ASO Glossary: Comprehensive App Store Optimization Terms

Decoding the Language of App Store Domination

A/B Testing

A comparison method that allows you to test two versions of the same variable to see which one performs better and has a higher conversion rate. Users are divided into groups, and each group is shown different icons, screenshots, descriptions, titles, subheadings. The results are compared in order to determine which data option produced the best user reactions. It’s commonly used in marketing to test emails, newsletters, web pages, ad creatives and more.

Acquisition

The process of gaining new users for an app.

Additional localization

Adding an extra localization in the App Store. This additional localization enables users to view the app page in the language of their device.

Algorithm

A set of rules and calculations used by app stores to determine the ranking of apps in search results.

Android

The mobile operating system developed by Google. It allows users to run all kind of applications on their mobile devices.

ANR

App Not Responding is an important app reporting metric that represents the number of app crashes that users experience.

Apple Search Ads (ASA)

Apple’s advertising tool for promoting mobile apps in the App Store search. It allows users to bid a certain amount of money to make their ad appear as the first result when a user looks for a keyword on the app store.

Apple Search Popularity

Apple's counting system for a keyword's popularity that shows how many users use that keyword to search for an app on the App Store.

Application Programming Interface (API)

The code that enables data transmission between different software products. Developers use APIs to develop products or create interactions between different systems.

App analytics

Tools and software used to analyze app performance data, user behavior, and other metrics related to an app's success.

App category

When an app is published in the app stores, it is placed in a category that accurately describes the purpose of the app. These categories are fixed by the app store publishers like Google or Apple and group similar kinds of apps.

App long description

A metadata field for Google Play apps. It can be up to 4000 characters. The best way is to repeat keywords enough to achieve a good keyword density, showing Google which keywords are important to your app.

App page

A page in the app store that displays information about the app and allows the user to download it. It includes a title, description, icon, screenshots, rating, reviews, developer’s name, and other metadata. The goal of ASO is to optimize the fields on that page to make the app as visible as possible. Users come to this page from search results, recommendations, editorials, and top charts, or via a direct link.

App size

The app size is generally expressed in MBs. The best way is to have an app as small as possible, so that it doesn't take up too much space on the users' phone and is downloadable through cellular data. Otherwise, users might decide not to download the app.

App Store

A digital marketplace such as App Store or Google Play where users can download and install mobile applications. The App Store is Apple's app marketplace, where owners of an Apple device can browse, buy and download apps. The equivalent on Android phones is the Google Play Store, owned and operated by Google on Android devices. Both stores have their own set of rules and guidelines for app publishers who want to make their apps available on those stores.

App Store Connect

Apple's platform for managing and submitting apps to the App Store.

App Store Optimization (ASO)

The process of improving mobile app rankings in app store search results and category listings. ASO helps to improve an app’s visibility in an app store such as the App Store or Google Play. It is an important process for iOS and Android apps to improve their visibility, ranking, and downloads.

App updates

All the changes you make to your app after it has been published to the stores.

ASO audit

Procedure for evaluating the efficiency of app page optimization in a store

ASO tools

Tools to help you find relevant keywords, compose effective metadata, and analyze keyword rankings.

Attendance

Number of mobile app visitors for a certain period such as a day, month, or year

Attribution

The process to figure out the source of an app install or user acquisition.

Average Revenue Per User (ARPU)

A metric that counts the average revenue made by each user.

Benchmarks

Average scores of apps in categories on Google Play and App Store in terms of the ratio of views and clicks to installs, average conversion.

Category

The section of an app store where your app is listed, such as Finance or Games.

Category Ranking

The position of an app in an app store's category listings, based on various factors such as downloads, ratings, and reviews. The higher the app ranks, the more visible and powerful it is on the app store. Some apps don't rank at all, meaning they have very weak visibility. A high visibility is usually tied to a high amount of downloads.

