vineri, 28 decembrie 2012

Android App Keyword optimisation


When you are not featured and don’t want to rely on the Android Market’s ‘just in’ section, keywords are all you have.
They are essential for your app to be found when the user is searching. Keywords are of special use to you, when
  1. they are used often in search queries
  2. your app appears in the top part of the result page
The importance of the frequency of keywords was very high until December 2010. Since then, the Market search algorithm has been changed and the frequency of keywords in an app’s description is not that important anymore. Nevertheless, keywords are still essential for your app’s visibility. How the Android Market is determining the position of your apps will be part of another post.
When you are really serious about optimizing your app for keywords, you will look for good keywords first, and implement your app afterwards.
What are good keywords
Some keywords are bad because no one is querying for them. So how can you find out which keywords to optimize for?
The first step should be: Take a look at the Android Market. Type in some Keywords and see what will happen. When looking at the first apps you will see whether they are found by ‘accident’ and don’t really fit the keywords or if they are in a real correlation to them. When there is no app whose content matches to your search terms, your keywords are either weak, or your idea is unique. When you are convinced the keywords of your app and hence the app itself are unique and useful to millions of people, go ahead and build it! If you are not, you might want to reconsider your idea or release an early candidate, produced after Pareto’s law (80:20).
If there are lots of apps that fit your keywords, you should take a look on the download and rating rates to determine whether the apps found with your keywords are successful  This again is an indicator on whether your keywords are queried often or not. You can also search Google or prominent android forums for apps often wanted and keywords often used.
Keywords: How?
Now that you know which keywords you want to optimize for (it can be an array of keywords, e.g. not only ‘voice’ and ‘recorder’ but also ‘recordings’, ‘speech recorder’, ‘sound’, ‘media player’ and so on), you need to put them into your text. As I said frequency is not as important as it was in the past anymore. Still, your description should include your keywords repeatedly. You should make sure your text is human readable, putting the same keyword as every second word will definitely destroy your description and scare users. You should make sentences that are useful and don’t make it too obvious that you are using keywords. A bad example:
“Keywords: angry birds, birds are angry, rio, bird, …”
A good example (out of the Farm Tower‘s app description):
“… will love the cute animals (pig, cow, chick, chicken, sheep, horse, bull, cat, no angry birds though ;) ) and the funny sounds …”
I think you can see the difference. To benefit from other well known brands like Angry Birds is a way to go, as long at is not too obvious.
As a rule of thumb you can say one keyword string per sentence is a good way to go.
Keywords: Where?
It seems as if the title of an app had a higher relevance than it’s description. If it’s possible, you should also place the most relevant keywords of your app in the app’s name. If possible, you can also choose your developer’s name in a way that it includes keywords (though I don’t do that for self marketing reasons).
Keyword spamming
When you do this too obvious things, what will happen some day is: Your app will be kicked out of Android Market and that’s not what you want. Some popular apps still have a part in their description beginning with ‘Tags: …’ or ‘Keywords: …’ but as I mentioned in another blogpost, one day either these passages or these apps will vanish.
Keywords in a nutshell
To put it in one sentence: Determine good keywords and use them wherever you can, but use them in human readable sentences. The good thing about the Android Market is that you can see the effect of your changes in a day, other than when you are doing website SEO and the spider comes along every two weeks or so.