How Important Is Keyword Research in ASO?

App store optimization

More than 70% of all downloads on the iOS App Store come through search. There are more than 2 million apps on iOS app store and more than 2.7 million apps on Google Play. There is high opportunity to boost your app’s download by organic search but due to fierce completion in app market we face question: How can I make my app stand out?

Internet user makes search using keywords. Hence, Keywords are very important for any website or app because keywords drive targeted traffic to your web or app. keywords are highly recommended for business app as they drive targeted customers toward your business app free of cost. Use of right keywords boosts your business’s online customer enquiry and sales.

What is keyword?

The words and phrases which are typed by internet users into search box of any search engine, website or any other platform are called keywords.

Keyword is the real identity of an app – users use keywords for searches and keywords of your app will position your app for those searches.

There are two metrics for keyword:

  • Search Volume – how often a word is searched for
  • Difficulty – how hard it is for an app to rank in the top 10 for a keyword

A keyword with high search volume but a low level of difficulty is the best keyword. The best keyword ensures that your app will get high amount of traffic with lower effort to rank in the top 10 for that keyword.

While choosing keyword for your app, you must put some time and thought into researching keywords. One needed to be very careful to select the most matching keywords regarding your app’s use.  You can start simple research using free tools online like Google Keyword Research Tool and Wordtracker. These tools help you to get insights about number of users who using certain keywords density of competition for keyword.

Some keywords get thousands of searches in a single day while others get les searches. Keyword competition is increasing day by day as every businesses tries to get referrals and traffic by specific most searched keywords. Research in keywords provides you the realistic sense of which keywords you should use for your app. keyword research also tells you how effective particular keyword will be in marketing your app online.

Key word must be relevant to your app

Keywords must be relevant to your apps. Remember that only you can decide if a keyword is relevant to your app.

To get relevant keywords for your app, ask yourself three questions:

  • What does my app do?
  • How does my app help people?
  • If I were looking for my app, which words would I search for?

Write down as many keywords and phrases as you can get from answers of above asked three questions. The list is relevant keywords for your app.

Keywords note person’s intent

When a person goes online, he has always a purpose, intent. The intent can be fact fetching, fulfilling downtime, and comparison shopping, to get info about new apps, or any other activity achievable or unachievable- online.

User intent means what the user wanted when he or she type their search.

The person literally tells the search engine what they want!

E.g. in my case, “business plan”

“Start a business plan” Or

“How to start a business plan”

Sometimes the search engine terms into search can be ambiguous and thus it has multiple intents. For example, a person who types “Asura” may want to know information about the old race Asura or he want to purchase or free download  the fight game  Asura- online.

So you should take a good care of what your app is offering and research well which intent is your app offering most likely to satisfy.

Difference between ASO and SEO

There is a vast difference between ASO and SEO. First of all SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is for Websites while ASO (App Store Optimization) is for Mobile Apps.

So isn’t it a key difference between them?

ASO is all about to get ranking for an app in app stores while SEO is all about to get ranking for website or content in search engine. This alone makes both totally separate from each others.

Though some similarities are between ASO and SEO, they are very different when the matter is getting results from them.

ASO is useful to increase rank of any individual app in app stores while SEO is manipulating search algorithm intentionally to get better rank for website or content.

In SEO you get unlimited keywords as Google can find unlimited pages.  So the opportunity of your web page found by Google is huge.

On the other hand Apps have only one listing; in ASO you have limited keywords. You have to pick vary from five to ten.

Short tail vs. Long tail Keywords

Long tail keywords are one type of keyword phrase made up of three to five words while short tail keywords are made up of just one or two words.

Long tail keywords aren’t so popular as short tail and thus tend to have less traffic.

People like to search short tail keywords than long tail keywords. Short term keywords drive more traffic so they are more desirable.

But that doesn’t mean long tail keywords aren’t useful. They have their own advantages.

Long tail keywords aren’t so popular but more targeted to specific searches and come with less competition.

Let we illustrate using one example,


“Business plan”

“Start a business”

“Business planning”

“Business planer”

“How to write a business plan”

“How to start a business”

Last two are perfect example of long tail keywords the above them are short tail or know as head term.

When a user types the exact keyword what he wants the long tail keywords make your app or product available in list at highest, not the one with short term keywords.

Though the chances of typing the long tail keywords aren’t much, as most of users are familiar with short tail keywords.  E.g. a people will just type novels instead of typing buy online English novels.

Choose keywords where you will be competitive

Never neglect your competitor. As per this phrase the best place to get inspiration on the keywords for an app are your app’s direct ASO competitors.

To get best keywords make a list of keywords used by competitive app in app store. You can use some tools for it. (Some tools are available online to get such a list.)

After making that list, pay proper attention on keywords. Most of keywords would be repeated several times in description of their apps. Now make a mantle not which is perfect for your app and which you should repeat severally in your app description.

Before using such keywords make confirm that how the other apps ranking for those keywords and how strong they are.

#of downloads and #of reviews shouldn’t ignored while choosing perfect keywords from competitors’ list.

Keyword Research

As a first step to research perfect keyword, do brainstorm to get all the possible keywords that can be related to your app.  It is better to get inspire from similar apps and look into their user reviews to get perfect keywords as we discussed in former point.

While choosing keyword keep in mind that who will need your app? What is its function? Where will users be searching for your app? What type of competitors does your app has?

These answers will help great to get perfect keywords and combination of keywords.

Continue your research till you are satisfied with your keywords.

App keyword research tools

By the above all methods I think you should have a long list of keywords.

If you aren’t satisfied wholly then you can expand your list till at least sixty to eighty possible keywords related to your app.

You can look for suggestions for keywords when adding app or you can get auto complete suggestions in the keyword table from app store.

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