The Google Play store will probably be a bigger player over the next 5-10 years because of the open source nature of the Android platform. Also, since this is a Google product, the store has access to search indexes collected by Google. Yes, that means back to some traditional link building for the Google Play store! Below are some quick tips on optimizing for your app in the Google Play Store from our friends over at Search Engine Journal:
- App Title: The foundation of any optimization is the title tag. This is very similar to a website’s title tag. Make sure it is descriptive and clearly explains what the app does. Due to android being used by many brands and different screen sizes, it’s hard to tell how many characters are optimal. The best strategy is to keep the app title as short as possible, so that searchers can read it in its entirety. Nothing kills user experience more than a lengthy title that gets truncated because it’s too long.
- App Description: Very similar to the Meta Description tag on a website. Clearly and effectively explain what the app is, what it does, and its benefits. Again, since there is no actual website, this content will be your primary leveraging mechanism to market your app. Hire a professional copy writer if you must. There is a 4000 character limit on descriptions – use it wisely.
- App Icon: believe it or not, the actual icon of the app does make a difference. Look at all the large, popular brands (Facebook, Twitter). They all have one thing in common – an iconic logo/brand. Make sure your icon or logo clearly and creatively expresses your app.
- App Type: Google divides apps into two main “types.” They are “applications” and “games.” Mark your app appropriately.
- App Screenshot: Everyone likes to see what an app/software or game looks like. Humans are visual creatures, so use this to your advantage and display some eye-catching screen shots of your app in action.
- Category: Properly define your product by a specific category. If your app has multiple categories, try to pick the most appropriate one.
- App YouTube Demo: This is a relatively new feature in the Play Store which allows you to upload a YouTube video of your app in action. Use this as another sales pitch and highlight all the best parts of your app.
- Leverage Google Plus: All apps have a Google Plus plugin. The more pluses your app gets, the more visible it will be in the Play Store and maybe even get bumped to the front page carousel. Let’s face it – Google Plus is a Google product, so I’m sure there is some biased towards it.
Special Note: Google clearly states that any “Repetitive and/or irrelevant use of keywords in the app title, description or promotional description can create an unpleasant user experience and can result in an app suspension.”
- Overall App Ratings: This is an important factor for ASO. Not only from an ASO perspective, but also from a conversion perspective. If we see that 1200 people gave 5 out of 5 stars, we assume it must be a great app. Ratings are also a direct reflection of your app’s performance – a great app will get great ratings. Keep in mind, front page placement seems to rely on a combination of reviews, ratings, downloads, and Google pluses.
- App Reviews: just like ratings, reviews will certainly help in conversions. You want as many app users to leave genuine reviews of your app. The more favorable reviews your app receives, the higher the conversion rate. Also, make sure you pay attention to what people say! You should use app reviews as a feedback to continuously improve your app.
- Total App Downloads: This certainly affects searcher psyche. The more downloads your app has, the higher the chances someone else will download the app as well.
- Link Building: Welcome back to the world of link building! Because this is a Google product, The Google Play Store has access to Google’s search indexes. This means links from popular and authoritative websites will certainly help.