Almost any mobile store has search function. It’s an inseparable tool of stores which helps users to find apps. You can use it in marketing as well for generating traffic. Today we’ll tell you how the search is built and what should a marketing specialist do in order to get users from it.


Search algorithms

Algorithms responsible for forming search results are secret which is evident. But several experiments carried out by black box method allow to make conclusions on the main factors which affect search results.
So the following factors affecting them are(be it App Store or Google Play):

  • presence of keywords (in the name and special field in App Store and in description in Google Play).
  • users’ rates.
  • quantity of installs.
  • page conversions into installs in a store.


App Store search trends

If you tap a search line in Apple store without entering anything, a window with search inquiries will open. These are search trends, i.e. the list of the most popular user inquiries during last several hours. Users learn this way what apps are popular in their region now. Search trends are updated every 5-10 hours and are linked to a definite country.

You can use this App Store peculiarity for traffic generation. Search trends don’t give as much traffic as ratings do but still they’re of significant help for promotion. Experiments have proved that it’s possible to get hundreds (sometimes thousands) of quality organic installs from trends.
There’s no way to affect to trends artificially. They are formed from user activity. If you see a name of some app, it’s likely that it has got there due to active promotion, for example, mass media or profile web sites.


Search hints

If you start entering a word in a search line, a list of popular inquiries starting from the same letter appears. It’s made in order to save time so you can enter only several letters and then choose a necessary variant. It’s especially relevant for devices with inconvenient keybords and people use hints actively.
For example, a user wants to find an app with geographical maps, he/she starts enterting “maps” word and differents variants are offered straight aways. It works both in App Store and in Google Play.

It’s difficult to say about the number of installs that hints can provide. It depends on too many factors. But still they give small but quality traffic.
It’s difficult to affect hints artificially. But still it’s possible. Traffic churning is used for it. But it’s important to know that many search systems have defensive mechanisms so you shoud be very careful about it.


“Search” promotion

Pay maximum attention to search while optimizing an app, i.e. try to evaluate scenarios when users will search for your app in a store beforehand. The traffic you get from search is absolutely free and non-motivated.
If you place an app in App Store, start search optimization from the name. Include the most important keywords people would use while searching.
Besides, fill out “keywords” field. The most important ones a listed there in decreasing order of their importance. If a word is present both in the name and “keywords” field, it has the greatest weight.
As for Google Play, everything is much more complex there. It has a built-in search engine that searches for a coincidence of inquiries in app descriptions. That’s why you can use technologies and methods from web SEO.


Choosing keywords

Making up a semantic core is an important and responsible process. Even an experienced specialist can hardly choose efficient words straight away. A thorough analysis is needed here. You can start from a simple thing: look through the search results manually. You’ll need to enter inquiries sequentially and compare positions of your app. And it’s also necessary to spy on your competitors.
There are special services that automatize the process and they make the work on compiling the semantic core easier. SensorTower is the most popular one. It allows not only to track the significance of these or that keywords but also to choose the most efficient ones.
It’s also easy to track keywords in AppAnnie analytical service. SearchMan will help you to analyse the semantic core.


Search in stores is a direct source of valuable organic traffic. That’s why you should pay maximum attention to it during optimization. The difficulty is that algorithms of app stores search engines are secret. But still you can affect search results.

Read more about mobile app promotion