Understanding Keyword Traffic and Difficulty for ASO

Learn about keyword traffic and difficulty for App Store optimization.

While keywords are necessary for any App Store Optimization strategy (ASO), there are two components of keywords that are commonly overlooked. A keyword’s traffic and difficulty score are both very important to take into consideration when deciding on what keywords to focus on. These scores can make it challenging for an app to rank high for a certain keywords.

A keyword’s traffic score is an estimate of how much traffic a specific keyword can generate in a given country. (EX: If a keyword is not as popular in Brazil as it is in France, then the keyword’s traffic score will be different for each location.) Scores are based on a scale of 0 - 10, and take a number of different sources into consideration when calculated. A few of the sources that are combined to generate a keyword’s traffic score are the number of autosuggestions when typing into the store, the frequency of a word useage in common crawls, the length of the term, traffic estimated on the web, and the difficulty of typing on a mobile device keyboard.

It is important to note that although scale ranges from 0 - 10, there are few keywords that score over an 8. Keywords such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are examples of terms that have a score above an 8.

An app’s keyword difficulty score is also an important calculation that needs to be considered when deciding on keywords. Like the traffic score, this score also has a scale range of 0 - 10 and is determined by the popularity of the app, the number of other apps currently ranking for that term, an app’s reviews and ratings, how long the app has been published, and if the app’s title is an exact or partial match to the user’s search query.

Even though both the traffic and difficulty score are very helpful on their own, when picking keywords, it is best to look at both of these factors together. Typically, keywords with higher traffic and lower difficulty are easier to help get an app to rank higher.

The traffic and difficulty scores are not the kind of numbers that will be found in the developer’s console of the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store. However, there are a few marketing tools, such as App Annie and Sensor Tower, that are designed to help improve an app’s keyword ranking.

At Appyness we create custom ASO strategies for our clients through extensive keyword research that help us to discover new opportunities. Not every one search query will be the same, so it is important to test a number of different relevant keywords. Contact us today and let us help you improve your app marketing performance.