Aleksandar • Vacić

iOS bits and pieces

Putting Sensor Tower to work

I have spent a lot of time in the last month or so working on Banca, updating it for iOS 8 and new iPhones. Thus I wanted to make sure I did anything I could to get people to at least check it out. One aspect of that is better placement of the app in the most important searches. Banca is currency converter app, a field that’s very crowded with many free apps. Thus competing as paid app in there (IAP really makes no sense for an app like this) is challenging, to put it mildly.

Thing is, how exactly to do this? It’s not like every app developer goes and post his keywords, so you can see what the best ranked ones are using. After quite a lot recommendations from friends, online and offline, I went to check Sensor Tower. Among many other services, they prominently feature keyword research, suggestions, tracking, even translations.

Right on their homepage you have an option to guess the keywords of any app. I picked Banca and was floored with the result.
They returned almost every good keyword, even the more obscure terms I used. Wow; talk about a good start.

I opened an account - you just need email and password, nothing else - and dove into keyword analysis. Free version allows you to add 5 keywords and see various parameters on each one.

“Free version allows you to check 5 keywords”

Of these parameters, the most important (to me) is the Traffic (how often it’s searched for), followed by number of apps targeting the given keyword. You want a keyword that has high traffic value but as low number of competing apps as possible. In the case above, it’s pretty obvious that I wasted four characters on “rate”, as there are 3000+ apps in there and I’m nowhere near the top. I am decently ranked for “currency” and “converter” but only because those are part of the app title. Even with that, I’m far from top 10 which is what matters.

One thing to note here – is it possible that Apple’s algorhythm is weighing the words in the title in the descending order..? Both “currency” and “converter” have the same number of competing apps, but I have a pretty different ranking. Of course word “converter” have a lot of competition from unit converters and similar apps, but still an interesting result.

“If you do the promo tweet, you get one more”

There are few ways to add room for additional keywords. You can tweet about Sensor Tower and for that they give you another slot. Or you can delete the keywords you processed and add new ones. I have not noticed any limitations there, thus it’s one way to further use the service and see what it offers.

If you tap any of the keywords, you also see a chart, how you historically ranked for the given keyword:

“Keyword rank over time”

This is great feature and you can see has your rank improved over a longer time. Or more likely - that you are wasting time with particular keyword and that you out to try something new. :p

What to try?
Sensor Tower has multiple tools - competitor analysis, keyword research, suggestions etc - out of which I chose to use keyword suggestions. Here they give you a list of your own keywords and in advanced mode you can choose which ones are more relevant or important to you and thus have larger weight factor.


All in all, in the space of about 1h, I have removed half of my keywords as useless and replaced them with a fresh set of potentially better ones. Why “potentially”? Keyword and ranking game is not a sprint - it’s a marathon and as such it requires continued effort. Thus during the next update I will update my keywords and then after some time check again where does the app stands.