Last Update: September 8, 2016
Don’t know what keywords to use or struggling to find new keyword idea for your app?
Doing keyword research for your app costs money. You can just hire an expert or agency or do it yourself but not all mobile developers, or publisher has that amount of money.
Doing keyword research without a budget is difficult especially if you don’t know where to start. Well, you’re dead wrong! Here are some few online tools and methods you can use to find keywords for your app.
I want to start with the most available tools out there which are Google. They have some useful tools that can you can use for your keyword research. If you are publishing on Google Play Store, it’s also advisable to follow their guidelines for SEO from Google Webmasters.
#1 Google Autocomplete
The reason it’s the first on the list is it’s almost available anytime. As we type in the Google search bar, Google predicts some possible search term that might be similar to what you are searching Google states that:
An algorithm automatically generates autocomplete predictions without any human involvement. The algorithm is calculated on objective factors, including how often others have searched for a word.
Autocomplete just proves that what Google suggest to your query is the most used keywords. Follow this link if you want to learn more about – Google Autocomplete.
#2 Google Trends
While Google Autocomplete gives more like a random suggestion, Google Trends can show the statistics of a search query at a particular time. It’s made to show some data changes, behavior, and the popularity of keywords around the globe. You can also filter your results based on time and different countries.
Using Google Trends will help you to gather new and trending keywords for your app. It is also a very useful tool if you are planning to do some app localization as you can set the results to show only from a particular country.
Site Link: Google Trends
#3 Google Keyword Planner
Update: Some Google Adwords users with lower monthly ad spend may now show data ranges instead of exact value.
This is the bread and butter for keyword research. If you are not aware of Google Keyword Planner, the keyword planner helps new or experienced advertisers to get through the process of creating new ad groups and ad campaigns. It can help you identify keyword’s popularity over time, filter out low-volume searches and competitive keywords and more.
It is one of the most powerful keyword research yet free tool based on top SEO and Social Media Marketing experts around the world.
Site Link: Google Keyword Planner
#4 Google Correlate
Although it is an entirely different tool from the other keyword research tools here, it lets you see keywords in a different angle. It helps you see correlation data over time by geographical location. Perfect for apps with target users from the US.
It’s a bit confusing, but you can easily learn how to use it. I let Google explain this tool to you go to their Google Correlate Tutorial Page if you want to find out more:
Google Correlate is like Google Trends in reverse. With Google Trends, you type in a query and get back a data series of activity (over time or in each US state). With Google Correlate, you enter a data series (the target) and get back a list of queries whose data series follows a similar patter.
Site Link: Google Correlate
App Store Optimization Tools:
Of course, we are talking about free app store optimization tools here. Most of the paid ASO tools also offers a free basic account which can help us find and discover new keywords.
Using app store optimization tools is a no-brainer. Every app publisher, owner, a developer shall have one. ASO tools can help you identify and analyze your competitors, track statistics like app rankings and reviews, discover your app potential with the ability to improve your on-page ASO and more.
Depending on their features, app store optimization tools are one of the best ways to start your keyword research. They often offer the ability to track keywords whether rising or losing popularity. Below are the lists of few great app store optimization tools currently on the market.
#4 App Annie
Let’s start with the most popular ASO tool. App Annie born in 2010 by Bertrand Smith, who is the current CEO of the company. They serve modern publishers like EA, Microsoft, and Dropbox. They have been used by 90% of Top 100 Publishers around mobile industry.
App Annie’s analytics can help you track app revenue, rankings, downloads and reviews to your entire app publisher data across Google, Apple and Amazon.
Site Link: App Annie
#5 Sensor Tower
Sensor Tower starts their journey in 2013 founded by Alex Malafeex and Oliver Yeh. Most of the world-renown and leading apps are using the San Francisco-based company.
This is my favorite ASO tool so far. They offer useful tracking feature your app’s individual rankings, reviews, and overall app’s performance. They also have other cool features like the ability to see your current ranking on Featured and Top 1000 Apps, Make downloadable CSV report of your custom data and share it with colleagues and investors.
Site Link: Sensor Tower
Another great ASO tool here. Since 2011, SearchMan helps mobile developers to boost and track their app visibility and rankings. They boast features like tracking iOS or Android daily and study the side by side comparison of your app vs. competitors, data-driven keyword suggestions and more.
In case you are wondering, they also offer a free account with very basic features though but totally worth trying. Their free account should be enough for simple app keyword research.
