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Are You Using The Right Keywords For App Store Optimization?

Promoting an app properly in the App Store can be difficult. You can find various tidbits of advice from a lot of sources about how and what you should do, but as Apple and Google do not share certain metrics there is always a bit of guesswork involved. Whenever we work with a new client looking to boost app sales one of the first things we ask is are you using the right keywords for App Store optimization?

While a few people answer with a resounding “Yes” there are a lot more, “I think so?” answers than you would like.

As with any sort of optimization, a key to success is having the use of good data to make logical choices about why you are performing any sort of action; so today we are going to delve into using the right keywords to ensure your app is properly optimized for search in the App Stores.

How do people find apps?

The primary ‘app discovery’ methods are fairly logical. By far, most people find apps when browsing in an app store. That is followed by a very solid number of people who try apps based on recommendations from friends and family.

From there things drop off a little bit with ‘top rated’ or ‘most popular’ lists in app stores pushing about 33% of downloads. Below that it is a general crapshoot with similar numbers for apps being pre-installed, social network shares, internet browsing and direct searches via a search engine.

Based on this information we can make the logical leap that having your app’s optimized properly will result in higher rankings during searches of the app store, which in turn could result in more downloads. Unfortunately your app will still be judged on things like the name, logo, total downloads, description and reviews.

But, the focus in this article is to increase optimization and thus views! Higher visibility is always good, and as long as the other aspects have been taken care of, it will lead to more traffic and downloads.

Primary App Store Optimization Factors

The various aspects of App Store Optimization (ASO) are fairly straightforward and this is listed in descending order of importance:

  • Title – Ideally your title is going to be descriptive, interesting and have a keyword that nets heavy search traffic. You want to use your most relevant keyword in the title.
  • Keywords – Relevant keywords used most often by your target audience are a key for both the title and product description and keyword searches.
  • Total Downloads – You don’t have control over this number, but it is a primary method which people use to judge your app.
  • Ratings & Reviews – This can be difficult to control, but at the very least should be worked on with responses and updates along with finding ways to incentivize users who are happy with the product to rate and review it. This will also be used to judge your app.

Are you using the Right Keywords?

Following the logic train, people primarily find apps through the use of searches in app stores. The way they will find your app is from keywords which are incorporated in multiple spots including the title, which is why using the right keywords is so vital.

The biggest problem we see with the keywords people are using is that they pick keywords based off basic web search data rather than using mobile search data.

This is an issue because most people that are looking for apps are doing it from a mobile platform and not a web based search, therefore using web based search data is going to hamper your ability to find the keywords you really want and more than likely give you keywords that don’t rank as highly as you think they do.

Web and mobile are simply not the same. There are large differences in             intent, behavior and expectations.

For example, if you search for ‘Run’ in Google Play under apps the top results are the games Run, Temple Run 2, Temple Run, Run Sackboy! Run!, and Fun Run. Nike Run and Adidas Train and Run does appear, but further down the list. On the flip side, when you search for ‘Run” on Google, you get a whole slew of other results which includes an underrated TV series from 2013.

The Bottom Line

The bottom line is that you need to recognize the data you are using, where it is coming from and what its value is before you try and utilize for optimization of any type. In the case of mobile apps, you need to utilize mobile data if you want to be sure you are using the right keywords for App Store optimization.






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