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5 Tips to Choose an App Name that Drives Downloads

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5 Tips to Choose an App Name that Drives Downloads

Finding a name for your app is a crucial moment in your app’s development. It will be hard to change once your app is launched, it might become a well-known brand and will generally be the first impression that users will have of your app.

In this article, we will give you 5 tips on how to choose an app name that drives downloads.

1. Choose an app name that speaks to your users

Your app name needs to be relevant and in accordance with your content, to make sure you don’t confuse users about what your app is about.

If you have a strong brand awareness (a name that everyone already knows), it makes sense to use the brand to name your app. For example, “Amazon”, “Netflix” or “Facebook” apps are using their brand name, as they are already extremely famous. People will know what to expect by seeing their title and will naturally type their names in the Search box if they want to download these apps.

However, if you’re launching an app that doesn’t enjoy existing brand recognition, like a new game for example, you need to think carefully about what it will be named. The first element you need to consider in naming your app is to choose a name that carefully describes your app’s main features or purpose.

2. Decide wether or not to add keywords to your app title

Here, we make the distinction between the app name and the app title.

The app name is your app’s brand. The app title is the full title of your app displayed in the app stores, which can be up to 30 characters long on Apple or 50 characters long on Google Play.

There is an old debate between people who recommend to keep only a brand name and those who believe it’s better to add keywords to the title as well. Our research shows that 70% of the shopping apps in the top 10 on the Apple App Store have keywords in their title. Therefore, we always recommend adding as many keywords as you can.

Read more about our research and the debate between keyword vs brand name in the app title

If we look at hugely popular apps, you’ll see that some of them like Amazon do add keywords. Others, like Netflix either have not considered this practice or have consciously chosen not to add any keywords to their brand name.

As we know, both Amazon and Netflix have a strong brand. Netflix doesn’t have anything else in its app title, while Amazon has added “shopping made easy”. Source: AppTweak, July 2019

3. Find the right keywords for your app title

If you have decided to add keywords to your app title you now need to start your keyword research. In the App Store, for example, you only get 30 characters to write your title. That does not give you a lot of liberties with the keywords that you choose! By doing a proper keyword research and analysis, you can make sure that you’re using the most relevant and high volume keywords in your title.

Learn more on how to conduct keyword research

A lot of games and apps have chosen very general names for their app to increase their chances to be discovered when people search in the app stores. This means you need to understand very well which keywords these apps use already as it will be hard for your app to rank high on the same keywords.

Identify branded app keywords that are already used by other apps

The following games use very general keywords in their app title. Since these apps are pretty powerful it is going to be hard for any other app to rank well for these terms.

AppTweak has recently released a new feature to help you with your research! The brand tag will help you rapidly identify keywords that are already “occupied” by an app, helping you focus your efforts on more “available” keywords.

Read more about Brand algorithm that identifies if a keyword is branded or not

4. Be careful with competitor brand names

It may be tempting to use words that are already deeply rooted in the minds as they’re used in very popular apps, like “Birds” (Angry Birds), “Zombie” (Zombie Tsunami, Plants vs Zombies) or “Flappy” (the famous Flappy Bird). However, it is important to stay authentic and not steal others ideas: the algorithms do not like apps that all sound the same and will have a harder time seeing the value of your app. In addition to that, you should never use trademarked competitors name in your title.

If you look for “whatsapp sticker” in India, you get a bunch of similar-sounding apps. None of these apps really stand out, on top of using a trademarked name!

5. Localize your app title for all markets

Ideally, you should completely localize your whole app each time you release a version in a country with a different language. It will make for a much better user experience! Imagine you’re a user in Germany and you’re seeing a fitness tracking app, you go on your first run and the app counts your progress in miles instead of kilometers, that’s just a poor experience.

However, localizing at least the name is a good start. That makes the app more relevant to local users while browsing/searching for apps and will increase the likelihood that they’ll download yours. You can keep your brand name the same if it’s a well-known brand and optimize your keywords - or just write everything in the local language.

Here you can see the localized app title of Spotify in the US, Finland and Brazil. Source: AppTweak, July 2019

Here you can see that Skyscanner localized its title in Japanese but kept the brand name the same, while Expedia wrote everything in the local language. Source : AppTweak, July 2019


In short, here are our tips to choose a great app title:

  • Find a brand name that speaks to users
  • Add keywords behind that brand name to form your app title
  • Make sure those keywords are optimized and that you’re taking advantage of all the character space allowed by Apple (same for Google Play)
  • Be careful not to copy competitors too much
  • Localize your title for all the main markets your app is published in

We hope this will help you get started to launch your app! Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have questions. You can also start a free trial of AppTweak to start your analysis of your competitors and find the best keywords!

Start a 7-day free trial