Relevancy Score: New KPI to Select Keywords for Your App

Flavien Eyer by
Product Manager at AppTweak

Last updated: 10 min read

When optimizing an app for the App Store or Google Play, you want to find the best keywords possible. You may look for keywords with the highest search volumes and the best rankings. You could also consider the number of potential installs each keyword would bring to your app. However, as the ultimate goal of App Store Optimization is conversion, you should always focus on keywords that are highly relevant to your app. Therefore, you need to understand the keywords store visitors typically use when searching for the solution your app provides.

To help you choose the most relevant keywords for your app, we have added a relevancy score for each keyword on AppTweak, which is available in 66 countries and 20 languages! Read this blog to learn more about this new KPI.

AppTweak unveils Atlas, the first App Store Semantic Engine

Use these 3 indicators to pick the best app keywords

When choosing the best keywords for your App Store Optimization work, we always recommend developers consider the following elements:

1. Search volume

Keyword volume is an obvious KPI to keep in mind. The whole purpose of ASO is to increase your app’s visibility and have your app rank for the keywords that users search for on the app stores. It’s great to have your app rank for different keywords, but you want to make sure these keywords actually drive traffic to your app: If no one searches for a term in the first place, ranking in the 1st position isn’t going to drive a lot of visibility to your app.

We recommend aiming for keywords with a search volume above 10. Neither Apple nor Google disclose the real number of times users search for given keywords, but to help you get an idea of the traffic a single keyword drives, AppTweak computes the All Installs KPI. This metric estimates the total number of app installs for a specific search term, summed across all the apps ranking for that search term, over the last 30 days.

Comparing the volume and install traffic of different keywords on the US App Store.

As we can see, the traffic behind the volume score grows exponentially. Despite the keyword “run tracker” having a volume only twice as high as the keyword “running app tracker”, it drives 5 times more installs.

Learn more about AppTweak’s volume score and how to use it

This exponential relationship between volume and traffic makes high-volume keywords very attractive; however, they are also very competitive and just as difficult to rank for. This is why you should also always look at a keyword’s difficulty score.

2. Difficulty score

AppTweak created the difficulty score to help you judge how competitive a keyword is. Unless your app is already very popular, you will want to kick-start your ASO strategy by going after keywords your app realistically has a chance to rank for—keywords that aren’t so competitive and that have a low difficulty score.

Generally, keyword difficulty tends to increase with volume. However, keywords with great opportunities are out there; if we look at the same keyword list as previously mentioned, we can see the search term “workout tracker free” has a great balance of good volume and low difficulty. This is a great keyword to go after under the condition that it is relevant to your app, bringing us to the last and most important indicator: relevancy.

Comparing the volume and difficulty for keywords on the US App Store.

Expert Tip

Use the “chance” and “KEI” to quickly identify the keywords that have the most potential for your app! These indicators consider your app’s App Power to highlight the keywords that your app has the best chance to rank for.

Check out this blog dedicated to our difficulty and chance KPIs

3. Keyword relevancy score

Last but definitely not least, you need to look for high relevance. This should be your number 1 priority: You should regularly make sure that the keywords added to your app’s metadata are related to your app’s features and functionalities. An app’s conversion rate for a given keyword is one of the most important ranking factors for keywords on both the App Store and Google Play.

The more the keyword is related to your app, the higher the chance that users will choose your app when searching for that keyword, and the higher your app’s conversion rate for that word. As your app’s conversion rate increases, so will your app’s ranking for that keyword.

The good news is that the more specific your keywords are, the less competitive they become. So if you look for keywords that are precise and very relevant to your app, they should also be less competitive. The only extra thing you need to check is whether they also drive traffic (volume).

At AppTweak, we have developed a unique relevancy score that indicates how relevant a keyword is for a given app in the context of the App Store or Google Play.

Comparing the relevancy score across different apps.

In the example above, all the keywords in the studied list have a high relevancy score for the Adidas running app, Runtastic. However, if we take another fitness app that has less of a focus on running, the relevancy score is much lower. For the app 30 Day Fitness at Home, the keyword with the highest relevancy score is “workout tracker free”. This search term perfectly exemplifies a great keyword for the 30 Day Fitness app since it combines high relevancy, low difficulty, and a good search volume.

Introducing AppTweak’s Relevancy Score

Based on historical app rankings for different keywords, we have been able to refine our understanding of how the app stores tend to promote some apps for specific keywords over others. Our data science team developed Atlas, the first App Store Semantic Engine, that combines 8 years of AppTweak data and hundreds of hours of training on state-of-the-art softwares. It has been training to better understand the deeper relationships between apps and keywords — and thanks to Atlas, they were able to create a unique KPI called the “relevancy score.”

The relevancy score is an indicator between 0 and 100 and indicates how relevant a keyword is to an app; a higher score indicates higher relevancy. The score is based on the app store ranking algorithms, hence targeting highly relevant keywords will help your app show up when users search for the solution your app offers.

This indicator can currently be found in the Keyword Table for apps in 66 countries and 20 languages. Now, to further understand this new KPI and show you its applications, let’s analyze some concrete examples.

“Good” keywords at first glance are not always relevant

If we take the example of Subway Surfers, a game in which a character runs on train tracks to outrun a policeman, you may think that including the keyword “running” would be a good idea. However, if you want to use it as a single term in your metadata, you should understand what type of users this term will target.

The relevancy score for the keyword “running” is 12, meaning that it is not very relevant to this app. Concretely, you can even use AppTweak’s Live Search results to double-check this and see what type of apps users generally find after entering this keyword:

In the screenshot above, we can clearly see that the keyword “running” is predominantly associated with sports apps. As a result, if by chance your running game started ranking for this keyword, users would not necessarily be looking for the type of solution it offers.

On the other hand, you may find other good keywords that are highly relevant to your app. Taking the example of Subway Surfers, we saw that “running” wasn’t the most suitable term while the relevancy score for “runner” was 78. Despite both keywords being very similar, users don’t expect to find the same type of apps through each term.

If we take a closer look at the Live Search view, we notice that the store mostly displays racing games for the keyword “runner”. This validates the idea that users may intend to download a similar type of game when they use this keyword. As a result, it could be a good idea to include the term in a relevant app’s metadata.

Use the relevancy score to choose between several keywords

This indicator can be quite handy when you need to choose between several keywords. In particular, it highlights when it is even better to target more relevant keywords with smaller search volumes rather than keywords that are high-volume but irrelevant to your app.

If we take the example above, we see that Subway Surfer could decide between these two keywords and choose “get away” rather than “run away” since the former’s search volume is slightly higher. However, if the app’s strategy is to find relevant keywords that will help the app appear when users are more inclined to download it, they should select “run away”: comparing the relevancy score, “get away” has a score of 34 while “run away” has a score of 54.

Create a list containing relevant keywords from scratch

Finally, we also built a specific feature to help you add relevant keywords to your list in just a click. Thanks to Atlas, we look into AppTweak’s database, find the keywords that have the highest relevancy for your app and make a “brainstorm list” out of it. To access it, you just have to click on the “Brainstorm list” button at the top of the Keyword tool. Easy, isn’t it?


With our new relevancy score, you’ll be able to ensure that the keywords in your app metadata actually target the right users that will find value in your app. The relevancy score will help you avoid keywords that refer to different types of apps that provide contrasting features or functionalities to your own.

Discover AppTweak’s relevancy score to boost your keyword optimization strategy today!

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Flavien Eyer
by , Product Manager at AppTweak
Flavien is a Product Manager at AppTweak. He works daily to make sure AppTweak stays the best ASO tool. He is also passionate about theater and hates coriander.