Have you ever wondered what affects app store ranking especially when it comes to keywords? Well, you’re in good hands because today, you’ll exactly know the factors that would affect keyword rankings both in the App Store and Google Play Store.
When it comes to app success, simply publishing your app isn’t enough. In fact, developing your app is just half of the work. You need to make sure that people discover your app.
Consider this: according to BuildFire, the App Store has about 2.2 million apps while the Google Play Store has 2.8 million apps. As you can see, you are up for a huge competition.
Remember, with millions of apps available in the App Store and Google Play, your newly published app can easily sliver down to oblivion.
So, what do you do? You need to ensure you rank high in search results. You must focus on targeting relevant keywords. To achieve a high app keyword ranking, you need to be familiar with the different factors that affect its effectiveness.
That’s why in this post, let us take a look at some of the most crucial factors that affect app keyword rankings and therefore, improve your app’s discoverability both in the App Store and Google Play.
Obviously, when it comes to improving your keyword ranking, you must use the right keywords. Without the right keywords, you would be an archer shooting everywhere with no real target.
So, how can you find the right keywords for your app? Here are a few things you can do:
- Check competitors’ keywords
- Use the App Store and Google Play autocomplete suggestions
- Take advantage of Apple Search Ads
- Balance between broad and specific keywords
- Use app store keyword research tools
- Use app ranking tracker
When choosing keywords for your app, you need to ask yourself, “Are my keywords relevant to my niche?” If you can answer yes, then it is more likely that you will have better rankings.
It is best to have a long list of targeted keywords as it gives you a place to start with. However, as you actually use keywords in your App Store or Google Play Store listings, you need to think of relevance. Trim down your list of keywords and only use the best of the best.
Another factor that affects your keyword ranking is the placement of your keywords. Both the App Store and Google Play put great importance on where you put your keywords.
Where do you put your keywords in the App Store?
In the App Store, the most important place to ensure you get your primary keywords is the app name. In the eyes of the App Store ranking algorithm, the app name is the strongest indicator of what your app is all about.
That’s the reason that app developers don’t simply use their app name field as a place where they put their name, but also their keywords, which describe what their app is all about. Remember that the app name field can only allow up to 30 characters.
It was just a few years ago that Apple added app subtitles and sure enough, it affects app store keyword ranking. Be sure to add your keywords here. Choose the strongest and most descriptive keywords you can ever find and place them in the app subtitle.
App Store Connect Keyword Field
This is specifically created in the App Store to allow developers to add as many focused keywords as possible. Of course, please note that this field is only limited to 100 characters. So, choose your keywords wisely.
It’s worth noting that the keyword field and the keywords you add to it is not visible in the App Store. This means that your keyword field will not affect your app’s conversion rate, but rather it only impacts your keyword ranking.
Moreover, the app name has the weightiest bearing in app ranking. This is followed by the app subtitle. The least would be the keyword field. Keep this in mind as you prioritize your keyword planning.
Where do you put your keywords in Google Play Store?
Title – like in the App Store, your app title influences how Google Play ranks apps. That’s why you must add your most relevant and important keywords alongside your brand name. The app title only allows you to add up to 50 characters. You’ll be surprised how it can significantly improve your keyword ranking.
A well-composed short description highlights not just your app features, but also include keywords. Since you can only add 80 characters in the short description field, you need to be creative in showcasing your app’s functionalities without losing your keywords.
If there’s one place in your app page that you can pour all your keyword ranking efforts, it would be the description. This field allows you to add up to 4,000 characters. That should be enough for you to include all your important keywords.
Be sure to add the primary keywords in the first and last sentences of your description while adding target keywords a few times in the body. Finally, don’t forget to add a call to action statement in your description to ensure potential users would download your app.
If you want to take your keyword ranking to the next level, we highly recommend you read, “How to Optimize App Store Keywords? 15 Quick Tips!”
The Uniform Resource Locator or simply, URL, is the reference or address of a particular page, in this case, your Google Play Store page.
Bear in mind that Google Play app ranking is related to the Google search engine. This means that when ranking your app, it will also take into consideration your app page’s URL. Be sure to think about adding keywords to your URL before publishing your app because once it is published, it can’t be changed anymore.
Obviously, your developer name should state your name, but even in this field, Google Play Store considers what it includes. Primarily, if you want to have a higher ranking, you need to have a positive history as a developer. However, you can still try to add some keywords to this field. For example, you can put “#DeveloperName: keyword + keyword”.
Like what was mentioned earlier, there are now millions of apps available in various stores right now. Sooner or later, you will face competition.
So, one of the biggest factors that will affect your keyword ranking would be its competition or difficulty. In choosing a keyword, you need to strike a balance between targeting high-volume keywords and low competition keywords.
Obviously, a lot of users use high-volume keywords, but it is more likely that apps have already established their ranking for that keyword. On the other hand, low-competition keywords don’t have the same number of searches, but it gives you a higher chance to rank for that particular keyword.
