Marketing August 1, 2019 Last updated July 31st, 2019 1,461 Reads share

ASO vs. SEO: Where Do We Stand in the Battle of Optimization?

ASO vs SEOImage Credit: Deposit Photos

As smartphones are becoming increasingly popular, the usage of applications has amplified significantly. Developers are always looking for opportunities and gaps in the market to develop new applications. It is needless to say that apps are the latest marketing platforms for various companies around the globe. This brings us to the question at hand, where do we stand in the battle of optimization?

When you create a website for the online presence of your company, you have to maintain it by adding fresh content on a daily basis. Furthermore, you have to optimize it so that search engines can easily locate the site and show it to the audience who search for it. Similarly, applications demand the same level of commitment because you have to optimize them as well. The only difference is that websites are searched on search engine platforms like Google, whereas applications are searched on app stores like Apple App Store and Google Play Store. App Store Optimization (ASO) is extremely important for application developers. Numerous people search for and download applications from app stores on a daily basis. Therefore, you need to make your application easy to find for the users.

So, having said that, are ASO and SEO in direct competition?

Several marketers and app developers have tried to answer this question. According to a research study conducted in 2013 by Forrester and Nielsen, about 63% of the application discoveries were made via app stores. However, another study conducted more recently in 2015 by suggested that 67.55% of the applications were downloaded after searching for applications on the app stores while 24.31% of the applications were downloaded directly by users who knew exactly what they had to download from the app store. The remaining 8.14% of the results were regarded as null or other.

Out of several conclusions made from “The State of App Discovery 2015” by TUNE, one was that it does not actually matter what source or channel you are using for targeting your audience. The element of search is what matters the most and is considered extremely important. This conclusion illustrates the fact that you cannot think about application marketing without taking into account the search aspect. Search lays the basic grounds for your application to become visible to the users. Furthermore, it dominates the fact of how customers actually find applications on the app stores.

Which Optimization Technique is Better?

There is no straightforward answer to this question because it mainly depends on what you are trying to achieve. There are some similarities and differences between the two terms, let’s take a look at these aspects:

The Similarities Between SEO and ASO

The major similarity between the two is that they both place an equal amount of importance on the relevance of the conclusions that are derived from the inputs. Keywords are extremely important in both the processes. They tell us about the phrases that users usually search on the internet. Both techniques are well-known for producing organic results that are based on traffic and search queries.

The Differences Between SEO and ASO

The primary difference between the two optimization techniques is that SEO is used for ranking websites on search engine platforms whereas ASO is used for ranking an application in a specific app store. Therefore, the results that you get from using both the techniques are different and useful in their own way.

There are some aspects of ASO that are noticeably different from SEO. These factors highlight the fact about your position in the battle of optimization. These differences are as follows:

1. User Behavior

It is extremely important to study human behavior when you are considering optimization for your website or app. With this knowledge, you can use more relevant techniques that will give you better results.

When a person is searching for something on the app store, he/she will display a particular behavioral pattern and expectations. However, when the same person is searching for the same thing on a search engine platform, he/she will have different expectations and different behavioral patterns.

When you search for something on the app store, the results will give you numerous applications pertaining to that particular keyword. However, the same keyword will produce different results on search engine platforms.

2. The Difference in Search Semantics

As we have established the fact that the intent of the user is different when he/she is making a search on an app store from that when he/she is making a search on a search engine platform, it is quite evident that the semantics of both the searches are different. When users search for applications in the app store, in a majority of the cases, they are looking for the functionality of the application. It helps them know how the application will benefit them. In addition to this, users quite often look for the brand of the application in order to see who the developer of the application is. Popular developers have a good reputation in the market. They get more downloads than the ones who are less popular. Lastly, users are looking for applications that are capable of serving exactly what they are looking for.

The semantics are different for search engines. When users use search engines, they are usually looking for information in order to learn about something that they are not already aware of. Moreover, the purpose of searching for search engines can also be to locate a certain website. Furthermore, users can use search engine platforms to buy some product or service or to take some other action.

3. Trends in Search Engines and App Stores

The trends on both platforms are changing. Marketers are taking advantage of this by promoting their products and services to reach the maximum amount of customers.


SEO and ASO are great ways to market your products and services. The traffic on both platforms is increasing by the minute. You can learn more ways to improve your ranking on search engines and app stores by installing a fast and reliable internet connection that never lets you down. So, instead of focusing on what is better, treat both optimization methods equally. This will help you achieve the best results for your online business.

ASO – Deposit Photos

Farhan Suleman

Farhan Suleman

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