App title is a no-brainer. We don’t need tips for app titles, right? But if you want to have an optimized and better app title, you should consider this 25 quick tips for an app title.
Imagine you have built an app that can find nearest restaurants, access it’s current menu and book a table, what would you name it? What did you call to the app? While you read this post, try to apply these tips to your new restaurant finder app.
#1 Avoid Using Very Long App Titles
We are talking about really long titles here. Although it gives you more space to put keywords, be sure not to sacrifice user experience for the sake of app store optimization. Long app titles are clunky, takes a time to read (unscannable), and it often looks trying too much.
For app titles, Apple App Store allows up to 50 characters while Google Play Store offers a maximum of 30 characters only. It seems like there is a significant advantage on App Store but it really depends on your data gathering and analysis what is best for your app.
#2 Avoid Using Too Short App Titles
If you are planning to use short titles, make sure to add at least two keywords in it. Short titles are best for user experience; it’s easy to read hands down but guess what? It’s harder to rank on app stores. Yup, the exact opposite of long titles.
You can examine these great experiments from AppTweak – 5 ASO Experiments To Understand App Store. They reduce their current title from 83 characters to 34 characters. The results were quite disappointing, one quick glance and you can see that having short app titles doesn’t improve rankings, the ranking even depleted a little bit.
While this is just a simple case study, you can still use the results as a reference when deciding what you should use to your app store optimization strategy.
#3 Stick Up To 80 Characters
Update: Apple recently reduced their app title to maximum of 50 characters. I will update this section as soon as I can. Thanks.
If you are unsure if you are going too long or too short with your app title, keep it around 70-80 characters. I think 25 characters are enough to be called as short app titles while going beyond 100 characters is quite long.
Test It Yourself
If you still confused what to use, you can run a test on your own app. Use different app titles length for your on-page ASO then track and compare the results. After that, settle on what is best for your app. We have different categories, niche, and target audience after all.
#4 Avoid Confusing Spelling
Have you ever heard the famous venture capital firm “Andreessen Horowitz”? Whether you know it or not, we can agree that they have very confusing spelling, right?
Playing or making your words is one hell right method to create a great app title. Just remember, try to make it free from confusing spelling.
#5 Check The Caps
Aside from your spelling, also, watch out for your capitalization. Stick to using sentence case or camel-case methods. Not only it is the most accepted and used method worldwide, but it also looks splendid on user’s perspective. People also expect professionalism and having an app title like “tHiS” may create an adverse impact to your app. Don’t go #YOLO.
Example of sentence case: “This is my app”
Example of camel case: “This Is My App”
#6 Check The Spacing
Check how your title looks on-page, on different devices, and on different platforms and see how your title looks in various media. On some occasions, we overlooked little things like unnecessary or double spaces. Just keep the professionalism high as possible.
#7 Check The Pronounceability
Have you ever use McAfee? How do you say it? “MAC-uhfee”?
No. You are doing it wrong. You pronounce it as “MICK-AHH-fee”.
It is most useful with apps or games with the ability go viral but as always you can apply it on any niche. From spelling to capitalization, never forget to have a natural and recognizable pronunciation. One rule you should use is to make it go with the flow with your tongue.
#8 Never Use Duplicated App Titles
Never duplicate other’s title. Not just because your app title is available, it doesn’t mean that it is free from duplication.Be sure to check your title from all form of media, not just from app and games but also titles from books, movies, TV series and much other more. You don’t want to get in any trouble and sued in the future.
Be sure to check your title from all form of media, not just from app and games but also titles from books, movies, TV series and much other more. You don’t want to get in any trouble and sued in the future.
#9 Avoid Using Filler Words
If you want to avoid something when crafting an app title, this one should be on top of your list. Filler words gain a negative value to most people. Using filler words to your app title is consider as spam and gives an image of a low-quality app that devs do for the sake of ASO.
It is possible to get a higher rankings using some app store optimization with filler words, but the road will be harder if you plan to rank for these keywords as you compete with other apps using the same methods. Plus it looks horrible, looks unprofessional and looks a spam app.
You should also never use “The Game” for your title unless it has something related from movie, book, TV series and alike.
Example of filler words are:
- Fun Game
- Best Game
#10 Avoid Using Genre-Specific Titles
What other pitfalls to avoid that as bad as filler words?
