How Does the App Store Look for Keywords?

Many iOS app developers are still having problems figuring out how the App Store search engine works with their app’s metadata. While adding keywords to your app name, description, keywords section, and in-app purchases seems pretty straightforward, using keyphrases is not as easy. In this post we’ll try to help you with the keyphrases, so that you understand which ASO techniques work and which don’t.

Where does the App Store look for keywords?

To understand keyphrases, you need to first understand where the App Store search engine looks for keywords. It looks for keywords in the following places:

  • App name
  • Display names for in-app purchases
  • Publisher name

Where does the App Store Search Engine look for keyphrases?

And now to the keyphrases. Apparently, the App Store search engine creates keyphrases by combining the keywords from the app’s name, app’s keywords and the publisher name. It does not look for keywords for keyphrases anywhere else.

Note that the app’s description does not influence the App Store search engine at all. The only purpose your description serves is to compel the users to download the app, so it should be well-written and have a clear call to action.

Another thing you should know is that in-app purchase display names do influence the search, but only if it’s an exact match. For example, if a user searches the App Store for “boost turbo” and your in-app purchase is called “Turbo Boost”, it will not get displayed.

And last but not least, remember that keyword placement matters. Keywords in the app name get more weight in the ranking algorithm because Apple thinks that if your app has a keyword in its name, it’s more relevant.

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