Site Link: Search Man
ASO Tools Honorable Mentions:
There are a lot of app store optimization tools out there which can help you track, research and gather data to improve your app’s visibility and rankings, and in our case, to help you with your keywords research for your app. I may not have tried them all, but most of the ASO tools offers free accounts for you to try. Here are some ASO tools worth mentioning.
- Mobile Action
- AppTweak (Thanks to them for contacting me)
- Metrics Cat
- App Rank Corner
- ASO Dragon
#7 Spying On Your Competitors
Spying on your competitor’s data can give you a hell lot of resources which you can use as a reference for your app marketing strategy.
Some ASO tools above can create a report for your competitor’s ratings, downloads, reviews, rankings and of course, keywords. For example, Sensor Tower features a keyword spy button that can quickly reveal some of the keywords your competitors are targeting.
Alternatively, you can just create free accounts on those free app store optimization tools to see their on-page ASO, keywords and other ASO related data.
#8 Analyzing Competitor’s On-Page ASO
Oh wait, if you want to collect data from your competitors, you can just go to their app profile and gather all the information you need. It’s free, it’s fast, it’s real-time!
We can hunt which keywords they use, from their app title, app description, screenshots, and videos, even to their reviews! Here is a great article from Hugh Kimura from Moz about Review Mining.
Dedicated Keyword Research Tools:
Although there are ASO tools which offer free and trial accounts, you can still use SEO tools specially made for those who want to start their keyword research. While most of them gather data from web search engines (not from app store search engines), you can still discover a lot more potential keywords for your app.
Here are my favorite free keyword research tools:
RankBrain’s free tier is a good source of keywords in general.
Rankbrain is another free keyword research tool which can help us find new keywords for our app. Although the full feature of this tool needs a premium/paid account, the free “no-sign up” tier is good enough to find new keywords.
What makes me list this incredible tool to our list is its ability to find dedicated autocomplete keywords directly from Google Play Store. Aside from Google Play, you can also find keywords for YouTube, Google News, Google Images, and more.
You can easily find new keywords within a minute and the ability to filter them by word or character length, and also you can export the keywords in CSV file, all of that for free!
You can try their premium tier 1 account for only $1/month with faster results and the ability to see search volume, cost per click, Adwords competition and to use their SEO Keyword Analysis tool. Their $1 plan is a great deal if you want to try the product while also discovering new keywords for your app, website, and for your other SEO related projects.
Site Link: Rank Brain
If you are looking for a free and easy to use keyword research tool, try Keyword Tool and get impressed. They can reveal top keywords for Google, Bing, Amazon, Youtube and App Store for free. You can get over 1000 keywords for app store optimization in a single click.
They can find App Store top keywords using app store autosuggest algorithm which is very similar to Google’s autocomplete. They also allow you to choose the App Store country and language that you want to use to generate keywords.
Site Link: Keywordtool.io
#11 WordStream Free Keyword Tool
WordStream, one of the best premium companion for online and PPC advertising also have their free keyword research tool that I found very useful for app store optimization. Although the results are very limited, I like using the “Relative Frequency” as one of my metrics which can show how often a particular keyword searched on.
I mostly, find potential keywords for my app first then putting those keywords in WordStream to omit the less performing keywords for my app. They only have a maximum of 30 searches per day, so be ready to have your VPS on your side if you are willing to do some intensive keyword research for your app.
Site Link: WordStream Free Keyword Tool
#12 Ubersuggest.io Word Cloud
Ubersuggest is one of my favorite free keyword research tools. Unlike keywordtool.io, it doesn’t have a dedicated keyword suggestion tool for apps, but it can still help you generate keyword ideas.
What makes this list on my list of favorite ASO tools is its “Word Cloud” feature that suggests top related keywords in one single block of text.
Site Link: Ubersuggest.io
#13 SeoCentro.com Keyword Generator
SeoCentro is one of my favorite old keyword generators, although a bit weak at some aspects and not that attractive regarding design. I use this as my on-the-go keyword generator; it will only suggest the “top keywords” for your niche and there you go, you have your keyword list.
Site Link: Seo Centro Keyword Generator
#14Serps.com Keyword Research Database
This incredible SEO tool can also play a significant role for your app keyword research. What it do is, suggest related keywords, shows its monthly volume searches, CPC, and keyword value.
Although the monthly search volume shows data from the web, it can also give you a rough idea how popular your potential app keywords are. From there, you can select the keywords you like then download it on CSV for future reference.
