(Re)naming your app

One of the biggest goals of every iPhone or iPad app is to show up in App Store search results for anything relating to the title or general purpose of the app. Apple gives you 255 characters to title your app. 255 is kind of a lot. One practice to get better placement is to include subtitles, phrases, or keywords in the app title itself, which (it's generally believed) factors into the in the app's ranking in search results. This explains why several apps have titles such as below.

  • Day One (Journal / Notes / Diary)
  • Amazon App: shop, browse, scan, compare, and read reviews
  • TuneIn Radio - Stream free music, sports, talk & news stations, podcasts, songs & tracks
  • Later - Automatically Text, Tweet and Email Scheduling For A More Productive Life by Postpone and Delay
  • First Opinion - Free 24/7 Doctor Access

Apple also gives you 100 characters to provide "one or more keywords that describe your app. Keywords make App Store search results more accurate."

Now obviously this is important. So what's the point of this little write up? Well, we recently changed the name of First Opinion from "First Opinion - Text a Doctor" to "First Opinion - Free 24/7 Doctor Access."

In doing so I noticed something interesting. When I search for "First Opini..." on the app store I now see both titles as well as the company name in the search results. I'll be honest, I have no idea how long the old title will continue to show, but it made me think... while it's important to have your app correctly titled and to optimize keywords for better search rankings, you may want to be careful how often you do it.

If you find yourself obsessing over keywords, titles, and App Store Optimization as a whole, just... stop worrying about it so much... before you start communicating your finickiness to potential users. Choose a solid title for your app, some relevant keywords, and move on to focusing on building an all around great app. ASO is important, but not nearly as important as shipping great product.