An Effective Guide on Mobile App Keyword Research

Keyword research is the first step to a successful mobile app marketing strategy.

Once you identify the best keywords to target, you’ll be able to optimize your campaigns with words that are relevant to your target audience. With keyword research, you ensure that you’re focusing your app store optimization efforts on keywords your audience is searching for. Mobile App Keyword Research is the process of identifying keywords that best describe your game or app and matches users’ search queries.

App store optimization begins with effective keyword research. You need to know the keywords your audience is searching for to optimize your app with the right keywords. This guide will teach you how to find profitable keywords that will boost your app store optimization efforts and drive app downloads. 

What Is App Store Optimization? 

App Store Optimization is the practice of improving the visibility of your app or game in app stores to increase organic downloads. Apps and games are more visible when they rank high for relevant search queries and maintain a high position in the top charts. App Store for iOS and Google Play Store for Android are the most popular app stores.

Keywords are an essential ranking factor in App Stores. Optimizing your app’s title and description with relevant keywords can improve app ranking and downloads. Additionally, on Apple App Store, you can enter the keywords you want to rank for in the designated keyword field provided. This is why you must carefully select relevant keywords.

What Is Mobile App Keyword Research?

Keyword research is the process of discovering the phrases your audience is typing into the search box to find apps and games like yours. And then optimizing your app or game accordingly so that it can appear on top of search results when someone searches that term.

Keyword research is the first action step before launching an app or game in app stores. It is not a one-time thing but an ongoing process to ensure you’re keeping your app or video game relevant in the search results. If your mobile apps or game downloads aren’t hitting the intended volume, keyword research can be the key to success. 

How to Conduct Mobile App Keyword Research

1. Brainstorm

Think of terms that best describe your app or game. These terms may describe the app type, category, features, functions, or problems the app solves. Write down all possible keywords you can think of. You may check your competitors’ apps for ideas. 

By answering the questions below, you put yourself in the shoes of people searching for your app and game. This way, you’ll better understand what keywords people would use to search for your app or game. 

  • Who will search for your app or game?
  • What problems does it solve, and what advantages does it offer users?
  • What are the key features of the app or game?
  • What terms do people use to describe the features of your game or the services your app offers?
  • What makes the game or app unique?

Define your buyer persona to understand the needs of your ideal customers better. This will help you identify keywords that appeal to their specific desires better. 

2. Expand Your Keyword List

Expand on the keywords you came up with during the brainstorming process. Your list should include short-tail keywords, variations of the short-tail keywords, and long-tail keywords. Take the keyword “exercise” for example. Long-tail keywords may include “exercise app for women at home” and “free exercise app for flat tummy.”

You may also include synonyms of the keyword or a combination of different keywords. For example, synonyms for “exercise” are “workout,” “routine,” and “training.” Also, include variations and spellings of a keyword. For example, for the keyword “workout,” a user might search for “workouts” or “work out.”

3. Search For Competitors’ Keywords

Your competitors’ apps and games can be a great source of keyword ideas. Identify your top-performing competitors and see which keywords they use in their app titles and descriptions. You may also check their ratings and reviews to identify any relevant keywords.

4. Analyze Keywords

Now that you have a comprehensive list of possible keywords for your app or game, analyze and prioritize keywords that fit your goals. You must know what keywords are most relevant for your app and which have the highest search volume and competition.

Consider the following when deciding which keyword is most suitable for your app or game.

– Search Volume

Search volume means the number of searches for a particular keyword within a given timeframe, usually a month. Search volume reflects the popularity of a keyword. A high search volume keyword has a high traffic potential but is more competitive. Ranking for high-search volume keywords can be challenging, especially if you’re a new app marketer. You’ll be competing with bigger, more-established app marketers who have greater chances of hitting the top spots of search results. 

