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[Product Update] Use Keyword Spy & Research to Rank at the Top

7 min read

product update keyword spy research

All ASO warriors know that one of the most challenging parts in ASO is finding the right keywords to target. Countless brainstorming sessions will help you come up with the most related keywords. But how to discover the least competitive ones that are both related to your app and users actually search for? MobileAction’s ASO Intelligence is the best answer to that question, and we make sure that answer never changes with frequent updates.

To make keyword discovery easier and give you the best user experience possible, we have revamped the Keyword Spy and Keyword Research features. Not only have the UI of these pages become more user-friendly, but some of the most useful tools have also been added for you to easily discover the most download bringing keywords. To show you the best use case for these two features, let’s take an app for an example.

Starting From Category Rankings

Suppose that you are an ASO Manager for a meditation app such as Relax Melodies: Sleep Sounds by Ipnos. Your close competitors would be some formidable apps such as Headspace, Calm, and Sleep. Historical category rankings of these apps in the U.S. are as follows:

category rankings meditation apps
Historical Category Ranking of Relax Melodies, Calm, Headspace & Sleep

The data has been extracted on Dec. 26, 2019, and the time window was set as Nov. 27, 2019 – Dec 26, 2019. As you can see above, Relax Melodies seems to be competing against Calm and Headspace pretty well until Sleep attacks on Dec. 23rd and surpasses it. To get more insights into the current situation, let’s also check the Daily Rankings for U.S. under this graph:

daily category ranking meditation apps
Daily Category Ranking of Relax Melodies, Calm, Headspace & Sleep

The daily rankings chart for Dec. 26th shows that Calm is the top meditation app in the Health & Fitness category, and Headspace is following it closely. Sleep also seems to be catching up with top 2 meditation apps. Analyzing the above metrics, we can say that Relax Melodies has still good opportunities on the ASO end to be one of the Top 3 meditation apps by spying on its competitors’ ranked keywords and discovering new keywords. Read on to see how.

Spying on Competitors

In Keyword Spy feature, we reveal a selected competitor’s keywords through 6 sources: 

  • App Metadata: The keywords from an app’s title, subtitle, and description. 
  • Ranked Keywords: All the ranked keywords of an app, sorted in the ranges: 1-10, 11-50, and Others.
  • Paid Keywords: The keywords on which an app is running Search Ads. High, Medium and Low groups are formed based on the percentage of impression share coming from those keywords.
  • SearchAds Recommended Keywords: The keyword suggestions of Apple Search Ads for the selected app.
  • Keywords by Download: Most download bringing keywords ordered from highest to the lowest.
  • Category Keywords: Most popular keywords of the selected app’s category.

Now we know about the different keyword sources, let’s get down to the business and start spying on the competitors!

Keywords from Calm’s Metadata

calm metadata keywords
Keywords from Calm’s Metadata

As we’re already tracking a bunch of keywords from the metadata of Relax Melodies, many shared keywords from Calm’s metadata are already being tracked. The number next to the keywords show the keyword density in the description and the keywords in the description are sorted based on that number. All that is left for us to choose the most related ones such as “sleep stories” and “mindfulness” and track them.

Ranked Keywords of Headspace

Ranked keywords of a competitor can be a great source for inspiration. The keywords we’ll find in this section indicates the possible opportunities to scale your ASO strategy.

headspace ranked keywords
Ranked Keywords of Headspace

Above you see the ranked keywords of Headspace. The keywords that Headspace ranks between 1-10 seem to reflect the benefits of the app and the pain points of the users. Targeting these keywords in the Health & Fitness category would be absolutely a well-crafted strategy as users generally write either their problems into the search bar to find solutions (e.g. stop anxiety) or what they need to solve the problem (e.g. guided meditation). 

We definitely need to keep a close eye on the keywords that contain the target keywords of Relax Melodies such as “relax and sleep”, “guided relaxation”, and “anxiety and sleep”. Don’t think about the search popularity or the ease of ranking at this step since you can always do a thorough analysis, using Keyword Tracking feature later.

Paid Keywords of Breethe

Search Ads keywords of an app are usually well-thought-out ones worth paying attention to. Since the apps focus on bidding on the right keywords that will bring the most loyal users, you can rely on your competitor’s paid keywords to use in your ASO strategy. As Breethe is aggressively  investing in Search Ads, let’s see from which keywords they are getting their impressions:

breethe paid keywords
Paid Keywords of Breethe

Realized some familiar brand names? As a common Search Ads strategy, Breethe is also bidding for the brand name keywords of its close competitors, “headspace” and “calm”. Other than the brand names, they focus on the keywords reflecting certain needs such as “relaxing sounds app”, “guided relaxation”, and “meditation for sleep”. Here it would make sense to add the keywords related to sleep and meditation to your tracking list to work on them later.

Search Ads Recommendations for Sleep

As Apple Search Ads Advanced provides a high-quality keyword list for every app, we can discover new keywords by checking Search Ads suggestions for the competitors. Among all the competitors we mentioned at the beginning, Sleep has a very similar focus as does Relax Melodies. So, let’s take a look at Apple’s recommendations for it:

search ads recommendations sleep
Search Ads Recommended Keywords for Sleep

The numbers next to the keywords show the Popularity Score. And all keywords are sorted from most popular to least. As expected, the most popular keywords are generally brand names. Other than the brand keywords, we can pinpoint some seed keywords to research such as “sound”, “sleep” “noise”, and “story”. These keywords might seem easy to find at first glance. But remember: we’re more interested in different combinations of these keywords, which we can find in Keyword Research feature.

