SEO for the Unity Asset Store

Many of you have heard the term SEO which stands for Search Engine Optimization. This term mostly refers to optimizing the search results of Google, but in reality so many things nowadays are search drivSEO rounden. One of these things is the Unity Asset Store.

Keywords make a big difference

It’s sometimes hard to believe that something this small could be so important, but that’s the reality of search driven discovery. Unless your package is so well known that developers will look for your brand name, your main way to get discovered is through search. Now, lets consider these search phrases:

  • Beep sound effect
  • Beep sound FX
  • Beep SFX

Go ahead, you can try them on the asset store. Pay special attention to two packages:

  • Universal Sound FX
  • Spearhead Sound Effects

SEO tester

SEO search term test

When searching for “effects” versus “fx” in the term, the package that has that keyword in the name floats higher, although they are semantically identical and the Universal Sound FX has a 5 start rating from 212 people compared to a 4 star rating from 5 people. This gets worse when you get to the last term “beep sfx” – search results do not even present the highly popular Universal Sound FX package.

SEO search terms test

How do Unity Asset Store search results work?

While this is all very interesting, can you actually do something about it? The answer is YES. There is actually quite a lot you can do. Let’s first understand what happened in the example above. The search engine looks at 3 things to find keywords:

  • SEO search in the Unity Asset StorePackage name
  • Description
  • Package content (this is top secret so don’t tell anyone)

If we look back at the results from the small test we did, you can clearly see the impact of the name. However, when we were looking for the term “beep sfx” – none of the names actually contained the term. Now remember that the engine does not know that “sfx” really means “sound effects” or “sound fx”. It keeps looking in both packages for the term “sfx” to see if the package should be included. None of the descriptions contain the term so the search engine becomes disappointed and turns to the package content to see if the term can be found there. It joyfully realizes that the “Spearhead Sound Effects” package has all the sounds named SFX, so it includes that package in the search results.

Discovering what words users search

By now you are probably convinced that you should include every possible word in the universe in the description or the package content to rank for everything. That’s not recommended, of course.  So, if your package is an aggregation of 100 sounds, including a word for every one of them will make the description unreadable for humans and might lead Unity to reject your package. Instead, try to find the top 5-10 words that represent 80% of the search volume. Unity will not give you this information, but you can actually use the Google AdWords tool to predict that. There is a special tool called Keyword Planner that is highly useful to figure out search trends and understands how people think when they are searching for something. Try running the following list in that tool. You should select “Get ad group and keyword ideas” in the first step and click on the “keyword ideas” tab once you get to the results page. Try these terms:

  • beep sound effect
  • beep sound fx
  • beep sfx

AdWords as a SEO tool

The results are surprising because “beep sound effect” is a much more popular search term.

Google AdWords, a great tool for checking SEO.

You can also use the same method to determine what sound names you should include. Let’s try this list:

  • beep sound effect
  • blip sound effect
  • blop sound effect
  • explosion sound effect
  • swosh sound effect
  • swish sound effect
  • ding sound effect
  • tada sound effect
  • button sound effect
  • attack sound effect
  • warp sound effect
  • coin sound effect
  • roar sound effect

In terms of popularity, we can clearly see that the explosion, the ding, and the beep stand out.

Focus on words that are right for your package

As you may have realized by now, these are very powerful techniques that can double and triple your downloads. However, you should be mindful of what happens once users download your package. If you optimize for explosion sounds and your package doesn’t include those sounds you are going to get bad reviews and might even find yourself banned from the Unity Asset Store. The idea is to help users reach your package when they are looking for things that you actually have.

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