Low-search volume keywords receive fewer monthly searches, but are less competitive, have low traffic potential, and are easier to rank for. It’s important to target keywords with real search volume. You’ll have no chance of driving conversions if no one searches for your target keywords. However, you’ll face much competition if you’re only targeting keywords with high search volume. 

– Keyword Difficulty/Competition

Keyword difficulty estimates how hard it would be to rank in search results for a particular keyword. A high difficulty score means much competition is associated with the keyword. Ranking for such keywords would require a lot of time and effort.

The key is finding a balance. Your goal should be to find keywords with moderately high-search volume but low competition. Avoid keywords with extremely high-search volumes, as you might have trouble ranking for them. 

Use a combination of mid and long-tail keywords with high traffic potential but less competition. For example, the generic keyword “workout” has a high difficulty score and might not be a good choice. But the long-tail keyword “free workout apps for women” is a better choice. It has moderately high traffic potential and is less competitive.

woman holding silver iPhone 6 in front of silver iMac laptop
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Free Mobile App Keyword Research Tools 

1. Google Autocomplete

Google Autocomplete is a great source of keyword suggestions. Since people may search for apps on Google, you can find the search terms people use to search for apps like yours.

Start typing a search term related to your app, and you’ll see search terms related to your keyword.

2. App Store Suggest

The App Store Suggest feature is a goldmine for mobile app keyword research. You can find topics and keywords that could drive organic downloads. It works similarly to Google Autocomplete.

Begin typing a keyword into the search box, and you’ll see a list of similar terms. Perform a quick search on the keywords to see top performers, and check the keywords they use.

3. Keyword Tool

Keyword Tool allows you to conduct basic keyword research for Google Play App Store. It uses the app store autocomplete feature to generate keywords based on your search term. It appends your keyword with different numbers and letters and then provides hundreds of keywords pulled from the Google Play search suggest function. 

Enter a keyword, and you’ll get a list of relevant high-traffic keywords that’ll drive organic app downloads.

Optimizing Your App Store Listings With Keywords

Now that you have a list of relevant high-traffic keywords, you can use them to optimize your mobile app listing. This ensures that your app appears at the top of search results for relevant queries.

1. Apple App Store

  • App Title: The app title is an important area to include your keyword. The App store algorithm ranks listings based on relevance, so include your best keyword choices here.
  • Subtitle: The second most crucial keyword area is the App Store subtitle. Ensure that you use as many relevant keywords as possible in this section.
  • Keyword Field: Apple App store contains a keyword field where you can enter the keywords you want to rank for. It is invisible to Apple Store users but will be indexed by the algorithm.

2. Google Play Store

  • App Title: The app title is an important area in the Google Play Store where you should include your keyword. Include your top keyword choices in your title, as the algorithm gives the most weight to the title.
  • Short Description: In Google Play Store, the short description section is a valuable keyword area. It is a preview of the long description. Ensure you include your top keywords and make it an engaging read.
  • Long Description: Like the short description, the long description section is Google Play Store-specific. It offers up to 4,000 characters, which app developers can use to promote their apps. Ensure that you use your most relevant keywords here.

Use only keywords relevant to your listing, and avoid using terms that have nothing to do with your app or game. Also, avoid keyword stuffing, that is, excessive use of keywords in your app’s metadata. Keep it minimal!

Wrapping Up

Keyword research is the foundation of every successful app store optimization strategy. If you want people to find your app or game, you must use keywords that match their search queries. Mobile app keyword research helps you ensure that you target keywords that are most relevant to your audience.

Keyword research can be time-consuming but invaluable in generating more downloads and improved rankings. Brainstorm relevant keywords, use a variation of your primary keyword, and include long-tail keywords. Identify your top-performing competitors and take note of the keywords they use. Analyze your keyword list to determine which ones best suit your campaign objectives. And then, optimize your app’s product page with your chosen keywords!

Co-Founder of INK, Alexander crafts magical tools for web marketing. SEO and AI expert. He is a smart creative, a builder of amazing things. He loves to study “how” and “why” humans and AI make decisions.

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