5 Edge Case Strategies For Getting More iOS App Downloads

These ASO strategies won't work for all publishers. But if one of them does work for you, they can give you the advantage you have been looking for.

lt="graph of app downloads

Edge cases are situations that are outside the normal range of operation. For example, turning your sound system up to maximum volume is an edge case for the speaker manufacturer. Most people don't use their speakers in that way. But if the speaker manufacturer accounts for this edge case and design their speakers operate well at maximum volume, that would set them apart from the competition.

In App Store Optimization, there is a core set of keyword optimization strategies that all app publishers should implement. But there are also some edge case strategies that not all publishers should use or are even able to use.

If you are able to utilize these strategies, they could give your apps an advantage over your competition. So if you are looking for edge case ASO strategies, this post will give you five that you can review and test.

Leverage Your Integrations

If your app integrates with other services like Dropbox or iCloud, remember to test these services in your keyword list. You may not be able to rank for these services as individual keywords, but you might uncover multi-word keywords that your app can rank for.

For example, "dropbox" is a fairly hard keyword to rank for. It has a Difficulty Score of 5.4 on the iPhone and 4.8 on the iPad.

lt="dropbox keyword

However, if your note taking app stores its notes in Dropbox, you could target a keyword like: "dropbox notes." The Difficulty Score is much lower and there are only a few competing apps.

lt="dropbox notes keyword

Since these are trademarked keywords, there is a chance that Apple might delete the keyword from your keyword list if they don't think you are using it correctly. But the upside is that since these keywords are much more closely monitored for legitimate use, there are usually fewer competing apps.

Notice how all of the keywords in these examples have less than 500 competing apps. Even Apple's own iCloud service has a relatively small number of competing apps.

lt="iCloud Integration

Use Foreign App Stores To Increase The Number Of English Keywords Your App Ranks For

We have noticed some interesting side effects of localizing iOS apps. English keywords that are used in foreign App Stores can help you rank in the US App Store.

For example, let's say that you want to target the keyword "exercise routine" on the US App Store. But you don't have enough space in your keyword list to include this fairly long keyword.

By including this keyword in your keyword list on the Spanish App Store, you may be able to rank for "exercise routine" in US App Store search. We have spoken to several publishers who have verified these findings.

It doesn't always work. But when it does, it can be an easy way to target more than 100 characters worth of keywords. So if this interests you, test your own country combinations and find out what works best for you.

Apple may change things in the future. But for now, this can be an additional advantages to localizing your app. Again, Apple can delete foreign keywords from apps without notice, so be sure to monitor your keywords closely.

Add Keywords To Your Publisher Name

If you create apps that are centered around a common theme or category, you might want to include your primary target keyword(s) in your publisher name. This does not allow much flexibility once you create the publisher name, but it can give you an extra keyword boost if you are set on your target market.

In our previous study on top ranking apps, a very small percentage of these apps had keywords in their publisher name. But there was a noticeable increase in the use of target keywords in apps that ranked #1 for high traffic keywords.

Again, since the publisher name is a static component of a publisher account, it's almost impossible to test and optimize it. But if you are in a position to include keywords in your publisher name, you should certainly consider it because it is included in your keyword list.

Add Keywords To Your In-App Purchases

You can also add keywords to the names of your in-app purchases. When we did a study of the apps that rank for the keywords with the highest traffic, we found that a small percentage of the top app ranking apps used keywords in their in-app purchases.

Therefore, this is certainly an edge case advantage. Many of the top apps that did have keywords in their in-app purchase names used the keyword twice.

Adding a keyword to your in-app purchases twice looks spammy so it is up to you if you want to implement that strategy. But if you can add one keyword to your in-app purchase names, it can help your app rank for more keywords.

Use Category Keywords

Finally, including category related keywords can be a great way to target people who are searching for a certain type of app in an App Store category. Since this is can be a fairly broad search, it may not always be the best strategy.

Brainstorm keywords that include your primary category. For example, a keyword like: "productivity scanner" might be a keyword that someone searches for to find a document scanner in the Productivity category. People may search for category keywords more often than you think, so test it out and measure the results.

You can also target a type of app that may not necessarily have a formal category on the App Store. A good example of this is targeting the keyword "bundle." As we wrote about in this post, if you do offer app bundles, it can be advantageous to target: "keyword + bundle."


These strategies will not work for everyone. But if you have the basics of ASO covered, these edge case strategies can be just what you need to give you an advantage over your competition.

Are there any other edge case strategies that you know about? Let us know in the comments below...

Sensor Tower's platform is an enterprise-level offering. Interested in learning more?

Hugh Kimura

Written by: Hugh Kimura, Head of Content

Date: November 2014

Never miss an insight. Get quality content sent to your inbox every week.

Thank you!

By clicking "Subscribe" above, I agree to the Terms of Service and acknowledge the Privacy Policy.