Why is No One Targeting This Keyword?

Ariel Ariel
3 minute read Aug. 9

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.


Why is No One Targeting This Keyword?

There are endless* combinations of keywords that are popular and aren't being targeted. I call those "opportunities" because they're popular, and it wouldn't take much, as you'll see in this Keyword Teardown, to rank in them.

And I found this one by following a trend. Nothing fancy.

Keyword: Music Widget

43 moderate 74 high 15K high 675.3K very high

Recently, a music widget took over the App Store in the US, gaining a million downloads in just a few days. Widgets are hot, so I expected to find a lot of competition for music widget, a keyword with a popularity score of 43.

That's not at all what I found, and I have no idea why. It's an opportunity for sure.

Search results for "Music widget" in the U.S App Store

In first place we have MD Vinyl, the app that took over the App Store, and as you'll soon see, the only app that's really trying to rank for this keyword.

It's almost doing everything right. It has the keyword in the name, has a pretty focused name and subtitle, and gets lots of new ratings. It's committing the sin of duplication by repeating "music" in the subtitle. I get why it does that, but it still hurts. They get away with it because no other app really competes here.

That's the opportunity. And this is the third time I say it, so I hope you got it by now.


Monitor. Optimize. Grow

Get actionable insights in minutes!


Below it, we have WidgetPod, which isn't targeting either word in the name, unless the algorithm reads "widget" out of WidgetPod. It uses "music" in its subtitle, so the combo helps it rank even though it barely gets any new ratings.

Side note: I often get asked if the average rating is important for ASO, and the answer is no. That's how an app with an average rating of 3.06 can rank second.

In third place we have WidgetBox, which follows a similar path as WidgetPod but has "music" in its keyword list. That's why its slightly-larger handful of ratings don't push it up higher. Yup, the keyword list is important. I think I've said that before.

Moving on down to fourth place, we see the only other app that tries to target this keyword. And it earns itself a solid win for its effort. An app with no ratings made its way into the top five results simply by following the rules.

WidgetTunes uses the full keyword right in its name. It also shoots itself in the foot, metaphorically, by repeating both words in the subtitle. Because the competition is so much worse, WidgetTunes gets to earn its fourth spot even after committing the sin.

If you're thinking to yourself, "can it go higher if it removes the duplication", the answer is probably.

And the last one on this list is... very weird. Top Widgets doesn't use the full keyword in its visible metadata and duplicates "widget" and has Chinese in its name. But it gets a bunch of new ratings and likely has "music" at the beginning of its keyword list, and the algorithm can't ignore it.

This was a wild one!

What You Need to Know

The easiest way to gain visibility for your app or game with App Store Optimization is by finding opportunities – keywords that have a high popularity score where the top results aren't targeting it directly.

You can do that by using the Related tab of Keyword Inspector to get ideas, or you can try following a hot trend. There are other ways, but these are pretty simple.

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

Related Resources

How to (NOT) Do App Store Optimization
Keyword Teardowns
How to (NOT) Do App Store Optimization

Here's a keyword every top result messes app, and how to fix it and become the top results.

What Do You Need to Rank for the Hottest Keyword Right Now?
Keyword Teardowns
What Do You Need to Rank for the Hottest Keyword Right Now?

Here's what you need to know in order to get your apps to rank in very popular ASO keywords