ASO for Asian Scripts: Do You Need to Duplicate Keywords From Title and Split «Phrases» Into «Words»?

Answer: Yes.

It’s recommended to segment phrases into keywords in oriental languages to get more combinations of the search terms. Whereas exact entry to a keyword field does not improve the situation.


‍Last time we ran a test to find out if it’s possible to enter the Chinese characters into the keyword field without any separators.

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Today our main objective is to find out if we need to split the phrases into keywords for better indexing.

Next, we’re going to see if the ranking improves when you duplicate keywords from the Keyword into the Title field. In addition, we will find out if Apple can break down the Asian characters in Title and Subtitle.

Experiment and Result

Indexing of the search terms split into «words».
There are two ways to add keywords in Asia: enter exact match keywords (add an exact keyword phrase) or split it into words (split the search terms into separate keywords).

For example, the search terms are «learn English, free English lessons, English textbook, English dictionary». When you split these phrases into keywords, you add each keyword separately: «learn,English,free,dictionary». They are indexed by the App Store search algorithm altogether.

We ran the experiment to check what would work better – exact keyword phrases (翻譯機, 韓文翻譯,) or splitting them into keywords (翻譯,照片,機,韓文,圖片).
As a result, the ranking remained unchanged when we split phrases into keywords. What is more, splitting the search terms into separate keywords allows you to add more keywords. There was no space for some of the search terms in the exact entry and they didn’t rank well.

Conclusion: it’s recommended to segment phrases into words in oriental languages to get more pairs of search terms. Whereas an exact match keyword does not improve the situation.

Duplicating and Splitting
We added 图片转文字 to the app name in Chinese (Simplified). Previously, we added its parts (图片,转,文字) to Keywords with an exact match. In our experiment, we split all search terms into keywords, left the «main» ones in Title, and added the rest to Keywords – parts of search terms that include keywords from the app name.

According to the results of our experiment with the Singaporean App Store, the search terms in Title improved their rankings since the Title has a higher priority. For example, the app’s ranking has improved for a search query 文字识别 from the 18th to 11th place and from the 6th to 2nd for 图片转文字-图片文字提取神器.

Conclusion: the ranking of the keyword phrases that contain «words» (e.g., 文字) has improved. Therefore, there’s no need to duplicate them in the Keyword field.

However, be careful – the App Store search algorithms don’t operate perfectly and it’s advisable to test and apply our recommendations to each app individually.

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ASO experience from RadASO founder Radomir Novkovich