THE Google Play Store is the largest app store in the world, and standing out from the more than 2 million apps available is a task that requires planning, clear objectives, and a strategy known as App Store Optimization (ASO).
The most popular mobile operating system in the world, Android is rivaled by the highly elite iPhone iOS in England, and Windows Phone, a far cry from the top two worldwide, but relatively popular here and in other emerging markets.
For app builders, getting featured in the Play Store means being in a showcase viewed by an 85 percent share of the world’s smartphone market, or more than 1.5 billion users eager for news.
If you don’t know the concept yet, read our post explaining what is ASO and how the technique can impact your digital marketing strategy.
Google Play Store Optimization
In this post, we’ll talk specifically about optimization in the Google Play store, as its scope is much larger than its competitors.
NativeX (App Store Optimization Reference) recently released a report highlighting the on-page and off-page factors that impact the relevance of a Play Store app.
The result can be seen below:
Off Page Factors
In apps, off-page refers to everything that is “outside” the control of the app, ie reviews, user ratings, social media rankings, download speeds and the amount of downloads.
On-page refers to app information, such as keywords, on-page app description, developer name, and app name.
What impacts on displaying an app on the Google Play store?
According to the report, which has changed the design of many developers, most of the App Store Optimization (ASO) / OLA (App Store Optimization) factors are of medium relevance.
Understand each of the following:
Low impact off-page factors
- Reviews – Unlike many people think, the social factor, compliments or criticisms written by users after the review has a minor impact on the relevance of the app. Still, we continue to see apps that ask us for feedback, with the classic “leave your opinion”.
Low impact on-page factors
- Key words – OLA is definitely not SEO. At least not in the Play Store. Here, keywords are important, but not crucial for an app to gain relevance. Obviously, the work has to be well done, because that is where the principle of utility comes in. Because the Google store does not offer a way to add keywords manually. So if a developer wants to highlight their calculator app, they need to work well on other factors, such as Developer Name, App Name, or Description to stand out.
Off-page medium impact factors
- Rating Count (Current & Past)
- Click-Through Rate (CTR) – For those already familiar with Google Analytics and Adwords, it shouldn’t be difficult: CTR is the clickthrough rate, the result of dividing clicks by impressions, times the app appeared to users in the Play Store.
- Average User Rating – Apps that receive the highest number of positive reviews, that is, that get more than three stars, are more likely to stand out in the store.
- App Updates – Apps with the latest updates tend to appear first on the Google Play store. Updates show the store that the app continues to receive support and improvements, which is a positive factor.
- Usage Weights – How often does the app open to users? The Play Store knows it and it impacts his relevance in the store.
- Discard Rates – If users are downloading your app but it goes to the trash shortly afterwards, beware: this may damage the relevance of your product on the Play Store. Not one of the most important factors, but it has considerable impact.
High impact off-page factors
- Web Clicks to App Store
- Geosignal – User localization are important factors for the Play Store to define the relevance of the app for each user, depending on the developer’s country of origin, language, etc.
- Backlines – The external links that the developer can get outside the internet, directing to the app page, impact the interpretation of relevance of an app in the Google Play store. Thus, it is worth investing in hiring a press office to launch the app.
- Social Media Ranking – A popular social media app does better on the Play Store, especially on Google+, but obviously Facebook has a lot of weight too. It’s easy to understand why most apps make use of social networking integration.
- Sales – The more an app sells, the more profit it makes for the Play Store, so that’s a pretty predictable, but also complex, factor for developers just starting out.
High impact off-page factors
- Developer Name – The name of the developer makes a difference when it comes to assigning relevance. For smaller developers, it can often have a good impact to include the company’s main focus alongside the name: “Studio Games,” for example, in the case of a game to be released on the Play Store.
High impact off-page factors
- Download Speed - Download speed, as it is not in direct control of the developer, is considered an off-page factor. The Google Play Store favors those apps that will perform best when it comes to downloading and installing, that is, it is worth evaluating the market in which the developer intends to operate, checking the average connection speeds, to focus part of the development on the final size of the application.
- Total Downloads – Each time an app is downloaded, the Play Store rewards it with relevance. It is social proof in its most primitive form: if it is too low, it must be good or have a good reputation. This is one of the biggest challenges for novice developers, as of course the app will not have many downloads at first.
High impact on-page factors
- Application Description – With the impossibility of entering keywords, description becomes the only way – next to the name – to highlight the app’s characteristics and target the audience. The description needs to be concise and highlight the keywords that are intended for app promotion. If it is a calculator, that word has to be highlighted by following SEO principles.
- Application Name – The app name has a high impact on your display. So if a calculator app gets its name, the chances of being found are higher than if it has a stylized name or it doesn’t reveal the actual goals of the app. The problem is that not all developers imagine their product with a generic name as “calculator”.