8 Tips to Optimizing Your App Store Keywords


When you’re looking to make your app stand-out in the App Store, there’s no better (and cheaper) way of doing it than ASO. A good ASO strategy can be the difference between complete anonymity and a prominent place in the App Store search. An important part of your ASO strategy is to choose the right keywords. As Apple limits your selection to a narrow 100-character keyword field, you must be accurate and make each word count.

Here are 8 tips on how to choose the best keywords for your app:

1. Brainstorm

Before you start narrowing it down and choosing your keywords, start wide by brainstorming as many words as possible. List relevant keywords and phrases, make a huge list and write down whatever comes to mind. Use Google Adwords tools and other SEO tools such as übersuggest to find additional relevant keywords and key phrases.

2. Research

Research your competitors’ keywords and search for apps with relevant style, functionality, theme, audience, and mechanics. Read through their reviews and look for reoccurring keywords. Open a thesaurus and find synonyms and alternative words.

3. Aim for the Long-Tail

When choosing keywords, you want to have words that other people are searching for, but are not in the very crowded top-10 lists. It’s much better to have a good search result with a somewhat less popular word, than to be ranked 500th on one of the top keywords. That’s why you want to aim for the long-tail keywords – those keywords people are searching for but aren’t the most searched keywords. One way of doing so is to avoid targeting popular single word keywords and instead focusing on multi-word keywords and phrases.

4. Use Keywords in the Title

Place your strongest, most relevant keywords in the app title. It can make quite a difference as apps with keywords in the title rank on average 10.3% higher than those without.

5. Cut Connectors and Stop Words

Apple limit you to a strict 100-character space, so you shouldn’t waste that space on generic words like a, the, of, and, for, to, etc. These words make no difference in your keyword pool. Cut them out and conserve the limited space for more relevant keywords.

6. Don’t Repeat Keywords

In case some of your key phrases share the same words, for example “Clash of Kings” and “Clash of Queens”, there’s no need to repeat the same words twice – Just use a shorter list like – “clash,king,queen.

7. Use Commas, not Spaces

Many advertisers make the mistake of separating their keywords with both commas and spaces. Yet there’s no need for that as Apple’s algorithm read both commas and spaces as separators, as well as counts both as characters. It’s much better to use commas only without spaces, and conserve the space for more relevant keywords.

NO: “magic, gathering, card, mana.

YES: “magic,gathering,card,mana.

8. Don’t name your numbers 

If you want to use numbers in your keywords pool, make sure to use digits and not words. Apple’s algorithm knows to look for both “five” and “5” when you use the digit “5” in your pool.

How do you pick your best keywords to make your app shine? Let us know!

Blog post originally written for MobCo Media.