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Ep 165: ASO hacks for increasing app downloads

Simon Thillay is the Head of App Store Optimization (ASO) at AppTweak, a platform that helps app businesses to rank higher and advertise effectively within app stores. In this episode, he shares how his team helped SoundCloud nearly double the conversion rates of an Apple Search Ad campaign and decrease its CPI by 40 percent. You can also learn more about why Simon is excited about Europe’s Digital Markets Act.

Simon is the co-author of the book, Advanced App Store Optimization. He is based in Brussels, Belgium where AppTweak is headquartered.

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Questions Simon Answered in this Episode:

  • What does ASO mean today and what are you doing on a day-to-day basis?
  • What do custom product pages entail?
  • How much do you entrench yourself within the app to find key differentiators from competitors?
  • How do you hold your team accountable for staying on top of emerging trends and developing new tactics?
  • How do you stay motivated with ASO? Do you see yourself venturing into other parts of mobile marketing?
  • How do you stay ahead of the curve with user motivation and what is the best strategy for different advertisers?
  • What changes do you foresee that get you excited?


  • 1:10 Simon’s background
  • 3:09 Brief History of ASO
  • 4:48 Custom product pages
  • 7:30 SoundCloud case study
  • 11:12 Identifying your app’s differentiator
  • 13:52 ASO community & the ASO bible
  • 18:30 A/B/B testing
  • 25:00 Why ASO is essential
  • 27:05 Staying ahead of the curve
  • 28:00 Europe’s Digital Market Acts


(10:20-10:43) “We were already bidding on the competitor’s branded terms. It’s when we realized that users were telling us what we should basically advertise when going after competitors that we said, ‘Okay, let’s make something new and see how it performs.’ And indeed, when people tell you your app is great at something, it’s usually a good thing to show it in the app store.”

(12:20-12:31) “User reviews are a gold mine, but it’s just like searching for gold. Everyone tells you that you should do it, but it takes a lot of time to find the actual nuggets.”

(24:59-25:13) “The one thing that makes ASO essential in my opinion is that no matter where you start hearing about an app, you still have to go to an app store to download it.”