Churn

The situation of a user stopping to use your app. Churn may also apply to the number of subscribers who cancel or don't renew a subscription. The higher your churn rate, the more customers stop buying from your business.

Click-Through Rate (CTR)

The percentage of users who click on your app's listing in the app store search results. It tells you what works and what doesn’t work when trying to reach your target audience.

Conversion Funnel

The steps through which a user goes from exploring an app to downloading and using it.

Conversion Rate (CR)

The percentage of users who take a desired action, such as downloading an app or making an in-app purchase, out of the total number of users who viewed the app's page.

Conversion to installs

The ratio of the number of users who installed an app to the number of users who viewed the app page.

Conversion to purchase

The percentage of app users who have downloaded it to those who have purchased its products.

Cost Per Acquisition (CPA)

The amount of money spent to acquire a new user for an app.

Cost Per Install (CPI)

The amount of money that publisher pays for a single app install.

Creatives

Visual elements that appear on a product page on the App Store or Google Play.

Custom Product Pages

Additional versions of your product page on the App Store that display to users its particular feature or content, like characters or gameplay features.

Description

The text that describes an app in its app store listing. It includes main functions, features of the app, as well as its advantages. The description is indexed, so it is advisable to include keywords that will help the user find the application.

Description Optimization

The process of optimizing an app's written description in its app store listing to improve its relevance, clarity, and persuasiveness.

Developer

The person or company that develops and publishes applications. Generally, the app's developer and publisher are the same person or company.

Diacritics

It can be superscript, subscript, or inline symbols. You can find them in French, German, Spanish and other languages.

Download

The process of users downloading and installing an app from an app store onto their mobile device.

Download Volume

An ASO metric that describes the total number of app downloads. Since an app can only be downloaded once per device, that number is not always equal to app installs, which represent the number of times an app was installed on a phone. An app can be un-installed and re-installed several times on the same device.

Engagement

The level of interaction and activity that users have with your app, such as time spent using the app or number of sessions per day.

Exact match

A keyword phrase presented in the text as unchanged form in the way users use it in search.

Globalization

The process of adapting an app to be used by a global audience, including localization of content and translation of language.

Google Analytics (GA)

Google Analytics is a free utility that allows to measure a large variety of information about traffic to their website over time. It can track success of Paid, Social, Organic and Email campaigns.

Google Play

Google Play is an official app store by Google where users can download and purchase apps.

Google Play Developer Console

The app analytics dashboard provided by Google to developers who publish an app to the Google Play Store.

Google Play Search Ads

Paying ad service provided by Google that allows companies bid on a keyword to place their ads in the first position in the results of a keyword search.

Google Play Store Install Keywords

Keywords that bring the app the most installs. The data is provided by Google and is helpful to understand your app's performance.

Icon

The logo that represents your app in the store listings and on the user’s mobile device.

Impressions

A measure of how many times an app's page has been viewed in the app store's search results or category listings.

In-App Advertising

Advertising within an app that allows developers to monetize their app.

In-App Purchase (IAP)

The process of users making purchases within an app for digital products, such as subscriptions, virtual items, or premium features

Incentivized Install

A type of app install by offering rewards or incentives to users.

Indexing

Indexing is the visibility of an app by keywords on Google Play or the App Store. When an app is indexed by a keyword, it means that the user can find it by entering this keyword into the search.

Install

Indicator that a user has downloaded an app and successfully launched it for the first time. To be installed, the app had to be previously downloaded by a user. Users can uninstall and reinstall the app several times once it's been downloaded. That’s why the number of downloads and installs can be different.

iOS

iOS is an operating system developed by Apple to support mobile apps for iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch.

Keywords

Words and phrases used to describe an app and its features. Keywords can help your app rank higher in search results. Using keywords, people can find what they need in the app store more easily. That’s why developers are attempting to embed them in metadata in order to increase the visibility of the application.

