Hugh Kimura
Apr 11, 2017 · 5 min read

App reviews can be a gold mine of information — even the reviews of other people’s apps. In fact, reading your own (if you have them) and competitor reviews can let you quickly uncover detailed bug reports, marketing ideas and highly requested new features. Putting in the effort to make these discoveries can make or break your app in the eyes of users considering giving you a download.

What is Review Mining?

Review Mining is the process of systematically using keyword searches to analyze user reviews to get valuable information that you can use for app development, marketing and customer satisfaction.

Even if your app doesn’t have many reviews (heck, even if you haven’t launched yet!), you can still take advantage of Review Mining. Simply studying the reviews of other similar apps in your category is a great place to start.

Specifically, the method we’ll discuss here uses targeted keyword searches to help you you to sort through reviews more efficiently.

But which keywords are going to help you find the most actionable insights? Here are Mobile Action, we work with review mining daily, and recommend that — almost entirely regardless of the niche/market your app is in — you start off looking through competitor reviews for these 5 key phrases:

5 Keywords to Search For Right Now

1. “Please Add”

This keyword will show you features that people want added to your app or other similar apps. Of course, some requests will be ridiculous — or at least not feasible for you for the time being.

But if you see enough requests for a specific feature, then it’s probably time to consider adding it. This is especially true if you see these requests in competing apps, but can see that those apps haven’t yet release them (or even confirmed they’re coming), as you can gain a competitive edge by introducing a requested feature your competitors are lacking; this can be a secret weapon when you’re a newcomer having to compete with already popular apps.

Related Keywords:

  • “would be nice”
  • “needs”
  • “should have”

2. “Better Than”

It’s also important to find out what users like most about your app (or, in the case of the screenshot above, what they might have liked better about past versions). This type of search can also be a way to find quotes for marketing materials.

Sometimes, however, what you might think is the coolest feature of your app isn’t actually something people are that interested in, so take the time to really read and listen.

Related Keywords

  • “love”
  • “the best”
  • “like”

3. “Dislike”

When you search for this keyword, you can uncover what people don’t like about an app. In many cases, dissatisfied reviewers will provide a laundry list of complaints that can be addressed to help make your app a success.

Plus, with Apple’s recent update, you have the ability to respond to reviewers to try and win them back once you’re addressed their concerns. If the original complainee is too far gone, you might at least stop their negative review from influencing future app store browsers.

Related Keywords:

  • “improve”
  • “annoying”
  • “irritating”

4. “Crash”

Bugs and crashes are the biggest source of user dissatisfaction, so you need to stay on top of these reviews if they pop up in your own review feed. Doing this often can help you catch bugs before they become a major issue for the wider userbase.

This search is especially important to stay on top of when you release an app update. Also, some users provide surprisingly detailed bug reports that can be helpful to you in addressing any bugs that crop up.

Related Keywords:

  • “bug”
  • “hate when”
  • “please fix”

5. “Suggest”

If you have ever wanted to get more feedback on your app, then you have probably considered sending out surveys. They can work, but surveys typically get a very low response rate.

Even if you have a fairly large user base, the number of responses you get may not be enough to make statistically informed decisions. That’s where searching for keywords like this can give you valuable, unsolicited feedback.

Related Keywords:

  • “would love”
  • “can you”
  • “update”


And there you have it: a solid starting point to help you leverage user reviews to gain a competitive advantage in your niche. These keywords will get you started, but there are many more niche specific searches that can give you very valuable information.

Do some experimenting and come up with a list of your own. Then conduct these searches at least twice a month, to stay on top of the latest developments in your nice.

To get more keyword ideas, you can read this guide.

What are some useful keywords that you use to search through user reviews?

Leave a comment, I would love to hear about it!

This article was contributed to Appademics by Hugh Kimura, an App Store optimization expert and veteran app marketer.

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Appademics Magazine

Online publication dedicated to content for app developers. Tutorials, opinion pieces, and more!

Hugh Kimura

Written by

App Marketing and ASO Expert

Appademics Magazine

Online publication dedicated to content for app developers. Tutorials, opinion pieces, and more!

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