One Letter That Can Make A Huge Difference In your iOS Keyword Rankings

This one letter can give you the advantage when you are optimizing your App Store keywords. Find out how and when to use it.

Staying on top of your Apple App Store keywords is a ongoing process and the hardest part is usually coming up with new keyword ideas to stay competitive. Well, there is one source of ideas that you may have overlooked that can make all the difference.

One of the keys to iOS App Store Optimization that our Keyword Optimization Module makes you aware of is the presence of both plural and singular versions of a word. Generally, you should only include the least competitive version that has reasonable traffic. The only time that you should include both versions is if they are super relevant to your app and have similar Traffic and Difficulty Scores.

However, if you have not been researching both the singular or plural version of your keywords, then you may be missing out on some easy keyword wins. But how much of a difference does one little "s" really make? Shouldn't they pretty much be the same?

Keep reading to find out.


Here are just three examples from the Apple App Store that demonstrate the large discrepancies that can exist in competition between the singular and plural versions of words. Something to remember for the next time you sit down to do your keyword research. For simplicity, we will only analyze keywords for the iPhone.

An Image Is Worth A Thousand...Downloads

There are tons of apps that want to be the next Instagram because people love to share photos. A keyword that you might think of for this type of app is "photograph." When we look at the data for both versions of the word, we find that there are big differences in both the Difficulty Scores and the number of competing apps, while the amount of traffic both keywords get is about the same. Using the plural can be the difference between raking in the top 10 and ranking in the thousands for a photo related app.

"Downloads" Can Increase Downloads

The difference between "download" and "downloads" is not a drastic as in the example above, but there is an advantage to using the plural version when it comes to ranking difficulty and there are more than 10 times more apps that are competing for the singular.

Scan Your Keywords Carefully

OK, one more example. Like we saw in the photograph example, "scan" is another keyword where it is much more advantageous to use the plural version of the word. The Difficulty Score for the iPhone is almost half and there are about 100 times more apps for the singular. You gain a huge advantage, just by adding a "s" to the end of the word.


Of course, the plural might not have the same meaning in all cases, so be sure to keep relevance in mind. But next time you do your keyword research, do not forget to check both versions of your ideas. The metrics are often similar, but as we have shown above, there are a few rare cases where the plural is overlooked and can give you an edge over your competition.

Just like with all things App Store Optimization, you need to test it to see if it works for your app. But this one tip can save you time by allowing you to easily upgrade your existing keywords.

Do you have any other tips when it comes to using plural keywords?

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Hugh Kimura

Written by: Hugh Kimura, Head of Content

Date: February 2014