Keyword density

The number of times a keyword appears in your app's metadata, relative to the total number of words in the metadata. It's important to consider when optimizing your app's keywords on Google Play

Keyword field

The field in the App Store where the developer enters keywords that describe the app or its function. It is hidden from the users. Filling in the keywords field in App Store Connect is one of the stages of ASO optimization to improve app visibility on the App Store.

Keyword frequency

Number of users who enter a certain keyword into the app store search bar during a certain period. The higher the frequency, the more popular the keyword.

Keyword Optimization

The process of optimizing an app's keywords in its app store listing to improve its search ranking. A keyword optimization improves the choice of keywords used in an app’s metadata. It generally includes an extensive research and analysis. The final choice of which keywords to use in the app's metadata will depend on several factors like volume, relevance etc.

Keyword ranking

Position of an app in the search results for a specific keyword.

Keyword Research

ASO process of identifying and selecting relevant and effective keywords to optimize an app's app store listing for better ranking and visibility.

Keyword volume

The keyword volume of a keyword is a measure of how often the keyword is used to look for an app on the app stores. It is specific and differs from country to country, as people from different culture and language do not necessarily use the same keywords to search for the same app.

Lifetime Value (LTV)

The estimated amount of revenue generated by a user over their lifetime of using an app.

Live-Ops

Major updates, promotions and limited time events available in the app or game on Google Play.

Localization

The important ASO process of adapting an app's content, language, screenshots, videos and other elements to adapt better the needs and preferences of users in different regions and markets.

Long-tail Keywords

Longer, more specific keyword phrases used in app store listings to reach the target audience. Such keywords are less competitive and easier to rank for than shorter keywords.

Metadata

Information about your app used by app stores to determine search rankings. It can be textual or visual. Text metadata includes the title, subtitle, and keywords (App Store), short and long descriptions (Google Play), promo text, and app description. Visual metadata includes the icon, screenshots, and video previews. Monitoring and improving the app's metadata is a key aspect of ASO.

Metric

A general term for any indicator used in web analytics to evaluate the efficiency of a particular activity.

Mobile application

Software product to be used on tablets, smartphones, and portable devices.

Mobile app analytics

Tools used to track and measure an app's performance, user engagement, and other metrics.

Mockup

The sample of an unreleased app page design used to demonstrate and evaluate the style.

Monetization

Business model that enables you to receive stable revenue from an app by selling paid subscriptions and ads.

Name

The keywords in the title that affects the visibility of the application. The available name length on Google Play is 50 characters.

Native Advertising

A type of advertising that is integrated into an app store's user experience.

Negative keywords

Special types of keywords used in ASA that prevent ads from being displayed for words that are not relevant for your business.

Optimal keyword

A keyword with the best ratio of the number of users who use this query in search to the number of competitors who add it to their semantic core.

Organic traffic

The users who find and download an app without any paid promotion or advertising. This traffic comes from search results, recommendations, editorials, and top charts.

Overspamming

Mentioning a keyword in the app description too frequently in Google Play.

Personalization

Tailoring process of an app store listing to the user's interests, preferences, and behavior.

Preview Video

A short video that demonstrates an app's features in its app store listing.It has been shown to increase user conversion, especially in the Games category.

Product WebPage Optimization

A method for testing an app page in the App Store.

Product WebPage Views

Number of transitions to an app page.

Promo Text

A metadata that highlights time sensitive information or attractions in the app. It can be updated at any time and if there are sales, specials or other incentives that are time sensitive, they can be described here.

Publisher

Mobile app producer who helps with the release of an app.

Push Notifications

Messages sent to users through an app to notify them of new features, content, or promotions.

Ranking

The position of an app in an app store's search results or category listings based on factors such as downloads, ratings, and reviews. The top positions are occupied by the most relevant and reputable apps. These rankings are country and store specific, so they will be different from iOS to Android, and different from one country to another within the same store.

Rating

The average score or number of stars given to your app by users which can impact your app's search rankings. It's very helpful for new users who are considering downloading the app. Therefore, rating is an influential factor for gaining new potential users.

