If you’re going through the trouble of developing apps, of course you want them to be downloaded – that’s the whole point, right? If you want your apps to have some traction in the app store, then you need to be aware of app store keyword optimization – generally referred to as ASO (app store optimization).
So, what does that mean?
Like a website or blog post, selecting the keywords you associate with your app is a key component of ensuring that would-be downloaders can find your product in the first place. Unfortunately, most people approach this critical step all wrong…
The Biggest Lie About ASO
Unfortunately, many people buy into a big misconception about ASO, and by doing so, sacrifice a ton of traffic (and with it, plenty of money). It’s a common mistake preached by plenty of SEO and ASO gurus who don’t quite know what they’re talking about, and when up-and-comers buy into it hook, line, and sinker… They’re only hurting themselves in the long wrong.
This big lie? That you should always be shooting for the highest traffic, most popular keywords.
This mistake is understandable – people want that one BIG keyword that’s going to pull in huge traffic, but ASO just doesn’t work like that. While you may, at a glance, think that the highest search rates are going to be the best keywords for you app, the reality is that these same keywords are also commanding the fiercest competition.
Not only does higher competition mean that more apps are vying for the same traffic – it also means that you’ll likely be going up against much bigger players in the industry – who may have bigger budgets, better reputations, longer history in “the game,” and so on. It’s practically volunteering to be outgunned.
If a particular keyword is getting a million searches every month, that’s great! However, if you’re going to rank, for example, 350th in the list of apps associated with that keyword, you’re going to be so buried in the list that those million searches will likely still never see – much less download – the app you’re trying to rank with.
The Solution: The Right Keywords For You
You simply aren’t going to be able to compete with the “big dogs” out there – at least not until you become a big dog yourself. You do, however, still need to make money… but how?
The real solution is to rethink your approach to keywords. Instead of looking for that top performer, look for keywords and phrases that can be the top performer for you. You want to home in on the keywords that are actually going to earn you traffic – and even more importantly, earn you downloads.
To do this, look for “long tail” keywords that are extremely descriptive of your particular app. It can’t just be a loose, semi-accurate relationship between your app and your chosen keywords. Doing that will just disappoint your traffic – and fail to draw any downloads. When searching and testing for keywords, keep this in mind: for true ASO, your keywords need to be download relevant.
It’s critical to remember that ranking is just as important (if not more) than the most popular search terms. If you rank in the top 5 for a term with a hundred searches per month, that’s still an awful lot more visible than 350th and a million searches per month. Sure, a million searches is a TON of traffic, but your visibility is about relativity – not just volume. It’s important to look at the raw number of searches a keyword or phrase is receiving, but far too many people overlook the most important component.
When you research keywords, look beyond the traffic/search score and focus your energy on RANK.
Make sure you’re using a keyword tool like App Annie or MobileAction (or plenty of others) t0 get the most out of your ASO efforts. These tools will tell you directly where you stand to rank for a particular keyword… But you’ve still got to come up with the keywords in the first place!
Only you can know your app’s target audience, but fortunately, with these tools, you can just brainstorm keywords (particularly less common, “long tail” keywords and phrases) and run them through your ASO tools to look for a good match. Think creatively, and remember that it MUST be totally relevant to your unique app.
For an added edge, Bluecloud Solutions offers an ASO Mastery Course in Bluecloud Select. This short course is perfect if you want to dig deeper into ASO, covering far more aspects of app store optimization than just keywords. It’s available for immediate download – check it out here!
I hope your app development is going well, and that these tips help you get you get more traffic, more downloads, and a more powerful approach to ASO. See you next time!
This is so true. I used to pick trending keywords which has a lot of competition and my apps never see the top 50. So I decided to do change tactics. After optimizing for a new keyword with lower competition, my app broke the Top 10 (last I checked it was at #6 for the keyword). I used Appannie and Mobile Action which helped a lot and documented the whole thing on my site.
@Appliqo – very cool. The riches are in the niches 🙂 Just checked out your case study – great work! Keep it up.