Site Link: Serps.com Keyword Research
This is one hell of a great keyword research tool.
Don’t be deceived by its name; TinySuggest provides an immense amount of useful keywords! Tinysuggest is an intelligent Google suggest scraper. So basically, it is just Google Suggest and some Google Autocomplete results which I mentioned earlier but on steroids!
In a single click, it will scrape all Google Suggest results from A to Z, with a download option if you want to save it offline. What can you ask more?
Site Link: TinySuggest
This is another great tool you should always use when doing keyword research. Similar to TinySuggest, Soovle scrapes top keyword suggestions but from different search engines from Google to YouTube, Amazon, Answers.com, Wikipedia Bing and Yahoo. Soovle may not as powerful as TinySuggest, but it’s an all in one tool for finding keyword suggestion.
Site Link: Soovle
It’s a great tool for visual thinkers.
Another keyword suggestion keyword scraper, AnswerThePublic scrapes top keyword suggestion from both Google and Bing. What makes it unique aside from its creepy website is how they visualize keyword reports which you can download if you want. You can also see past queries from other users.
Site Link: AnswerThePublic
#18 LSI Graph
What is LSI Keywords?
Like usual keywords, you can use LSI to your ASO like in Meta keywords, app titles, app description, etc.
#19 Keyword Shitter
In terms of quantity, Keyword Shitter is one of the classic tools for getting new long-tail keyword ideas.
Don’t be deceived by its name; it shits tons of keyword. As I said earlier, Keyword Shitter specializes on finding long-tail keywords. Although long-tail keywords isn’t that useful and efficient to target on App Store and Google Play, you can still find “unique” words you can target. Here is an example how Keyword Shitter can be still useful for app marketers.
Site Link: Keyword Shitter
#20 Keywords Everywhere
This is one of the best Chrome extension for SEO/PPC marketer, hands down.
What Keywords Everywhere extension do is, it automatically shows the Google keyword search volume and cost per click on multiple keyword research related websites. Keywords Everywhere supports top keyword research related site like Google Search (and suggestions), Google Analytics, Google Trends, UberSuggest, AnswerThePublic, Soovle, Keyword Shitter, Majestic and Moz Open Site Explorers.
Site Link: Keywords Everywhere
#21 Thesaurus.com And Dictionary.com
Well, this is just a bonus tip but finding new words through a thesaurus, dictionaries, etc. can help you generate new keyword ideas for your app. Simply looking for synonyms and meanings of a particular word can help you discover a lot of keywords you can personally use.
Looking for synonyms and meanings of a particular word can help you find a lot of keywords you can personally use. Although they don’t give the exact keywords you want to use to your app, it can generate you a lot of ideas what keywords to use.
You may never see it coming!
Wikipedia is one of the most useful websites out there. Although it can’t replace tools dedicated to keyword research, it can still be useful in some ways. Not only because you can copy and paste some of its content to answer your elementary homework with it but it can also be useful for keyword researching.
One of the basic I do when using Wikipedia to find “potential” keywords is I look and find first all the hyperlinks and the table of contents.
Site Link: Wikipedia
Your all in one dictionary tool.
I just want to be quick here. OneLook is your another dictionary/synonym tool you can use to find keyword ideas. It will find definitions, synonyms, and answer on favorite dictionary sites all at once.
Site Link: OneLook
3 Factors Of Great App Keywords
If things get confused, just follow these three factors. Relevant keywords, with high traffic and low competition. Of course, we can’t won’t find perfect keywords which have high traffic with zero competition keywords for your app. The higher that traffic the better and the lower the competition or difficulty, the better.
Be sure to read our articles about App Store Optimization:
One More Important Thing About ASO Keywords
Finally after finding and choosing your next new app keywords, be sure to track, measure and analyze the outcome of your links. As of now, we can’t rely on and trust App Store Optimization Keyword tools as there are not sufficient and enough services that can track these data.
I’m not saying these free tools can’t help; they do help to find new “web” keywords, but you need to do a lot of research and updates to your app keywords to find the right ranking keywords for your app. Here, take a look at this article from appmasters.co: Why Keyword Tools Aren’t Effective.
App Store Optimization keeps getting complicated. Finding best keywords for your app is a tough task, especially with the lack of keyword research tools dedicated for mobile apps. Luckily, there are tools (from free to paid) that can help you find the best keywords to target for your app.
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