Can’t wait to try Keyword Spy? Schedule a demo to let us give you a complete tour of this feature.

Keywords by Download from Simple Habit

most download keywords simple habit
Most Download Bringing Keywords of Simple Habit

Keywords by Download can be a great help to take a sneak peek at competitors’ best organic keywords. In the above screenshot, you see the most download bringing keywords of Simple Habit: Sleep Meditation. Since Simple Habit also ranks for branding keywords, it is no surprise that users interested in Calm, Breethe or Headspace can also download Simple Habit to give it a try. This also shows how important it is to rank for the brand keywords.

Category Keywords for Health & Fitness

category keywords health and fitness
Category Keywords – Health & Fitness

The last feature to pay attention to in the Keyword Spy feature is the Category Keywords section where you see the most popular keywords of any category. For the Health & Fitness category, we can see a great interest in fitness apps – which makes sense since it’s that time of the year 🙂  But still, some brand keywords such as “calm” hand “headspace” still managed to get into many fitness and diet-related keywords. And it seems like “sleep” and “sleep sounds” still remain at the top, which shows a good opportunity for Relax Melodies.

👉 Wish to know more about the use cases of category keywords? Read our blog post about Category Keywords feature.

When you click on a keyword to track, it is automatically added to our Keyword Tracking List to do further analysis. Additionally, you can see all the shared keywords on Keyword Spy page and your tracked keywords on the right-hand side.

keyword spy mobile action
Keyword Spy

Now that we spied on the competitors and got some useful ideas, let’s move on to Keyword Research to analyze some seed keywords and find new ones.
Before we move on to the next section, if you’re already in love with what you see and don’t wish to wait till the end of this post, schedule a demo here 🙂

Keyword Research for Relax Melodies

In Keyword Research feature, we can get keyword recommendations for any seed keyword or keyword phrase we want from 6 different sources:

  • Apple Auto Fill: The autocomplete suggestions from the App Store for a keyword you type
  • Google Play Suggestions: The keyword recommendations from the Play Store
  • Search Ads Recommended Keywords: Recommended keywords from Apple Search Ads Advanced for your keyword query
  • Similar Keywords: Keywords sorted based on an assigned similarity score for the keyword you search for.
  • Related Keywords: The App Store’s recommendations for your keyword query 
  • Trending Searches: Most searched keywords

When we were spying on competitors, we detected some high potential seed keywords for Relax Melodies. One best use case for Keyword Research is to enter a keyword phrase for which you rank quite high to see what other highly relevant keywords you’re likely to rank at the top results. Since Relax Melodies already ranks at the top for “sleep sounds” as it targets this phrase in its app name, let’s see what additional opportunities Keyword Research feature can offer us.

Apple Auto Fill & Google Play Suggestions

apple auto fill google play suggestions
Apple Auto Fill & Google Play Suggestions

“Sleep sounds” is one of the strongest keyword phrases for Relax Melodies. Yet, there are already 1,823 apps ranking for it. The long-tail versions coming from Apple or Google are likely to be less competitive than this. And the best part is that people don’t have to write the whole phrase by themselves as they will see the suggestions automatically and choose one among them.

When one thinks of “sleep sounds”, two of the most common ones are ocean and rain sounds, and it might be a good idea to look into those phrases as well. For example, “rain sleep sounds free” coming from Apple Auto Fill has a chance score of 59 with about 300 apps ranking for it. And it turns out that Relax Melodies is not ranking for it yet.

Getting Help from Apple Search Ads Advanced

search ads recommended keywords
Search Ads Recommended Keywords for “sleep sounds”

Similar to the one in Keyword Spy page, you can find recommendations from Apple Search Ads in Keyword Research, but with a major difference. The recommendations listed here will be in one way or another related to your keyword query. Again, the number next to a keyword shows how popular that keyword is. Since the keywords in this section are highly likely to be relevant to Relax Melodies, better keep track of them to keep ranking at the top 10 for all.

Finding Similar & Related Keywords

similar related keywords
Similar & Related Keywords

Similar Keywords are the ones which have similar search results as your search query. MobileAction’s algorithm simply checks the results of the two different keywords, one of which is the keyword that you typed in the search bar. Then, according to the number of the common apps in the results, it assigns a similarity score, 100 meaning the most similar. Basically, these are the keywords you have high chances of ranking, and you should definitely consider tracking them. Not to mention, they’re very much related to the keyword you entered.

Related Keywords is what the App Store suggests to you for your keyword query in the previous versions of iOS. As these keywords are generally fancy keywords with good relevancy, you may want to take them into account for your keyword research.

After you click on all the keywords you wish to track, you can conduct a deeper analysis on the Keyword Tracking page. All the keywords you added from different features are gathered on this page and ready to be sorted for different filters and exported.

keyword tracking mobile action
Keyword Tracking

This is basically one of the many use cases of our revamped Keyword Spy & Research features. Hope this post will be useful for you in your quest of finding new keywords. We strive to make these features even better in the future, so try Keyword Spy and Keyword Research and let us know how we can improve them more for you.

New in MobileAction or in ASO? Start your free trial today! Or schedule a demo with us to talk about your ASO needs.

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