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How Much Does App Store Optimization Cost?

by Oren Greenberg on

Are you desperate to boost your app's downloads?

It's time to stop ignoring App Store Optimization (ASO).

As essential to app promotion as a bright neon sign for a diner on a pitch-dark highway, ASO is a game-changer for visibility in cluttered app stores. However, the challenges of ASO are plenty, and the cost is more than just monetary. Even giants in their industries, like BackThen, recognize this and choose to delegate their ASO to experts like us at Kurve.

So, how do you figure out the logistics of ASO for your mobile app marketing strategy? This blog explains everything about ASO; its importance, the resources it needs, and how much it costs.


What is App Store Optimization?

At its simplest, ASO is a set of techniques to optimize mobile apps to rank higher in an app store's search results. Think of it as the SEO for your mobile app.

But let's imagine that through a real-world example. Picture a burger café in your area. It makes the best burgers around - juicy patties, perfectly melted cheese, and secret sauce that leaves you craving for more. Sounds perfect, right? Yet, the café is in a less-visited corner of town.

Without effective marketing or visibility, this café struggles to get footfall. Potential customers will flock to popular fast-food chains, unaware of this hidden gem. And that's where ASO comes in. It's about bringing your metaphorical burger café (your app) from obscurity to the bustling main street (top of app store search results).

ASO uses specific keywords, compelling descriptions of features, and eye-catching icons to attract the attention of potential users. It ensures your app is seen, downloaded, and gets the recognition it deserves. 

ASO Cost Data Points

ASO is an integral component in the overall cost structure of mobile app marketing. The expenses related to ASO can range depending on the services utilized and the scale of the operation.

Key data points include:

  • App market research: $5k - $15k
  • App beta testing: Up to $5k
  • ASO tool: $25 - $1,500/month
  • App marketing agency pricing: Up to $25k/app
  • App PR outreach: $100 - $300/hour
  • Influencer Marketing: $10k - $18k/month

These costs provide a snapshot of the potential ASO cost. However, they are subject to change based on various factors, such as market trends, agency rates, and the extent of the marketing campaign. It's crucial to keep these values updated and conduct regular market research to ensure accurate budgeting.

Functions of an ASO platform

An effective ASO platform provides a suite of necessary functionalities that can help streamline the process of optimizing an app's visibility and conversion rates.

Here are some essential functions it should have:

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  1. Keyword Research: Enables identifying high-traffic and relevant keywords, contributing to improved app visibility.
  2. Competitor Analysis: Provides insight into competitors' strategies, such as keyword usage and rankings.
  3. Rank Tracking: Monitors and tracks the app's ranking for specific keywords over time.
  4. Conversion Rate Optimization: Helps refine key elements like app title, description, screenshots, and previews to boost downloads.
  5. Review and Rating Analysis: Analyzes user feedback to understand user sentiment and areas of improvement.
  6. A/B Testing: Allows testing of different variations of the app store listing elements to determine which performs best.
  7. Localization Support: Customizing the app's listing for different geographical markets to increase global reach.
  8. User Acquisition Analytics: Measures the effectiveness of various acquisition channels to optimize marketing efforts.

Remember, only some platforms will provide all these functions. Choosing one that suits your needs is crucial.

Choosing the Right Person for ASO Efforts

Embarking on ASO is a significant step for any company aiming to expand its digital presence and reach. While it can yield substantial benefits, selecting the right person or team to drive your strategy is vital. This decision will depend on your budget, internal resources, and level of expertise.

Generally, three key options are to consider:

Choosing the Right Person for ASO Efforts

  1. In-house experts
  2. Freelancers
  3. Marketing agencies.

Let's explore each option in detail to understand the potential benefits and drawbacks.

In-house Expert

An in-house ASO expert can be a valuable addition to your team. This individual will be dedicated to your project, understanding your company's culture, goals, and customer base. They can respond quickly to changes and can collaborate with other teams.

Hiring an in-house expert can be expensive, especially considering overhead costs, benefits and ongoing training to stay updated with ASO trends.


Engaging the service of a freelancer is often a more affordable choice than an in-house expert. They bring diverse experiences and fresh insights from working with different clients. Moreover, you only pay for the work done, reducing overhead costs.

Freelancers may juggle multiple projects, affecting their availability and response times. Also, they may need access to advanced ASO tools or comprehensive industry knowledge that an agency might possess.

Marketing Agency

Collaborating with a marketing agency like Kurve could be your most advantageous option. Our expertise in mobile app marketing is built on a successful and tested process. An agency's access to a team of specialists, advanced tools, and industry-leading business practices makes it well-equipped to optimize your app's visibility and conversion.

