App Store OptimizationKeyword Research Strategy

How To Prioritize Keywords For App Store Optimization?

After keyword research, your next task is to prioritize keywords on the basis of volume, competition, and relevancy. It is easy to make a keyword list from hundreds of keywords. But which keywords make it good for your app to add to your metadata? What keywords are most relevant to your application? Which search terms have the most potential to get downloads? In the following section, we will discuss how you can prioritize your keyword backlog. 

Search Volume Data with Keyword Planner

Whether you must add a search term in your ASO keyword strategy is primarily dependent on whether individuals really search for that keyword on the app stores. On the web, Google gives estimated search volumes to assist advertisers to spend more on paid campaigns; however, there has been a black box for a long time for the App Store and Google Play. That is why, in the early days of ASO, experts found keyword volume using the Google Keyword Planner tool. While this may seem to make sense at first, Search behavior on small screens with on-screen keyboards is inherently different from desktop search. 

In order to overcome this, you could filter web data for the mobile web rather than the computer-based web. However, people still search in a very different way on the mobile web than they do in the app stores. For example, on the web, someone might search for “how to make good pasta” and indeed, the Google Keyword Planner tool will provide lots of monthly web searches. However, hardly anyone would search like this on Google Play Store. An app store-type search would look more like “pasta” or something a bit more specific, such as “pasta making app.”

What is Apple Search Popularity Score?

The Search Popularity score is a very good sign of how usually a keyword is search for in the App Store, but there are a few warnings:

  • Relative numbers returned by search popularity. While Google Ads provides insight into the absolute average monthly searches for a particular term, Apple Search Ads provides an indexed popularity score from 5 to 100.
  • The Search Popularity score is exponential rather than linear. This means that a keyword with a Search Popularity score of 50 will generate much more than 2 times the number of impressions than a keyword with a Search Popularity score of 25. 
  • The search popularity metric only provides a real search score for keywords with search popularity of 6 and above: Likely to stop advertisers from bidding on low-volume keywords in order to uplift the fill rate of ad inventory, Apple does not show the difference between keywords that has 0 searches per month and keywords with low but still some volume. from targeting that keyword.
  • The algorithm of Apple cleans keywords and groups terms that have unusual characters with the ‘clean’ version of that term. This means, for example, that all search terms for the keywords “game?” “game,” “game+” and Apple would return a search popularity score for the entire group which is the “game” group. For the “game” group, we can presume that the keywords “game?” and “game+” have search volume scores near 0; in spite of this, Apple returns a Search Popularity of 66, which is probably just the Search Popularity for the single keyword “game”.

Calculate Difficulty Score with the Help of Tools

Most ASO tools help you to understand the difficulty or competitiveness of a keyword. This metric can go under different names, such as “difficulty” or “competition” scores. ASO tools can also calculate how difficult to rank and compete on a specific keyword with metrics like a chance score. A chance score takes into account your own app strength and compares it with the top-ranking apps to decide whether your app has a chance of ranking on that specific keyword. The different tool gives different approaches to calculating this number.

How to Manually Calculate the Difficulty Score in ASO?

If you don’t want to rely on different ASO tools, you can calculate manually the ranking difficulty of a keyword. The top chart of the rankings of the top 10 apps that are ranked for a keyword. Take the average of the top chart rankings of the top 10 applications to get an overall reading of the competitors’ top chart strength for each keyword. Be sure to do country by country and category by category separately. How far is your app’s top chart rank from the average rank for these keywords?

Next, in the keyword selection process for your ASO strategy, you should check your present-time keyword rankings to make sure you don’t remove and replace keywords in your metadata of the app that currently gets lots of downloads for your app.

Decide the volatility of each top 10 ranking position for a keyword. This looks at how many ranking positions each of the top 10 apps moves for a keyword over a period of 1-12 weeks. If the top 10 apps change less often, this can indicate that competitors will be hard to usurp. If the top-ranking spots are highly volatile, this can mean there is more chance to bump competitors down. However, this could also be an indication of high competition, as many apps regularly switch positions for this keyword.  

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