First and most importantly, you need to choose your battles. Not only should you target keywords that are relevant to your app, but you want to target keywords that your app has a chance of ranking for. Sure, you could be result #127 for “arcade game” but that isn’t going to bring you as much traffic as landing on the top 8 results for a less competetive yet still searched keyword. Basically, you want to look for the best ratio between possible volume of searches and how likely you are to rank highly (in the top 8).
Second, you really need to make sure to use the space that the app store gives you: Your app title (make sure you’re making things human readable and not spammy), your company name (it also counts as your keywords) and your keywords themselves. Since you get 100 characters make sure that all your keywords count and you don’t have any wasted or duplicated keywords. Avoid spaces as well.
Figuring out your keywords can easily increase the number of visits your app gets and the number of downloads, but again there is an opportunity cost in tweaking your keywords to be a little bit effective, so in the early stages of your life as an app developer you might only want to invest in tools that help you track things.
App Store SEO makes sense more in productivity/medical/business tools than it does in case of games. In case of games you basically have to position for other people’s titles to get good rankings bc. people don’t use search as a way of app discovery. This is obviously a gray (if not black) hat.
In case of useful tools you can do white hat SEO no problem – it’s things like changing the app name from “Tete a Tete” to “Love Letter Writer” that work 🙂
Here are some more ASO SEO ideas:
- Your app title will truncate after a certain character limit, but it is one of the most important signals for app ranking, so strike the right balance between putting relevant keywords in your title and keeping it short enough to read.
- Your app description isn’t even a consideration until people scroll down, and even then your text is truncated behind a “more” link after the first 1-3 lines. Again, order matters: put your hook and key selling points before the truncation point.
- Additionally, be aware that there is a so-called “7 day cliff” of visibility when a new app is launched. For 7 days, Apple will artificially boost your visibility, causing you to get more searches and downloads, but resulting in a sharp decline in visibility at the end of the boost week. Use high volume keywords during this time to leverage this opportunity.
- Try to find keywords that have as few number of apps as possible. If you rank in place #2,319, it doesn’t matter how high of search volume exists for that keyword; you’ll never see the light of day. Look for keywords where you can rank < #100.
- Do a live search for your app store keywords before you use them to ensure people using that keyword are who you want to get in front of. Look at the other apps that pop up and use their presence as a proxy for what types of apps those searchers are looking for. For example, while “goal app,” may be taken as an app to help people track their personal or professional goals, doing a simple search reveals that this is not the main intent of people looking for “goal apps.”
- Remember that having a good search:click ratio will affect your overall app rankings: optimize your keywords over time for those that you see improvements for in app rankings, and divest from those where your app rankings fall