app store optimization keywords

Great App Store Optimization (ASO) can be the difference between 10’s of downloads and 100’s or even 1000’s of downloads per day.

Here are a few examples:

There are a lot of factors that contribute to ASO, one of the biggest being the keywords you choose for the app.

But when you’re just getting started it can be difficult to find good keywords to target. Even if you’ve been working on ASO for a while it’s always important to find new high-traffic, low-competition keywords to try to rank for.

Here are 6 methods that you can use to find those elusive keywords that will boost your App Store Optimization:


1. OneLook Reverse Dictionary

onelook aso keyword research

OneLook is an awesome tool that lets you describe a concept or enter a word or phrase and it comes back with a list of related words & concepts.

It’s really handy when you’re trying to find words to describe your app that people might be searching for. You can even filter the results by whether they are nouns, adjectives, verbs or adverbs.

I originally found this tool thanks to my friend Steve P. Young from, so props go to him for this one.


2. Google Keyword Planner

GKP for app store optimization

A lot of people tend to think the Google Keyword Planner is only for SEO, and as a result it gets overlooked as an ASO tool.

However, the Keyword Planner can be a really useful tool for finding new keywords for your ASO. Not only can you enter keywords and have it come back with hundreds of alternate keyword ideas, but it will also give you an indication of how popular those search terms are on the web.

Just a word of warning though. Mobile search is very different to Google web search, so you shouldn’t rely on the traffic estimates too much.

The Keyword Planner also lets you enter ‘Negative Keywords’, which excludes certain keywords from your results. Very handy if your search terms keep coming back with something that is completely unrelated.


3. SensorTower’s Keyword Spy Tool

The Keyword Spy Tool is part of SensorTower’s suite of ASO tools. All you need to do is enter the name of one of your competitors and the spy tool will come back with a list of keywords that the app is ranking for.

It is one way to get ideas based on what other apps that are closely related to you are ranking for in the App Store or Play Store.

But remember, neither Apple or Google publicly disclose an app’s keywords. That means that tools like this one are only making an educated guess about the keywords that your competitors are using.

Stick to using it as an keyword idea generation tool only and you should be fine.


4. Review Mining

app store review mining

Review mining is the practice of scouring through app reviews on the App Store or Google Play store to find new keyword ideas.

What you are doing is looking at commonly used terms/phrases in reviews that you may be able to rank for if you focus on them as keywords.

The best way to do this is to trawl through your positive reviews and find words that keep popping up. Then you want to find out which of those words are under-utilized as keywords.

Another way to do this if you don’t already have an established app with lots of positive reviews is to look at competitors.

You can search through the reviews left for your direct competitors and see what their users are saying about the app. How are they describing the app? What terms do they use when describing their favorite features? These are a goldmine for finding new keyword ideas!

You can do review mining manually using a spreadsheet. The process is simple but time consuming. You just read through your reviews and those of your competitors and list potential new keywords in a spreadsheet.
App Annie have a handy free tool that lets you see all of your app reviews from all regions. Great for looking at your own reviews, but doesn’t help with competitors.

Alternatively, there are tools out there to make it easier, but they come at a price. SensorTower have a nice review mining tool you could check out.


5. Thesaurus

thesaurus aso keyword research

Yep, can be a great way to find new keyword gems. It seems like an obvious one, but you’d be surprised how often it gets overlooked.

What you want to do is select ‘synonyms’ from the drop-down box and enter a keyword. The thesaurus will do what all good thesauri do and give you a list of synonyms, or similar words.

Often you’ll find new keyword ideas in the results. You can also use these in combination with Onelook to find even more new keyword ideas. Simply enter a few of the results you get from into Onelook and see what you find.


6. Amazon Reviews


This is similar to App Store review mining, but you’re using to find reviews instead.

The theory is largely the same as App Store review mining. Except with Amazon you want to find books or products in the same niche as your app and look at their reviews instead.

Let’s say you’re creating an app that helps fishermen identify species of fish. You could search for fish species identification books on Amazon and see what people are saying in the reviews.

This can not only help you find new keyword idea, but it can also give you ideas for new features as well!


7. Social Media

amazon app store optimization

Searching social media to get an understanding of the words & phrases people are using when talking about your app topic or niche can be surprising useful.

As social media becomes an increasingly important app store optimization factor, this method becomes even more useful. That’s because more and more apps are using social media as part of their marketing strategy.

Here are a few ways you can use it to get new keyword ideas:

  • Searching for hashtags related to your app
  • Following your competitors’ social media profiles and reading what their followers are saying
  • Following other large profiles related to your niche and seeing what their followers are saying

Which social media platforms should you be searching on? It depends on your app. Where are your users hanging out? That’s the answer.

Obviously the big players you should consider are:

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Snapchat



Next time you’re looking for new keywords to add to your app store optimization arsenal, try a few of these methods and see if it yields something new. I’m sure you’ll find some new keywords that you hadn’t previously considered.

Do you know of any other great way to find new keywords for your mobile apps?

Are any of these 7 methods new to you?

Go ahead and share in the comments below!

  • Great list Andrew.

    I am not affiliated with Sensor Tower but I personally recommend them also. They have great features even if you’re a free user. I wish you include next time. 🙂