Every indie mobile app developer needs a little help when it comes to getting noticed in a today’s crowded app market. As outlined a in a previous post, app store optimization is one of your best opportunities to gain downloads for your app without a big marketing budget. In order to maximize your ASO efforts, you need to use the right tools. Enter: Sensor Tower.
Sensor Tower is fully featured ASO tool that gives devs insights into the mysterious inner workings of the iOS and Google Play app stores. ASO begins with keyword research and this is where Sensor Tower shines. Sensor Tower has a full suite of keyword research modules to help find keywords with the best potential for your app, including:
- Keyword Research
Includes estimated search volume score, keyword difficulty & number of competing apps
- Keyword Suggestions
Provides intelligent keyword suggestions based on seed keywords
- Keyword Spy
Provides a glimpse into the keywords your competitors use
In addition to these top-notch keyword research tools, Sensor Tower also has many features to help you optimize your keyword selection and track your progress. These include:
- Keyword Rankings
Track your rankings for selected keywords & keyword phrases
- Keyword Optimization (iOS)
Optimize your iOS keyword tags by refining the set according to ASO best practices. Spot duplicates, long keywords & more!
- Keyword Translation (iOS)
Translate your current iOS keywords into a variety of languages
- Category Rankings (iOS)
Track how your app ranks across many categories
- Track Competitors
Track the performance of your top competitors for select keywords & categories
Connect your account to analyze your download data, including revenue, in-app purchases & downloads by country
The list of features exceeds most of the other app store visibility tools on the market today.
The Sensor Tower Experience
Sensor Tower features a slick user interface that makes it a joy to navigate through all the modules. Everything is super intuitive and relatively bug-free. It may take a few minutes to get adjusted if you aren’t accustomed to using similar tools for SEO, but once you get your sea legs it’s a breeze. Let’s take it for a spin!
Step 1: Add Your App
Once you set up your free account you will have access to the main dashboard and all the modules discussed above. First, you will be prompted to add your app.
Begin to type your app name and a list of apps will be displayed for you to select. Once your app is selected, you will immediately be asked to selected a list of three suggested keywords to track, or add your own. Select the keywords you wish to track, and you’re set! You are ready to start optimizing.
Step 2: Track Your Keyword Rankings
For the purposes of this demonstration I decided to use the weather app Dark Sky. I don’t have a relationship with the developer of this app, but it’s my favorite weather app and it’s already set up pretty well from an ASO perspective.
With the Keyword Rankings module, you can track the rankings of your app for selected keyword phrases. You can see ranking data for as long as you have had your app set up on Sensor Tower. It will also show your app ranked in relation to competitors. The tracked search terms display all the important metrics that you will need, including estimated traffic score, difficulty, number of competing apps and current ranking.
The formula behind the traffic estimate score isn’t revealed, but it is scored from 0-10, with 10 being the highest search volume. When performing keyword research, it is recommended to target keywords with a traffic score of 4 or higher, although targeting keywords with lower traffic scores could prove fruitful if the relevance is high and the competition is very low.
Since neither Apple nor Google reveal their search volume numbers, it is hard to say how accurate this information is, but from my experience the search volume estimates for Sensor Tower are superior to other ASO tools I’ve used.
Step 3: Keyword Research!
You can use Sensor Tower to perform keyword research in a variety of ways. There is a core keyword research module that provides search volume estimates, keyword difficulty and number of competing apps, as well as data for the apps that rank for the selected keyword. Using this tool, you can begin to see whether you have a shot of ranking for a keyword or whether you should pursue it at all.
In addition, there is also a module to compare your keywords against a competitor’s keywords and another that recommends new keywords based on your current keywords. Used together, finding the perfect keywords becomes much easier.
Step 4: Optimize Your Keywords for iOS
The Keyword Optimization tool is essential for any iOS developer. It is one of my favorite features and I use it religiously for iOS app store optimization.
Simply load in your keywords and it will check for any common iOS keyword tag mistakes such as duplicate keywords, excessive length and long keywords. With this tool, you will never again bang your head against a wall trying keep your keywords under 100 characters.
Step 5: Track & Profit!
Use the other modules to track your competitors, your download data and to further refine your ASO strategy. Then its time to sit back and watch as your app climbs the charts! But don’t sit back too long or your competitors might leverage data from Sensor Tower to catch up with you.
With the free version of Sensor Tower, you can access most of these featured, but you are limited to one app at a time and certain features shut down after exceeding a daily threshold of use. There are 3 different paid plans to suit the needs of developers large and small.
The Pro Plan (for Indie Developers) starts at $79 per month. This plan allows you to track 80 keywords and enables unlimited use of the keyword translation and keyword optimization modules. With the Business Plan (for Small Businesses) at $399 per month you will receive the same features, plus the ability to track 400 keywords and receive intelligent keyword suggestions.
Sensor Tower will greatly increase your efficiency when performing ASO for your apps and give you a leg up on your competitors. With the insights gained from this tool, you will be on your way to gaining invaluable visibility in a veritable sea of competitors.
Sensor Tower has a strong, dedicated team that is committed to providing the best app store visibility tools on the market. As the need for ASO continues to rise, Sensor Tower is positioned to remain as an essential tool for your app marketing pursuits.
One last note, the Sensor Tower Blog is an invaluable resource for staying up-to-date with the latest news on ASO and app marketing. It’s a must read for all the app devs and marketers out there.