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App Store Optimization - Ultimate Guide for Google Play Store ASO 2018

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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 to ASO, it's not the same thing.

Are you launching your first app on Google Play Store? Are you choosing your first ASO 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!

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.

The App Store Optimization strategy consists of 3 main processes:
- Market Research & Keyword Optimization
- Google Play Store optimization & A/B testing
- Tracking / monitoring… and repeating the whole process :)

What do you think of our ultimate Google Play ASO guide 2018? Tell us in the comments!

Published in: Mobile

App Store Optimization - Ultimate Guide for Google Play Store ASO 2018

  1. 1. GOOGLE PLAY The Ultimate ASO Guide to:
  2. 2. What is ASO? ASO, or App Store Optimization, is an essential strategy for mobile businesses – the process of optimizing mobile apps and games to maximize the visibility in the app stores and improve the conversion rate to install.  The Ultimate ASO Guide to: GOOGLE PLAY
  3. 3. ASO Strategy The App Store Optimization strategy consists of 3 main processes: 1. Market Research & Keyword Optimization 2. Listing optimization & A/B testing 3. Tracking & monitoring 1 3 2 The Ultimate ASO Guide to: GOOGLE PLAY
  4. 4. 1. Keyword Optimization 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. The Ultimate ASO Guide to: GOOGLE PLAY 1
  5. 5. How to select the right keywords? In the beginning it is most recommendable to go for mid- and long-tail keywords – combinations 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 with 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. 1 The Ultimate ASO Guide to: GOOGLE PLAY
  6. 6. 2. Google Play Store listing optimization & A/B testing Optimizing an app listing on Google Play Store requires working on different elements: • On-metadata factors: title, developer name, short and long description, icon, screenshots, feature graphic (image or video). • Off-metadata factors: installs volume, ratings, and user reviews. The Ultimate ASO Guide to: GOOGLE PLAY 2
  7. 7. Sign up now and get 14-day FREE trial! Want more downloads? GET FREE TRIAL
  8. 8. Optimizing Play Store listing: App Title Title is the first and one of the most important ASO on-metadata factors, it has an effect on both search rankings and conversion rate to install. Google permits to include up to 50 characters in the Title – to maximize the use of this space for your app optimization, add some of your most powerful keywords to your Title alongside brand name. Keep your brand name short, clear and easy to spell for your potential users, and try to add emoji to instantly grab users’ attention when they are browsing on the Google Play Store. 2 The Ultimate ASO Guide to: GOOGLE PLAY
  9. 9. Optimizing Play Store listing: App Title 2 The Ultimate ASO Guide to: APP STORE
  10. 10. Optimizing Play Store listing: URL / Package Curiously, the URL (package) can be a very strong ranking factor for app store search if you include some keywords there. Check the Google Play Store package URL before publishing your app, because once it is set, you can’t modify it later. 2 The Ultimate ASO Guide to: GOOGLE PLAY
  11. 11. Optimizing Play Store listing: URL / Package 2 The Ultimate ASO Guide to: APP STORE
  12. 12. Optimizing Play Store listing: Developer Name Developer Name is another important on-metadata factor that has an effect on app search rankings. Besides, Google keeps a record of developer history, and the apps with positive developer history tend to be ranked higher in Google Play search. Your search rankings will certainly benefit if you add a few keywords in your developer name, like this: Developer Name: Keyword1, Keyword2 2 The Ultimate ASO Guide to: GOOGLE PLAY
  13. 13. Optimizing Play Store listing: Developer Name 2 The Ultimate ASO Guide to: APP STORE
  14. 14. Optimizing Play Store listing: Short Description A short description on Google Play Store affects search ASO keywords rankings and conversion rate. You can include up to 80 characters in the short description field, and it is very important to keep the balance and provide a clear description, including some of your main keywords that you want your application to rank for. A well-composed short description provides a highlight about the virtues or a purpose of your app, clearly delivers a message about its value and catches attention so the user can expand it and go to see the full description. Just like it is true for the Title, adding some emoji to Short Description will definitely help! 2 The Ultimate ASO Guide to: GOOGLE PLAY
  15. 15. 2 The Ultimate ASO Guide to: APP STORE Optimizing Play Store listing: Short Description
