January 15, 2024

ASO: Keyword Optimization

App Store Optimization (ASO) are tactics used to help your app appear higher in the list of apps in the Apple Store when a consumer is searching for an app. There are several tactics you can use to help boost your app ranking in the store, i.e. how far from the top of the list the app appears in the store. This article will focus on keyword optimization as there are several things to take into account when deciding what words are best to help boost your apps ranking when searched in the Apple App Store.

The Apple Store looks at the following places for keywords: the App’s Name, Subtitle, and keyword field. It also recognizes the app category, such as Health & Fitness or Business as well as the App Store Name, such as, Loyal Health & Fitness. We focus on the app name, subtitle and keyword fields which are easily updated.

The App Name and Subtitle fields are higher priority search fields, so it is vital the words used in these spaces make sense and explain the app well. There are character limits to how long the app name and subtitle can be, so be selective with the words, names, or phrases used. Another thing to note do not use the same word in both the app name and subtitle. It’s a waste of a word to have it twice, so be sure to think about naming conventions.

The keyword field for the app allows 100 characters. A comma should be used after each word but no space as it will take up more valuable characters. Same rules apply here as stated above. There’s no need to use the same word in the app name or subtitle in the keyword field. Additionally, there is no need to have a plural and singular keyword as the algorithm will apply that automatically. For example, if you use the keyword, workout, there is no need to also include the plural word, workouts, as the algorithm will automatically include it.

When deciding what keywords to use, think about what makes sense for your app. What is the app about, what is the function, what do people like about it? You can look at app reviews or your app description for initial ideas. You can also research your competitors to see what they are using and what is working as you’re in the same category and after the same like-minded consumers. Consider using a competitor app name or part of a name as a keyword to try and rank higher in the app store. You also should consider short keywords vs. long-tail keywords. Short keywords are one word keywords, such as, exercise. Long-tail keywords are multiple words in a phrase, such as, exercise coach. In the keyword field in the app profile, you should focus on single keywords but perhaps use long-tail keywords as each single word, such as exercise and coach. The algorithm will know to put that together along with coming up with other combinations as it works its magic.

Most app owners want to be in the top 10 apps ranked for a keyword, as the app is more likely to be seen by consumers as they scroll through the options of apps, based on their search in the App Store. Of course, it is tough to get into the top 10 for popular keywords as the competition is high for those 10 spots. According to Apple, it can take a minimum of two weeks to as long as 3 months to rank for a keyword. The more competitive the keyword, the longer and harder it is to get higher on the app list. A good strategy starting out could be to focus on lower ranking keywords with high search volume but low difficulty. What does that mean?

High search volume means a lot of people are using that specific word to search for apps in the store. The more people search for it, the higher the search volume is, which means it’s a popular keyword and one that should be considered for your list. The difficulty level means how hard it will be to rank for that particular keyword based on popularity and number of competitor apps. Ideally you want a high search volume and low difficulty keyword as that should be the easiest to rank for, which means more consumers will see your app which should increase impressions and app downloads. Search volume and difficulty volume can be found using an ASO Tool, such as AppRadar or Data.ai, which are fee based tools, that can help you make decisions to help drive more impressions, resulting in more downloads.

Another strategy to utilize is paid advertising in Apple Search Ads. You can run campaigns for specific keywords to get traction on the words you want the app to rank high on the app search list. You can also run a discovery campaign which is where Apple comes up with phrases that are not currently on the keyword campaign that may produce results. It’s a good idea to pair your organic keyword strategy with paid campaigns to help drive more impressions and hopefully more app downloads.

In summary, there are many ways to help get your app discovered in the Apple app store list by updating the keywords. Using relevant keywords, competitive keywords, short tail vs. long tail keywords, using an ASO tool to help your keyword search and consider paid advertising can all help you achieve your goal to get more eyes on your app.