[This is an update to our “6 Best Affordable (or Free!) Tools for App Store Optimization” post from 2017. We’ve added two new ASO tools and revisited the others for a fresh look at the options in 2020!]
If you want your app to be successful, app store optimization (ASO) for your app is at least as important as the work you do on your app and company SEO – and if your main product is and app, ASO could be the most important marketing tool you have.
While the ways in which people find apps has diversified over the years, close to half of people browse their preferred app store in search of apps. With millions of apps out there (on Google Play alone, there are almost 2.9 million apps) and many thousands more in development right now, the biggest challenge for you as a developer is making sure potential customers actually find your app when they search the app store. That means you need your app to rank higher than your competition.
Some refer to ASO as “SEO for apps.” We wouldn’t go that far—you wouldn’t want to ignore SEO and focus only on app store optimization. Instead, the two should work together: SEO strategies can improve your app’s chances of being found outside of the app store, while ASO strategies can improve your app’s chances to be found inside the app store.
Fortunately, when it comes to app store optimization, there are some great tools that can help you with optimizing your app for app stores. Here’s our list of the eight best affordable ASO tools to help you with your ASO strategy.
It’s no surprise that AppAnnie is at the top of our list. By far the best tool out there, AppAnnie counts Google, Dropbox, Microsoft, Electronic Arts, and many other big names amongst its clients. AppAnnie offers both app analytics and store statistics for free — and these aren’t shallow metrics. Their analytics let you track app performance (downloads, usage, and revenue) across app stores and different countries, while their store stats will help you analyze your app’s keywords, rankings, ratings and reviews. If you want to invest in their premium services, you’ll get robust market data intelligence and analysis, giving you access to market data metrics for every major mobile app.
In a sea of keyword suggestion tools appfollow.io stands out as one of the more innovative options available to app developers and marketers. Their keyword suggestion tool is one of the best ones that provides up-to-date results based on current iOS 13 search results including Stories, In-App Purchases, and Bundle results. AppFollows keyword “Traffic Score” is based on data from app search ads and allows you to easily compare the search volumes for different keywords in different markets. Are you looking to do a bit of App Store or Google Play competitor analysis? AppFollow’s “Keyword Spy” tool has got your back! Keyword Spy lets you analyze and track the keywords for any app in the App Store. This can help you to identify missed optimization opportunities and find high value keywords to steal from your competitors. At the time of writing, AppFollow offers a very generous free tier allowing the tracking of 2 apps in 2 different countries and up to 100 keyword research requests.
Never tried app store optimization before and are looking to get up so speed fast? Mietti prides themselves on being able to help app developers and marketers to increase their downloads without any ASO experience. Their tool utilizes their own in-house-developed AI to assist with keyword analysis and selection, taking a lot of the guesswork out of keyword research. While it’s probably not going to be the tool of choice for seasoned ASO experts, Mietti’s auditing and keyword tools are a fantastic place for people new to ASO to get a feel for things. On top of all of the artificial intelligence goodness, www.meatti.com has one of the best ASO blogs out there chock full of information, tool reviews and free checklists for app store optimization practitioners of all skill levels. Mietti doesn’t currently offer a free tier, but they do have a 7-day free trial available that allows you to get a feel for their platform while you figure out if it’s the right tool for you.
Mobile Action offers market intelligence and ASO keyword analysis. Their free option allows you to track up to 5 keywords at a time on both the Apple App Store and Google Play, along with basic app analytics and a competitor analysis. Where they really shine is with their Recommended Actions, which are basically a way for you to get advice on how to improve—all for free.
This little web extension is handy if you’re just not sure what keywords you want to use. Keyword Tool is exactly what it says on the virtual box: a tool that helps find the best keywords for your needs by allowing you to search for the keywords people are typing in an app store’s search box. The search works on multiple platforms including Google, Apple’s App Store, YouTube, and Amazon.
The AppRankCorner tool provides free ASO focused on optimizing keywords. They provide data on rankings, reviews, and revenue. It also has a keyword suggestion tool, taking the guesswork out of choosing the best keywords for your app.
Love playing with Big Data? Then this is the tool for you. SearchMan provides free access to app market research, and has data for both iOS and Android platforms on over 4 million apps and 1.5 million keywords. SearchMan lets you check your app’s visibility and discoverability, track its rankings, and take a look at your competitors. And if you’re looking for more specific insights about your app, along with recommendations for actions you can take to boost your ASO, their premium service is an affordable $25/month.
Potentially the “best bang for your buck” paid tool if you’re focused on Apple’s App Store, for $14.95 per month, Appcodes provides app visibility checking, competitor tracking and press mentions, and the ability to look at other apps’ keywords.
This ninth tool recommendation isn’t an ASO tool, but we had to include it, as CodeNgo is an app publication tool for Android apps. For a flat fee of $20, CodeNgo helps you self-publish your Android app to more than 30 different app stores, and it also provides app review monitoring and competitor reviews tracking. For Android developers, getting your app out to more than just the Google Play store is just common sense: AppChina alone has 30 million users and 600 million downloads a month — and they aren’t the biggest Chinese app store! Remember, Google Play isn’t available to mainstream users in China, so if you are an Android developer who is only selling on Google Play, there are literally tens of millions of potential customers who aren’t seeing your app. CodeNgo provides an easy way to bridge that gap and get your app in front of those other audiences.
Remember, ASO isn’t a replacement for SEO, but it is a vital part of the marketing you need to do for your app. These tools can help you boost your app’s ASO and get your app seen by more potential customers when they search the app store. And if you’re looking for a stellar video to make your app stand out on the app store even more? We’d love to work with you!