To create ASO strategy you need to start from the most important aspect of ASO – keywords. The whole process of increasing visibility of app in app store is called Keyword Optimization. Having best set of keywords for your app means people see your app. When your app is visible, chance to download is getting higher. 

In this article I will explore the best ways of finding the best keywords for your app. It enables you to reach your target audience, rank as high as possible and get downloads from the highest quality users.

Introduction to Keyword Optimization


In this article we will have an overall look on the practices of Keyword Optimization process. The aim of keyword optimization is to increase the visibility of your app in Apple App Store & Google Play. 


The most common & widely accepted practise of keyword optimization has 3 steps. These steps should be repeated each time we make ASO optimization and changes. First step is to find keyword ideas. After that, you should select the most promising ones among all keyword you created. Then work over them to create combinations and long-tail keywords. Last step is to measure performance of used keywords. Based on the performance you’ll repeat the whole process based on your findings. After each iteration of optimization keywords will get closer to perfect optimization.

Finding Keywords


The first and foremost step you are going to take while doing Keyword Optimization is to find some potential keyword ideas. These can be called as Seed Keywords or Root Keywords. The goal is to come up with a wide list full of root keywords that can later be turned into Long Tail Keywords or Combinations.


There are several tried and tested methods that are used by most of our users, and of course by us when we were a small ASO agency.


It’s one of the best ways to find good keyword ideas. Try to think how would you search for an app in the app store. Brainstormed keywords are usually well performing keywords as the result of human action. Also while thinking about potential keywords, have a look at other words or phrases that might be used instead of the word you’ve just found. Consulting a thesaurus might be useful at finding alternative keyword ideas.

Web Research

As with all other subjects, the web is one of the best source of information to get good app keyword ideas. There are many ways you can use the knowledge out there to get best keyword ideas.

First, use forums & groups to find your keyword ideas. Going to forums & groups that are connected with your app purpose will give you so many ideas as you will be able to see the language the community around your industry is using.

Secondly, have a look at the websites of your competitors. You can find what aspects of their product they promoting and try to use it as an advantage of your keyword ideas.

Review Mining 

We will have a complete article dedicated to Reviews & Ratings (stay tuned, subscribe to newsletter to get an update). You will get more info about Review Mining there but let’s briefly talk about it.

Review Mining is a thing you need to do incessantly all the time. It gives you great feedback about your apps’ performance, features and can help you with further app improvements. Reading reviews you can see . how people like your app’s features what words they use. You can see also look at your competitors’ reviews and use it for your app. Reviews are wonderful way to come up with great keyword ideas. 

Competitor Analysis

Among all of the ways of finding good keyword ideas Competitor Analysis is probably the best and most reliable way of finding good keywords. However, it also requires specific tools to find those keywords.

Using tools like App Annie not only can you see the keywords your competitors are using, you can see their ‘best’ performing keywords. By best performing, it can refer to both the keywords they are ranking the highest or the keywords they get most of their downloads. 


That way you can aggressively target the keywords that are bringing them the most value and start competing with them. With knowledge of well performing keywords you can save huge amount of time. Don’t overlook the value of the other methods can bring to your ASO efforts. Only by combining together all techniques you will see results. 

Choosing Right Keywords

Now, you have big list of keywords. How are you going to choose the ones you want to use for your app because keywords you can use are limited.

What are the points you should pay attention to when choosing the best keywords for your app?

Search Score


The Search Score, is a score to measure the popularity of a keyword. The higher it is the more searches are done for that keyword.

Selecting keywords that can reach to a lot of people would make your app more visible. The higher the search score the better for your app and the ideal number changes from market to market but an average for a decent search score would be about  40 search score.

Chance Score


Finding highly popular keywords, isn’t enough when deciding which keywords to pick up. You also need to be ranked well for selected popular keywords. 


Chance score measures the competitiveness of a keyword by looking at the Top 10 apps ranking for that keyword. Based on the rankings, downloads, ratings chance score shows the chance of an app to rank in the Top 10 results for that keyword.


The main point is to keep both Search Score & Chance Score as high as possible. The best case is to rank for a popular keyword that is not too competitive.



Relevance is last factor you should keep in mind when selecting best keywords. This one can’t be transformed into numbers and deciding if it works is entirely up to you. Having keywords with good search scores and chance scores is great for sure. If selected keywords aren’t relevant to your app or if they don’t reach to the right audience there’s no point to use it. They simply won’t translate into high-quality organic downloads.

Measuring Your Keywords


App Store Optimization is no simple task. It takes some time and effort. Keyword Optimization is one of the main practices doing ASO. However, KO is not a one-time thing. It is something you should do all along. The final step of Keyword Optimization iteration is to measure the performance of the keywords you’ve selected. 


Measuring the performance of keywords can be a tricky process. It can be even trickier without a proper tools, resources and experience. That’s another reason why AppDNA is a good app marketing partner. There are several ways to measure your keyword performance.


Search Score

After you have started to rank for a keyword, you can track how your keyword ranking has changed over time. You can see how is your performance changing for a keyword.

Category Ranking History

Your keyword rankings affect your category rankings, so after you are done with each KO iteration, you need to monitor your category ranking and see if the new-added keywords are bringing results to your app.

Organic Downloads From a Keyword

This is very important one. Measuring keyword performance based on organic downloads. Now only you can see keywords that bring you most downloads but also you will know what keyword works for your competitors.


Based on the performance of the keywords you can choose to monitor some of them further. You should remove ones that are non performing and try new ones. With each KO iteration, you will have a more refined list of keywords for your application. Eventually, you will start ranking very high for all of the keywords you are using and that will translate to visibility, awareness,  more organic downloads and more revenue.


Keyword Optimization is a long and repetitive process but the results are incredible. Once you have your keyword list and start ranking for those keywords you will be getting a great number of organic downloads. Remember that organic downloads are the best kind of downloads as organic users usually have higher retention rates and are more likely to spend money on your app.


If you need ASO or specifically Keyword Optimization for your app, contact our team and make your app No. 1 in app store.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *