In this article we will dive deep into ASO (AKA App Store Optimization) for Android apps on Google Play Store. We have written a complete guide on how to optimize every element of listing in order to improve the visibility and boost organic downloads in year 2018.
Are you launching your first app on Google Play Store? Are you choosing your first app keywords? Sure you have a lot of questions and, maybe, need some help. Our play store optimization guide will show you what to do and how to do it. Let’s start!
Update: we have just published a complete App Store ASO guide. Check it out!
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There are currently more than 5,3 million mobile applications on the biggest stores: Apple App Store and Google Play. The stores keep on growing exponentially and getting more competitive, so achieving a good visibility on the stores has become the biggest challenge for developers and marketers.
App Store Optimization is an essential strategy for mobile iOS & Android businesses, and a great solution to maximize visibility, improve search rankings, increase the conversion rate and drive more organic installs.
Let’s start from some theory:
ASO, or App Store Optimization, is the process of optimizing mobile apps and games to maximize the visibility and improve the conversion rate to install. It is sometimes called an “App Store SEO” because of its similarity with Search Engine Optimization, but technically, ASO is not only about visibility in search, but also about conversion rate optimization.
It’s important to remark that ASO is not “SEO”. SEO for Google Play exists, but although it’s related, it’s not the same thing.
The App Store Optimization strategy consists of 3 main processes:
Google Play search optimization starts with this.
Market research, paired with Keyword Research and Optimization, is the first step to do when implementing an ASO strategy for your app or game. Knowing your niche on the market, who are your competitors and what tactics do they use, is extremely important in order to learn how to outrank competition and get more downloads.
For the new applications, though, it can be quite challenging to fight for top search rankings for popular search terms, so the best strategy for keyword optimization is to choose the right keywords.
In the beginning it is most recommendable to go for mid- and long-tail keywords, that are a combination of keywords for a more specific search. Around 70% of search queries are long-tail, and the conversion on these terms is usually higher, because of the higher probability that the user will find exactly what he was looking for, using a specific search.
Long-tail keywords have less volume of traffic and less competition, so you should try to target as many different combinations of long-tail keywords as possible, and cover a big area of possible search queries related to your app. This way, you will expand your outreach and maximize your visibility in app store search.
When talking about implementing an ASO strategy for Google Play, we should keep in mind two factors: on-metadata and off-metadata:
Some of these factors affect Search Rankings on Google Play, some can influence the Conversion Rate, and some of them can have an effect on both (such as description).
Later in this post we will take a look at how the ASO optimized elements of listing on Google Play Store would look like.
It doesn’t really matter if your Android application is already published on Play Store or you are just preparing its launch: you need to to work on your strategy and correctly implement it.
But the results are not always going to be the same as you expect. You can have what seems to be a great icon and feature graphic, but if they are not converting your visitors to installs, they don’t really work! And the same strategy doesn’t work for 2 apps – every app is different, and so is the ASO. So stop guessing… and start A/B testing!
A/B testing is a comparison of two different versions of app listing against each other to identify which version has better conversion (clicks or installs). During the experiment, you drive the half of your traffic to the option A, and the other half to the option B, comparing them to see which one has the best performance.
Google has its own A/B testing tool integrated with the Google Play Developer Console – check their guidelines on how to perform better A/B testing and start experimenting!
Mobile apps business is ever-changing, and Google Play Stores changes as well, so your app should be always ready and so does your ASO 🙂
The best practice is to keep track of the most important KPIs of your app weekly (ideally, daily): the volume of installs(organic + non organic), keywords rankings, top charts rankings (overall, category, etc.), ratings and reviews. Revamp your keywords and remove the ones that don’t perform anymore, try experimenting more with the graphic elements and keep on A/B testing until you find the best-converting combination of the elements of your listing on Google Play Store.
Take care of your users, try to provide the best user experience, and keep up with the user reviews. Google Play offers a possibility to interact with users, reply to their reviews and even convert negative reviews into positive. A strong positive user sentiment is an important factor, that favor both search ASO (Google ranks the applications with more and better reviews higher), and Conversion Rate of your listing (convincing users of the high quality of the app).