Field Keywords for iOS: how to choose keywords for your app

What is the Keywords field for iOS? When entering information about your app in the App Store, you will notice a unique iOS field — Keywords. There is no similar one in the Play Market.

Field Keywords can be seen only by you, it is not displayed to users, but counted by systems of ranking of App Store market. 

How keywords from the Keywords list work in the App Store  

All the keywords you use for your app help Apple's search engine understand what it is about and in which collections it can be identified.

Optimizing keywords in App Store will help to improve the position of the app. The higher you are on the list for a keyword, the more customers you can attract, and hence the number of installs.

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The App Store indexes you based on the words entered in the following fields:

  • Title;
  • Subtitle;
  • Keywords.

The importance of keywords is lower than that of the title or subtitle. All of these fields are indexed the same by the App Store system, so

It makes no sense to re-specify the words that are already spelled out in the title and subtitle.

How to optimize a field Keywords for app on IOS

The program indexes the app clearly for the specified keywords. Declining, adding synonyms, or translating an algorithm cannot be done by the App Store. Therefore, it is very important to indicate phrases in the word form in which the user will enter them in the graph Keywords. 

  • You have 100 characters.
  • Enter keywords separated by commas, no spaces.
  • Use shorter words whenever possible to get more combinations of phrases.
  • The relevance of words is critical. 
  • When forming your own phrases, do not dilute them with other words.
  • An exact match to the search term will rank you higher on the search results page.

Don't randomly select keywords. Choosing the ones that use the most popular apps in the App Store is also not the best decision. They may not correspond to the functions and features of your app, that is, they may be irrelevant. Irrelevant phrases attract traffic from users who are not in your target audience. Such users will delete the app after the first use, and this, in turn, will negatively affect the rating in the App Store!

The 3 main indicators of keyword relevance are popularity, competitiveness, and accuracy (you can find all parameters in the ASOMobile platform)

  • Take into account keyword popularity. The more popular a phrase is, the more interesting it is to you. High-frequency phrases will find you faster.
  • Don't forget about competition! Popular the words “work”, “social” attract a lot of traffic, but it is difficult to compete with them, they are used by large top apps. Less common terms are more competitive, although less commonly used by users.
  • Instead of choosing words, choose the key phrases that best describe your app. For example, for a new dating app, it's better to choose the phrase "new acquaintances" or “meeting new people” rather than just “dating”.

Finding keywords for the App Store is not as easy as it sounds. Take your time to include all the phrases that you have invented and found. Make a long list, and then strip out phrases that are rarely used by users.

Keyword Builder

Keyword Builder tool, you can easily convert your list of search queries for the keywords field in the App Store. Keyword Builder will extract unique words from your semantic core and also transform them into the desired form.

How to choose keywords for your app IOS: analysis, reviews, competitors, additional resources 

1. Analysis will help you select the right words

Decide on the functions of the app, its target audience. This will put together a semantic core of keywords. It can be extended by choosing synonyms.

To find even more relevant queries, take a look at which keywords your competitors are ranked on in App Store. Competitor queries can be collected using ASOMobile Market Intelligence tool. The tool allows you to analyze the most popular requests by country and the volume of traffic for each request.

Keyword tool will help to compose a semantic core, evaluate the effectiveness of phrases already used for promotion in the App Store. For more information on how to collect keywords using the tool, read this article.

2. Use hints: competitors' names, user reviews, but — no plagiarism!

Apple does not endorse the use of other people's trademarks or brand names in third-party apps. The consequences can be different — from blocking ranking for this keyword until the app is completely removed from the store.

However, if you have common words with a competitor's app name, you can use them to your advantage. For example, a competitor says “city of dragons”, but you can use a combination of “dragon” and “city”. These words do not stand alone as trademarks. But Apple automatically connects these keywords into a phrase and may rank you by combination.

Additionally, read user reviews. Using them, you can pick up phrases that users use to describe the app.

Appreciate every opportunity to find more relevant words.

3. Check for App Store Essential Requirements

Each character can affect the position in the SERP (Search engine results page). If after entering words you have 2-3 unused characters, enter a number. If there are words “best” or “top” in the list, the number can help form additional phrases: “best strategy”, “top 5 best strategies”.

If you are using numbers, enter them in numbers. Apple recognizes “2” and “two” equally. This leaves you with more characters for other priority words to promote.

Use singular words. Apple can form singular only plurals in English and only for the most common words. For other languages, singular words are usually more relevant, so this is the best choice.

4. Save space and remove unnecessary words

IOS has free keywords. This means that they are indexed automatically. Don't re-add them to your Keywords list. Apple does not specify a specific list of free keywords. According to user experience, the algorithm automatically indexes the words: app, free, new, best, iPhone, iPad, category name.

The program also independently removes spelling errors in your brand name.

It is better not to use special characters and emoji as keywords for iOS. They have no weight in search rankings.

The same can be said about prepositions, conjunctions, and connecting words.

The exception is setting up targeting for a specific phrase. For example, “learning app” will not appear in results without “learning”.

5. Remember localization

For a high rating, it is important to localize the app by making different versions of it available in local languages. The app is indexed immediately by the local language and in English. For example, the Ukrainian version will be indexed by the Ukrainian words specified in the title, subtitle, and Keywords field. For English keywords, the app is additionally indexed by the Default Keywords field. In this case, British English is used unless you specifically change the language.

This is especially important for versions in countries that are used to including English words in spoken language, for example, for Spanish, French, Dutch versions. 

Localization in the App Store allows for enhanced metadata. Adding additional locales will increase the number of searches for your app. You can learn about other life hacks how to use App Store localization from another blog article.

6. Optimize the Keywords field regularly

There is no specific recommendation on how often to update keywords for iOS apps. The algorithm of ranking them is constantly changing, new competitors and similar apps may appear.

Look for new words, add more popular ones, look at competitors — try any options to increase your place in the search results! Regular optimization of Keywords can help you save your positions in App Store. 

Avoid the typical ASO optimization mistakes, which can slow down progress. Eliminate them all and your app will move up in the SERPs faster.

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