What Makes ASO Hard and How to Overcome It?


In a world where mobile apps are the heartbeat of our daily lives, getting noticed amidst the face-paced digital landscape is a challenge. As app marketers, we understand the huge importance of App Store Optimization (ASO) in driving visibility and downloads. Yet, as we all know, ASO is not a one-size-fits-all endeavor.

Two weeks ago, aix’s CSO, Minki Lee, posted a poll on LinkedIn asking “What makes ASO hard in other countries?” We’ve garnered a total of 52 votes from his mobile industry professionals connections and groups, and here’s the result:

The results of the LinkedIn poll reveal key insights into the challenges of ASO in other countries. Notably, keywords, chosen by 38% of respondents, highlight the need for proper localization and cultural resonance. Creatives, with 21% of participants, emphasize the importance of visually engaging and culturally relevant app assets like icons and screenshots. However, the most prominent challenge according to 40% of respondents, lies in understanding and adapting to diverse user behaviors. In this article, we’ll delve into strategies we can do to address these challenges. Let’s understand what makes these factors in ASO difficult and what can we do to overcome them.


What makes creatives difficult in ASO?

There are multiple reasons why creatives could be a challenging part of ASO. Visual trends are ever-changing in the fast-paced app industry. There is also adherence to guidelines which is a critical aspect, as app stores have strict rules governing the content of creatives, such as app icons and screenshots. Striking a balance between creativity and compliance can be challenging. Additionally, localization poses a unique hurdle, as creatives must effectively convey an app’s value and purpose in a culturally sensitive manner. Among the other factors of ASO, creatives are the most difficult to analyze whether effective or not unless A/B testing is done.


How to overcome difficulties in Creatives to boost your ASO performance?

First and foremost, proper research on store guidelines is a must before you start all the planning for your creatives, whether it’s guidelines for the iOS App Store or guidelines for the Android Play Store. When all is set, research and understanding your audience is an essential step. Especially when you’re trying to delve into other countries’ mobile markets, proper research about the cultural trends and appropriation is vital. ASO tools, such as ASO index, can help you make your creative analysis so much easier.

A look at ASO index’s Creative Optimization page

ASO index has a Creative Optimization feature where you can view your app’s creatives at a glance. You can easily see your competitors’ icons and screenshots on just one page as well – making your competitor analysis more convenient. Here, you can add your app in a specific country, USA, Japan, or Korea, and see what you can do better regarding app store creatives strategy.


A look at ASO index’s App Explorer page

In the ASO tool, ASO index, you can also easily explore other app’s creatives using their feature called “App Explorer.” No need to go to different app’s pages to do your app creative research. Just type in a keyword you’d like to explore creatives on, and you can view significant apps with the keyword on one page. You can find out more on how to use the ASO index tool here.



What makes keywords difficult in ASO?

Keywords are the foundation of effective App Store Optimization (ASO), but they come with their own set of challenges that require careful navigation. First and foremost, the limited character space available for keyword optimization in app store listings demands concise yet highly relevant selections. This limitation intensifies the competition among apps vying for the same keywords, making it essential to choose keywords strategically to stand out in search results. Additionally, the localization of keywords is crucial to ensure they resonate with diverse audiences in different regions, adding a layer of complexity to the process. Lastly, the quickly changing nature of the mobile app market means that keywords must adapt to changing user preferences and search trends to remain effective. 


How to overcome difficulties in Keywords for ASO success?

You have a lot of things to say about your app, but the meta keywords allowable in app stores is limited. This is why you have to be really selective about the keywords you’d want to include in your metadata. With the intense competition in the app stores, thorough keyword research is vital – especially when you’re trying to enter a market in another country. Proper localization would really help your app reach the top. You have to keep updated with keyword trends, too, as much as possible. 

This sounds like a lot of work! It is, but luckily there are ASO tools available now that could make this process a lot easier. Like in ASO index, you can easily search for keywords that you can use for your title, subtitle and description. 

A look at ASO index’s Keyword Tracking page

Here you can discover your ranked keywords and competitor’s keywords, and add them for tracking. ASO index also has Metadata Localization feature, Keyword Simulation and AI generated keyword suggestions. 


User Behaviors

What makes user behaviors difficult in ASO?

User behaviors, having 40% of the votes, indeed is a difficult aspect of App Store Optimization. One primary challenge is dealing with a diverse user base, each with its unique preferences, habits and expectations. Cultural and regional differences further complicate matters, as user behavior can vary significantly across borders, making it essential to tailor ASO strategies to local nuances. Moreover, user reviews and feedback play a vital role in shaping your app’s reputation and discoverability.


How to overcome difficulties in user behaviors to better your ASO strategies?

To handle challenges with understanding user behaviors in the market you’re trying to penetrate, continuous learning is important. You can conduct social listening to hear what your users or target users are saying about your app or similar apps. With regards to listening to your users, keeping track of your reviews is also important. 

Reviews Keyword Cloud feature of ASO index

ASO index has this keyword cloud feature that makes you discover the repeated keywords in your reviews, divided into positive and negative reviews and sized based on how frequent the keywords are mentioned. This way, you can easily see what your users are liking or disliking about your app, and move into action with this valuable insight in mind.

Proper localization is also vital to effectively bridging the gap between your app and your potential users. It would help you to hire a marketing team that can do localization for you, especially if it’s a country that speaks a totally different language that you’re trying to target. If that’s not for you, you can also make use of ASO tools to aid you with localization. 


A look in to Keyword Suggestion Powered by ChatGPT feature of ASO index

ASO index has a Metadata Localization feature, as well as a ChatGPT-powered keyword suggestion tool that easily generates relevant keywords for you with an explanation why it is significant in the country you’ve chosen to target. This is one beneficial way to understand the users in a country you’re targeting. Of course, these strategies can be more effective if backed up with A/B testing. It’s listening to your users behavior through results at its finest!



It is evident that all efforts to these three challenges – creatives, keywords, and user behavior – are crucial aspects of successful app optimization. While these challenges may seem daunting, they are by no means impossible to overcome. With dedicated research, careful analysis, and the right ASO tools at your disposal, such as ASO index, we can tackle these difficulties head-on. ASO is not just about optimizing keywords, creatives, or user behavior; it’s about adapting to a dynamic landscape and connecting with users on a global scale. By leveraging the resources and insights available, we can refine our strategies and pave the way for app success in a fast-changing digital marketplace.

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