How to Use App Store Trending Searches in Mobile Marketing

Part 1 of this iOS 8 ASO series covered how to leverage App Store suggested terms in your mobile marketing strategy.

App Store trending searches will be especially interesting in Apple’s iOS 8 update. I have to believe that a majority of the searches that take place in the Store are “Facebook,” “Words with Friends,” etc. How Apple filters out those that would consistently remain in the list versus those which are hot in general will be interesting to see. Neither of those app names have appeared in the early glimpses of the trending screen, but this has to be considered.

If Apple, which is obviously piggybacking off Twitter’s success with this feature, does trending right, app marketers will be able to see not only what people are searching for, but how they’re searching for apps. For instance, it would make sense for someone to search for “word game,” which you may have in your keywords, but what if the trending term is actually “word games numbers?” That would mean users aren’t searching for things cleanly in the Store and you should include “numbers” in your keywords. It’s a horrible example, but I think you get the point.

Length will also be interesting, as well. We expect mobile searches to be shorter than the long tail keywords that are prevalent on the web. If all the trending keywords are one-to-two words, that will help you narrow down your keyword phrases.

Trending Searches Strategy

As for how to incorporate trending keywords in your iOS 8 app store optimization strategy, include them last minute. There are only two times when a developer can’t update their keywords in iTunes Connect: when their app is marked “Ready for Sale” and “In Review.” Typically, it takes Apple about five days to pull an app into review and another day or two before it gets the okay to be released.

How often trending keywords will refresh is unclear, but since Apple’s category rankings update every three hours, let’s assume this will be the same. If you get to the four-day mark of sitting on “Waiting for Review,” it’s safe to assume you’re getting closer to being called into a reviewer’s queue. A quick browse of the latest trending searches may provide a keyword that’s the flavor of the week, one that not many apps are using. Plug the trending keyword into your own (if it makes sense) and perhaps you can ride the wave of traffic.

This strategy is difficult to execute effectively (it’s gambling on time basically), but could pay off big time since the search volume of a keyword phrase off the trending list has to be massive. Not every trending search term will relate to your app, but the ones that do might be a gold mine of downloads.

Apple hasn’t said whether keywords will appear in their new iTunes Connect Analytics portal, but I have to think it’s on the roadmap. Being able to understand traffic from referral keywords would also help your keyword decision strategy. Based on the data we’ve seen that will appear in the portal, it leads me to believe Apple houses this data. I also believe the company is working to appease developers, one of the reasons for all these changes to the App Store, so inclusion of this data is a possibility.

With the App Store’s iOS 8 release expected in the fall, trending searches and suggested terms need to be made a part of your App Store optimization strategy. Leveraging these tools that Apple created to improve the App Store user experience can also make for a more profitable one for developers.


Leave a comment or contact me via @twitter

  1. 1

    Quite an interesting strategy! I think as you said, using it alongside your App Store optimization strategy is a good move. It is a bit like gambling, but so is any keyword selection!

  2. 2

    I see your site is outranked by many competitors in google.
    You should spy their backlinks and use them for your website and
    you will hit top3 very fast. There is tricky tool for this,
    just search google for ; rilkim’s tips

  3. 3

    Hi Scott,

    I was wandering to get my app appeared in the trending searches. These are the ways to get it in Trending searches

    -App virality in the region
    -most downloads
    -keyword is searched most

    Any other tip or recommendation ?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.