Agencies like Kurve offer comprehensive ASO services and provide insights and strategies based on our broad experience with various clients. Though it might seem costly upfront, the value we provide the client can result in a high return on investment, making it a worthwhile choice.

App Store Optimization Costs

Understanding the costs involved in ASO is crucial to forming a budget and a sustainable and effective strategy. 

ASO isn't a one-size-fits-all venture. The associated costs can vary, influenced by factors such as the complexity of your app, competition in your niche, target markets, and more.

A comprehensive overview of ASO costs necessitates diving into the lifecycle of an app. This comprises three stages: Pre-launch, Launch and Post-launch, and User Actions. Each step bears unique cost factors and activities that influence the ASO expenses.

The pre-launch stage for app publishers involves costs linked to market research, keyword optimization, and creative assets. The launch and post-launch phases may bring costs for managing reviews, updates, and continuous optimization. At the same time, the user action stage involves costs tied to maintaining user engagement, app updates, and customer retention.

Let's dig deeper into these stages to get a more detailed understanding of the inherent costs. This knowledge will equip you to plan and divide your ASO budget, helping you optimize your app's performance in the marketplace.

App Pre-launch

The pre-launch phase marks the start of your ASO efforts. Being the initial start-up phase, it inevitably includes several financial implications.

App Pre-launch

First, market research and competitor analysis are essential elements. Hiring a professional market researcher, who charges anywhere from $50 to $200 per hour, can ensure thorough groundwork.

Creating an eye-catching icon and engaging screenshots is crucial, which might require a professional designer. Depending on their expertise and region, a designer's rates can range from $25 to $150 per hour. Moreover, a promo video, ranging from $1,000 to $5,000, significantly boosts appeal.

Perfecting your app description and title is vital. Hiring a professional writer or editor might cost you between $30 to $100 per hour.

Keyword research tools are an essential investment, with popular ones costing $40 to $100 monthly.

These costs may seem substantial. But remember that these upfront investments set the stage for effective ASO and more significant revenue in the long run.

App Launch and Post-launch

The rubber meets the road in ASO during the launch phase and post-launch period. These phases come with a spike in costs, but they also serve as a pathway to a potential surge in revenue.

The launch phase involves rigorous marketing efforts to create initial buzz. This can include costs for promotional content, such as blog posts, social media marketing, and press release releases. The price for these services can vary from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars, depending on the scope and platform used.

App Launch and Post-launch

In-app advertising is another typical expense during this period. Ads on platforms like Google AdMob or Facebook can range from $0.10 to $2.00 per click. A well-planned campaign could cost thousands but can dramatically increase visibility and user acquisition.

In the post-launch phase, the focus shifts to monitoring app performance, user retention rate, and ongoing optimization. Here, you may have recurring costs for advanced analytics tools ranging from $50 to $200 monthly. Regular updates and bug fixes are essential to keep the app fresh and functional. Hiring a developer for this role could cost around $50 to $150 per hour. 

Investing in these stages can pave the way for a healthy return on investment.

App User Actions

Investing in user actions is a crucial part of ASO strategy. Once users have your app, it's vital to encourage interactions to improve your app store ranking and promote long-term user retention.

Primarily, motivating users to review and rate your app would be best. Positive reviews can boost your ranking in app store search results, and high ratings can improve the likelihood of downloads. This might involve incentivizing users through in-app rewards or discounts, which can add to the app downloads' overall cost.

Another critical user action is app sharing. Encouraging users to share the app with friends and family can increase your user base at no extra cost. This may require investment in referral programs, which can involve offering benefits to users who successfully refer new users to your app. The prices can vary depending on the value of the incentives.

Investing in user analytics tools is necessary to track these actions. These tools, which can cost from $50 to $200 per month, provide insights into user behavior within your app, informing your strategy for boosting these valuable user actions.

App User Actions

Remember, fostering an active user community doesn't just aid in acquisition. It helps maintain user interest over time, ensuring your app remains relevant and engaging. Providing your budget for these user action strategies can enhance your ASO efforts.

Final Thoughts

Navigating the intricacies of App Store Optimization can seem daunting. But your app can reach its full potential with the right strategies and partners. We've explored the different stages of the ASO process, the costs involved, and the critical decision points in selecting your ASO team. Now, it's time for you to take the next step.

Kurve is here to simplify the process and maximize your success. With a track record of effective mobile app marketing strategies, Kurve can help you excel in the app market. For a deeper understanding of the transformations of companies we've facilitated, consider exploring our case studies that showcase our successful collaborations.

When you're ready to start your ASO journey or have further queries, don't hesitate to contact us. Let's turn your app into a market leader, setting a "Kurve" for others to follow!