Keyword optimization for app promotion in App Store (tutorial)

These days many developers and mobile app promotion specialists talk about keyword optimization in App Store.  To make it clear, ASO as a whole and SEO keyword optimization in particular is not a remedy for all promotion problems. However, it is something you can master yourself and apply, which in turn will save a bit of your marketing budget and make a positive impact on campaign.  

So let’s consider a game application; it is from Tower Defense category with realistic 3D graphics and quite complicated control featuring accelerometer and not the best gameplay.

The challenge is to optimize the keywords. For SEO keyword selection we have the following keywords: armor, turret, artillery, gunfights, minigun, arms, warfare, tactics, weapons, defence.

We suggest the next algorithm of analysis with the help of appstorerankings.net:

1. We check our keywords on appstorerankings.net in the Search Rankings directory and receive the following chart:

Traffic is the index of search queries volume. As you can see, even very popular queries have index varying between 5 and 7, some especially successful – 9. 

Difficulty shows the competition level you are going to face if choose the particular keyword. Consequently, Traffic index should be as high as possible (4 and above is optimal), while Difficulty at the lowest level. In this case your application will be shown among the first in the search.

Now let’s get back to the keywords chart. Most of the keywords have equally high competition level, but “minigun’ is an exception which we consider as a valuable finding.  The word “gunfights” features low traffic index, so let’s make it a fallback.

2.  Now we proceed to the very important and creative stage – we should gather as many keyword ideas as possible.  Think of keywords which describe our game application, spy on the competitors keywords (we can use appstorerankings.net, searchman.com/ or similar keyword optimization tools), look up synonyms, paying special attention to proper names.  In the end we should receive a long list of keywords which we will have to check for Traffic and Difficulty and select the most winning keywords from the list.

An important note: the more popular your game is (large base of active users, lots of downloads over last 30 days, and so forth), the less you can care about the Difficulty index.

As an example, we took the keyword “helicopter” from another game application from the same company.

Rank 1 indicates that if the user types in the search the word “helicopter”, a given application will appear the first among 500-800 another applications.

3. We shouldn’t forget that we have 100-character limit, so keywords are separated with comma without spaces.

4. We exclude keywords which are already mentioned in the app name (“defence” in our case), because the name is indexed as well, just like any keyword.

5. Cross out the keywords in plural form and leave only in singular (but we might opt for plural if it has more traffic). For example, we removed “s” in the keyword “gunfights” and received great result.
6. Having completed these stages we obtain a rough list of optimized keywords.

7. If needed, do website keyword optimization in all languages. This is the most challenging task because direct translation will not work. The most intricate part is the Chinese language because you can squeeze twice as many keywords.

8. Now we have to place the keywords along with the renewed application. We should wait for a month approximately and then check the results.

So that is how we have reached such astonishing visibility score on searchman.com (you have seen this image at the beginning of the article).

After 4 weeks since we renewed the application, flurry showed that the number of new users per week had grown by 50% and more. Please note, that we didn’t change description, screenshots and icon, only fixed a bug and did some other improvements.

 

 

 

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