Keyword Research For App Store Optimization (ASO)

If you are planning on launching a mobile app or game on the market or else you already have one you should know that ASO (App Store Optimization) is a must without a shadow of a doubt! Keyword Research is one of the most important steps in your ASO strategy.

App Store Optimization: The MUST In Mobile App Marketing

There are millions of apps in the stores, both Apple App Store and Google Play Store, and you need to stand out from the crowd and appear on the top positions, in order to get more downloads and make more business. ASO helps your app gain visibility because it leads you to get in better ranks in the stores. In that way, you will be discovered by users that are looking for new and fresh apps or using that browse the app stores. Consequently, you will get more organic installs which at the same time will decrease your acquisition cost and boost your monetization strategy.

But that’s not all – ASO is a continuous process based on Research & Testing. So if you want to increase your Conversion Rate you should take care of the different factors affecting your ASO. Test and measure the effect of your on-medata factors (app name, keywords field, short description, subtitle, promotional text, description, visual assets…)  as much as you can and this would help you guarantee positive ratings as reviews which are amongst the off-metadata factors (ratings & reviews, volume of installs, velocity, user retention…).

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Keyword Research For App Store Optimization

Keywords are the identity of your product – users would use them for searches and your keywords will position your product for those searches.
You need to be very careful and select the most adequate keywords regarding your product’s nature. In addition, you should investigate and learn what are the keywords that your direct competitors use and rank for.
In this section, we will tell you how to carry out an effective Keyword Research for ASO and what are the steps you need to follow.

Stage 1: Research The Market

At first, you need to carry out a thorough research and list the best mobile keywords for your app or game.


Think of all the mobile keywords that could be related to your product because of its nature, the category it belongs to, its functionalities and use. It is very important to try to think about your potential users, why would they need your app or where could they find it.
This should have already given you some keywords but if you need some more and you can’t think of good ones it’s wise to take a look to similar apps and competitors.

Spy On Your Competitors

It is necessary to dedicate some time to learn about your competitors because this will give you some insights on what keywords to use and where to locate them. This task might seem exhausting but fortunately, there are great tools that reveal you the most used keywords in your competitors’ listings and their density.

Look For Suggestions

Now you can expand your list even further by looking for suggestions and in that way you can also create mid and long tail keywords. Users frequently type more than one word to search in the stores: that’s way is essential to include mid and long tail keywords. For optimizing this process you need ASO keyword tool. You can check and pick your proper mid and long tail keywords thanks to an ASO keyword research tool. You can also use other App Store keyword tools for mobile keywords. You can help yourself with ASO tools that give you suggestions for all your keywords:,

Stage 2: Analysis And Selection

Once you have got your long list (we recommend listing as many keywords and combinations as possible) it’s time to decide which ones to use and where to locate them. There are fields that have more weight than others so introduce your keywords carefully. The strongest fields are the App Name, Subtitle, Keywords Field and Promotional text in iOS apps and Title, Short description and Description in Android apps. Read and find out what factors you need to embrace when choosing and prioritizing keywords.

Traffic & Difficulty

Before taking decisions you need to analyze and check what keywords should be included in your listing. Data from traffic and difficulty is extremely important because it would show you the volume of search and the ease of appearing in searches. Creat the roadmap in direction of the app store keyword search volume. Try to find the perfect balance between these two variables!

It is better to rank for mid and long tail keywords than for generic ones because the competitiveness would be higher! Ranking for low-traffic keywords would ensure you a place in the top positions when users look for them!

Competitors Rankings

Don’t forget to check out your main competitors. It is important to learn all the information you can. Finding out their position in top charts will allow you to spot if they started ranking for more keywords and what position are those keywords getting them at. In this way you can decide to include (or not) your competitors’ keywords in your listing as well.

Check Out Performance

At this point you have to be sure that the keywords you want to include are the best ones. How can you do that? Check the performance of each keyword: how many installs is it driving and your Conversion Rate.
For Android apps you can use the Installs per Keyword feature from TheTool – it shows you the number of installs and the Conversion Rate for each keyword at different timings. Or you can search for Google Play keyword tools. For iOS apps that also use Apple Search Ads to get downloads there is also a way to find the relationship between Conversion Rate and Search Volume for different keywords.

Stage 3: Optimize Store Listing

Now that you have gathered and selected as many best-performing keywords as possible it’s time to add them up to your listing in order to optimize your product page and gain visibility in the stores.
Edit your on-metadata fields and remember that the most important ones are App Name / Title, Subtitle or Short Description and Keywords Field so your main keywords should be located there. After that you should include the rest of keywords and keywords combinations in the rest of fields.
ASO Tip: do not repeat keywords in App Store. If you have included a keyword in the App Name you should not use it again the Subtitle for instance.
However and when talking about Google Play Store do repeat the keywords as much as possible!

Stage 4: Track Keywords Performance

Once your listing is optimized and available in the stores you be aware of what is happening! Evaluate your keywords performance and understand the impact they have on visibility and app downloads.
Give some time to the stores ( around 3-4 weeks) to spot the changes in your app and show you some important data regarding your new app listing. Do not make changes too often and be sensible when you do make some! It’s not about changing everything completely at once, you have some tools that help you in analyzing and tracking your changes so play with them and find out what’s best for your product!

Stage 5: Repeat The Process All Over

As we stated before App Store Optimization is a continuous process and so is Keyword Research. You have to Research, Analyse, Optimize and Track all the time because there are changes in the stores and also changes in the market. So don’t stay behind get more from your keywords!
In this article we covered the main points related to Keyword Research for App Store Optimization. Remember that keywords are one of your most relevant ASO factors so take your time and select the ones that boost your downloads and improve your Conversion Rate!

Final Thoughts

In this article we walked you through the process of Keyword Research for App Store Optimization. Remember that keywords are part of your identity – users find your app or game using keywords when searching in the stores. Select them carefully and analyse their difficulty and traffic and chose the ones that will rank your app higher in the app stores. Study the market and help yourself with tools to track performance.
Don’t forget to repeat the cycle over and over and over again – algorithms in the stores are constantly changing and you need to up to date!

About Author

Cristina Stefanova is Social Media Manager and Content Marketing Specialist at TheTool. She likes writing about App Marketing and Mobile Growth. She is passionate about music and languages and she loves visiting new places and fashion!

App Samurai is an AI-powered, secure mobile growth platform. Register, add your app and start driving high-quality users.