App Store Growth Hack Alert! How to More than Double Your ASO Keyword List

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Let’s talk again about one of our favorite topics: App Store Optimization for the App Store. For something so seemingly simple, ASO remains an elusive, ever-changing process any marketer must constantly study to truly understand. Just when you think you’ve got it, it changes and evolves again. 


For ASO for the App Store, you also have to deal with the challenge that there are only 3 fields that are indexable – which means you can put your precious keywords to work in only 3 areas: the app name, subtitle and the keywords field. And the keywords field has a 100-character limit. Talk about pressure. So if you’ve ever felt stressed out over this restricted opportunity, you’re certainly not alone. 


Well, we’ve got some good news! There’s a simple growth hack you can quickly use that may double – maybe even up to quadruple – the number of characters you have to work with for the App Store. Does having 200 – 400 characters versus 100 sound like a deal you want to cash in on? We thought so.


The App Store ASO Hack Revealed


Here’s the trick: it’s all about the app’s listing localization in iTunes Connect.


The reality is that every location – or geo – doesn’t necessarily only rank for the main language of its area. One locale may rank highly for 2 or 3 languages. If you’re not sure, be sure to check! Because if your geo ranks for 2 languages, you’ve just scored an extra localization and grown your keyword list from 100 characters to 200. Just like that!


Guess what? The United States doesn’t just rank for English (U.S.) but for Spanish (Mexico) too. Add the Mexico localization, and you’ve set the keyword hack in motion!


Check out this list of all App Store localizations with languages each one ranks for:

What does the ASO hack look like in action?


We’ve tested this hack several times with our own clients – in varying categories – with awesome results. 


For Ninja Numbers (a business second phone number app), Sweet Pea (a dating app) and QuickNews (a news app), we target the US market. But, we increase iOS keywords by targeting Mexico with English keywords.


The result in each case is an increase in visibility and some even double their installs.


What to do before using this App Store ASO hack


We want to step back for a minute and review the 3 essential basics of optimizing your initial 100 characters before using the keyword hack.


  1. Insert only a comma between each keyword; do NOT use ANY space when separating words
  2. Do NOT include small words – like conjunctions or prepositions 
  3. Do NOT use the plural form of any keyword so as not to lose any spaces unnecessarily


Once you’ve made sure that your initial characters are optimized for their best use, then go ahead and use the super hack above. 


App Store Keyword Hack Wrap-Up


In short, this App Store ASO hack is so easy to implement and is super helpful for having new keywords to work with for your iTunes Connect app’s localization and to have your app rank for more keywords. By putting this tip into action, you’re accomplishing valuable things: allowing your mobile app to rank for more keywords and increasing your app’s visibility in search – which leads to more installs. But don’t just take our word for it – give it a try and see for yourself!


Jennifer Sansone

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