Tag Archives: Appstore

App Names

Mobile App Naming Examples

Shakespeare once inquired: “What’s in a name? A rose by any other name would smell as sweet”.

When it comes to mobile apps, however, names matter a great deal.

There are many factors that impact app store rankings and user installs – from how the app is indexed to which searches Apple and Google deam an app a relevant result, and then conversion of search result views into installs and users.

An app’s name impacts all of these factors and often serves as the anchor for the rest of an optimized app store listing.

Looking at the top apps in the store, not only overall but by category or niche and a few trends for naming appear:

  • the stronger the brand, the less emphasis put on using target search phrases (keywords) in the app name/title


  • many top apps include a very specific search phrase as the tagline



Where You Want to Be

Ultimately, you want to be in a space that is automatically self-descriptive with your audience and needs no further expansion or explanation.

Facebook or Starbucks would be good examples of this state of wide public awareness. There may well have been a time when it was necessary to explain that Starbucks sold coffee, but it is no longer the case. People hear “Starbucks” and they are fully aware of all the necessary connotations. The brand has victoriously engulfed the product it represents.

Lofty goal right?  A growing trend in the SEO space is to create your own keywords and then own them.

Starbucks and Facebook are ubiquitous, but your app only needs to carve out a space in the niche you are targeting.

Consider EasyUp.  Easy to remember, easy to tell a friend, easy to spell, and broadly describes the function – without requiring searching for “upload images from camera roll to snapchat”.


How Your App Marketing Strategy Gets You There

Some app marketers are clearly working to establish iconic status for their clients, so that they can gain the coveted position of being simply a name.

Others are supporting a brand with a tagline that helps them to be discovered in search – which we strongly recommend!

Looking at some recently touted music apps by way of example, TIDAL has elected to go with a strictly branded approach as its format.


While competitors such as Spotify and Pandora have both chosen to more-directly categorize themselves by making sure that the customer knows these are music apps.

What TIDAL may gain in having a ultra-simple app name, they lose loads of potential organic traffic that instead is split among the music app optimized for music-related search.

Not All Apps are Marketed Equally

While music app marketers have a wholesale product to sell—music created by all sorts of other people—game developers have a retail product of their own creation to bring to market.

This results in campaigns that are designed to make a more specific pitch to the public.

Mobile games like Boom Beach or Mobile Strike are almost completely self-descriptive in a way that serves as an overt campaign for its potential audience.

The intent here is not to establish the creator/publisher as a brand but for the creation to be able to stand on its own.

It is highly likely that most players of the various mobile game apps are rather unfamiliar with the entities which created those games.

Compare that approach with King – the makers of the Candy Crush series of apps.  Candy Crush achieved iconic status, and the creators quickly sprung into action to offer a series of follow-up apps that are tightly bound to the original tentpole entry.

Everyone Can Play the Game

Of course, imitation has always been part of the marketing world.

Not only does an Angry Birds spawn Angrier Birds, but it also midwives a host of emulators that will take every possible detour off the now-established brand name.

An app that aims to confuse or misrepresent itself using another’s brand name will get denied and may even impact the publisher account – but apps that supplement or complement other popular services would do well to mention them by name in the app name/title.

In summary, there are basically three common approaches to naming an app:

  • Establish an iconic identity that supersedes the actual product on offer.
  • Buttress an intended iconic identity with succinct descriptive commentary.
  • Play off of another iconic identity in hopes of capitalizing upon the reflected glow of success.

When considering app store optimization, the second and third options have the biggest impact on indexing and ranking, but it can be helpful to step back and see what other apps are doing with success in the app stores.

App Market

Get to Know Your App Market

Like many things in mobile and digital marketing, the mobile app market moves fast. While the very top of the app stores are consistently dominated by mobile-first games and apps – and those with large web user bases migrating to mobile – the top 100 overall and top charts in each category are dynamic. Regularly reviewing the mobile app stores – specifically Apple’s App Store and Google Play – can provide insights and ideas for improved user interfaces (UI), user experience (UX), monetization and more. Below is a starting point. You may develop your own process for reviewing the app market as makes sense for your app or portfolio. To help illustrate a topic we’ll take the perspective of a publisher of a photo-sharing app.

