Optimizing your App Title: Keywords vs Brand Name
On both the App Store and the Google Play Store, your app title is the most important element in your metadata in terms of keyword optimization. That is why the app title must be written with caution, and deserves thorough research and analysis.
Many app developers wonder whether they should stick to their brand name when deciding on the app title, or whether they should use this available space to add keywords. In this blog, we take a look at what the most popular apps are doing.
Should You Add Keywords to Your App Title?
From an ASO point of view, adding as many keywords as possible to the app title makes sense; by adding keywords to your app title, you increase the chances of ranking for those keywords. However, some argue that adding keywords to your app title could negatively impact conversion rates as users often associate keyword-stuffed titles with lower-quality apps.
Today, as app competition continues to increase and companies search for the best methods to improve their app’s visibility, it is definitely worth reconsidering the question.
We have examined whether or not top apps use keywords in their app title. And guess what? Most of them do!
We looked at the top 10 apps (free and grossing) on both the App Store and the Play Store in several popular categories and identified which were used their brand name and which added keywords to the app title as well as using their brand name. In the table below, you can see the percentage of apps using keywords in their app title.
Percentage of apps in the Top 10 with keywords in the title
Source: AppTweak, top charts on January 28, 2019
Our analysis shows that most of the top 10 apps in the most popular categories do use keywords on top of their brand name in the app title, with the interesting exception of the Games category.
The results suggest that apps with keywords in the app title perform better than apps that only use their brand name in the app title, as more of them show up in the top charts. Furthermore, since an app’s position in the top charts is mostly influenced by app downloads, this can also lead us to conclude that added keywords do not negatively impact conversion rates.
Therefore, we strongly advise companies to add important keywords in their app title to increase the number of keywords they rank for.
Optimize Your App Title With the Right Keywords
To identify the keywords with the most potential for your app, you will have to conduct extensive keyword research and analysis. We have already covered this in detail, so don’t worry - we won’t repeat ourselves! Feel free to check out some of our previous articles.
Once you know which keywords you want to target in your app’s metadata, add the most important keywords to your title. Make sure you only choose relevant keywords and produce a title that is optimized for visibility and conversion:
- The App Store allows a maximum of 30 characters for the app title. Once your brand name has been included in the app title, use all of the remaining space for as many keywords as possible.
- The Google Play Store allows up to 50 characters. Therefore, there is more room for keywords, but you have to be careful: adding up to 50 characters will result in your app title being truncated (users will only see the first part of your title in the search results). Therefore, you should either include many keywords in your app title (good for referencing) and deal with a truncated title; or include fewer keywords with your title fully displayed to users. At AppTweak, we generally recommend adding as many keywords to the app title as possible (up to 50 characters) while ensuring the keywords that appear before the title is cut make sense to users.
Update (2021): In the second half of 2021, the title space on the Google Play Store will be reduced from 50 characters to 30 characters.
Once you have chosen which keywords you want to include, and created an app title of the right length, it’s time to change your metadata and see the results. Try not to update the keywords too frequently (contrary to your subtitle/keyword field (iOS) or short description/long description (Google Play)) - changing your app title too often can be confusing to users.
Your app title is a crucial element of your app metadata. Using data from the iOS and Google Play top charts, we found that most top apps utilize the app title as space for important keywords. This helps boost app ranking and visibility in search results! However, watch out for character limits on Google Play which can cut your title off.