App Store Optimization Blog – Metrikal

ASO vs SEO | What Are the Differences and Similarities?

When trying to think about ASO vs SEO, one may explain it very well by simply saying ASO is for apps while SEO is for the web. While this straightforward explanation gives us a general idea of the difference between ASO and SEO, there are actually a lot of things to learn.

That’s why, in this post, let us take a look at not just the differences, but also the similarities of ASO and SEO. By doing so, you’ll have a better idea of how to improve your app’s success in the ever highly competitive world of the Internet.

Source: AppRankCorner

ASO vs SEO: Definition

ASO stands for App Store Optimization. It basically refers to the process of improving the visibility of an app in the app store. (Feel free to read our ASO definitive guide to understand better what ASO is.)

On the other hand, SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. SEO is the process of increasing the visibility of websites in search engine return pages (SERPs).

In simplest terms, the main difference between ASO and SEO is that ASO is for app stores while SEO is for websites. Usually, this is the explanation most people use. SEO is no doubt a more popular term. That’s why people would just tell you that ASO is the “mobile SEO” or the “SEO for apps.”

ASO vs SEO: Goal

Here’s where ASO and SEO have a great similarity. Both ASO and SEO aim to increase the visibility, popularity, and ranking of the product or services they promote.

Of course, there are a few differences as well in the goals of ASO and SEO. Let me break it down for you.

ASO goals:

  • Increase visibility in app store search results
  • Increase visibility when users explore apps
  • Drive more traffic to an app store page
  • Increase download rate
  • Reduce the cost of acquiring new users

SEO goals:

  • Increase visibility in search engines
  • Drive more traffic to a web page
  • Grow business online

ASO vs SEO: Digital Domain

ASO is applied in mobile applications and games. It is done in app stores for iOS and Android devices. 

For iOS, we have the App Store. Based on the latest count made by BuildFire, there are about 1.9 available apps in the App Store.

By far, the most popular and largest app store for Android devices would be Google Play Store. According to Business of Apps, there are about 2.7 million apps available in the Play Store. Other Android app stores include Amazon AppStore, GetJar, Aptoide, Huawei AppGallery, and Opera Mobile Store. 

For SEO, its digital domain would include both desktop and mobile searches. No doubt, the most popular search engine would be Google, accounting for more than 60% of the market share. Other search engines include Yahoo, Bing, and DuckDuckGo, to name a few.

ASO vs SEO: Ranking factors

Ranking factors affect how search engines index a particular website or app. Thus, as part of understanding how ASO vs SEO work, you need to know the different ranking factors. If you get familiar with these factors, you have a better way of figuring out how to improve your ASO and SEO process.

For ASO, here are some of the ranking factors:

  • Title
  • Subtitle (App Store) and Short Description (Google Play)
  • Keyword list (App Store) and Long Description (Google Play)
  • Visual assets such as screenshots, icon, video etc.
  • App listing localization
  • Number of downloads
  • Reviews and ratings
  • Updates
  • In-app purchases

Aside from the factors mentioned above, there are some hidden factors that are being considered. Regrettably, the app stores won’t openly tell you everything they consider when determining app ranking. However, the factors listed above should be a great place to start your research.

For SEO, there are a lot of ranking factors to consider. But for the purpose of this blog, let me just give you the most important ones:

  • Security and accessibility of the website
  • Page loading speed
  • Mobile-friendliness
  • Domain age, URL, and authority
  • Content validity and relevance
  • User experience
  • External links
  • Social signals
  • Keyword match
  • Tags
  • URLs
  • Image alt text

With billions of websites and thousands being added every day, it is not surprising that SEO is more complicated than ASO. There are just so many ranking factors being considered. 

As you can see, both ASO and SEO use various ranking factors to determine the relevancy of your product or service to the search query. The main difference is that SEO considers more factors compared to ASO.

ASO vs SEO: Key Performance Indicator (KPI)

How do you measure the success of your ASO and/or SEO campaigns? You need to take note of crucial KPIs or performance metrics.