Rejection

Denial of an app publication by the App Store or Google Play moderators.

Release

Publication of a new version of an app on the app store.

Retargeting

A technique of advertising to users who have previously shown interest in an app.

Retention rate

The percentage of users who continue to use an app after a certain period, such as one day, one week, or one month.

Review Monitoring

The process of monitoring and responding to user reviews and feedback in an app store to improve user satisfaction and ratings.

Reviewer

The moderator from the Apple Review Team who checks apps for compliance with App Store Review Guidelines before publication. After the review, they approve or reject your publication request.

Reviews

The user generated feedback and comments that indicate the quality and popularity of an app. It is very important to monitor what users say about your app in those reviews, and to reply to them.

Scope iteration

Process of performing a set of tasks aimed at increasing the number of queries for which your app is displayed.

Screenshots

Creative visuals that shows an app’s features. The user forms an opinion about the app and how they will use it by looking at the screenshots.

Search Ads Popularity

Indicator of the Search Ads advertising tool that shows the popularity of keywords.

Search listing

The list of apps that the user sees in the results of their search.

Search result

What users see in the app store search, depending on the keywords used.

Search traffic

Installs from users who found an app using a specific keyword in the app store search. Search traffic can be organic or incentive.

Search queries

The words that users enter the app store search bar.

Search volume

The number of times a keyword is searched for in an app store.

Semantic cohort

Set of keywords united by meaning.

Semantic core

Group of keywords your app will be promoted for in search. ASO specialists embed this key list in metadata to improve the visibility of the application. By entering any of these keywords in the market search, the user will be able to find the application.

SERP

Search results page on an app store. If a user searches for a specific query, the search results page will show a list of suitable apps, starting with the most popular.

Short description

A metadata field for Google Play apps. Repeating keywords is recommended to increase chances of ranking on those keywords and the visibility of the app.

Short-tail keywords

Keywords consisting of one or two words that people use when searching. Generally, their popularity and traffic volume are higher than those of long-tail keywords.

Seasonality

The fluctuation of app downloads based on seasonal factors.

Similar apps

List of related apps based on the internal App Store and Google Play algorithms.

Social Proof

The use of social signals, such as ratings, reviews, and downloads to indicate an app's popularity and quality.

Spamming

Mentioning of a keyword too much in the app description text.

Stop words

Words that App Store ignores. Publishers should avoid using them when generating application metadata. They have no extra meaning and don't need to be added to the metadata.

Suggestions

Recommended phrases in search offered by the app store when you enter a query in the search bar. Search terms that are in the suggestions usually have more traffic.

Target Audience

The group of users an app is designed for and marketed towards.

Title

The name of an app that appears in its app store listing.

Top Charts

List of the most popular apps in a specific category. You can see the lists of paid, free and grossing apps.

User Acquisition (UA)

The process of attracting new users to your app, typically through paid advertising or organic search.

User Acquisition Cost (UAC)

The cost to acquire one new user for an app, calculated by dividing the total advertising spend by the number of new users acquired.

Uninstalls

The number of times an app is uninstalled by users.

Unique Users

Users who can be identified as unique by IP address, cookies, registration, or other parameters.

Version Update

NewPage version of an app released by the developer to add new features, fix bugs, and improve performance.

Video Preview

A short video clip that shows the app's features and functionality in action.

Visibility

The extent that potential users will see your app when they explore an app store based on its ranking and category listings. This can be improved through ASO techniques.

Visibility score

The visibility score is a score that shows the evolution of an app’s visibility on an app store, for a specific set of keywords.

Visuals

The graphics and images used in an app store listing to show the app's features and functionality. Visual ASO is the process of optimizing the visual elements of the application page such as icon, screenshots, video.

Wishlist

A feature that allows users to save an app they are interested in for future reference or download.

Zero-click searches

Searches that are answered by Google without the user needing to click through to a webpage.