Guide to App Store Optimization (ASO) for Android applications on Google Play Store
Over the last few years, mobile has grown has never before. Android is the leading OS for mobile devices and Google Play Store the best way to make available your Android application to a large number of users.
However, with more than 1 millions of applications on Google Play Store, it became very hard to make your application visible and so downloadable by users. To improve this visibility, you must be aware of App Store Optimization (ASO). Each store has its particularity and here, we’re going to interest us to ASO for Google Play Store.
Optimizations for Google Play Store can be classified into 2 main categories : on-page optimization for all that concerns your details on application page on Google Play Store and off-page optimization for all that concerns other ways to improve visibility on Google Play Store.
1/ App Title
The first contact of users with your application will be its title. Having a keyword in your title can improve your app’s search ranking. You can place your most relevant keywords in title.
Think about the main function of your app and build your title regarding this function. Your title should be unique and accessible. In this way, you should avoid common terms.
Keep your title focused because you mustn’t forget that longer titles could be truncated on some devices.
At last but not the least, avoid misspellings !
To conclude, I think best strategy is to keep the app title as short as possible, so that searchers can read it in its entirely.
2/ App Short Description
This description is limited to 80 characters. You must use it like a punchline for your application. Indeed, it’s on Google Play Store mobile version the first description that users will read ! You must convince them here !
3/ App Full Description
To be clear, you can compare app description to the meta tag on a website. On Google Play Store, description is limited to 4000 characters.
A best practice is to choose some keywords that are relevant for your application. Search them on Google Play Store to see if you can enter in competition for them. When you have choose your keywords, it’s time to write your app description by trying to place your keywords into the description 4-5 tomes, and spread evenly throughout different paragraphs.
Be careful, don’t overdo it though, because Google has systems to sanction developers that abuse of these keywords.
When you write your app description, don’t forget to be focused on your potential users and what they will get from your app.
To conclude, be mindful of Google Play Content Policies regarding Spam and IP Infringement to avoid to be suspended !
4/ App Icon
On Google Play Store, you must upload a 512×512 app icon. This is an essential part to make a difference compared to your competitors. You must have an iconic logo / brand. Make sure your icon or logo clearly and creatively expresses your app.
Don’t hesitate to use a paid service to create an unique and existing icon for your app.
5/ Feature Graphic
With new versions of Google Play Store, Feature Graphic is now mandatory. It is displayed directly when users access to your application page on mobile versions of Google Play Store. It can be a good way to make a good impression and convince users to go further.
6/ App Screenshot
Google has given you possibility to upload 8 screenshots per devices type (phone, 7-inch table, 10-inch tablet, TV). Don’t hesitate to use all !
It’s a free adverstising space for your mobile app marketing.
Make attractives screenshots from your real app. Don’t make creations. Show one feature by screenshots.
Choose properly your application category. If you think your app can be part of multiple categories, choose the most appropriate one.
8/ App Youtube Demo
This new feature is become very important on mobile versions of Google Play Store because play button of your app demo is displayed at the center of the Feature Graphic.
It’s an other way to convince users by highlighting all the best parts of your app.
1/ App Ratings and Reviews
It’s an important part of your Google Play Store ranking because Google use your app ratings and reviews in its ranking algorithm.
Be the best application possible to be well rated. Don’t hesitate to display a popup to drive your users to rate your app after several uses.
Answer to all the reviews especially bad reviews with poor rating to show users that you listen their advices. Fix eventual bugs and make new features will help you to transform bad ratings and reviews to great !
In just one word, pay attention to what people say about your apps.
2/ Total App Downloads
It affects searcher brain. The more downloads your app has, more you have chance to be downloaded. It’s a virtuous circle !
Google takes attention to this and you have more chance to be featured if you have has more downloads.
Total number of downloads in the last weeks is also important.
3/ Users retention time
Google takes also attention about users retention time after they download your app. More longer they keep your app and use it, more if affects your ranking in a positive way.
4/ Link Building
As searcher specialist, Google loves links ! So, Google Play Store has access to Google’s search indexes. This means links from popular and authoritative websites to your Google Play Store page will certainly have a good influence on your ranking.