[Updated: 9th May 2023]
The amount of available apps in the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store increases on a daily base, and it’s getting harder and harder to get your app to be discovered organically. App Store Optimization (ASO) is more important than ever in 2018, and an increasing number of tools are becoming available to assist you in this process.
One of the most important parts of App Store Optimization is keyword research. At Taksu Tech, we use several tools to discover keywords and to monitor and track keyword performance. We have also found ways to utilize some older tools that have been around for a while and weren’t developed specifically for app store keyword research.
In this blog post, we highlight 10 of the tools we use in a typical app keyword research process, starting with ASO Keyword Research Tools, followed by ASO Keyword Performance Tracking Tools.
Part 1: ASO Keyword Research Tools
When it comes to “traditional” Search Engine Optimisation keyword research, there are several well-established and reliable tools to discover keywords with such as Keywordtool.io and Google’s own Keyword Planner tool. They even provide fairly accurate monthly search volume estimations.
In case of App Store Optimisation keyword research the process is a bit more tricky and the available tools are somewhat harder to find. There are less tools available to discover keywords with, so the process involves more brainstorming, creativity and thinking outside the box. Luckily, there are several tools you can use to help you with this. Here are our top 5 tools:
#1 – SeedKeywords.com: For brainstorming
To start researching keywords, it’s good practice to start off with a broad list of keywords that you come up with through classic brainstorming. These are generally keywords that you would imagine yourself typing in, if you were looking for the specific app you are optimising.
But why not ask others as well?
With SeedKeywords.com, you can ask what people would search for in a given scenario. Each scenario you create will get it’s own unique URL which you can share with family, friends and colleagues. This is a great way to get real keywords from real people. Combined with your own brainstorming you can use the results of this experiment as your starting off point. To organise it we recommend using spreadsheets for adding and categorising the keywords.
#2 – Thesaurus.com: For researching synonyms
Now that you have an initial list of search terms, it’s time to maximise this list by adding all the possible synonyms. Thesaurus.com is the perfect tool for this.
As you can see in the screenshot, for a word like “finance” the tool also suggests words like “banking”, “investment” and “business”. While these keywords are not exactly synonyms of “finance”, they are very much related to the subject. Remember, everyone has a different thought process and whereas you would type in “finance”, the next person might just be looking for the same type of app but instead searches for “money”.
#3 – Keywordtool.io: For classic keyword research
Whilst this tool is one of the best for regular SEO keyword research, Keywordtool.io is one of the best tools currently on the market. It also a dedicated section for keyword research in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.
Additionally, the “Related Keywords” tab of a regular search provides extensive lists of keywords which, in most cases, will also be relevant to app store searches. The average monthly search volume displayed could be used as a rough keyword popularity indicator in this case.
Pay special attention to short (1 or 2 words) searches with high search volumes. People tend to use much shorter search queries when they search in app stores, so it’s almost guaranteed that short searches with high search volumes in regular search engines will also have significant search volume in app store searches. In the example above, “finance”, “money” and “loans” are prime examples.
#4 – Keysearch.co: A cheaper alternative to KeywordTool.io
If you want to get extensive search keyword insights across many different platforms online to gauge potential demand for app related keywords but don’t want to have increase your software tool subscription costs significantly then you may want to consider Keysearch as it costs just $17 per month, with only a monthly commitment.
The video below shows what Keysearch is capable of in terms of keyword insights.
#5 – Chrome Plugin: To check out your competitor’s
A great way to discover important keywords is by looking at what your main competitors are doing. The Google Play Store is more suitable for this compared to the Apple App Store, because it allows more room to sprinkle in keyword variations.
We suggest looking at the app title and the short description competitors use. There is a free Chrome plugin that displays the short description for each app you open in the Google Play Store in your Chrome browser.
In the example above, we see that the app has the following keywords in the app title and short description:
- Expense Tracker
- Save money
- Track budget
- Personal finance
- Finance manager
- Bank sync
Those are quite a lot of keywords for such a short amount of characters allowed. It’s worth looking at each of your main competitors and double checking if your list contains all the keywords they are also using.
Part 2: ASO Keyword Performance Tracking Tools
After you have optimized your app for certain keywords, it is important to keep track of your app’s performance in the search results for each keyword. There are several tools that accomplish this and each tool uses their own set of metrics. Here are our top 5 tools:
#1 – ASOTools: For extensive keyword tracking
ASO Tools provides a good keyword search tool that allows you to get keyword insights from the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store and from many countries, it also provides the ability to track keywords for specific apps that you set as tracking projects.
At just $9 USD for the basic package subscription and other subscription levels being cheaper than many of other ASO software that offer similar functionality, it’s worth checking out ASOTools.io to see if can help increase your organic app growth.
#2 – Thetool.io: Track keyword rankings
The Tool is an extensive mobile app marketing and ASO tool which contains a wide variety of functionalities. Their “Keyword Suggest” section provides a list of suggested keywords based on a keyword you enter.
Additionally, you can also use it to track keyword rankings. For each keyword, The Tool uses scores to estimate the difficulty level and the search traffic.
Some of the other features of The Tool:
- Downloads data
- User ratings
- Conversion rates
- Competitor tracking
#3 – Mobileaction.co: To spy on your competitors
Mobile Action is another tool with keyword discovery and tracking capabilities, including the ability to “Spy” on competitors and automatic keyword suggestions. Like most of the other tools we mentioned, Mobile Action uses their own metrics for each keyword: Search Score (which they describe as “relative search volume”) and Chance (similar to “Difficulty” in other tools).
Keywords can be tracked per geographical region (country) and per app (which needs to be selected separately for each app store). With their ASO Premium product, it is possible to generate an ASO report which shows the full list of keywords an app ranks for.
Some of the other features of Mobile Action:
- Apple Search Ads Intelligence
- App Update Timeline
- Localized App Comparison
- Downloads & Revenues estimates
- App Competitor Analysis
#4 – Sensortower.com: For that extra level of intelligence
Sensor Tower is an App Intelligence platform with keyword research capabilities that are similar to Mobile Action. They have keyword spy and keyword suggestions functions and there is also an option to translate keywords into different languages.
Sensor Tower uses their own metrics for Traffic and Difficulty scores, which they each give a value between 0 and 10.
Next to App Intelligence, Sensor Tower has modules for:
- Store Intelligence
- Ad Intelligence
- Usage Intelligence
Each module needs to be purchased separately and gives different kinds of insights.
#5 – AppRanking.com: Maximize your app performance
Appranking is a data-based supporting platform with keyword tracking capabilities and you can understand your keyword ranking by keyword distribution. They have keyword optimization function, you just need to input your title and description, and the optimization tool will automatically identify your app metadata and match the relevant keywords.
Besides, in ASO report module,you can view the ASO report of the selected app, including app visibility, metadata details, comparative data analysis and display of competing products, etc.
Some of the other features of Appranking:
- Market Intelligence
- Ratings & Reviews
- Apple Search Ads Intelligence
- Global Overview
- Competitor tracking