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App Store Optimization Keywords (ASO)

As we mentioned in the main App Store Optimization article, there are many elements that are taken into consideration when putting together and App Store Optimization plan. However, App Store Optimization Keywords are surely the most important since they factor in much more than any other aspect of the metadata and media associated with your mobile application.

App Store Optimization Keywords are limited by Apple for obvious reasons: developers and app owners need to be specific about who is their target demographic to ensure (for what’s possible) relevant results within searches.

To make sure your App Store Optimization Keywords are perfect, I usually ask my client these simple questions as a starting point:

App-Store-Optimization-KeywordsHow do people search for your app?

This needs to be the very first step when it comes to App Store Optimization Keywords since it forces the client to identify and define their target demographic. Ask people you know “how” they’d search for your app, you’ll be surely surprised by your findings. This question also addresses the issue of brand identity and user perception. For example, will a mobile app user search for descriptive terms (ie alarm clock) or go straight for the brand name? Obviously having a strong brand (which is the result of many years of marketing efforts on other channels) will make things easier but a common pitfall is “noise” in the App Store (ie other apps using the brand name to piggy back).

What keywords do competitors use?

This is something you will not know for sure but there are ways to have a good idea. The App Store Optimization Keywords used by competitors can be found by “poking around” the App Store and see when the competitor apps appear in the results. Lately, there also have been new tools, such as Straply which I really like, that do most of the work. Obviously the results still require human assessment before being used but it’s a good starting point for who’s not an expert (yet).

Are there any new keywords to include?

App Store Optimization Keywords are always a work in progress. Anything you do takes time to show its effects but it doesn’t mean you do it once and then just leave it there. Since the quantity of keywords is limited by Apple, you will always be trying different combinations whenever you have the chance to update your app. If you release an app update without tweaking your App Store Optimization Keywords you missing out! 

Are you using all the characters available?

Apple limits the available App Store Optimization Keywords and therefore forces everyone to make the best out of them. In order to squeeze all the organic discovery and ranking juice you can get, you should avoid spaces (only use a comma “,” to separate keywords), avoid plurals (Apple, like Google, implements machine learning which automatically accounts for similar terms or misspelled terms) and don’t waste precious characters using vague/broad terms such as “game”, “free”, “best” etc. Lately, many would also advise to avoid repeating keywords found in the name of your app since they already count as App Store Optimization Keywords.

 

These are my first steps when educating people about App Store Optimization Keywords. Feel free to reach out to me if you wish to further discuss!

You can also take a peek at my own App Store Optimization Keywords Tool.

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