The mobile app industry is packed with star performers and stunningly creative apps. Given the global appetite for mobile applications, it seems there is a market for every kind of app. Some of the most successful ones are not necessarily very innovative but have been executed in an extremely helpful and user-friendly way, thus earning millions of downloads.

The mobile app industry, however, is an extremely competitive space. There are more than 2 million apps on the major platforms and the industry itself generates more than $25 billion in sales. Entry barriers are high for new apps. It’s challenging enough to create an app with a novel concept and execute it flawlessly. But on top of that, apps need to be optimized for app stores if they are to be noticed. The downloads and installs you seek will only be made possible through this optimization.

Much as SEO marketing, app store marketing requires optimizing app-related content so that it can be found via relevant keyword searches within app stores. It’s a fairly straightforward concept and intuitively created content will rank higher. Users on the lookout for new apps browse the app stores as they would Google and enter keywords related to specific needs. If your app doesn’t show up in these searches, you miss out on a huge number of potential users.

To give you an example, if yours is a list-taking app, you want its content optimized for keywords such as ‘to-do,’ ‘list,’ ‘note,’ ‘reminder,’ etc. Think of the keywords a user in need of such an app would enter. That is the only way your app will show up in searches and get noticed. Ratings and reviews also have a major impact on the performance of an app. It is also helpful to know how the competition is faring and based on what keywords. It’s these little details that ultimately translate into a competitive advantage for app developers.

The various aspects related to app store optimization (ASO) could be a lot to keep track of, but luckily there are a host of tools available to help you out:

Search Man

A highly-rated and popular tool that helps you find and optimize data-driven keywords for apps within your space. You can keep a track of the search visibility of the app on a daily basis, push updates to improve search rankings and reach the relevant audience for your app.

You can sign up for free to access basic market research or pay $25 per month for access to more actionable data.

Mobile Action

This tool brings you the most active keywords in the niche of your app, tracks search rankings within the App Store and provides analyses of popular apps in the segment.

You can also obtain estimates for the number of downloads your app aggregates, track competitors and gain insights into the performance of your own app.

They have a basic analytics plan that you can try for free. Other plans that bring you audience, ASO, and marketing intelligence begin at $20 per month and go up to $99 per month. This one works only for iOS, however.

Keyword Tool

As the name suggests, this tool brings you thousands of popular and relevant keywords for app store optimization, even those that Adwords hides.

Great for keyword suggestions generation but does not offer much else. However, considering it is free, it’s worth checking out!


Another free ASO tool but greater in scope than Keyword Tool.

AppRankCorner provides marketers with keyword suggestions, tracks app ranking, provides insight into how the app is performing compared to its competitors and also keeps you updated with user reviews. This last bit is super important as users can sometimes be scathing in their feedback. These reviews tend to get noticed and might lose you potential customers if not addressed on time. It’s also a good practice for apps marketers to initially thank all users for their reviews.

App Annie

Discover millions of keywords to optimize your app. Keywords can also be set up based on the country for global optimization. Also track the keywords for your app to know its search ranking on a daily basis.

Find out what your competition is up to and learn of the keywords they use to tweak your strategy accordingly. Gain a deeper insight into how app stores (App Store and Google Play) function by understanding the relationship between keywords and apps.

There is plenty more you can do with the tool and they do let businesses start for free. To access the advanced features you will have to contact them to learn of the pricing and plans.

Sensor Tower

We have saved the priciest for the last. One of the best ASO tools in the market, Sensor Tower, is used by a number of leading brands.

Similar to the other tools mentioned in this list, Sensor Tower helps businesses improve the market visibility of their apps, check the performance of the apps and track competitors.

On top of that, it also allows businesses to review the daily downloads of their apps, follow trends within the industry and learn of the revenue estimates for both iOS and Android app space.

While you can sign up and trial for free for 14 days, all this intelligence comes at a price, and a rather steep one at that. For small businesses, plans are priced at $79 per month and $399 per month. You do, however, gain a ton of insight for your dollars spent.

As a business owner, developer, or an app marketer, you want maximum exposure for your app early on to gain momentum and optimize its chances of success.

ASO tools can help you accomplish this and much more. If you don’t quite have the budget for the paid tools, start with Keyword Tool or AppRankCorner. ASO isn’t something you should leave to chance when promoting an app in a competitive market.

Have you used any of these ASO tools or others that we missed? Please share your experiences in the comments!


Pete Peranzo

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