#42 - The Difference One Word Can Make...

Ariel Ariel
4 minute read Jan. 11

Have you ever looked at search results in the App Store and wondered why they're ranked the way they are? In this series of Keyword Teardowns we analyze how the algorithm works and highlight tips and tricks to help you rank higher.


#42 - The Difference One Word Can Make...

Last week we looked at what the algorithm does when presented with a generic keyword that can apply to different types of apps. Today we're looking at the "other" group and how following the data is how your win with ASO.

FYI - My live ASO Q&A is tomorrow! Subscribe to our YouTube Channel to participate.

Keyword: Soccer Scores

29 low 46 moderate 209 very low 83.3K very high

One word can make a big difference when it comes to ASO, and how you pick that one word isn't a complicated process, but it requires data. The keyword Soccer scores, a follow-up to last week's analysis, shows us exactly why it's important to choose keywords that the algorithm likes and not by gut. Let me show you what I mean.

Search results for "Soccer scores" in the U.S App Store

When you think about sports, you have news and you have scores. At this point, both mean both, especially when it comes to apps. So, which should you choose if you have an app that does both?

Easy, the one with the higher popularity score!

In #1, we have my go-to app, FotMob. It does exactly what it should. There's no duplication, the important keywords are in the name, the subtitle has keywords that combine with the main one from the name. And that gives it the power to dominate this keyword while not having the most new ratings.

OneFootball, the #2 result, chose to go with news and relegated "scores" to the subtitle. Now, here's what I mean about deciding with data. Soccer news, which sounds like it'd be more popular because it's about more than just scores, has a lower popularity score than soccer scores. With more than 3x the ratings, OneFootball is aiming for a lower keyword for no good reason...

This one's important! When you're evaluating keywords before or during an experiment, make sure you check the popularity score Keyword Inspector. If you're evaluating many keywords, I'd suggest tracking them all in Keyword Performance so you can see all the popularities in a single table quickly.

Back to the analysis.

Third is SofaScores, which doesn't even include half of the keyword in its name or subtitle (it's in the keyword list). What's going on??? Well, to understand that we really need to look at the rest of the results, and a quick look shows they either all don't include "soccer" anywhere visible (but do in the keyword list) or have so few ratings that the algorithm can't help them.

So we shouldn't be surprised that the #4 result, FlashScore doesn't have "soccer" in its name at all.

Aaaaaand the same for #5, Premiere League, which is the most official app of the bunch... I'm not sure who's doing their ASO, but it doesn't even have a subtitle! The lack of care is probably why it's barely noticeable, even though it has the most new ratings of the bunch (and downloads).

This is, again, another good opportunity. See, you don't need tons of new ratings to pop into the top 5 results if you can get the keywords right.

If you're in such a case, where you don't have enough ratings to break into the top 5 for a keyword, find similar keywords the competition isn't targeting and target them. Even if they have a lower popularity score. If you can become the top result in that keyword, it'll give you momentum and later on you'll be able to compete for the original one.


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What You Need to Know

Keyword optimization is best done with hard data instead of by guessing. And, if you think you know because it "makes sense", you are guessing just as well because trends on the App Store aren't always intuitive.

Do it right! Choose keywords based on their popularity score.

And that's all I have for you today. Subscribe to the newsletter for a new Keyword Teardown next week. If you have any questions or comments, you can find me on Twitter.

Are You Putting My Tips to Good Use?

App Store Optimization is part art and part science. I say it a lot, and I mean it. The art part is what I've been talking about in this Keyword Teardown and in my App Teardowns. The science part is where our simple and intuitive ASO tools come into play.

See where your apps are ranked, track trends, learn from competitors, get smart suggestions, and more, here.

Tagged: #aso

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