The Music Store search function in iTunes and the search function in the App Store on the iPhone/iPod Touch device is not as touchy as Google. For the time being this can work to the advantage of the app developers of the world. In the future Apple may start filtering the way you write your descriptions for your apps but as of right now it seems to be a free for all. Here is how it currently works.
You do a search in iTunes and it yields a result. The result will include the most popular choices for the words you entered. For example, I just did a search for “Tap Tap Revenge” and it resulted with many more options then just the games Tapulous developed.
This was one of the major problems of the past with using search engines to find relevant content. In the old days before the search engines got smart, you could list whatever keywords you wanted in the Meta-Tags of your website and yield results based on those keywords even if your website had nothing to do with them. Even though it was a major no no you could even list your competitors in your meta tag keywords and possibly show up when someone searched for your competitor. Not long after the search engines started matching content with keywords. This meant that if you were going to place a keyword in the meta tag of a page then you would have to write about it in the body of your website also. There are still shortcuts around this as you can see below.
One of the apps that were displayed in the results when I searched for Tap Tap Revenge was ZapTap. ZapTap used their head when they wrote their App’s description just as many Music Artists and marketers of new products do. They use the “For Fans of…” or “If you like Brand A you will like us” angle.
I would not suggest going overboard on this and make sure that the items you refer to in your descriptions are relevant. Nothing makes me more mad then a product that includes items in its description that have nothing to do with it.
Do your homework before writing your description. Make it short and easy to understand. Do not write long descriptions as nobody will read all of it. Write a short and to the point description and leave some room to list the names of the popular app review websites that have talked about your app. I would direct them to the website for your app where you can link to all of the reviews that have been done for your app. If you want to see a good description check out the ZapTap description in iTunes. I have no idea what there game is like as I have not downloaded it but I do know the basics and understand that if I like the other apps and games listed I would enjoy ZapTap.
Do Not Limit Yourself. Continuing to use ZapTap as an example, the description included more then just references to other iPhone games. It also included references to Guitar Hero, 80’s Music, Madonna, Miami Vice and others. If you were doing a search for Miami Vice in iTunes because you wanted to download some good old Vice episodes you would also see ZapTap. See the image below. This could result in some additional downloads of the app because some Miami Vice lover also had an iPhone and an extra $4.99 laying around.
Use your best judgment and remember that you can try a different approach whenever you want. Just like Google, iTunes just updates your information on the fly and the search results will respond accordingly. You can look at your sales or website traffic to determine if your changes helped or hurt your app.
Lastly, remember that a good description of your app is first priority. Giving the viewers suggestions comes second. Do not abuse this because you could loose credit from the potential customers if you waste all of your description space on non-relevant search terms. Everything you include in your app’s description needs to be relevant. If you are having a hard time writing descriptions for your apps that sound compelling I would suggest hiring a copywriter (Professional Writer) to handle it for you.
My next SEO blog will discuss SEO Tips for your website.