Choosing Effective Keywords for App Store and Google Play Optimization

App Store Optimization is one of the most important processes in app marketing, leading to increased organic traffic and revenue. In general, while creating the app and releasing it both on Google Play and AppStore, all app developers aim to achieve the app’s success considering the number of users as the most valuable indicator that the app can be a business. Of course, we understand that nowadays there are many ways to attract traffic to the application, with paid UA being the most popular. But still, the final goal in app marketing should be the attraction of organic users for which app developers do not pay and who discover the app on their own, like the downloads from the search and browse/explore sources. 

As we already mentioned, the main factor influencing the organic traffic the app gets is ASO. While it is possible to consider that visual optimization mostly influences the browse/explore traffic, text optimization already helps to attract users from the search. As it is widely known, text optimization includes the creation of title, short and full descriptions on Google Play, and title, subtitle, and keyword field on AppStore. Exactly the texts and keywords in these fields influence the app indexation and the way it is visible on the store for organic users. Taking into account the facts we mentioned above it is completely logical to accept the keyword research to be the most important part in App Store Text Optimization. That’s why we decided to devote this article to the way it is recommended to choose the keywords for your application optimization. 

Google Play 

As we already pointed out, title, short and full descriptions are the fields influencing the indexation for search requests on Google Play. 

The first question you may have is how many keywords it is needed to find while doing ASO. In general, there is no precise answer, as there are a lot of factors influencing the category you work with, region, availability of competitors in the store, and so on. But if we talk about some common categories like tools, games, etc, we can talk about approximately 200-300 keywords as a minimum. This list will consist not only of the most traffic keywords but the requests of lower popularity as well, as we should keep in mind that these ones can bring organic as well. 

There are some general recommendations for keyword optimization on Google Play: 

  • Include the keywords of different popularity both to the keyword research and texts 
  • Repeat the same keywords in the different fields, this will increase the chances for indexation 
  • Put the most relevant and traffic keywords to the title
  • Mention the keyword as you would like it to appear indexed – if you want to rank the app for the keyword “puzzle game online”, write “puzzle game online” in a full form
  • Even though repeating keywords in different fields is recommended, avoid keyword spamming 


Previously we discussed that Google Play and AppStore differ if to talk about text optimization and the most obvious difference is that the AppStore algorithm analyses other fields to make the app ranked for the keywords: title, subtitle, and keyword field. Although AppStore doesn’t pay any attention to the full description in the indexation process, it doesn’t mean that you can pay less attention to the keyword research for this store. 

AppStore has several advantages in ASO which make the life of app developers easier and provide wider opportunities for organic users attraction. The most outstanding peculiarity is that the AppStore indexation algorithm works faster comparing it with the Google one. Working with Google Play it is possible to wait for the first indexed keywords for several weeks (and now after they changed the algorithm it may even happen that the app won’t be indexed at all), but AppStore gives the indexation for the search requests already in several days after you have done the keyword optimization. In such a way we understand that this gives really good chances to start getting organic traffic in the first weeks after the release, especially if the app developer uses keyword installs and increases the search list ranks at once after the indexation appears. 

Let’s pay some attention to the peculiarities of keyword optimization on AppStore: 

  • Do not focus only on high-traffic keywords, AppStore may be quite competitive store 
  • Do not waste space in indexation fields, and do not repeat the same keywords in different fields 
  • Mention the most traffic keywords in the title
  • No need to mention the keyword in full form. Would like to get the index for “puzzle game online”? Write “puzzle” in the title and “game” in the subtitle, Apple will match the words in one search request
  • Avoid using the keywords that Apple indexes on its own, like the word “free” 

All the details we mentioned show that keyword research is extremely important for both stores, so these are the main recommendations for choosing the keywords for your app text optimization

Keep It Relevant

Make sure your chosen keywords accurately describe what your app is all about. Think like a user – what words would they use to find an app like yours? Use terms that match your app’s main features and benefits.

Know Your Audience:

Understanding your target users is key 

Consider the language they use, including regional variations and slang. The closer you match their language, the better chance your app has of showing up in relevant searches.

Check Out the Competition

Look at successful apps in your category and see what keywords they use. While you shouldn’t copy them directly, learning from their choices can help you decide on your keyword strategy.

Balance Volume and Competition

Finding a balance between keyword popularity and competition is crucial. Popular keywords may bring more visibility but also more competition. Aim for a mix of widely-searched terms and ones specific to your app.

Don’t Forget Long-Tail Keywords

Consider using longer, more specific phrases known as long-tail keywords. They may have a lower search volume but can attract highly interested users. For instance, instead of “fitness app,” try “high-intensity home workout app” if it fits your app.

Keep It Updated

App store algorithms and user behavior change over time. Regularly review and update your keyword strategy to stay relevant. Pay attention to your app’s performance data and be ready to adjust your keywords accordingly.

Listen to User Feedback

Take note of what users say in their feedback and reviews. They might use terms that can be great keywords. Adapt and include these insights in your keyword strategy for ongoing improvement.

In summary, picking effective keywords is an evolving process. It involves research, understanding your audience, and staying informed about market trends. By putting effort into thoughtful keyword choices, you can boost your app’s visibility, increase the chance of organic discovery, and contribute to its overall success.

My way in keywords promotion and ASO started more than 3 years ago. At this stage I work closely with different app categories and have an experience in keywords promotion both of Android and iOS apps.
Share article or save the link to read it later.