Beyond ASO: Unifying Organic and Paid Search

The times they truly are a-changin’ for mobile marketers in 2020. ASO, UA, CRM – so many acronyms to consider. It’s never been more important to have a strategy for each of these to stay ahead of competition. But how can we make sure they are playing in harmony rather than stepping over each other’s notes?Let’s start with ASO, or App Store Optimization. As a company pioneering ASO, we’ve seen the focus shift from “what is ASO” to “ASO can fix everything”. Given the growing number of ASO roles out there, it’s great to see businesses understand the important role that store listings play in app growth strategies.

But now there’s another problem unfolding: organic and paid teams often sit separately. This means that identifying underlying issues is challenging. What if your conversion rate suddenly drops? The problem might be in the app store listing. Or the quality of media. Or it’s natural because your impressions went up. You won’t be able to isolate what’s really happening if you don’t have a unified strategy pulling all the cords together.

You need to own the full funnel to understand the butterfly effect in marketing. And you need to consider what is ASO these days too. Metadata, creative assets and ratings & reviews can only get you so far. Now, you need to take a holistic view. This ensures brand consistency, and means you can apply learnings from one platform to another. Which can be transformative when done right.

Many companies overlook the connection between ASO and Media, not to mention the nightmare of each CMO: measuring incrementality. How many users who search for your brand terms would have installed regardless? What is the halo effect of Paid Media on organic installs? What happens if we stop spending on UA?

It’s all interlinked. Velocity of installs – often driven by Paid – impacts Organic keyword rankings. And Paid performance is often improved through higher conversion rates – which can be driven by ASO. While TikTok might seem like an overnight success story, the reality is that the company had both organic and paid execution playing in perfect harmony. And that’s what you need to do too.

So what does this mean? Your ASO plan in 2021 should include Apple Search Ads and Google App Campaigns. Your UA plan should include Metadata and Creative Optimizations. Your CRM plan should include top-funnel analysis. And if your marketing plan doesn’t have everything above, change your plan.