Why App Search Visibility Is Important

This post will show you how to improve your mobile apps marketing strategy by improving your app store discovery visibility.

Every app developer wants to create the slickest, most useful or most outrageously fun app in their niche. But what is the use in having a killer app if nobody can find it?

This is where doing your keyword research comes into play. In this post, we will review why setting your app’s keywords correctly is important, the dramatic effect proper keyword research can have on the number of times your app is downloaded and what you should be doing to stay on top of your keyword game.

It all comes down to downloads

If people cannot find your app, you won’t get anywhere as many downloads and you won’t make as much money as you could be making. Keywords are one way that users can find your app. But you knew that already. What you may not realize is how much of a difference using the right keywords can make.

Earlier this year, we wrote a post on how to tune your app’s keywords. By using the tips in that post, many of our readers were able to improve their app downloads by as much as 300%.

There are other ways that you can boost the number of people that see your app, such as knowing someone on the Apple featured team or incentivized downloads, but the number of people that find your app through organic search is one of the only things that is totally within your control.

Here are some things that you can do to give your app the best shot at being found and downloaded.

Check your keyword rankings daily

Rankings show search visibility

What people are searching for can change dramatically in a short period of time or shift gradually over time. By checking your keyword rankings daily, you can stay on top of current trends, see what your competitors are doing and maximize the visibility of your app.

Use as many keywords as you can

In an interesting study that we did in January of this year, we found that apps that have 15-20 keywords get almost three times the number of downloads, compared to apps with less than five keywords.

Find the right keyword balance

Selecting the right keywords is about finding the balance between using keywords that you can actually rank for and keywords that get enough traffic to make using them worthwhile.

There is no use in ranking for an obscure keyword that nobody searches for. At the same time, there are keywords that are so competitive that you are better off targeting less popular keywords so can you actually rank for those keywords.

Give yourself the best possible chance of being found. Use as many keywords as possible.

Weed out the bad keywords

Filter bad keywords

Using as many keywords as you can doesn’t mean that you should set it and forget it. Taking out keywords that aren’t helping your cause will free up space for ones that will help you get noticed. Remember to remove keywords that don’t rank in the top 10 and keywords no one searches for.

Although ranking in the top 10 for every one of your keywords should be your goal, it is not always possible from the beginning. So do the best you can and continually test new keywords to improve your App Store search rankings. The only exception to throwing out a keyword that your app does not rank well for or, is not getting any traffic, is if it is part of a keyword phrase that has good traffic and your app is ranking well for.

Having trouble finding good keywords to replace them? Check out this tool for some suggestions.


We hope that this post has reminded you to take a closer look at your keywords and give them a tune up, if necessary. As our research has found, it can make a huge difference in the number of times your app is downloaded.

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Hugh Kimura

Written by: Hugh Kimura, Head of Content

Date: June 2013

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