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ASO vs SEO: What’s the Difference?

app store icon

In digital marketing, keeping up with the latest strategies is key to staying ahead of the fierce and ever-increasing competition. And for those with both apps and websites, two of the most key tactics are App Store Optimization (ASO) and Search Engine Optimization (SEO). While they might seem similar, they cater to different platforms and user behaviours, so let’s dive into the differences between them, how they work, and why they matter for your digital strategy.

What is ASO?

App Store Optimisation, or ASO, is all about making your app more visible in app stores like the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The main goal here is to boost your app’s downloads and user engagement by tweaking various elements in your app store listing.

Components of ASO

Keyword Optimisation

Just like with websites, keyword research is key for ASO.; you need to figure out what terms potential users are searching for and weave those keywords into your app title, description, and tags to make your app easier to find. The right keywords can make a huge difference in how easily users can discover your app.

App Title and Description

Your app’s title and description are also your first impressions, and a catchy, keyword-rich title can grab attention, while a well-crafted description can entice users to download. It’s about balancing being informative and engaging; your title should be short and snappy, while your description should clearly explain what your app does and why it’s useful.

App Ratings and Reviews

Ratings and reviews can make or break your app; positive reviews and high ratings boost your app’s credibility and ranking, so encouraging happy users to leave reviews and quickly addressing any negative feedback can significantly impact your app’s success. Engaging with your users in the review section can also show that you care about their experience and are willing to make improvements and update your app regularly for the user experience.

What is SEO?

Now onto SEO! Search Engine Optimisation, or SEO, focuses on making your website more visible on search engines like Google, Bing, or Yahoo. The goal is to drive organic traffic to your site, engage users, and increase conversions, and SEO does this via a mix of on-page, off-page, and technical strategies to improve your site’s ranking in search results.

Components of SEO

On-Page Optimisation

On-page SEO is about tweaking the content and structure of your website pages. This includes using relevant keywords in your meta tags, headings, and content, and ensuring your site is user-friendly with high-quality content and a responsive design. Good on-page SEO makes your site more attractive to both users and search engines.

Off-Page Optimization

Off-page SEO involves actions taken outside of your website to impact its rankings. This primarily means building backlinks from reputable sites, which can boost your site’s authority and trustworthiness, although social media marketing and influencer outreach can also contribute to off-page SEO by increasing your site’s exposure and credibility.

Technical SEO

Technical SEO ensures that your website is set up in a way that search engines can easily crawl and index it, i.e. its site speed, mobile-friendliness, and implementing structured data markup, which makes it easier for search engines to understand and rank your site.

Key Differences Between ASO and SEO

digital concept of SEO

Focus and Platform

While ASO is all about getting your app noticed in app stores, SEO is focused on improving your website’s visibility on search engines; and although each requires a different approach, tailored to the specific platform’s algorithms and user behaviours – the emphasis on eye-catching copy remains a shared objective.

Keywords and Metadata

For ASO, keyword optimisation centres around app titles, descriptions, and tags, while for SEO, techniques tend to involve using keywords in website content, meta tags, headings, and URLs to climb the search engine rankings. The way keywords are used and their importance differ between ASO and SEO.

User Behavior and Conversion

Finally, user behaviour varies significantly between ASO and SEO; app users are often looking for a quick solution or entertainment, leading to higher conversion rates from visibility to downloads. Website users might be seeking more detailed information, resulting in longer conversion funnels in SEO. Understanding these differences can help you tailor your strategies to better meet user expectations.

ASO Strategies

To excel in ASO:

  • Conduct thorough keyword research specific to app stores.
  • Create compelling app titles and descriptions.
  • Encourage positive user reviews and promptly address negative feedback.
  • Regularly update your app to improve performance and user experience.

We can’t stress this enough: keyword research is foundational in ASO. Understanding what terms potential users search for and incorporating those into your app’s metadata can significantly enhance visibility.

SEO Strategies

For successful SEO:

  • Perform comprehensive keyword research to understand search intent.
  • Optimise on-page elements, including meta tags, headings, and content.
  • Build high-quality backlinks from authoritative websites.
  • Enhance technical aspects like site speed, mobile optimization, and structured data.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, while two different concepts, both ASO and SEO are essential for maximising your digital presence, whether you’re an app owner or the owner of an online ecommerce store. And if you’re looking for targeted strategies to boost visibility, user engagement, and conversions, why not partner with us at Clickslice, aka the best SEO agency in Bath? (If we do say so ourselves!)

Whether you’re looking to increase app downloads or drive more traffic to your website, we can implement our most effective strategies and have you well on your way to dominating your niche – book a discovery call today to find out how!

Article by:

Joshua George is the founder of ClickSlice, an SEO Agency based in London, UK.

He has eight years of experience as an SEO Consultant and was recently hired by the UK government for SEO training. Joshua also owns the best-selling SEO course on Udemy, and has taught SEO to over 100,000 students.

His work has been featured in Forbes, Entrepreneur, AgencyAnalytics, Wix and lots more other reputable publications.