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5 Tips to Choose an App Name that Drives Downloads

by Start ASO

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

In this article, we will give you 5 tips on choosing 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 that 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 as your app name. For example, “Amazon,” “Netflix,” or “Facebook” capitalize on their strong brand names, as they are already extremely famous. People know exactly what to expect when seeing their titles, and will naturally type these names in the search box if they want to download these apps.

However, if you are launching an app that has not yet gained brand recognition to this extent (such as a new game), you should carefully consider your app name. First, you should choose an app name that carefully describes your app’s main features or purpose. Choose an app name that is unique, striking, and consistent with your brand.

Discover how to optimize every aspect of your app product page on iOS and Android

2. Decide Whether to Add Keywords to Your App Title

It is important to understand 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 both the App Store and Google Play.

There is an old debate between those who recommend only including the brand name in the title and those who recommend adding keywords as well. Our research shows that 70% of the top 10 shopping apps on the App Store have keywords in their title.

The key here is to add your brand name or main value proposition at the beginning of the title, and utilize all the remaining characters to add keywords in order to maximize the app’s ranking chances.

Our research and the debate between keywords vs brand names in the app title

Looking at hugely popular apps, you will see that some, like Amazon, do add keywords. Others, like Netflix, have either not considered this practice or consciously chosen to not add keywords to their brand name.

As we know, both Amazon and Netflix have strong brand names. Netflix doesn’t include 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. On both the App Store and Google Play, you only get 30 characters as title space, limiting your freedom regarding the keywords you choose. By conducting proper keyword research and analysis, you can ensure that you are using the most relevant and high-volume keywords in your title.

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

Generally, it is best to avoid using common names to make your app stand out from the competition. Carefully leverage your brand, while including keywords that well describes your app’s main features or purpose.

Identify branded app keywords that are already used by other appsThe following games use very general keywords in their app title. Since these apps are pretty powerful, it would be difficult for any other app to rank well for these terms.

Remember that Google Play forbids using keywords that indicate store performance, ranking, awards, or call-to-actions in the app title. Experimenting with emoticons or emojis is also not a good idea for your app title on Google.

Expert Tip

AppTweak’s brand tag (B) will help you rapidly identify keywords that are already “occupied” by an app, helping you focus your efforts on more “available” keywords.

4. Be Careful with Competitor Brand Names

It may be tempting to use keywords that are already deeply rooted in customers’ minds due to being used by popular apps [like “Birds” (Angry Birds), “Zombie” (Zombie Tsunami, Plants vs Zombies), or “Flappy” (Flappy Bird)]. However, it is important to stay authentic and not steal others’ ideas. Store algorithms do not like apps that all sound the same, and will have a harder time determining the value of your app. In addition, you should never use a trademarked competitor’s 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.

Alongside strong app names, top apps also have recognizable icons. Learn how to make your icon stand out!

5. Localize Your App Title for all Markets

Ideally, you should localize your whole app each time you release a version in a country with a different language, as this would make for a much better user experience. Imagine that you are a user in Germany and you download a fitness tracking app. You go on your first run and discover that the app counts your progress in miles instead of kilometers – now that’s a poor experience.

However, a good start is to (at least) localize the app name. It makes the app more relevant to local users who browse/search for apps and will increase the likelihood that they will download yours in particular. You can keep your brand name the same if it is 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 for choosing a great app title:

  • Find a brand name that speaks to users.
  • Add keywords alongside your brand name to form the app title.
  • Make sure those keywords are optimized, and that you take advantage of the character space allowed by Apple and Google.
  • Don’t emulate competitors too much.
  • Localize your title for all the main markets your app is published in.

We hope these tips will help you get started when launching your app. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have questions. You can also begin your free trial with AppTweak, start your competitor analysis, and find the best keywords!

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Gwenaëlle is Business Development Manager at AppTweak. She thinks exciting times are ahead for mobile marketers and is always looking for the next amazing app to install on her phone!