AppKPI App Keyword Optimization

App Store Optimization

I Launched today September 10, 2012 at 360iDev conference in Denver Colorado to solve for very important tool set that is missing for iOS app developers who should be doing app store optimization to help their apps rank for highly searched terms within iTunes.

As I walked around the conference I realized how little people know the power of a great title and keywords, so I sat down and decided to write this quick guide.

What is App Store Optimization?

Let’s make things simple, app store optimization is:

  • Title – Creating a descriptive and actionable title 25 characters or less.
  • Keywords – Finding relevant keywords with high search volume and low competition.
  • Icon – Using the power of branding and psychology to trigger and emotion.
  • Reviews – Social currency can’t be beat when thousands of reviews say you are great.
  • Screenshot – Creates the visual answer to the question, is this app for me?
  • VideoNEW to the app store, yet another great way to visually engage customers.

App Title

What’s the name of your app? It should be short, simple and descriptive, but if you got too creative or in a competitive market space, a poorly optimized app title could be costing you new customers!

Your app title plays two roles:

  1. Descriptor – When created correctly, your title can quickly answer the customers question of, is this app what I want?
  2. Keyword – The app title counts towards search relevancy of your app, choose your keywords here wisely, balance branding and keyword relevancy.

Let’s take a quick look at the example below, several top brands and companies are looking to capture the “Sell Your Stuff” app customers.

App Store Optimization - Title

Some big brands like Etsy, Amazon and eBay are well known for what they do online and get away with short app titles…

Unfortunately companies like Schoola, thredUP and Chairish have their app titles chopped off, I can kind of make out what they possibly do, but since I am not a regular customer of theirs, I put them in the “I’m not really sure…” pile.

Apps for Pose, Shop Hers and Bib + Tuck, I simply ignore, not sure what they do, not familiar with their brand…

Kidizen, in my opinion, does an excellent job of optimizing their app title. They are able to keep a their brand name in a prominent position and tell me what the app helps me do.


Kidizen – Buy and Sell Kids Clothes – If I am looking to buy and sell kids clothes, this is PERFECT!

Here are a couple of rules you should follow for best results.

  • 25 to 30 Character Max Displayed – Only about 25 to 30 characters are visible when your app is shown in the app store, everything else get’s cut off. The discrepancy between the 25 and 30 character mark has to do with the length of the last word and when iTunes decides to cut it off.
  • Descriptive Actionable Keywords – Write out several versions of your title until you find the one that is the shortest, most descriptive and actionable title.
  • TEST, TEST and TEST! – Did I mention test? You won’t know if you don’t try and it could be that last title you had on your list that increases downloads. You did make a list of titles right?
NOTE: Moving/Dropping Brand Name – This is going to be tough for a lot of you, unless you have an established brand, nobody knows who you are. Let’s say that CakeCraver is the best app for finding cupcakes. I travel a lot, and I need my cupcake fix in the morning to help me get through the grind. So of course I need an app that finds me cupcakes nationwide. I search for “cupcake finder” and I see and app with a cupcake icon and below it it reads “Local Cupcake Shop Finder…” Using “Local Cupcake Shop Finder – CakeCraver” as an app title keeps the app title both under the 25 keyword cut off and tells me exactly what this app does. App downloaded, installed, local cupcake shop found and a few minutes later, cupcake fix resolved.






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