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App Store SEO

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App Store SEO

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A couple posts today about performing SEO for your App Store listing; since that’s pretty much the only thing you can do to market your app to casual App Store browsers — well, unless you buy your way on to the charts I suppose — it does behoove the struggling developer to keep abreast of evolving thoughts on the subject.

Over at How To Make iPhone Apps there’s a discussion of leveraging your app description

Seeding your app description with keywords is one technique that I have not heard discussed often. People who run marketing oriented websites know that they can find out what search terms that users type into browsers to find what they want. You can do the same thing with the App Store’s search engine.

If you do this you are more likely to reach users who already know what they want and are actually looking to buy something. For example, I have an app that is for wine tasting. So, I made sure that I included search terms that wine drinkers are likely to include like “tasting note”, “wine journal”, “wine’ and so on.

This approach may be better for niche audiences and some of it may occur naturally if you simply write a coherent description. However, take extra care to include words that are likely to resonate with your audience. As time goes on you will want the sales coming from people searching out your terms because it will get increasingly difficult to stay at the top of the release date lists.

Indeed. And then, check out this Clever Twist post organized by 6 tips:

  • Tip #1: Learn the Basics
  • Tip #2: Learn to Love Keywords
  • Tip #3: Don’t Waste Your Time or Money on Google Search
  • Tip #4: Give Your App a Descriptive Name
  • Tip #5: Study the Successes
  • Tip #6: Piggyback on the Successes

Although we will warn you to consider most carefully before you decide to follow tip #6,

… If you have a great game that is somewhat similar to a game in the top 10 of the iTunes store, there’s no shame in writing a description that reads something like, “For fans of [successful app], we present [your app].” This way, anyone searching for the first app will come across yours too.

First off, we’re not so sure we agree there’s no shame in this strategy. But more importantly, this is an SEO keyword strategy that a number of developers have stumbled across as being effective and promptly taken to insane lengths, throwing in the names of top ten apps into their descriptions whether or not they actually had anything to do with the application category, never mind the application specifically. Apple quite rightly figured that was a bit rich, and so there’s been some stories of apps being rejected/disapproved because of mentions of applications not published by you in your descriptions. So be warned that if you do try this strategy, you’re taking at least somewhat of a risk. It depends on how blatantly you’re playing the search engine rather than providing some useful comparative information, most likely…

[EDIT: And just a few days later ... Apple adds a keywords field to your application information on iTunes Connect!]


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