The KPIs for ASO and SEO differ in various ways. For example, here are the KPIs to watch out for when it comes to ASO:

  • Conversion rate (for visits and downloads)
  • Conversion rate (exclusively from search)
  • User ratings and reviews
  • Impressions from search
  • Organic downloads from search and browse
  • Revenue

Now, as you can see, there’s not much KPIs listed above to monitor. However, capturing and monitoring all of these KPIs are crucial to your app’s success. Not only that, but the process of recording KPIs can be complicated and overwhelming.

Take note of this: you need to gather data from App Store Connect, Google Play Developer Console, Apple Search Ads, and the keyword ranking tools. Moreover, it’s not that easy to isolate ASO metrics from the overall UA metrics.

Thankfully, you don’t have to gather all the needed data manually. You can simply use an ASO tool. One of your best choices would be Metrikal. 

Metrikal allows you to track all important KPIs and gather them together in one convenient place. It does not only help you in recording your app performance, but it allows you to effectively analyze your statistics and create data-driven decisions.

So, be sure to check out Metrikal if you’re ready to bring your app to the next level of success.

Now, let’s go to SEO. What are KPIs you should be tracking when it comes to SEO? Here are some of them:

  • Organic traffic
  • Keyword ranking
  • Conversion rate
  • Bounce rate
  • Pageviews
  • Page visitors
  • Visit duration
  • Page load time
  • Click-through rate
  • Revenue
  • Most popular posts and pages
  • Comments
  • Search terms
  • Countries
  • Clicked links
  • Referrers

ASO vs SEO: Duration

Both ASO and SEO need to be done in a constant manner. It is not a one-time event, but instead, it should be done continuously.

When it comes to evaluating results, ASO does allow you to see results within a few weeks or months. However, SEO is more complicated and the competition is so intense that you get to see significant results after a year or so. Of course, this will also depend on how much time, energy, and effort you put into your ASO and SEO.

Summary of ASO and SEO Similarities

To give you a quick overview of the similarities of ASO and SEO, here’s a quick list:

  1. ASO and SEO increase the visibility of products or services.
  2. Both improve your app or website ranking in search results.
  3. ASO and SEO aim to find quality traffic that can easily be converted into users or sales.
  4. Strategies of ASO and SEO are based on keyword research.

Summary of ASO and SEO differences

Here’s a quick overview of the differences between ASO and SEO:

  1. ASO is focused on app stores while SEO is focused on internet search engines.
  2. You can do a soft launch with ASO, while you can’t do it in SEO.
  3. ASO and SEO differ in key performance indicators and ranking factors.
  4. Results for your ASO campaigns can be seen earlier compared to SEO.
  5. Paid traffic can affect app ranking for ASO while it can’t affect website ranking for SEO.
  6. Search terms for ASO are more specific compared to SEO.
  7. App stores have a tendency to feature and favor new apps. In SEO, search engines would feature the most relevant not the newest content.

Using the power of ASO and SEO

When you want to accelerate the success of your app, you may want to use SEO in addition to your ASO campaigns.

ASO and SEO do not compete with each other, but instead, they complement. Using both ASO and SEO can do wonders in your app’s performance.

Remember, competition is already fierce as well in app stores. If you simply rely on app store traffic, you may not be able to outlast other similar apps within your category. However, using SEO on top of ASO could help you develop that competitive edge over other apps.

For example, you can create a dedicated website for your app. On that website, you can talk more about the features of your apps and the benefits of using them. This is something you can’t do in the app stores because of the limited space they give for your app page. 

You can also offer special offers for your loyal fans on your website and even write related blogs, which include optimized keywords. This will further improve the visibility of your app, not just in the app store, but also on the World Wide Web.

ASO or SEO, which one to choose?

Now that you have read the differences and similarities of ASO and SEO, it should really be not about ASO vs SEO, but rather ASO and SEO. Of course, since you will be promoting an app, you should prioritize ASO. But if you have enough time and resources, don’t forget SEO, too. It can help you find new users not just in the app store, but also on the web.

In the end, remember that ASO and SEO have differences and similarities. Understanding these factors could better help you create the right strategies for your app. Take advantage of the strengths of ASO vs SEO and you’ll get the best of both worlds.

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