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28 Aug 2014

App Store Optimization Tips to Increase Your Mobile Game’s Visibility

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Have you noticed that your mobile game isn’t getting as much love as you think it should? Wish you could change that? Then you need to make your mobile game more discoverable, and the best way to do this? Utilizing App Store Optimization (ASO) techniques.

We’ve discussed ASO techniques before, and we’ve even mentioned some awesome tools for helping you to find strong keywords. Even so, there’s still a lot to be said about ASO and using it to your advantage. Here are some of the best tips for using ASO to make your mobile game easier to find.

Research keywords

Think about your mobile game as a whole for a few moments. If you could pick 10 keywords that apply to your mobile game, what would it be?

Ask some other people what they would pick – specifically those that are not working on your mobile game. Write down some of their answers, then use the tools linked above to find out which keywords are more popular than others.

You can also type in the first few letters of every keyword. For example, if you are developing a shooting game, consider using this as a keyword. Type ‘S-H-O,’ and you are probably going to get a bunch of games with the word ‘shooter’ in the title. What does this mean for you? Quite simply, the keyword ‘shooter’ is a strong keyword that you should be using.

Find the two strongest keywords (i.e. the keywords that yield the most results in your search results) and…

Target these keywords

The most popular keyword of the two should actually be in your mobile game’s title. If the keyword ‘shooter’ is the most popular keyword you have found, a title like ‘World’s Hardest Shooter’ would be appropriate.

Even better? Try to include the secondary keyword into your title. For example, if your mobile game looks like a cartoon brought to life and you have found that the second most popular keyword is ‘cartoon,’ then the title ‘The Shooter – Cartoon Warfare’ would be an appropriate title.

See how the title is formatted? It included the most popular keyword (main keyword) first followed by the secondary keyword. It’s also a short title, and because the first 25 characters of an app’s name are shown mobile store listings, you need to keep the title 25 characters and under.

 Ensure your description is solid

Believe me: a strong description is essential. People read the descriptions, and if they sound like they have been written by an amateur? They will usually pass. One of our past posts details how to avoid poor mobile game descriptions that are certain to help you out, but here are a few additional pointers I want to give you:

  • Your first sentence must focus on the main idea behind your game (your thesis statement).
    • It must summarize the highlights of your game.
    • Keep it to the point.
    • Use your primary keyword in your first sentence.
  • Your second sentence should support your opening sentence and utilize your secondary keyword.
  • Include at least 10 sentences (but no more than 15), using your primary and secondary keywords throughout.
  • Three sentences per paragraph.
  • Take your time with the description! Don’t rush it. Take breaks often and continue working on it until you know it’s complete (and you will know when it is).

Do you have any other tips/comments regarding ASO techniques? Let us know in the comments below!

3 Responses

  1. I just wanted to add a few comments on how to choose keywords. If you have a really popular app, then looking for the strongest keywords can be a good idea.

    However, especially with indie apps, you should actually be more concerned with ranking well for a keyword, than the popularity. It doesn’t matter if a keyword gets 100,000 searches a month, if you rank #448 for that keyword.

    That means figuring out the Difficulty Score of the keywords you chose. It also means that you have to figure out the range of Difficulty Scores that your app can rank for.

    If you are just starting out, then you should target Difficulty Scores of 3.0 or less. If you have an established app, you should average the Difficulty Score of all of the keywords that you rank in the top 10 for.

    Hope that helps…


    P.S. – Be sure to take a look at the updates for both iOS 8 and Android L and how they will affect ASO.

    1. Great advice Hugh, thanks for sharing. A keyword’s Difficulty Score is a topic all its own, so you’ve given me a great idea for a post next week. I suppose I should be thanking you again :).

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