The Keyword Spy Module Reveals Your Competitor’s iOS App Keywords

Want to find out what successful iOS apps use for their keywords? The easiest way is to use the Keyword Spy module.

One of the easiest ways to get great keyword ideas is to see what apps in your category are using. This quick tutorial will show you how to use our Keyword Spy module to get keyword ideas. If you prefer the text version of this tutorial, it is provided after the video.

How To Use The Keyword Spy Module

Select Your App

First, be sure that your app is selected at the top of the screen. If it is not selected, click the green Add New App button or select a previously saved app from drop down list by clicking on the name of the app that is currently shown. In this example, we will use Clash of Clans, as if it was our app.


Select the Keyword Spy Module

Then select the Keyword Spy module from the slide-out menu on the left side of the screen.

select keyword spy

This is the screen that you will see. You are now ready to compare your app to a competing app.

compare app

Choose An App To Spy On

Now choose an app that you want to spy on. Start typing in the app name in the search box on the left side of the screen. If it is an iPad or iPhone specific app, then you can select the button for the version you want to examine. If it is a universal app, then it does not matter which button is selected. For this example, we are using Clash of Clans competitor Kingdoms of Zenia: Dragon Wars.

keyword spying

The Keyword Spy module will then pull up the ASO keywords for that app and compare them to your app. All of the keywords highlighted in blue are keywords that are in the title of the app and not explicitly declared in the iTunes keyword list. It is likely that the app will rank higher for that keyword because of an exact keyword-title match.

The keywords listed in the middle of the screen are the keywords that both apps have in common. This will help you to see which of your keywords are already on your competitor's list so you know which keywords you are directly competing against them for and so you don't add duplicates to your keyword ideas list.

Here is just a sample of the keywords from the two apps and the keywords that they share. As you can see, they have several keywords in common.

app comparison


When you find keywords that are relevant to your app, be sure to add them to your running keyword idea list. Then, use our 3 step process to determine if the keywords you found would be good candidates to include in your iTunes keyword list.

Keyword spying is just one of the ways that you can brainstorm for ideas. To get more ideas, read our keyword brainstorming guide.

To learn how to use all of our modules, read our User Guide. If you're looking at App Annie competitors, be sure to read more about our platforms.

UPDATE (01/24/2014): Now you can track all of the Keyword Spy keywords with just one click. Find out more here.

What is the most surprising thing that you have learned from keyword spying? Let us know in the comments below.

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Hugh Kimura

Written by: Hugh Kimura, Head of Content

Date: November 2013