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Debora Paladino,

Creative Lead,

Admiral Media,

Mar 28, 2023

ASO Competitive Research and Analysis: A Step-by-Step Guide

Before knowing the term ASO Competitive research and analysis, we must first understand what is “App Store Optimization or ASO”. And why it is necessary. ASO refers to improving the visibility of an app in an app store by using the SEO approach. E.g. using optimized keywords that are most widely searched. Enhancing the app’s graphics, and icons, and improving the app metadata and description. Moving on to the next question why ASO is necessary? In Google Play Store where 3,739 apps are launched every day and 889 apps are launched daily in the iOS store which is quite a huge number. In a rush of thousands of new apps available, it becomes quite difficult to attract the attention of a huge audience toward your newly built app. So, proper optimization is quite necessary to make an organic presence of your app. And to get to the top of the charts.

ASO Competitive Research and Analysis

ASO competitive research and analysis refers to the process of assessing all the apps that are analogous to your app in terms of function, features, or audience. In a glut of apps, it is really a difficult task to make your space available. Therefore, it is preferable to evaluate all the features of the top-rated or top-performing app so that you may get to know what features or changes are needed for the proper optimization of your app. There are two aspects in which the ASO competitive research and analysis can be performed. One is that you evaluate all the similar apps and come up with the key feature e.g keywords, graphics, icons, or descriptions that helped the app to get ranked or get a higher conversion rate. The other approach is to analyze all the features of the top-ranked apps. And enlist the features that are missing in these apps and develop your app which will help you to stand out of crowd. Either you use the first or second approach, but you have to accept that ASO competitive analysis is a necessary evil.

Main Objectives of ASO Analysis

The goals of ASO are quite clear and obvious. The main goal of app optimization is to get a higher conversion rate.

To get Ranked

App optimization is performed to increase the visibility of the app which can only be done by getting to the top of the table. As the top ten ranked sites are visited by the most audience similarly the top-ranked app is the one that attracts the attention of a large no. of people.

Increasing the no. of Downloads

As the visibility of your app increases naturally, the conversion rate will get better. Besides increasing the visibility of your app the other major goal is to increase the no. of downloads. Which is an indicator of success.

Step-by-Step Guide to ASO Analysis

Although ASO analysis and research is a breathtaking process. But here we will provide you with a step-by-step guide to how to perform this analysis to get the maximum outcome.

Select the right category and Subcategory

The first and foremost thing is that the apps you select for the competitor’s analysis must be relevant to your category and subcategory so that you may rightly assess all the facts and features that are needed for the optimization of your app. For instance, some apps may use a keyword similar to your app but the intent may be entirely different from your app. One app may be informational and another may be commercial, in this case, it is futile to assess the features of that app. Therefore, it is necessary to select the competitor’s app with the relevant category and subcategory to get the desired outcome.

Select a Standard or Benchmark

Before going into further analysis, select a benchmark or exemplary app whose features you want to follow and then perform a complete analysis of the app including its keywords, screenshots, description, and other factors. Sometimes there are also brand apps whose popularity is not just because of the app but the brand itself is the reason for their high conversion rate. So, such apps are not considered a benchmark.

Competitive Analysis of Relevant Top Apps

After identifying your direct competitors (probably the top 10 competitors), now thoroughly examine your competitive apps. It involves analyzing competing apps in the same category or niche to understand how they are optimized for the app store. This includes examining their titles, descriptions, screenshots, and other metadata to identify areas for improvement in your own app. From text optimization to the ratings and reviews compare each and every single detail of the competing apps with your own mobile app.

Keywords Research Analysis

The most important thing in app stores is the term that the audience is searching for i.e. keyword. Choosing the right keyword is the most crucial step in determining the success of your app. Analyze all the competitor’s apps in terms of the keywords that they use in their title, metadata, or description. Keyword optimization is the most important ranking factor. As there is no statistical data from the app store that provide the keyword search density. So, after analyzing all the competitor’s apps, make a list of all the relevant keywords and then use the most effective keywords in your App Title and description. Never use poor keywords in your app title or description. Some users use the exact search terms and if your app’s title/description has these keywords, and the app meets the criteria of the user there are 90% chance of a conversion.

App Metadata Analysis

App metadata is the short description of what your app is made for or the services or features it provides. Thoroughly examine the metadata of the competing apps that what words are included in their description then compare them with the metadata of your app. Make sure that the metadata of your app is overlapping with the keywords that you use in the title of your app and clearly the purpose and intent of your app. For example, when someone searches for a keyword and reads a fine detail of the app in the app’s metadata will automatically increase the ‘tap through rate’. Hence, always be clear and concise in writing the metadata of your app.

Graphical Analysis of the App Product Page

The graphical illustration is another critical factor in the conversion of an app. App’s graphics include icons, screenshots, videos, and banner promos in some cases. Icons are the specialty of an app that attracts the attention of potential users. While comparing your app’s icons with the competing app be certain that your app’s color doesn’t blend with the competitors. Your icons must always be unique, compelling, and clear which leaves a lasting impression on the user’s mind. The other important graphics include the screenshot, which must have a complete description of how to use the app. Because most of the users don’t read a complete long description of an app. They simply see the screenshots and if they found them easy and helpful they swiftly click the download button. Some apps also have a video uploaded with their app that explains the basic features of an app. As most of the users don’t watch the entire video, they only watch the first 7-15 seconds of the video. So, all the necessary detail should be embedded in the early seconds of the app. And try to keep as much shorter as possible.

Analysis of User’s Reviews and Ratings

While performing the competitor’s analysis, never neglect the ratings and reviews given by the users. The audience mostly praises the feature they like the most. So it will help you in collecting the good feature or the features that helped those apps to get ranked. In contrast, some apps get the most downloads but have negative reviews. Because they fail to provide the users with what they promised. This will help you to know the shortcoming of these apps. And you will be able to fulfill them in your app. This will be your unique selling point which helps you get ranked and get a better conversion rate.

App Performance Analysis

It involves monitoring app performance metrics of the competing apps. Such as downloads, installs, and user engagement to the impact of ASO efforts and make further optimizations. After comparing each performance factor, compare it with your app. E.g. the position of your app, the no. of downloads your app gets, and make all the necessary changes.

Perform A/B Testing

After enlisting all the necessary changes in your app make an A and B set of the app. Use one set of features in the A-type. And the other set in the B-type and analyze which set performs better. Conducting A/B testing will evaluate the impact of various changes to the app’s metadata and other elements. This includes testing different title and description variations, screenshots, and other elements to identify which versions perform best. This will help you to get the best possible version of your app. Which will greatly enhance the overall ranking and no. of downloads i.e. conversion rate of your mobile app.


Summing up the above discussion saying this will not be wrong that an app launched without proper optimization and ASO competitive research and analysis will be seemingly endless and futile. While an app whose proper optimization is done after a thorough research and analysis of the competing app will perform better and bring 10x superior results. So, it should be considered mandatory to perform the competitive and comparative analysis of your app with the competing apps to achieve the targeted results.

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