Top Free Apps

Even if the top 10-20 spots on the free app charts stay remarkably consistent, there is always that 1-2 apps that either shot up out of nowhere, are new or have found their audience and jump into the top 10 or 20. For example, the makers of Candy Crush have their newest app in the top 10 on google play – Blossom Blast. top-free-android-apps Knowing the latest Candy Crush title is in the top of the free charts in unlikely to lead to some obvious action for your app. What is actionable is watching which social networks are rising, or looking for new tools from existing networks (like Facebook Messenger). A new social network may affect how users can share their photos in your (hypothetical) app. The top free app charts is a quick and easy way to get a snapshot of the mobile app market.

Top Grossing Apps (overall and by category)

This is where it gets fun. The “Top Free” charts are interesting, but which apps are making money? It is important to remember here, that top grossing refers to in-app purchases (or paid apps), and does not take into account advertising revenues, web-based subscriptions, or purchases made outside of the app store (the Amazon app for example). Review the top grossing charts for overall and by categories related to your app as a monetization method in an unrelated app may spark ideas for your app. With a photo app, understanding the basics of game monetization/gamification is probably all that is needed, and our research of the top grossing can skip most games. The top 100 grossing is mostly games, so if nothing relevant jumps out, move right into the top grossing for your app’s category. Note that top grossing by category is only available in the Apple App Store. apple-app-store-top-grossing-photo No matter how your app monetizes, it is important to understand how other apps that share a category (and likely a user base) monetize their apps.

Competitive and Related Apps

You probably have a specific awareness of your top competition in the app stores, and a general knowledge of those apps that compete with your app for specific search terms. In fact, a regular review of competitors and related apps is likely (or should be!) part  of your app store optimization process. A competitor’s move up the app store may be related to specific features released in its latest version.  That is to say – category rankings and keyword rankings are trailing indicators of an app’s performance. Create a routine for reviewing your top competitors’ mobile app offerings, new features and recent reviews. photo-apps-google-play Gummicube clients can access category and keyword competitors, their trends up or down the charts and ratings and reviews from their app’s dashboard.

Trending Keywords

Apple started displaying “trending searches” in the search tab of the mobile app store – which is interesting by often not very relevant. IMG_0380 Gummicube has our own index of app store data, across Google Play and Apple’s App Store. This data provides mobile app publishers and marketers access to trending searches overall, trending searches by category and trending searches related to a specific search term. Trending keywords analysis should be part of every app store optimization process. Monitoring keywords and trending keywords provides early visibility to new competitors.

Mobile app market research in practice

Once you have a routine for these basics, adding review mining, competitor ad campaigns, competitor SDKs used in their app etc.. can provide further insights. Monitoring the app stores, and zeroing in the changes that are important to you and your app is made much easier with software. Take a look at how Gummicube uses app store data for research, app store optimization and user acquisition by requesting a demo here.

App Analytics

Mobile Messaging Apps

Messenger apps are hot.

Facebook recently released their messenger app as a stand-alone web app, 6 months after pulling the messenger feature of their Facebook app into a standalone mobile app.

Snapchat is charging $100 CPMs.

Tencent (QQMobile) is valued at over $200 billion.

Get to know the top mobile messaging apps by monthly average users in our latest slide deck.

Android vs iOS Super Bowl Matchup

The Super Bowl is Feb 1st, Apple just released their earnings for Q4, Google said they just passed Apple in # of apps.

Let’s take a look at Android vs iOS – and which is best for mobile app publishers (and why).

Both teams brought their “A” games in 2014, and we have all been expecting this matchup!

Let’s check out the lineups!

We are evaluating each mobile OS (Android vs iOS) coupled with it’s store from the perspective of a Mobile App publisher/marketer/investor. iOS is evaluated with Apple’s App Store and their iPhone and iPad devices.  Android with Google Play.

# of Devices

1.3 billion smartphone devices were expected to ship in 2014. Heading into the holiday season in 2014, Apple had been steadily losing market share – to Android.  Blackberry was down as well.

OS Market Share

But Apple’s Q1 (Oct – Dec ’14) was a record in more ways than one. They reported shipping 74.5 millions devices – besting their previous record in shipments by 50%.  iOS share jumped to 15%.  Apple generated $18b in profit – the most ever reported for a public company.

Is that Tim Cook in his playing days?  By any measure, and with any dance – the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus have been smash hits…home runs…touchdowns…

Mobile OS Market Share

Developer Revenues

Apple reports paying out $10 billion to  developers in 2014.

