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Performing Keyword Research for Android Apps

This post talks about how to find keywords for optimizing app in the google app store.

Puneet Yamparala, Blogger

June 11, 2015

6 Min Read

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The only way your app will get found on Google Play is through the right keywords.

  • BECAUSE the journey begins with keyword search: the visibility your app in the app market across search, mobile, and the app store depends on choosing the right keywords.

  • AND because Google wants targeted engagement — it wants apps to have features that deliver value, and it wasn’t content (ranging descriptions, titles, and the secondary marketing content) to have targeted and relevant keywords and key phrases.

The question is how do you find these keywords?

Hence, this post will discuss ways of researching keywords for meeting Google Play guidelines and for increasing visibility of your app.

A Fork in the Road — The Two Paths to Keyword Research

Make your keyword research more thorough and targeted by travelling on all of the following paths:

  1. Your Own Search — Data Mining the App Store

  2. Using Online Keyword tools

Your Own Search — Data Mining the App Store

On this path you will be mining reviews and later noting the search volumes of these phrases using the Google Keyword Planner.

Brainstorm keywords and long tailed key phrases (with three to four words) that describe what your app delivers (benefits instead of features). Simply think like a regular app store visitor and the keyword phrases he/she is likely to type when searching for the app that has your app’s features/benefits.

Create a keyword cluster (25 to 30 keywords and long tailed phrases).

Refine the keyword cluster by visiting the app store and searching the category for your app. The apps that are on the front page appear without even being searched for directly, so mine their descriptions and reviews to find keywords that appear frequently.

Finally, visit the app store and type in these words.

Take note of the top apps that appear in the results. Now take note of how the words appear (or which words/phrases) appear in the app — its name, description, on images, etc. and the number of downloads vs. uninstalls it has had.

This will give you an organic (albeit DIY) cluster of keywords that you can use in your apps.

Use Online Keyword Tools

How people interact with the Android Apps is monitored, tracked, and stored on humongous databases. You can significantly reduce the time needed to research keywords by using online tools — ones that will help you see the popular words your target audience is using when searching for an app.

Online tools for ASO, such as AppCodes and AppAnnie are great for finding the search volume and the number of apps that are using those words. For example, a word with a search volume of 8,000 and in use by 7,000 apps is highly competitive, and hence not good for your android app. However, a word with a search volume of 6,000 that is being used by 200 apps, offers greater opportunity for being ranked higher.

Google Keyword Planner, though not targeted for apps only, leverages the biggest databank of

search results:

  1. Place your brainstormed list of keyword cluster in the Planner — it will display the competition for the words. Qualify the results in ascending or descending order (use an excel sheet)

  2. Next, use the free wordtracker tool to find which words are more relevant to the category/niche you are targeting. Re-qualify your previous list and adjust the excel sheet.

  3. Finally, you may want to use Straply to find the relevance of these keywords in the app market place.

In Conclusion — It’s About Learning the language of Your audience

Keyword research is about learning how your audience is communicating its need for your app using keywords. Your task is to grasp the dialects (which differ by age and demographics), with thorough research.

This blog post is based in the advice given by successful app entrepreneurs in the App Entrepreneurs and Marketers Group. Stay tuned for more informative and insightful posts from us!

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