ASO vs SEO: Similarities and Differences

By using the same optimization strategy for your website and mobile app, you risk coming across many pitfalls. This is because the search engine and application marketplace are completely different environments with different algorithms and requirements. That’s why the widespread belief that ASO is SEO for apps is quite incorrect.

What is the underlying difference between these two optimization methods? Read further. Meanwhile, it is also essential to know how to make a landing page that is highly converting.

What Are ASO and SEO?

SEO means search engine optimization with the purpose of advancing a website up in search engine results. This is also the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to a website when users search for information or content on the web using web searches. Ultimately, SEO is all about traffic.

ASO or app search optimization deals with improving an app’s ranking in Google or App Store search results. It is the process of optimizing a game or application in order to increase its overall conversion rate. And here, maximizing the number of downloads plays a primary role.

ASO vs SEO: Comparing the Two

The key goal of optimization is to raise brand awareness and help potential users more easily find your site or application. But while ASO and SEO strategies do this by using search engine keywords, their essential marketing tools are different.

Look at the similarities and differences between ASO and SEO in a table based on the major criteria.

Capabilities ASO for apps SEO for websites
Soft launch

(introduction of products for a limited audience/market segment)

Yes No
Soft launch checks App performance overall Technical issues
Critical time (when to measure results) From the start of optimization A few months past, after there is enough traffic to evaluate the efficiency of optimization
Decision making about the strategy Initial first weeks Up to 6 months
Search traffic Yes Yes
Grace period

(can a new product be pushed by Google/Apple in order to increase its visibility?)

Yes No
Category rankings Yes No
Browse traffic Yes No
Downloads/clicks improve rankings Yes Secondary ranking factor
Content creation (e.g., blog) No Yes
Searcher intent Specific or new apps that tackle particular needs Search for the required information, range of products and/or services on specialized websites


The core difference in the aims of SEO and ASO is that search engines offer organized access to a web that contains an endless amount of content. This is why many Internet searches are in the form of a specific question. For example, how-to articles or app editorials are very common. So, the search result is a specific material that can be consulted but not an application that can be used.

In comparison, users come to application stores to solve a specific problem. This is why search terms must include the app’s name or description of some feature/benefit. For example, a news reader, puzzle, or business account tracking application.

Although the fundamentals of the optimization process are similar, you will need different tools and metrics to build your strategy.

To increase the number of app installs organically, you need to find ways to present your product to exactly the people who might need it. The same can be said for increasing website traffic with SEO Agency. Unlike outbound marketing, SEO and ASO are not based on paid ads but brand awareness and keyword research. It is also worth considering the differences between App Store optimization and Google Play optimization, which are related to the peculiarities of the stores.

How to Use Both Strategies Effectively?

Both SEO and ASO search optimization have a common goal. You can use app SEO in addition to your ASO campaigns if you want to increase the marketing effectiveness and performance of your app. Both strategies do not compete but complement each other.

Ultimately, the value of both SEO and ASO is determined by how they drive conversions. SEO for app stores uses the existing keyword search volume and is therefore limited by it. No matter how you analyze the keywords, the number of searches for the phrases “fitness tracker” or “phone cleaning” will remain the same.

In turn, the ASO method includes a set of tests that can be performed to increase conversions and the number of downloads in proportion to how much is spent on marketing. As a result, both the “throat” of the marketing funnel (that is, the visibility of the application) and its “tail” (conversion) will increase.


There is no doubt that both SEO and ASO are great ways to increase your products’ visibility. While ASO and SEO have a lot in common, they are two different methods with different stages and goals. If you are using ASO and SEO, you need to understand the difference between the two in order to create effective strategies and measure their success. Both are important, and both should be part of your digital marketing strategy.