Game developers most use this and gain popularity from flash games era, no wonder why Flash is dying for good. I get it when game developers use it as keywords to help them rank on app markets, but genre-specific app titles look awful and unprofessional.
Examples of genre-specific titles are:
- Tower Defense
- Horror Game
- Fighting Game
- Shooting Game
- Dress up Game
#11 Limit Special Characters Usage
You always want to avoid special characters whenever possible. Your app title will be used and seen in a wide variety of devices from different countries with different languages. Some devices might not support all UTF-8 characters.
Alphanumerics or “0-9, a-z, A-Z”, and special characters like “$-_.+*() are few of the universally accepted characters you can safely use.
#12 Use Two-Name Part Method
One of the best and easiest ways to create a great app title is using the “two name part” method. It is the use of two words that mainly describe your app, its functions and benefits then combining them together.
Examples of “Two name part” are:
The simplest formula is “word+word= two-name part” but since you are using it for your app title where app store optimization matters, you can use the method like this: “keyword+word= two-name part” or “word+keyword= two-name part”.
#13 Try Using Trendy Suffix
You can have an inspiration with Flickr, Spotify, Shopify, Grammarly, etc. This method is most used by newest startup out there and has been also used in apps. The best way is to use your keywords as your trendy suffix. Take Grammarly and Contently for example.
Warning: As this trend is getting popular, more and more users are getting tired of it. 🙂
Examples of trendy suffix are:
#14 Also Try Using Trendy Prefix
Before the boom of cheesy suffixes, there was also the trendy prefix. This method is still widely used and accepted, this might be an older way to name your app, but you can still use it as a way to get an idea and still very relevant to our age.
Here are few examples of brands which uses trendy prefix:
#16 Name Generators Can Help
Maybe you go something like “Why should I use name generators? I can make a title myself!”
The point of using name generators is to have extra sources of the idea for your app title. If you get stuck or just looking for options, using name generators will not hurt you.
#17 Google Suggest, too…
If name generators don’t work for you, you can just ask Google.
Just type your desired topic, phrase, word, keywords, etc. in the search bar (but don’t hit enter) and Google will automatically recommend some phrase used by people who search the web. You can also use Google Adwords for name or keyword ideas.
#18 Be Relevant To Your Target Audience
If you are about to use technical jargon or phrase in your app title, be sure it is relevant to your target audience. One example is Unbounce.com a useful tool for marketers to create easily an engaging landing page that helps reduce bounce rate. For gamers, another great example is Bulbapedia, a community-driven Pokemon encyclopedia.
#19 Make Your Word and Be Creative
Just like you always do whenever you play Scrabble, make up your word.
One of the advantages is the huge chance (almost 99.99%) that your word is free from copyright issues and can be used as a business or a brand. If you are lucky enough, your title might become a valid word just like the word “Google” how it became a verb.
#20 Picture Your App Title In Your Mind
How do you imagine Twitter? A blue bird, right?
Now your turn, imagine your app title in your mind. What do you see?
That image you saw while picturing your app title in your mind can also be used as your app icon or logo. Visuals are much easier to remember than a bunch of text, so it is important to have an app title that connects and blends to your overall theme, interacts and relevant to your logo, personality, and branding.
#21 Make A List And Evolve Your Title
If you haven’t picked any great app title yet, try changing your title constantly. List all your potential app titles and develop a title around them. Maybe try combining two words to make a single word title or use “two-name part” using your app title ideas.
Like how the phrase Hold The Door was traumatizingly shortened to become a one word Hodor.
#22 Check If Domain Name Is Available
If you want to run a dedicated website or micro-blog for your app (and you shall have a website for your app), it is essential to check if the domain names are available. Never check domain names on domain registrars or web hosting sites that offer domain to prevent domain front running.
You can just type your desired domain straight from URL bar on your browser, or you only check it on the site like bustaname.com for better results.
What If My Desired Domain Name Isn’t Available?
We all know that the “.com” domain is the most widely used domain out there. Search engines also love website which uses “.com” domain. People and search engines love it, here are some example you can get way with that problem.
Using Alternative Top Level Domains
There are a lot of great TLDs (top level domains) out there that is universally accepted and can rank in search engines. Aside from those examples, there is also a trend with .xyz domains but as of now, there are no known .xyz domain that ranks high in Google Search, if you know one, please let me know.
TLD’s like: .net, .org, .info, .me, and .io are few of the great alternative for .com which can rank almost the same as .com TLD.
