In the race to stand out of a few million apps, and win your fair share of downloads, naming your app right will give you the first major advantage. The name is the first thing that tells users if they’d be interested in your app or not, and that is what makes them give you a second look.
Naming an app right is a delicate task. You have a very limited number of characters that are clearly visible in search results and you need to be concise and powerful in those few. You need to follow app store guidelines, branding conventions as well as appeal to the customers. You need to strengthen your ASO (App Store Optimization). Most of all, you need to appear unique, even though it’s quite possible that there are already a few apps with the name that you really wanted. Balancing all of these tenets can be tricky. But fortunately, with due research and a dash of creativity, you can nail the app naming ceremony.
So here are the best practices we compiled for you, taking into account technical accuracy as well as aesthetic appeal, to help you name your app perfectly:
1. Make your app name stand out
While you may have developed your app very differently from others in your category, it always happens at the search results page that too many apps with the same generic name show up. To-do list apps, notepad apps and calculator apps for instance, tend to all have a very similar name as well as icon. There are a few things that happen when this happens:
- Your app gets lost in the crowd
- Users get confused about which one to download
- Users are in a highly willing state to quickly download one that looks unique and better than the others.
Your app could be that one, which is unique and better than the others. All you have to do is pick a name that clearly denotes what you do and how you do it better. For example, ‘To-do list with sticky notes or ‘Calculator with history’. In essence, put your unique value proposition front and center. Seeing an advantage right upfront inspires confidence in users. Since they don’t have to click on each result and then see which one’s got good features, they can begin seeing value right on the search results.
2. Keep it Short
Kate for Catherine, Liz for Elizabeth, Tom for Thomas… Don’t we all just love shortening names? But when it comes to naming your apps, keeping them short does more than just sound cute. Here’s the thing – you are allowed 30 characters in iOS and 50 in Android. And even in that limit, it is only the first few words, about 20-25 characters that appear uncut and legible in the results screen. That is the limit in which you have got to make an impact. So try to keep you app name short enough to display in the search results.
3. Get the Keywords Off to a Start
Keywords are crucial to the discoverability of your app. Back in 2016, Apple claimed that 65% of app downloads come from app store search. So when a user enters a keyword in the search box, the app store should be able to bring up your app in the relevant search results. And that is why you need keywords.
Here’s what you need to do:
- List out all the high ranking keywords in your category
- Pick the ones that best fit your app
- Place at least one or possibly two most relevant keywords in your app name
- Strictly refrain from keyword stuffing and appearing scammy
4. Play to the Emotions
Evoking the right emotions in the users is the fastest way to get them to take action. If your app name makes a user feel that your app can solve a major problem for them, the relief they feel will be enough to make them download. If the app name feels like it’s going to be a fun game or an inspiring fitness app, users will download it. So be sure to hit the right chords with your app name.
5. Avoid similar sounding names
So you had your heart set on the name ‘Calm’ for your meditation app. But there’s already an app with that name, a rather popular one at that. Now you just have to come up with a different and unique name. Versions of calm, like ‘Calmer’ or ‘CalmYou’ won’t cut it. They will look like a copy of the original ‘Calm’ or worse, like a cheap knock-off.
Look around in the app stores to see what your competitors are calling themselves and avoid adopting a name that sounds similar to any of the ones already there.
6. Brainstorm a Lot before Deciding
Naming is seldom a solitary act. You want to get everyone’s ideas. Brainstorm with your team or your friends, but be sure to talk to a select few people and get their brains on it. This will help you come up with a name with higher public appeal. Doing it all alone could lead to biased conclusions.
7. Meet Your Trademark Attorney
I urge you to not get attached to a name until you’ve had it cleared with a trademark attorney. The last thing you want is to have legal troubles later on and having to change the name.
Naming your app isn’t difficult. In fact, you can have ample fun with it. Just be sure to stick to app store guidelines and coming up with a unique and catchy name. The above pointer cover up everything you need to know about app names, so go out and get your app named.