Keyword Research for an iOS Indie Game

Keyword Research for an iOS Indie Game

We’ve been working on our marketing strategy for Tyto Ecology, our upcoming game, and decided to start looking into a way to optimize our search results in the Apple app store. Having a game show up as early in search results is essential to actually being found in any marketplace!

After doing some research on App Store Optimization (ASO) tools, we decided to try out Sensor Tower: it seemed to offer what we were looking for in terms of keyword research and competitor analysis, so we wanted to write out a blog post to share what we’ve learned from the process for other indie studios also looking into this.

Sensor Tower has a free trial that was informative, and we were able to get set up quickly with advice from their blog in terms of best practices for keyword optimization.

The keyword research tool let us look up different keywords that related to our app and see how often they were searched in the app store. Obviously, the higher the traffic, the better it was. But, the other statistic that the ASO tool gave us was how difficult it was to rank high in each keyword. So, the balance we wanted to look for in our keywords was high traffic and low difficulty. After some time, we found some words that worked for us:


Although we only had the trial for a couple weeks, we were also able to track the change in traffic and difficulty of our keywords. You’d be surprised at how quickly they change, so keeping tabs on the rise and fall in popularity is key.


We will have to keep monitoring keywords, but we are happy to have been able to identify the initial keywords that we’ll use to market the game on the app store when we first launch.

We were also able to “spy” on the keywords of other competing apps, which was pretty cool. It gave us an insider look at what our competition’s keywords were and how well they did in each one. This helped us get an idea of what keywords we could use if we were blanking on any, which helped with our search, as well.


We hope this was helpful for other studios, and at least interesting for our other readers.  There is a lot that goes into getting a game to market outside of actually developing the product, and marketing has to take place early on to make sure we’re in a good place to reach people when we launch!

Disclaimer: we can get a free year of Sensor Tower for writing an honest review of our experiences with their trial.  Other indies should consider this, too! 


Jeremy Zhen

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