How To Predict A Top 10 App Store Keyword Ranking

Our new Predictive Rank feature will show your app's probability of ranking in the top 10 for every App Store keyword. Find out how it works.

lt="Introducing ASO Keyword Predictive Rank

We are happy to announce that we have just launched our most powerful App Store Optimization metric since the creation of our Traffic and Difficulty Scores. Our Data Science and Engineering teams have been working hard to refine and implement this new feature and it is finally ready for you to use.

This post will demonstrate how it gives you deeper insight into the best keywords to choose, while speeding up the keyword selection process. We will also show you how it should be used in conjunction with our existing keyword metrics.

So without further delay, we proudly present Predictive Rank...

Predictive Rank Adds Deeper Insight Into ASO Keyword Data

If you have been using Sensor Tower for awhile, you are familiar with our proven 3-Step Process for choosing App Store keywords. Large and small app publishers alike have been using it successfully to rank higher in search results and get more downloads.

Step two in the process involves selecting keywords based Difficulty Score. Averaging the Difficulty Scores of the keywords that your app is already ranking in the top 10 for gives you a target Difficulty Score for new keywords.

Although Difficulty Score is an excellent approximation of how hard it is to rank in the top 10 for a keyword, it focuses on the overall ranking difficulty of the keyword itself. It does not take into account the characteristics of the app you are doing keyword research for. This is where there was some room for improvement.

So we asked ourselves how we can get even more specific and factor in the strength of the app being researched, as well the strength of the competitors in its niche.

That is how we came up with the idea for Predictive Rank. It takes the following into account:

  • Your app's characteristics

  • Strength of the competition for the keyword being researched

  • Strength of the competition for all the keywords your app is currently ranking for

This broader look at your app and its competitors allows us to give you a more precise relative ranking prediction. In other words, for every keyword you research, we can now give you the probability of your app ranking in the top 10.

How To Use Predictive Rank

lt="Predictive rank in Keyword Research

If you have an Enterprise account, you will now see our Predictive Rank in the Keyword Research module. When you research a keyword, the five columns on the left will look the same as before: Traffic Score, followed by Difficulty Score and number competing apps for both iPhone and iPad.

But now you will see two additional columns on the right, iPad and iPhone Top 10 Likelihood. This is our Predictive Rank feature.

Let's take a look at a few examples of Predictive Rank in action.

Ranking Prediction

If your app does not currently rank for the keyword you are researching, our Predictive Rank will show you the probability that your app will rank in the top 10 for that keyword. For example, here are the results from a keyword that we researched using one of the top apps on the App Store. Since it is such a popular app, it has a 95% chance of ranking in the top 10 for a keyword that has pretty high Difficulty Scores.


Apps that are not as popular will have a much lower probability of ranking in the top 10. This is an example of an app that does not have a good shot at ranking in the top 10 on both the iPhone and iPad. Therefore this would not be a good keyword to target.

Predictive Rank is not meant to be a replacement for Difficulty Score. You should use Predictive Rank in conjunction with your app's target Difficulty Score to get a more complete picture of which keywords your app can rank well for.

In many cases, you will find that Predictive Rank speeds up the keyword selection process because it saves you the trouble of doing competitive research and it can be used to double check your target Difficulty Score. There may also be times when you can use Predictive Rank on its own. As with everything else in App Store Optimization, do extensive testing and find out what works best for your app.

Existing Ranking

But what happens if your app is already ranking for a keyword? We have that covered too.

We will display a simple "Yes (your app is in the top 10)" or "No (your app is not in the top 10)," along with where your app currently ranks for that keyword. Here is an example of an app that already ranks #5 and #4 for the keyword being researched.

lt="Already ranking high

In this next example, the app does rank for this keyword on the iPhone, but not in the top 10. Therefore "No" is displayed, along with the #12 rank. The app does not rank on the iPad. But if it did, it would only have a 30% chance of ranking in the top 10.

lt="Not ranking in the top 10

By showing you where your app is already ranking, we prevent you from adding duplicate keywords to your new keywords list. If you have several apps and hundreds of keywords to track, this feature alone can save you a lot of time by ensuring that you don't have to go back and replace keywords that you are already using.


So that is how the new Predictive Rank feature in our Keyword Research module can help you find high quality keywords with more speed and accuracy than ever before. It is a huge addition to our platform and something that we are very excited about. Go ahead and give it a try right now.

Predictive Rank is an Enterprise only feature. To see a live demonstration of Predictive Rank and the other Enterprise modules and services that we offer, call or email us.

We would love to hear about your experiences with Predictive Rank. 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