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August 26, 2019
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Boost your Mobile Game Downloads in 3 Simple Steps

by Marcus Kay on 07/17/19 10:29:00 am

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.

 

When I launched my first game app in the app store years ago, I thought the game was so awesome that it would get a lot of downloads.

Then I waited, and waited…

… until I finished all the PlayStation games I could play at that time

Well, in actuality, the opposite happened – there were only a few downloads each day.

Frustrated, but I didn’t give up…

Through countless hours of hard work and research on app store keywords, I learned many techniques to “get my app off the ground”.

At last, I managed to increase the app downloads by more than 10 times!

The 3-step Guide to App Store Keyword Research

Here are the steps:

  1. How to get your keyword ideas
  2. How to choose the right keywords
  3. How to optimize your keywords

Okay, let’s dive in!

  1. How to get your keyword ideas

To start, try and come up with at least 50 app store keywords. Here are some great tools to guide you through the hunt for quality keywords. These tools will provide you many other keywords to consider. And the best part of all – they’re all free!

Remember that your app store keywords must be relevant to your apps. Don’t be tempted to use a popular, but irrelevant keyword to your apps. You want your apps to be found by users who will actually download and enjoy your apps.

App Store Keyword Optimization Tips:

App Store Review Keywords
Did you know the words in your app user reviews are indexed by the app store search engine?

This is why review mining is a very good method for getting app store keyword ideas. In addition, app reviews are an extension of the users’ minds and the words within the reviews are highly related to the things users would look for in an app. You will be surprised by the amount of keywords you might discover just by observing app reviews!

Time-sensitive App Store Keywords
Let’s illustrate the idea by an example. If you had used the word, “Rio” (the city, not the movie) in conjunction with its related app store keywords during the 2016 Olympics, you would have definitely received greater exposure for your sports app.

 

2. How to choose the right keywords

Now with your initial set of app store keywords, it’s imperative you develop a strategy to filter and select the best keywords for your app. Here are some app store keyword tools that can help you with this optimization process. These tools provide the popularities (or search traffic)as well as difficulties (or chances) of your app store keywords. In general, carefully select around 25 app store keywords for the next release of your app.

App Store Keyword Optimization Tips:

App Store Keyword Optimization Strategy 
For a new app, choose the app store keywords with low difficulty and reasonable popularity. They help your app gain the initial momentum. After gaining the initial momentum, start using app store keywords with higher popularity and reasonable difficulty. They help your app stack up more downloads. Work your way up gradually as your app gets more popular.

Long-tail App Store Keywords
Use longer app store keyword phrases (i.e. long-tail keywords) to outrank the competition. For example, it is hard to outrank Zynga Poker by the competitive keyword “Poker” (high difficulty). However, you would have a better chance to outrank it by utilizing keyword phrases such as, “Poker Casino”. This is because “Poker Casino” is less competitive (lower difficulty).

Retiring Poor App Store Keywords
If you have already released your app with your target app store keywords, check your current app store keyword ranking. Keep those app store keywords that your app ranks within top 10, and replace the rest with new keywords in your next release.

 

3. How to optimize your keywords

Now that you have chosen the keywords, you are ready to use them for your app.

Fill in the keyword metadata with your selected app store keywords. This metadata decides how your app gets discovered. Follow the rules below and make every character counts!

  • Use all 100 characters
  • Separate every keyword by a comma
  • Avoid space, articles and prepositions
  • Use singular OR plural, the easier one to rank for
  • Don’t repeat keyword
  • Use numbers instead of spelled out words
  • No need to include the words in your company name, app name and app category names.

For Android developers: Google Play doesn’t have the keyword metadata. Instead, Google pulls keywords from your description to be your app store keywords. Incorporate your keywords in the description in natural and sensible sentences. Note that keywords in the above-the-fold section (the first few lines) carries more weight than the rest of the description copy in Google’s ranking algorithm, so remember to put your main app store keywords in this section.

 

What’s next?

After you have published the keyword changes, keep an eye on the keyword rankings. The rankings change right after you published the new version. Target to make your app rank within top 10 of all keywords. If your new keywords are too hard to rank, you might have to replace them with your old keywords.

Review your app store keywords every week because that is when big trends change. Don’t give up if the results of first few optimizations are not turning out well. App Store Keyword Optimization takes time and it needs many observations to master.

I wish you good luck in your journey!


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