the App in the search results affects its traffic, and the same with the list, most of the traffic of the search points to the top few App.

Therefore, the higher the ranking in the search result of a keyword and the higher the relevance of the keyword, the more users will notice and download it. For example, if the keyword "shopping" is searched, the photo app appears, which naturally does not match with the initial demand of users.
  • The more the keyword is in front, the greater the weight is
In the App basic information setting, the App name and subtitle, keywords (100 characters), application description, in-app purchase information, comments, classification and developer name, etc. may be included in the App Store as keywords.

In these settings, the order of weight of each keyword is: App name, subtitle, keywords, app description, comments, etc.

ASO Topic App Store Optimization,


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