In an effort to emphasize the importance of App Store Optimization, the Mystic Media Blog is applying its expertise into a six-part blog series on the topic. In our previous post, we gave an introduction to ASO, giving a general overview on the basics and defining the factors which impact your app’s placement in the app store. This week’s entry, part-two, will focus on the two primary factors in ASO: Title and Keywords.
The window for users to decide whether or not to download your app is increasingly short. In a generation defined by content overload, if you don’t catch the user’s eye within a matter of seconds, chances are your app will be overlooked. Even if you have an app icon that stands-out, unless you are within the first batch of search results for the keywords associated with your app, the user will likely settle before they see your app listing. ASO is about increasing the ranking of your app in search strings, and the two most important factors in ASO are title and keywords.
The title of your app, along with the app icon, is the most visible aspect to the casual user in the App Store. The App Store favors more descriptive titles. The use of keywords within your title will raise your place in the search results. Granted, your title should first and foremost be catchy, it’s also vital users get a sense of what the app does when they read the title. While the rules are different for big brands such as Grubhub and Uber, these companies worked to establish a preexisting relationship with consumers before launching their apps. If you can balance brand catchiness with keyword functionality in your title, you’ll have a winner.
Keywords are the most important factor in ASO. The keywords attached to an app make or break its SEO. Keywords are select terms or phrases attached to an app which apply to its functionality. The app stores have developers attach keywords to their apps so that when a given term is searched, apps with the keywords attached appear. It’s vital for developers to maximize and diversify their keyword offerings. Keywords like “food” or “taxi” yield a highly competitive search string, but synonyms like “grub” or “trolly” are less frequently searched, thus providing an avenue for your app to excel. The most relevant and logically searchable terms related to your app should also be keyworded. Yelp uses not only “food” and “restaurant, but also “bars”, “reviews”, “comida”, and “local”. By keywording a diverse group of terms, an app has a much greater chance of rising to the top when any of the terms are used in combination. Apptamin got it right when they said: “[It’s] better to be in the top 5 results for an average-searched keyword than in the top 100 for a highly-searched keyword.” The best avenue for an app to stand out is in a more focused group.
Determining keywords can be tricky. It requires time spent creatively analyzing the app in question as well as research. Many sites such as Searchman and AppTweak offer ASO analytics and third party consulting. There are also a number of ways to measure keyword analytics through independent research. Developers can search for a specific keyword in the app store in order to learn how many apps are targeting the term. Sensortower allows users to search for apps and find the keywords associated with each in the app store for free.
Keyword volatility is a crucial metric which measures how keyword rankings fluctuate over time. Some keyword searches yield consistent results while other results fluctuate over time. Although it takes mass amounts of data to get a truly accurate read on volatility, a simple way for developers to measure the volatility of a given keyword search is to search the term everyday for a couple of weeks and record the top ten, watching to see if the results and rankings change. While this simple method yields somewhat accurate results, a developer’s best bet is to outsource volatility tracking to a third-party SEO specialist.
Be on the look out next week for the third part of our ASO series focusing on the secondary factors in ASO, including app description, icon design, garnering better reviews and boosting your number of downloads
Finding the right title and keywords is likely the most difficult part of ASO, but also the most rewarding. If you want to save yourself some time and maximize your investment, Mystic Media’s experts are happy to assist you in your ASO, Strategic Marketing, and App Development needs. Contact us today by clicking here or by phone at 801.994.6815