It’s Not You, It’s Your ASO (Part 2)
In this two-part blog post you’ll find some quick tips to get you started on the right track with App Store Optimization. The first post focused on the iOS App Store, and today we’ll be focusing on Google Play Store optimization.
There is a lot of confusion surrounding the specifics of optimizing for the iOS App Store versus Google Play. What are the differences? How do you determine keywords in Google Store? These are just some of the most common questions we’ve encountered. In this blog post, we’ll go over some of the variations and best practices that relate to Android. If you missed our previous post on iOS App Store optimization, you can find it here.
Let’s get right to it!
What’s in a name?
The title of the app in Google Play Store, just like in the iOS App Store, carries a lot of weight. Each word in the title is identified as a keyword. It’s best to include a word or phrase that describes the function or feature of the app in the title. But since only 30 characters are available for your title (as opposed to 255 in the iOS app store) you need to choose wisely.
Description – A Mine of Keywords
The biggest difference between the iOS App Store & Google Play Store is how they respectively handle keywords. While the iOS App Store allows you to define keywords in a dedicated field, Google’s Play Store captures keywords from the description of your app in the store. Since 53% of Android users discovered the last app they downloaded via the Google app store, the description is the most important factor to help your app get discovered.
The good news is that you have a 4000 character limit for the description – so you have enough space to work with. Best practices include using each keyword 4 to 5 times, and making sure that the description sounds natural. There are diminishing returns after the fifth mention of a keyword. In fact, using too much of the same keyword can even be considered ‘keyword stuffing’ which is a no-no.
The same criteria apply for the choice of keywords in the Google Play Store as in the iOS App Store. The most important question to ask yourself when choosing a keyword is “Is this a word or phrase someone would search for when looking for features in my app?”
This example from Sensor Tower helps bring the concept to life:
If you have an app about dog training, keywords like leash, dog and collar might be the first keywords that come to mind. However, if someone was looking for an app to help them train their dog, will they search for those words? Probably not.
Keywords such as “dog obedience,” “teach to fetch” and “dog whisperer” are better keywords to consider first. Your ideas will still have to pass the next two criteria, but now you are on the right track.
Built-in A/B Test Functionality
One of the coolest features of the Google Play Developer Console is the ability to run optimization experiments on your store assets.
We recommend picking one attribute to test at a time so that you can easily identify and attribute the success (or failure) of the test. You can test up to 3 variants of each asset (e.g. 3 new icons) whose performance will be measured in comparison to your current asset (e.g. current icon). Essentially your current assets act like a control for the experiment.
Within the experiments section, Google also provides helpful data points to review your experiment to help you decide if you want to make any overall changes to your app description, or in this case, icon. Installs by variant are the strongest indicator that you should pay attention to.
A compelling promo video can really help communicate the unique app features and drive installs, and should be the most prominently displayed item on the Google Play storefront.
While Apple only allows your video to be 30 seconds long and requires it to exclusively show app footage, Google Play guidelines are much more liberal. There is no time limit on the video, and you can simply upload it to YouTube and get started. However, just because you are allowed to have a long video doesn’t mean you should. Keep the video to about a minute or less and get to the heart of your app quickly.
We hope this blog post helped you understand the key differences and opportunities in optimizing for the Google Play store. May the ASO forces be with you. Good luck!