ASO (App Store Optimization) has been a buzz word in the app marketing industry for quite some time now. But when you think of ASO, you most probably picture improving the organic performance of either iOS apps or Android apps. Even all the ASO tools widely used would help you optimize in-store metadata of apps in these two stores only.
iOS & Android apps capture the majority of share in terms of app downloads. But there is another store that comes under Apple, but not as popular as the iOS or iPadOS app store. That is Mac App Store - believe it or not, more than 15% of desktop users all across the world use macOS. So, that figure alone tells you how important it is to have a strong presence in the Mac App Store for any Mac app publisher.
Since there’s no ASO tool for Mac apps, optimizing the metadata of your app in the Mac App Store is like shooting in the dark. Because you don’t get traffic & difficulty scores of keywords, and there aren’t any competitor insights available. But after doing some research myself, I invented strategies that helped me improve organic performance & downloads of apps in the Mac App Store.
In this blog, I’ll share a step-by-step process to optimize keyword metadata for Mac apps. In the end, I’ll also tell you a hack that can generate installs in the Mac App Store almost instantly! So, read this blog till the end and I’m sure you’ll learn a lot about keyword optimization in the Mac App Store.
The complete process of keyword optimization can be divided into three phases:
Keyword Research: This is the first step of keyword optimization and would require you to list all relevant keywords you can think of for your app. By applying the following approaches, creating a draft list of keywords would become easy.
Think about the core functionalities of your app and write down the most important USPs of your keywords.
Extract keywords from the metadata of your competitors.
Use the AppTweak Chrome extension to view the density of keywords used in competitors’ description.
Brainstorm to think of any remaining keywords that you can include in your list.
Keyword Mining: Once you have made a draft list of keywords, it’s time to mine keywords and phrases with traffic in the Mac App Store. Follow these steps to complete keyword mining. (This step requires you to have a Mac system)
Change the country of your Mac App Store to the one you have targeted for the ASO. This link explains how to change countries in the Mac App Store.
Now start typing keywords in the App Store search bar from the draft keywords list you made, and note down all the suggested search terms mentioned below the search bar. It is generally believed that the top suggestion has more traffic compared with the bottom suggestion.
The next step is to create keyword focus groups. Each keyword you type will most probably show you 3-5 keyword suggestions, depending upon the popularity of the keyword you are typing. To create keyword focus groups, divide your keywords into different themes, list out all the search suggestions under each theme separately, and remember to write the search suggestions in the order they appear in the App Store. Since this will help you prioritize high traffic search terms first.
Keyword Optimization: The final step is to start optimizing your metadata with keywords. But before that, you will need to prioritize certain keyword focus groups over others. You can do that by thinking about the keyword groups that match the best to the offerings of the app and are super relevant to the app.
Once that is done, compose your title with the keywords and phrases in the high priority focus group. Remember to include long-tail keywords and phrases that cover multiple keywords. After utilizing the important keywords in the app title, think of including other popular keywords in your subtitle. Both title & subtitle gives 30 characters space each for keyword optimization.
But there is one more metadata field that is not visible in the Mac App Store but gives you an option to target more keywords. That is the “Keywords” field - available in Apple App Store Connect -> My Apps -> Selected App. Here you’ll get an additional 100 characters space to include more keywords. Leverage this field to target the remaining relevant keywords from your keyword focus groups.
It’s important to note that, while optimizing your keywords, you should prefer top search terms over the bottom ones, as I mentioned above, top search terms generally have better traffic than the subsequent suggestions.
Mac App Store Growth Hack: There is one growth hack that you can apply while doing ASO for Mac apps. As you might be aware, macOS App Store doesn't have as many apps as the iOS App Store has. Because of which the overall competition among apps on Mac is lower compared with iOS. I’ll tell you how you can truly take advantage of this fact.
When you search for a keyword in the iOS App Store, you will get thousands of results. But that’s not the case with the Mac App Store. On Mac, the search results on a keyword are very less in comparison with iOS. In fact, you will find some keywords on which there aren’t any search results available! This could have one possible explanation, the keyword or app you search for is popular in iOS or other app stores, but on Mac, none of the apps is relevant to that search query.
So, your target should be to optimize such keywords in your metadata first. This can be done by searching all the keywords from your focus groups individually, and checking if you can find keywords with zero or a few search results. If you can find any of such keywords, you can hit a jackpot, since using those keywords could help you stand out of the crowd and drive all the traffic from that search term to your app!
I hope this blog helped you learn about keyword optimization for Mac apps. Next time when you do an ASO for a Mac app, don’t forget to use these techniques as a part of your keyword optimization strategy.