How to Optimize your Google Play App Store Listing

Several studies have shown the number one way users find and download apps is from app store search, including a study by Nielsen that showed 63% of app installs come from app store search. App store optimization is the process of optimizing a mobile app for discovery and conversion in the app stores. Our successful Android game development agencies and studio clients would know that the positioning of their mobile apps for app store search provides a defendable competitive advantage. Whether you are an iPhone development company looking to move your successful iOS app to Android and Google Play, or a veteran of android app development, optimizing your app listing for organic traffic and installs will likely be the marketing activity with the highest ROI.

How Google Play Indexes Mobile Apps

If you are familiar with how Google indexes the web, optimizing your app listing for Google Play will seem similar to SEO. There are some significant differences; however between app store SEO - or app store optimization (ASO), and web search SEO. A quick search of the web for "hamburger" using Google, and then again on Google Play shows vastly different results. This speaks clearly about how the search results on Google Play is different from the web search. Google knows this, users know this and the top mobile app publishers know this and optimize their apps for Google Play search, and not web search. You should know that we are optimizing your app for Google Play search and not web search. This means a focus on 2-3 word, features-based phrases. Once we begin targeting app store search and select relevant keyword and phrase targets for intended audience on Google Play, the process by which Google indexes apps starts to fit into a recognizable template. Google crawls an app's listing for App Title, Short Description and Long Description similar to how Google crawls and indexes a website's title, headers and content.  

The App Title and Descriptions in Google Play

The App Title field is limited to 30 characters, which leaves just enough room for the app name and a single keyword or feature. The short description is a bit longer with 80 characters to work with and should focus on the next 2-3 most important, in demand or differentiating features. The long description can be up to 4,000 characters and largely determines which keywords an app ranks for. How well an app converts from specific search results impacts the app's ranking for that word. A feature-forward description using relevant keywords and phrases specifically for your target audience impacts both discovery and conversion.  

Conversion - from search to install

Where discovery is focused on being found, conversion focuses on moving app store viewers to users. How well your app converts for each keyword in Google Play search results impacts where your app ranks. What do you focus on when you want to figure out a strategy to effectively promote your app? App creatives, including the app icon, screenshots, and a preview video if you choose to include one, play the biggest role in app store conversion. We have found the very best way to maximize our clients' app conversion rates is through running focus groups to optimize the app's creatives. Given the importance of conversion rates in Google Play app store rankings, optimizing app creatives is an essential part of every mobile app marketing and app store optimization effort. Focus groups provide specific answers to questions like: Which icon converts best? Do the screenshots and videos highlight your app's most in-demand and differentiating features?  

Next Steps

Here are few pointers on where ASO is heading to:

  • Mobile app usage has surpassed fixed internet (desktop) usage, and is starting to challenge time spent watching TV.
  • Expect the competition in the app stores to continue to increase.
  • Mobile app publishers, developers and marketers who invest in app store optimization and optimized Google Play app listings are building a sustainable competitive advantage.
  • Get a competitive advantage with app store optimization. Learn how an app store optimization engagement with Gummicube can improve your app store rankings in Google Play and increase conversions and installs from your target audience.

Author Bio

Dave Campbell

Dave Bell Gummicube





Dave Bell is the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Gummicube. In this role, Dave is responsible for overseeing the business strategy for the company, driving growth and market development. Dave is a pioneer of the mobile entertainment industry with more than 15 years of experience publishing, marketing and distributing mobile applications and games across carrier, direct to consumer and app store channels.

ABOUT doodleblue

doodleblue is a boutique creative technology solutions consulting firm. Our focus is to help entrepreneurs, start-ups & businesses succeed with their technology solutions. We love working on cutting edge technologies like Augmented Reality, OCR, Google glasses, and more in the mobility space.