How to Do Google Play Store Optimization for Your Android App

Gabriel Machuret
Mar 23, 2016 · 7 min read

Much to the surprise of marketing enthusiasts this 2016, ASO is still the marketing channel with the most misinformation being spread online, with some aSO practitioners, developers, and even managers remaining doubtful about its use altogether. In as early as March 2016, we now have evaluated new ASO trends that will shape the online marketing this year, but it is also time to demystify common myths about this ASO phenomenon, once and for all.

If you’re a developer, who wanted your app to reach out to the masses, you should know by now, how difficult this can be. Ranking in the Google PlayStore each can feel like an unattainable goal, especially when you’ve just launched your first app.

In Google Play, some basic appstore optimization can go a long way. Just as you would expect to invest time and money in marketing or promoting your app into various channels, you also need to focus on app store optimization.

This post will provide you with a detailed list of the basics of ASO, including why it’s essential to rank in Google Play Store search, how to find relevant keywords, and how the elements of your app listing are the most important for ranking.

Just a heads up, no one knows the exact algorithm that Google uses for their apps, just like with iTunes, but here is what has been shown to work.

1. Keyword Research

As far as App Store Optimization is concerned, your keywords count the most. This is not a secret, but if you have never gone through the whole aso process before, it can be a daunting task.

When looking for keywords for your app to target, remember the “R.D.T.” rule: Relevance, Difficulty, and of course — Traffic. The most important thing here is to choose the best keywords that are highly relevant, so your users are more likely to download it when they find your app or game using these keywords. Next step is to look for lower difficulty scores so that you will have a better chance of being ranked. Finally, if you have met these two criteria, choose the one’s with the higher Traffic Scores.

Luckily, you can find a wide range of app store optimization keyword tools that can help you find the best keywords for your app. Here is a list of the top platforms on the market today:

  • Google Keyword Planner
  • Mobile Action
  • Google Auto Suggest Via the App store
  • Thesaurous

These keyword tools can show you some of your competitor’s keywords, and find new ones and more. Do your research on which tools fit your needs and most importantly — your budget.

Give a few a tries and see which ones work best for you. As for me, I use the free tools such as the Google Keyword Planner and Mobile Action. They can give you all the necessary details like the relevance, difficulty, and traffic score.

To know more about how to use them, watch the video below.

2. Put Keywords In Your App’s Title

Just like with iTunes search, putting keywords into the title of your app can help boost its ASO ranking.

However, since Google Play titles are limited to only 30 characters, you will probably be able to only put two to three keywords into your title, so it’s a must that you choose wisely. Also, you can follow this winning aso title format.

Main title — Subtitle (XXX XXX — XXXXX XXXX XXXX)

In the main title, you can use your chosen keywords here but don’t overdo it. If it’s not appropriate to use 2 keywords in your main title, then don’t. Just use the other keyword in the subtitle. In the subtitle, make sure that it describes or it’s something supplemental to the title of your app. Use strong keywords here but don’t spam it with keywords.

Also, don’t use famous game titles here or trademarks to avoid violations. What works best for me is, putting some symbols in the title to make it more visible.You can use any of the following here:

✔, ♦, ♣, ♠, ♥, ™, ®, ✪, ❤, ►, ♛ . Moreover, you can also use emojis.

Titles in CAPS LOCK also works, as it makes it more visible: for example ASO PROFESSIONAL BLOG, looks more evident, isn’t it?

3. Add Keywords To Your App’s Description

This is one of the biggest differences between Google PlayStore and iTunes search. Instead of providing a keyword field like the App Store does, Google takes the keywords from your app’s description.

You app’s description can have a maximum of 4,000 characters, so be sure to maximize and use as many of them as possible. It has been said that we can include a target keyword about 4–5X in the description for best results. Stuffing keywords hasn’t shown to help at all. So don’t try to trick or outsmart the Google algorithm, by keyword spamming or any nonsensical description just for the hopes of ranking better.Also, make sure that your description is appealing or the very least — it makes sense and not just a bunch of keywords crammed all up altogether.

4. Make Users Love Your App

This is something to take note of. If you create a good app that people love, you will get good feedback, meaning positive reviews. This will help you get better search rankings. However, if what you have is a mediocre app or worse, a reskinned app, you might want to try the proactive approach to getting good reviews, you can use services like Apptentive. You may also contact review site owners to review your app, but most of the time this comes with a fee. Good Luck.

Note: “Ratings” is not the only thing that you need to be aware of when it comes to ASO. Number of downloads, growth, uninstalls, usage frequency have also shown to boost or affect search rankings.

I highly suggest that you look at areas of opportunities to improve all of these metrics. But the bottom line here is that having a high-quality app is a solid foundation for you to get positive reviews.

Your app does not have to be something spectacular. As long as it works as advertised, it’s good to go. Just make sure that you have tested your app thoroughly and everything works before launching it.

5. Promote Your App

Having a promotional video for you app is important as it is an additional factor when it comes to Android ASO. Google Play already has this option where you can showcase your app via a promotional video, so you should take advantage of it. This is one way to make people excited about your app — so entice them!

Be sure to keep your video short. Just dynamically highlight the most important features of your app. Nobody is going to watch a 10-minute presentation of why they should download your app. They might get bored and fall asleep.

6. Create Awesome & Informative Icons and Screenshots

Aside from a great promo video, you also need excellent screenshots and icons. Why? Well, For sure there will be times when a user has a crappy internet connection and cannot view your YouTube video correctly. They will then opt to turn to your screenshots and icons to find out more about your app.

So be sure to choose screenshots that are appealing. You may add text to add value or to emphasize or to describe what your app is all about. Provide users compelling reasons to download your app. Your app icon is important too. It is the first thing to see in search listings so it has to have that wow factor!

Additional Reminders

In Google Play, you can benefit from web search traffic. So the more backlinks from authority sites, the more chances that you app will get higher search rankings in Google Play App Store optimization.

Be sure to contact influencers, bloggers, or people who have websites to write about your app and ask them to put external links on your app page. You might want to consider reaching out to the press to have your own blog so people can find more information about your app.

Conclusion

As the mobile world continues to expand rapidly, you should be equipped with aso knowledge to position your app for discovery in the Google Play Store and in booming social networking sites.

I have given you a rundown of how to optimize your app for the Google Play Store. It’s all up to you now to learn more about it. There are lots of various resources online forASO 2016 , but if you want to get more ASO marketing tips, be sure to check out my blog as well.

If you have any questions or have anything to add? Let me know in the comments below.

HEY HEY… click on the little HEART and be sure to get my FREE ASO BOOK today also ;)

Gabriel Machuret

Written by

SEO & ASO Consultant and Internet Marketing Expert — Founder of Startup founders http://www.startupfounders.com.au

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade