Lesson 4 - Track Your Rankings and Find High Quality Keywords

Lesson 4 – Track Your Rankings and Find High Quality Keywords

How do you know if your keyword changes are working? This lesson will show you how to track your keywords to figure out which keywords are doing well and which ones need to be replaced.

Then we will show you how to use various keyword discovery techniques to uncover new keywords.

Your Goal

Let’s begin with the end in mind…

Your goal is to get your app to rank in the top 10 for all of its keywords. People are  much more likely to download your app if it ranks in the top 10.

It is important to understand that this is an ideal result and not an absolute rule. Your app may not be ranking in the top 10 for a certain keyword, but a highly relevant keyword in the top 18 is not bad either.

This is where testing comes into play. You need to test your keywords and measure how they affect your downloads.

Tracking Keyword Rankings

The exact steps that you follow will depend on the platform you use. We will use our  platform as an example. First, click on the Add New App button in the upper left corner of the screen.

Then enter the keywords that you want to track. If you want to track multiple keywords, separate each one with a comma.

We will scan the app store you are optimizing for and find where your app ranks for each keyword. The results will look like this.

It is important to note that keyword rankings are not static. You need to track them over a period of time and understand the range that your app falls into for each keyword. If you jump to a conclusion about a keyword based on one day’s worth of data, you may not be getting the complete picture.

You should monitor your keywords on a weekly basis. If you can monitor them on a daily basis, even better.

Frequent reviews of your keyword rankings will give you an early warning as to when your keywords need to be replaced. If your rank for a keyword drops from the #2 – #6 range, down into the #25 – #30 range, it might be time to find a replacement.

The sooner you discover this, the better. In the #25 – #30 range, it could still be somewhat beneficial. You can still get some downloads while you find a replacement keyword.

But if you neglect to check your keywords for a couple of months, your rank for a keyword could drop all the way down into the #100 – #112 range. Not detecting this earlier means lost download opportunities.

Find New Keywords

Now, that you are tracking your keywords, you probably will have some less than desirable keywords on your list. That is just how it goes, nobody is perfect on the first try.

But it’s no problem. Let’s figure out how to find better keywords.

Before you begin, it is helpful to create a spreadsheet to track your keyword ideas. You can create your own or download  this one.

Competitive Keyword Analysis

The first thing that you can do is spy on the keywords of your competitors. A few ASO websites allow you to do this, but let’s use our  our homepage as an example. When we analyze the mega game Clash of Clans, this is what we discover about the keywords they currently rank for.

Look at the other apps in your category and find out what keywords they are ranking for. This will give you keyword ideas that you can use for your app.

From there, make sure that those keywords fit into your selection criteria. Remember: Relevance, Difficulty, then Traffic.


Another place to find keyword ideas online is a simple thesaurus tool. Websites like  Thesarus.com can provide synonyms that you can use for your keyword list. Be sure to click on each synonym to find more related words.

It might take a little digging to come up with good keyword ideas, so be patient. Keep thinking of related words and investigate their synonyms.

App Descriptions

Examining how other publishers describe their app can be another good way to find relevant keywords. Sometimes these publishers may not even realize that they are using great keyword ideas.

But if you are observant, you can pick up on some hidden gems. Read through their app descriptions on iTunes and Google Play and add more keyword ideas to your spreadsheet.

Using our Top Charts pages makes this research process a little faster. So check out our  iOS and Android charts if you want to speed things up.


Doing hashtag searches on Twitter can turn up great ideas. When you search for a hashtag (a keyword with the # symbol in front of it), Twitter will pull up a list of tweets that contain that hashtag. Skim through the search results to discover related keywords.

For example, searching for tweets related to health turned up the word “carrageenan.” This is an unusual word that might be a good keyword to target. Even if it isn’t, it can lead you to other keyword ideas.

Review Mining

Examining user reviews can also be a great way to prospect for keywords. The great thing about this method is that these words are user generated.

Therefore, you can get a better idea of what a potential user of your app might search for to find an app like yours. Our  Review Analysis module will allow you to search for keywords in user reviews. Reading these reviews can help you find other related keywords that people are using to find an app like yours.

The added benefit of “mining” reviews is that you will find out what people think of your competitor’s apps. This can help you improve your app by giving people what they want.

You can also find out this information in iTunes. Just browse the reviews for an app. It takes a little longer, but it also doesn’t cost anything.

Online Keyword Tools

The first thing that usually comes to mind when searching for keyword ideas is the  Google Keyword Planner Tool. It is a great tool, but it can be a little overwhelming at times and you will need to use it a few times to get the hang of it.

But give it a try and see what you discover. Be sure to read the  Google documentation if you have any questions. You will need to use a Google account, but the tool is free to use.

There are also other keyword suggestion tools such as  Wordstream. It's free and offers slightly different ways of presenting keywords. You may find them easier to use than the Google tool.


Visiting websites that are not necessarily app related, but are related to the subject matter of your app can be a great way to get new keyword ideas. You can setup a reader like  Feedly to watch various websites to see what they publish.

Check in periodically to see get new keyword ideas.

Keyword Suggestions Module

We have a module in the Sensor Tower platform called Keyword Suggestions that provides suggestions based on your current keyword list. It can be tuned to filter more common words, you can give your existing keywords more or less weighting and you can even add or exclude words.

To find out more,  read this blog post.

Word Associations

Finally, there may be amazing keyword ideas hiding…in your own head. Using word association can help you bring them to the surface.

The process is simple. Quickly brainstorm a list of at least 20 keyword ideas and put them in your spreadsheet.

Then go through each word on the list and write down the first thing that comes to mind when you see that word. This will produce a second list of keyword ideas.

Now repeat the process on the second set of keywords, forming a third list of words. Do this as often as you feel it is beneficial.

You might be surprised what you come up with. Don’t think too hard, just record the first thing that comes to mind.


Whew, we covered a lot today. Be sure to bookmark this page so you can reference it later.

In the beginning, it may seem like a losing battle to get ranked for keywords. But once you get the hang of finding new keyword ideas, things will start to make sense and the process will be a lot more rewarding.

So just get started with tracking your keywords and take it from there. There are a lot more keyword sources out there, so don’t feel that you are limited to only the ones we mentioned.

In our next lesson, we will give you a simple, efficient and repeatable process that you can implement every time you need to improve your keywords. This will help you implement everything you have learned so far.

If you found this lesson useful, feel free to share it with a friend who would benefit from this information.

Still need help? Contact Us Contact Us