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How to choose the keywords that get the most downloads? /ASO

You want to acquire users and generate revenue, but with more than 5.6 million mobile applications available on the App Store and Google Play Store, how do you stand out from the crowd and get noticed? Without the right keywords, it will be virtually impossible for users to find your app.

App Store Optimization (ASO) helps ensure your app ranks in the most relevant search results and increases in downloads while reducing user acquisition costs. Keyword research and optimization is the foundation of ASO, but the process can be complicated and frustrating.

Fortunately, we are here to help! In this article, find our advice on how to choose the keywords that get the most downloads.

What is App Store Optimization (ASO)?

App Store Optimization (ASO) refers to techniques that increase the visibility of a mobile application in the search results of the App Store and Google Play Store. With a good ASO strategy, your mobile app can rank higher, making it easier for target users to see you and increasing your app's organic downloads.

Although ASO is primarily focused on increasing downloads, other benefits can be gained from a brilliant ASO strategy: better awareness and visibility of the app, a greater number of reviews and comments and a Increased user engagement on the app allows you to generate more revenue.

Just like search engines that have a specific system to surface the most relevant information on the SERPs, the App Store and Google Play Store have their own algorithms to help users find the apps they need. Among the ranking tools used in an ASO strategy, keywords on the download sheet, number of downloads, user ratings and comments should be analyzed and optimized.

Keyword Research and Optimization for App Store Optimization (ASO)

Selecting the right keywords is a major element in an ASO strategy. This technique, known as Keyword Optimization or Keyword Research, is the art of researching, analyzing and selecting the best keywords to make your mobile application more visible to users.

Many app store searches include brand names. This is why users navigate through searches with specific words to meet their real needs. Searches carried out in app stores are generally shorter than those carried out on search engines and focus on certain aspects that concern the functionality of the mobile application. For example, a user might type "relaxation" when searching for a meditation app, or "sports program" for a sports app.

The 3 pillars of an effective keyword to develop download acquisition with ASO

An effective keyword is based on these 3 principles: relevance, volume and difficulty.

Keyword Relevance: In general, targeting the keyword "music" won't do you any good if your app has nothing to do with it - even if you find that music is a popular keyword on the App Store or Google Play Store. However, topics with a strong affinity to that of your application can help broaden your target audience. For example, your app might be about art and music fans might find it interesting.

Search volume: Volume refers to the number of times a specific keyword is searched. It is recommended to avoid keywords that have low volume even if they are relevant to your mobile app. You can view this metric on Apple Search Ad or Google Search Console.

Keyword Difficulty: The higher this metric, the harder it will be for your mobile app to appear in search results related to the keyword.

The key to a good ASO strategy is to choose keywords that combine these three elements, that is to say, which have high relevance and volume but a low difficulty rate.

Difference between App Store and Google Play Store for ASO

If your mobile app is available on both the App Store and Google Play Store, you can reach a wider audience and acquire more users.

However, the two platforms use different algorithms so keyword optimization is done differently. Here are the 3 sections (metadata) in which you can include your keywords:

App Name: The keywords you include in this section will have the most impact in terms of ranking and SEO. So use your main keywords in the name.

Both app stores have a 30-character limit for the app name, but the way it appears in search results is slightly different. In the Google Play Store, users only see the title and icon. The name of your mobile application must therefore be explicit. On the other hand, on the App Store, users also see subtitles and screenshots, which means you can get a little more creative with the name of the app.

Subtitle (Apple) or short description (Google): iOS apps require a subtitle of up to 30 characters, which appears in search results below the app name and screenshots. Some like to include their slogans. Others prefer to add as many relevant keywords as possible.

As for Android applications, a brief description of up to 80 characters is allowed but this does not appear in the search results. Users can only see it when they click on the download card below the screenshots. This is the second most useful keyword box on the platform and is essentially an overview of the long description.

List of keywords (Apple) or long description (Google): The App Store allows a list of 100 characters in which you can specify the keywords of your choice. This information is invisible to users, but it will be indexed by the algorithm and is an essential factor for ranking.

When it comes to the Google Play Store, the long description is the third most important keyword section and offers up to 4,000 characters to promote your mobile app and include relevant keywords. Be careful not to stuff your text with so many keywords that it no longer reads naturally.

3 Steps to Conducting ASO Keyword Research

Brainstorm: Create a list with as many keywords as possible based on the characteristics of your mobile application and the terms used in your specialty such as the category of your application, its functions or its unique selling points. Check the descriptions and reviews of similar apps to identify the keywords and term combinations they use.

Your list should include single-word keywords and long-tail keywords (more specific terms, usually made up of just a few words). You can also try multiple combinations with different keywords, exploring synonyms and different spellings to account for how people talk about their problems or search for solutions.

Analyze the competition: It is important to find a balance between keyword search volume and competition. It may seem beneficial to you to have generic, short keywords with high search volume, but the competition for these keywords is also usually high, and if there are many applications similar to yours, it is easy for your app to be ranked lower. This analysis will reveal relevant keywords that your competitors are not targeting, allowing your app to potentially reach the top search results.

Localize your target audience: If you are targeting an international audience, do keyword research for each country, as users in different countries may talk about their problems or look for solutions differently. It is therefore not recommended to blindly translate your keywords.

Keywords and App Store Optimization (ASO): What to Remember

  • ASO helps you increase organic downloads while boosting your mobile app visibility and reducing user acquisition costs.

  • ASO keyword optimization helps the App Store and Google Play Store algorithms understand what your app does so you can appear in the top search results and drive high-quality organic traffic.

  • Although keywords are an important ranking factor in both app stores, the algorithms work differently and require different optimization strategies.

  • ASO is complex and it's best to approach it methodically: brainstorm, analyze the competition, and locate your target audience.

Need advice or support to develop your business?

SMEs or large groups, whether you operate in the banking, insurance, retail, start-up, health sectors, etc.

The AppASO agency located in Paris in the Opéra district (75009) supports you in your ASO, App Growth, or download acquisition strategies.

App ASO has built its reputation on SEO and promotion of mobile applications through its SEO strategy and ASO strategy. Our method? Optimize the visibility of your application, enhance your store profile with powerful visuals to increase consumer engagement in downloading your application and build a tailor-made media acquisition and/or app acquisition campaign.

We offer training tailored to the needs of your business.

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