Between announcements at Google’s I/O conference and data from App Annie and others, we can estimate the Google Play Store generated roughly $9 billion in revenues, paying developers around $6.3 billion.

android vs ios

These payouts do not include any ad revenues or off-app revenues generated from the mobile apps in these app stores.

Android has 5x the market share of Apple but only 60% of the revenues for two primary reasons:

  1. Android is the primary OS on <$200 devices
  2. Android has a far greater reach in emerging markets

Two, overlapping groups that are less interested in buying lives in Candy Crush than in Messaging Apps.

# of Apps

Having a high number of apps available in the app store could be seen as a positive – as more apps is more choice for users and a sign of strength for the platform.  Or more apps could simply mean more competition.

2014 was the first year that Google was able to report that their Google Play store was home to more apps than the App Store.

Apple and Google Apps

Thomas Husson, principal analyst at Forrester. “To me [apps] are the glue that sticks the whole ecosystem together because they offer brands and developers a direct opportunity to connect with their customers.”

Given that both stores host over 1 million apps, the data rather shows the divergence in each company’s app store management strategy.

Apple reviews and approves apps in a process that can take weeks. Stories of inconsistencies in Apple’s review process are abundant. Denials, incoherent responses from Apple reviewers, contradictory statements and then reversals of denials are shared often among developers and publishers.

Google Play, on the other hand, works more like creating a website on a platform like Blogger or Tumblr. Submit and your app is live in 24 hours.

# of Downloads

While Android has garnered around 80% market share globally, Google Play only accounts for 60% more downloads.  Now we are talking  60% more of a huge # – around 25 billion for Apple vs 40 billion downloads for Google Play.

Android users download around 50 apps annually to Apple users’ 75.


With mobile app advertising spend estimated at $35b in 2014 and predicted to grow to $75b by 2018, downloads matter.  App store payouts is only part of the story.

So who wins?

Just like this year’s Super Bowl – we all do.

Of course it depends on your target market, but having two of the largest companies competing (not to mention Facebook and Amazon), is good for the marketplace and great for those invested in this explosive growth.

Seahawks 24 – Patriots 17.

Want More Data-Driven, Mobile App Marketing Content?

User recommendation is the most powerful sales tool

It has been established by numerous independent studies that App Store Search is the most powerful sales channel for apps of all kinds.  Nearly 70% of all downloads across both iOS and Android ecosystems are driven by keyword search queries.  This behavior is easy to understand – most people don’t know what specific app they want to download, only the problem that they are looking to solve.  Indeed, whenever I observe friends or family downloading apps they turn to search first – terms like “Finance Apps” “Movie Times” “Shooter Games” are how end users define app discovery.

The point above also illustrates why charts are largely irrelevant for most apps.  Charts are an un-targeted, expensive way to get a great deal of visibility – but not necessarily the right visibility.  Most users who want an app to perform a specific task aren’t going to scroll through 100’s of tiles in a category listing to find what they are looking for.  Buying your way to the top of the charts has been reported to cost as much as $100,000 in today’s market, making this kind of “bulk marketing” extremely risky gambling for most developers and publishers.

Success in App Store search requires picking the right keywords, optimizing your app description and taking steps similar to traditional SEO for the web.  Unlike the web, there is a tool that apps have to enhance their positioning within App Store search and increase the traffic from this powerful channel.  In all digital marketplaces, more than 85% of users base their purchase decisions on recommendations from other users.  This is also true in the App Store (and other digital stores like Google Play).


If your app doesn’t have user validation and feedback, mobile user reviews, you won’t fully maximize your opportunity to reach users in App Store search.  This is very much like being in the middle of a foreign city and searching for a nearby restaurant.  You are far more likely to dine where others (locals, not necessarily those just in your own social network) recommend you will have the best experience.  When a potential customer searches for a term closely related to your app, they are making a decision to click and view more almost exclusively based on the recommendations of other users.

Think of your own app download behavior – doesn’t this process ring true based on how you discover and download most apps?

In addition to these benefits, user reviews and ratings impact how App Store search engines relate your app to the keywords that you have chosen.  If you are focused on building a travel app that gives a guided tour of Iceland, you will probably select keywords like “Travel” “Iceland” “Iceland Tours”, etc.  Having user reviews that mention this focus will help the App Store know that your app is related to those keywords.   Think of this like having strong back links to your website which help Google determine what your website is all about.

Consider these factors when designing and marketing your next app.  The choices you make and tools that are used can greatly increase the effectiveness of your marketing and increase organic uptake.