The Major Differences Between Website Optimization And Application Optimization


Both website optimization and app optimization are crucial aspects of any digital marketing strategy, but they are not the same. Their results are not the same, and neither should their approaches be.

Keywords, user searches, and organic traffic are indeed crucial for both web optimization and application optimization. However, getting your website to rank on the search engines is entirely different from getting your application to rank high up in the app stores.

Many developers continue using the optimization techniques of the websites in the apps and expect it to work well. In reality, it’s just a disaster waiting to happen. 

So, to save you from making that mistake, here are the major differences between web optimization and app optimization.

The Basic Difference In Definitions

To start with, let’s understand the basic difference in the definition of these terms. App optimization is the procedure of improving the visibility of an app in the app stores to increase organic downloads.

Apps that rank high for certain search terms have greater visibility. Such apps might even be positioned in the ‘popular apps’ section by the store because they hold on to the top position for so long.

Web optimization is completely different from this, though it also involves an optimization process. In this case, the aim is to improve the website positioning on the search engines by making the necessary updates to a website.

Using the right techniques of web optimization will increase the quality and quantity of traffic to the website via organic search engine results.

The Semantics Of Search Differ Remarkably

There is a clear distinction between a user’s search queries in the web browser versus in an app store.

So, when searching in an app store, the user:

  • Uses words that indicate the functionality of the app
  • Might search for a specific brand
  • Usually looks for an app that matches their exact needs, such as heart rate monitoring, calorie meter, and so on

On the other hand, usually in their search for a website here, a user does the following things:

  • Seeks information to know more about a topic
  • Wants to go to a particular website
  • Makes a transactional query or wants to take action in buying something

The Ranking Factors Are Not The Same

Though the aim is to rank in either app stores or search engines, the ranking factors are not the same. Even the tools and techniques used to rank are remarkably different.

For instance, you might seek help from a business like App Review to get higher organic ranks on Google Playstore through great reviews.

To give you greater clarity about the differences in ranking factors, here are some of those factors for both apps and websites.

On-Page App Ranking Factors:

  1. App title and a short description
  2. Keyword density and long description
  3. Publisher name

Off-Page App Ranking Factors:

  1. Download velocity and number of downloads
  2. Conversion, retention, and engagement rate
  3. Ratings and reviews
  4. Backlinks
  5. Crash rate

On-Page Web Ranking Factors:

  1. Relevant and high-quality content
  2. Content length and structure
  3. Meta tags and optimized URLs

Off-Page Web Ranking Factors:

  1. Backlinks and page speed
  2. Domain authority
  3. Bounce rate and click-through rate

The Differences In Key Performance Indicators

App optimization is a continuous process, just as website optimization. Successful app strategy aims at gradual improvements and careful monitoring that attempts to build a quality app as the first step.

Keyword research helps you in understanding user behavior in the app stores to uncover opportunities to increase your ranking over time.

Given below are the metrics to be used for measuring success in apps stores and search engines:

Key Performance Indicators For Apps

  1. Organic installs and downloads
  2. Conversion rate
  3. Keyword rankings and visibility
  4. Average reviews and ratings

Key Performance Indicators For Websites

  1. Conversion rate
  2. Organic sessions
  3. Keyword rankings and visibility
  4. Bounce rate
  5. Average session duration
  6. Page loading time
  7. Number of domains and backlinks

The Bottom Line

As website optimization and app optimization occur on two different ecosystems serving completely different user intents, it’s crucial to optimize the user acquisition strategy. It starts with gathering the right insights and data for finding new opportunities for keyword ranking.

Continuous monitoring of the performance of your app and researching competitors also come in handy in this regard.


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