If you are also a local brand or business, you can just use a TLD for your country. Domains like: .us, .co.uk, .jp, .br and .ph are best for geo targetted brands.
Tweaking Your Domain Name
If you wanted to use a particular name and TLD for your branding, you can tweak your domain name a little bit. I think VainGlory is a great example.
It’s a mobile MOBA game, and sadly if you go to VainGlory.com, you can see a photography blog with free Creative Commons license. Regardless, they decided to go with VainGloryGame.com, which apparently solves the problem.
#23 Check If Social Media Accounts Are Available
It is also essential to check if your desired social media name was already taken, especially on Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus where you can do a lot of social media marketing to help you boost your app’s exposure.
You can use namechk.com to check the availability of your desired name on almost all leading social media and alike.
#24 Using Keywords In App Title
Do putting keywords in your app title for the sake of app store optimization can increase your app’s ranking?
Experts from MobileDevHQ (Tune.com) did an impressive research about adding a keyword in app title. They looked at the top 25 ranking position who have used keywords on their app title and compare it to those who didn’t.
The results were surprising as how it favors apps which use keywords in their app titles. Top apps which used keywords ranked 10.3% higher than to those who did not use keywords. You can read the whole article here – 5 Myths About App Store Optimization.
Sure the results give more edge to those who use keywords in their title but don’t be dumb enough to put a chain of keywords in your app title. Although we don’t have a clear insight on Apple’s and Google’s ranking algorithm yet, we can all agree that “chain of keywords” doesn’t look good for “real people” who uses your app.
#25 Change Your App Title If You Have To
Don’t worry if you want to change an app title even your app is already published. Take WPS Office for example, before they are called WPS Office, their original name was Kingsoft Office. WPS stands for “Writer” for W, “Presentation” for P and “Spreadsheet” for S, and now they look better.
Of course, there are few risks when changing an app title like a direct hit to your app’s ranking and possible confusion for potential users. Also, don’t over do it. Limit yourself from changing app titles, even though small changes like adding, replacing or removing keywords on your app title mat affect your business and rankings.
Before you try to change yours, make sure that you have a well-researched app title, that is much better from the previous title, and you inform your current users. A press release will be a great addition when changing our app title.
The Perfect App Title
What is the perfect app title? Is it the use of keywords for the sake of app store optimization?
I know you already want to know how to craft the perfect app title for your game. Who doesn’t want to? So let me show you how to craft the perfect app title for your app.
Here is how:
You can’t. I’m not saying you are not smart enough to craft the perfect app title.
You can’t because the perfect title doesn’t exist. There is only two scenario here, will it be bad or great and you should thrive to achieve the great app title.
The Overcrowded Market
Since the birth of smartphones, there are over millions of apps published in top app markets and around 2000 are added monthly (as the date of writing).
This is where the battle on app store optimization or ASO started. With million of apps, it apparently means there are also over millions of app titles already unavailable, plus all the names protected with copyrights from books, movies, brands, etc.
What Top Mobile Apps Are Doing On Their App Title?
Most of the top mobile apps on app stores are using branded names; we can pick some great idea and inspiration with them.
On both top grossing category, as of June 2016, 22 apps uses in keywords in their app titles on Apple App Store. On the other hand, Google Play have 27 apps which use keywords in their app titles.
We all know using branded titles are slightly harder to rank than one who uses keywords but how do they do it? Is it having excellent off- page and on-page ASO? Or doing a lot of social media marketing for their app? Influencer Outreach? Paid advertising? Reputation management? I think money can talk.
What Google Inc. Doing With Their App Titles?
As I write this article, I ask myself what is Google doing with their app titles? I quickly search for their apps and amazed on what I saw.
It’s obvious that their most popular apps like Chrome, Gmail, and Youtube don’t need to have any keywords on their app title for the sake of ASO. You can take a look at the image below, and I will leave it up to you what is Google trying to define here. (Disclaimer: This data was gathered on June 29, 2016). In case you want more examples, I suggest you to visit GummiCube’s own post here: Mobile App Naming Examples.
Having great app title will have a great impact on you app marketing and app store optimization.
For me, what makes a great app title have only three main rules: short, easy to read, standouts from the others. I believe you don’t have to describe your app using your app title as you already have app icon, description, screenshots and video to show your app’s features and benefits but it doesn’t end here.
Do you know any other tips for app titles? Let us know in the comment section below!
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