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Are the keywords used in the Google Play and App Store reviews by your users able to increase the visibility and number of downloads of your mobile app or mobile game? How do the keywords in reviews in the Google Play and App Store affect organic results? Can you appear at the top positions in organic results without using keywords in the title, short description and description of the game? Is it worth analyzing the opinions of competitors’ app users during the App Store Optimization audit? All the answers you’ll find in the text below.

We often make analyses while preparing the App Store Optimization audit for our clients.
We analyze the opinions from users in both stores for keywords that you can then use when changing metadata or check what keywords give the competition the highest positions and the largest number of downloads. Tools for the App Store Optimization (increasing the visibility of the application and the number of organic downloads) are not able to catch all of the leading keywords ranked in the organic results of the App Store and Google Play.
The last and most important issue is the value of the keywords left by users in the App Store and Google Play. Keywords in the reviews from users are ranked in organic results. Are these keywords as important as those in the reviews in the App Store? You’ll read all about this in the text below.
We’ll take a closer look at our client’s mobile game. The game is called Armed Heist and is a typical TPS shooter (third-person shooter). The game is currently available in both stores (Google Play and App Store). Some time ago the iOS version was in the App Store in China number 1 in the action game category and number 2 in the Games category.

One of the rival games is the game from the studio Starbreeze Studios AB (a Swedish developer). If you are in the gaming industry, you probably know the Payday games: The Heist and Payday 2. Their product for mobile devices is called Payday: Crime War and is available in the App Store and Google Play. The current publisher of the game for several months is NBCUniversal, which has released the games like Fast & Furious Takedown and Series: Your Story Universe. The game is currently in the Soft Launch phase for iOS (Slovakia, Poland and the Czech Republic) and the early access (in selected countries, for example Poland ) in the Google Play store.

Both games are often compared by users despite the difference (FPS, PvP and TPS). In the comments in the stores for the game Armed Heist among the phrases in the opinions like game, good, like, fun, play, love, awesome, amazing the word Payday often appears. Armed Heist’s players compare the mechanism of the game to Payday’s.

Should developers from SOZAP studio worry about this fact? Absolutely not.

Keywords in reviews in Google Play Store

Users posting reviews in Google Play and using the Payday keyword boost it in organic results.  If a user ever uses the name of a competitor’s application for your game or mobile application, thank him for it.

Reviews App Store Optimization Google Play

In the Google Play store, the shooter Armed Heist has 624 reviews with the keyword Payday.  So, let’s see how it looks in terms of location (language).

Languages Reviews ASO Google Play

The game, despite the fact that in metadata in the Google Play store (mainly the title, short description and description of the game) the phrase Payday is not used, is ranked in organic results. What is the position in Google Play in a given country for this keyword for the date of July 24, 2019?

Organic Positions App Store Optimization

As you can see in the examples above, the phrase used by the user in reviews, it has a huge impact on the search results, despite the fact that it is not used there where the importance of the keyword should be the largest (title, short description and description of the game). With the volume of searches 41 in the United States, the game generates a pretty good number of organic installations per phrase.  This volume will surely increase in the next few months (when the game is fully launched in Google Play). In this case, Armed Heist will have a very good position. The fall to the second and subsequent positions will, however, be inevitable. In Poland or Slovakia where Payday is currently available via the payday keyword, the mobile game Armed Heist is ranked the fourth.

If the user uses the name of your competitors or other keywords in the reviews that are important to you, you should be satisfied. If a given phrase is relevant to you, and it appears in reviews, you can strengthen its importance using it in metadata without risking the consequences (do not use reserved copyright characters!), do it!

Keywords in reviews on the App Store

In the above example, we showed how rankings look for the Payday word in Google Play. How valuable are the keywords used in reviews in the App Store?

Reviews ASO App Store

In the App Store, the game has a global 263 reviews with the word Payday. How does it look in terms of location? The following example shows the location (App Store) with the most reviews with a given keyword.

Reviews App Store Keywords

And this is how the organic results look for a given phrase in a given country in the App Store.

Keywords Affect Reviews ASO

As you can see from the above results, the keyword in reviews in the App Store didn’t affect the organic results despite the fact that it is a phrase with low competitiveness of entry into the TOP 10 in each of the above countries. In my opinion, keywords in reviews in the App Store do not affect organic positions. You are left with boosting up such keywords through the Apple Search Ads campaigns or using a given keyword in the developer’s console (keywords = 100 characters).

When building an App Store Optimization strategy for your game or mobile application, it is a good idea to analyze the opinions and keywords of rival applications in order to find new keywords for metadata and Apple Search Ads campaigns.

In the case of Google Play and reviews, you are able to increase the number of reviews with a given keyword by means of motivated traffic (downloading the application + comment from the given user). I don’t recommend such action though, because you should think long-term.  Google Play can massively remove fake reviews. Such action can result in the removal of the developer’s account or removal of the application from the store. Additionally, without anti-fraud protection (in real time) on the movement attribution platform, motivated traffic does not make sense due to the huge number of frauds (the fraud Device ID Reset prevails).

What are your positions on selected keywords from comments and users’ reviews?

ARPU Brothers Founder, App marketing agency for mobile apps and games

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