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PG Connects London: the evolution of ASO in 2022

AppTweak head of ASO Simon Thillay talks the avenues ASO may take in 2022 and onwards
PG Connects London: the evolution of ASO in 2022

App marketplaces are constantly evolving and as they grow store competition has become much more fierce.

Speaking at PG Connects London 2022, AppTweak head of ASO Simon Thillay discussed the essentials of app growth in 2022 and the challenges that mobile marketers face.

Due to the competitive nature of the app marketplaces it is likely that once the App Store implements a feature then the Play Store will follow suit, and vice verse.

Thillay outlined how Apple is striving to make its App Store a place for people to discover apps rather than just using it as a platform to download apps they have discovered elsewhere.

With many developers now exploring other app marketplace options this is one way that Apple is aiming to maintain the dominance of its platform.

Thillay stated that Google has been "more varied" but there is still a trend of mixing UA - paid and organic - to make more competitive challenges.

With Apple’s iOS 15 update there were three big changes: in-app events, product page optimisation, and custom product pages; although not all arrived at launch.

In-app events provide a focus on developers, rather than just final consumers, and allow the developers to promote their products, such as through in-app events. Product page optimisations give an option for AB testing, whereas custom product pages allow the segmentation of traffic to the store rather than a "one page fits all" approach.

Rather than AB testing, Thillay recommended ABB testing. Thillay explained that running two 'B' tests allows the comparison of both tests to see if the results are the same. Although you can be confident if they are similar, Thillay stated that more often than not you can see important gaps and this makes the results harder to trust.

Thillay predicts that there will be further changes in Apple Search Ads, such as targeting lapse, active, or new users. As ASO isn’t really reliant on user behaviour tracking the data that is obtained is not affected by privacy challenges faced elsewhere.

There is the possibility of seeing different things within custom store listings. Currently, app marketplaces only allow you to set different versions for different countries that share the same language, but in 2020, Google announced a custom detailed page that would allow the customisation of the in-store app landing page.

Thillay expects that we will likely see this implemented this year, however, he did note that Google has not communicated its intentions surrounding this for a while.

Thillay also mentioned the (almost inevitable) possibility of a new search user interface for the Play Store that allows screenshots in the search results. Apptweak has already noticed the presence of this feature in the Japanese and Korean versions of the store and expects that a wider rollout will be soon to come.