So, it is up to you to weigh your options. You can even try to either defend the keywords you’re ranking well or try to outrank others with specific keywords. Of course, you can also do both, but it needs a lot of time and energy.
You might have the best keywords in the store, but if you don’t know how to properly add them, it may not produce the right results.
Here are a few things to remember.
For the App Store, you don’t use any special characters such as @, #, $, %, and &. According to Apple guidelines, these special characters don’t carry any weight in your search ranking and it will only use up precious character count.
Another tip to remember is to use digits instead of number words. So, if you need to choose between the “7” and “seven,” go for the digit number to save character count.
When adding keywords in the keyword field, don’t use space to separate keywords, but instead, use commas. If in case you have a keyword composed of more than one word, don’t separate them with a comma, but use space. For example, if your keyword is “fitness coach,” then it is acceptable to write it as it is rather than putting a comma between “fitness” and “coach.”
Another big no-no in adding keywords in the keyword field is duplication. Keyword stuffing may have been a trend in the past, but it won’t work in the App Store’s keyword field. Duplicate keywords won’t add value to your app ranking. If you want to use duplicate keywords, opt to use synonyms or related keywords instead.
One mistake that app developers commit is using category names in their keyword field. What happens is that if you use category names as one of your keywords, it will only be redundant and won’t help much in your app ranking.
When typing in keywords as well, no need to use the plural form of a word. So, instead of “videos,” you can simply say, “video.” For Apple, it doesn’t matter whether a word is in singular or plural form. Since this is the case, use singular words instead to save space.
Finally, ditch out unnecessary words. It doesn’t make sense to add connectors or stop words in your keyword field. Words such as “for”, “to,” “the,” “a,” “and,” and “of” shouldn’t be included in your keywords.
Google Play Store
The main rule in Google Play Store is that you should avoid stuffing keywords into your description field. Stuffing keywords make your description read somewhat robotic and unnatural. It can easily turn off people and will eventually hurt your app ranking. So, it’s really not worth it.
The key is to add as many keywords as possible, but at the same time, you make your description to read naturally. You need to put your users first, before the Google Play Store ranking algorithm.
Keyword ranking is only one part of your overall App Search Optimization (ASO) strategy. That’s why, there are app store ranking factors that can indirectly affect your keyword ranking.
When it comes to ensuring your users find your app easily, you must take a holistic approach. You need to see the bigger picture. You must understand how each element of your app page contributes to the success or failure of your app.
Here are some of the factors that may directly or indirectly affect your keyword ranking:
Number of downloads
The more downloads your app gets, the more it becomes popular. When your app gets downloaded more often, stores would then give you a better ASO keyword ranking.
Retention means that your app is not only downloaded, but it is actually used and retained. If people uninstall your app a lot of time after just a few hours or days of use, then your retention rate decreases.
Click-Through Rate (CTR) is the percentage of how many times your app gets clicked every time people see it. When a person uses a search term, your app may appear in the search result, but if you don’t get clicked, your CTR will decrease. According to studies, higher CTR leads to better keyword ranking.
Ratings and Reviews
The quantity and quality of your ratings and reviews put a great impact on your app’s visibility. When you have a lot of positive ratings and reviews, people will notice your app even more. Apple and Google rewards apps with great ratings with better organic visibility. Rating and reviews are so important that once you build a solid rating program, you will immediately notice a massive and noticeable improvement in your keyword ranking.
It is not enough to simply publish your app. Because the App Store and Google Play Store regularly updates its algorithm and interface, you need to update your app as well. Not only that, but updating your app as needed will allow you to improve your app, compete better with other similar apps, and address the concerns of your users.
Screenshots and Preview Video
People are visual creatures. The first thing people see on your app page are not words, but images. When you have appealing, attention-grabbing, and compelling screenshots and videos, you’ll increase your download rate and keyword ranking.
When it comes to keyword ranking, you must not limit yourself to the App Store or Google Play Store. You must go outside of these platforms to lead more people to your store page. For example, you can create links on your website, social media profiles, and guest posts.
There’s no app that is perfect for all people. Each user has their own preference and needs. This gives you the chance to outrank your competitors. To achieve this, your app should always be of high quality.
Here’s something you need to take note of: quality is now among the best ASO ranking factors. If your app constantly crashes and has a lot of bugs, then your app would less likely rank higher. But, if your app comes with useful features, always work the way it is intended to, and meet your users’ needs, then your app and keyword ranking will soar high to the roof.
Remember that Google reports crashes and ANRs whereas Apple reports crashes and deletions. It’s best to keep an eye on those metrics, try to avoid them as much as possible, and improve your app’s quality.
Increase your App Store Ranking
These are the most important factors for keyword Google Play and App Store ranking. Don’t be afraid to test keywords and see what works and what doesn’t work. No app truly succeeds without proper research and acquisition of important data to make the right decisions.
With all these being said, we hope you get your keyword ranking better and higher for the success of your app.
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