Find Keywords for your App that Generate Downloads [6 easy to follow steps]

Wouldn’t you like your app to generate huge amounts of downloads every day, without spending time and money for costly marketing campaigns. This is exactly what App Store Optimization and organic traffic delivers to you.

The key to achieve this and to get found is to choose the right keywords. This is not about writing down the most obvious words coming to your mind. Invest some time and use a systematic approach.

In this article I show you 6 awesome steps to find and select keywords that will boost your downloads. Afterwards you will have the abilities to optimize your keywords effectively and rule the App Store.

Here is what you do:

1. Brainstorm

Start off and brainstorm until your head feels windy. Write a list with all the words coming to your mind. For example what does your app do, what problems does it solve, for whom is it, what features are there, etc.

Start on paper, because this accelerates your creativity. You can also draw, sketch or doodle – whatever works.

Cluster words by groups afterwards. Then write a list in a spreadsheet or whatever is convenient for you.

2. Multiply

Take the list you have crafted and type the words into a thesaurus. is a good point to start. Add synonyms and new words you find to your list.

Use Google Suggestions by pasting in the words and terms into the search field and see what alternative expressions you get.

Another helpful tool from Google is the Keyword Planer. Enter some phrases and get even more ideas and keyword groups.

To find more app specific keywords use and discover what others have used. Take your biggest competitors and spy their keywords. Sensortower has great set of free functionality and premium paid features, including a keyword suggestion tool. Play around with their tools and get more ideas.

3. Evaluate

Estimate the traffic and competition for your keywords. In the last step you used the Keyword Planer – utilize this tool further to get traffic estimates for your keywords. It’s of course related to web search, but it gives you a rough idea, when you compare the different words to each other.

Next go to a or They will offer you an awesome tool set to asses your keywords. For example go to Sensortower and select App Store Optimization > Keyword research. Enter your keywords and you will end up with values for traffic and difficulty.

At the beginning you should focus on difficulty more than on traffic. A great way to compare different keywords is to calculate the ratio of traffic and difficulty – the higher it is, the more interesting it is. Copy paste the traffic and difficulty in a spreadsheet and divide the traffic by the difficulty. Order everything so that you get a descending list. The words with the biggest value are the most interesting ones.

4. Polish

Come up with a short list of words and phrases you want to target. You do not want to have more than a couple of keywords at the beginning. Focus on three to five main terms and add some supporting keywords.

5. Rule

Use the keywords and place them in the major spots. Add them to your app’s title – this is the most important place. However, do not push it too hard or your app will be rejected. A hand full of keywords should be decent. Still, you want to include them in a descriptive way and not stuff them into the title. In the Apple App Store make a 100 character list and add it to the keywords field in iTunes Connect. Remember to just use commas between the words. In the Play Store write a great description and include your keywords.

6. Grow

Don’t stop with the first version of your app. The most important phase just starts now. Track your results and get better over time. Analyze which keywords perform best. For example which generate the most downloads and even more importantly, which bring the most purchases or revenue. Over time you will get a good picture what works best. Just don’t stop improving. Systematically document the performance. Make a habit from it and look at your stats every week.


Finding good keywords is just the start of App Store Optimization, but an important one. It is the fundament of getting noticed. If you optimize the keywords correctly, you can achieve a lot. On top of this optimization you set up other marketing strategies.

Let’s go and find some keywords that boost your app downloads!