  16. 16. Optimizing Play Store listing: Description App Description is an extremely important ASO factor, affecting both Search and Conversion. Google’s search engine is crawling through the app descriptions, and uses the keywords that it has found (mainly in the first and last 5 lines of text). This is why, your description, should, first of all, be searchable. You have up to 4.000 characters to include as many keyword combinations as possible. Use your most important ones a few times,, but don’t do keyword stuffing! It is not only penalized by Google, but will also have a negative effect on the users and discourage them from trying your app. App description must be organized and well-structured, containing clearly all the information valuable for the user and convincing him to install your app (convert into your user) with a powerful call-to-action, so your description has to be actionable. 2 The Ultimate ASO Guide to: GOOGLE PLAY
  17. 17. Optimizing Play Store listing: Description 2
  18. 18. A few tips for a perfect description: • Use as much space provided for a Long Description as possible (at least 3.000-3.500 characters). • Localize your description to all possible languages. Preferably, use a help of native speakers. • Describe the virtues and all the best features of your app – it is okay to brag! • Use bullet points or Unicode symbols like ❖➜ (get them here) for a clear and visual organization. • Don’t overload your description with a lot of text – write in short paragraphs. • Include emoji  or use HTML and Rich Formatting (read our guide for more tips on that!). • Mention your awards or contests to encourage your users to give it a shot. • Include a powerful call-to-action, containing a sense of urgency (e.g. “Download and start saving money today!”) • Mention your social media profiles or user communities for your app. 2 The Ultimate ASO Guide to: GOOGLE PLAY
  19. 19. Optimizing Play Store listing: Icon Icon is the first visual element of your app that the users see when they come across it in the search results page or Top Charts. Therefore, an icon plays directly affects click-through rate, and of course, conversion rate. A striking, distinctive icon is what can really influence the users to try out your app. 2 The Ultimate ASO Guide to: GOOGLE PLAY
  20. 20. Optimizing Play Store listing: Icon 2
  21. 21. A few tips on optimizing app icon: • Make sure your icon is clearly reflecting the main purpose of your app – don’t confuse the users unless you already have a strong brand. • Find your “style” – colours, typography, etc – and stick to it, so you icon goes in alliance with the other elements of your app. • Take a look at your competitors and make something different. • Use vibrant colors and clear shapes, don’t overload your icon with too many elements. • Avoid having text in your icon. • Try adding borders to the icon to make it more eye-catching. • Innovate and follow the design trends – remember when everyone got crazy about flat design?  • Don’t try to guess what icon your users will choose – use A/B testing tools to know exactly what icon performs best for your app. 2 The Ultimate ASO Guide to: GOOGLE PLAY
  22. 22. Optimizing Play Store listing: Feature Graphic - Image The next visual element that the users are coming across when they visit your listing on Google Play, is a feature graphic, which can be an image or video. Feature graphic is responsible, above all, for conversion rate (from listing visits to installs). A well-designed feature graphic adds on the icon and continues to transmit the “mood” of an app for the potential users. 2 The Ultimate ASO Guide to: GOOGLE PLAY
  23. 23. Optimizing Play Store listing: Feature Graphic - Image 2
  24. 24. Tips to optimize your feature graphic for Google Play: • Don’t place any important information, visual or text, near the borders and in the bottom third of your feature graphic. • Center your text/logo/other information horizontally and vertically, to ensure perfect visibility and readability. • Use large font sizes. • Remember that a feature graphic can be used with or without an icon, so make sure your feature graphic makes a clear reference to your app and makes it recognizable. • Use experiments to A/B test your graphic and maximize the conversion rate. • Try playing around with your feature graphic, changing it with seasons, use for important announcements or holidays. • If your feature image includes any text, remember to localize it into the languages that your app is available on the Google Play Store. 2 The Ultimate ASO Guide to: GOOGLE PLAY
  25. 25. Optimizing Play Store listing: Feature Graphic - Image 2
  26. 26. Optimizing Play Store listing: Feature Graphic - Video As an addition to your feature graphic, you can create a YouTube video about your Android app or game. In this case the video preview thumbnail will become a feature graphic. One of the coolest things about adding a video to your app store listing is that the views from Google Play Store count as YouTube views. This gives you higher YouTube rankings, and therefore, higher positions in Google web search results! You can localize your video in all the languages that your app is available for. Upload one video for each language, or just use transcripts in different languages, which Google will automatically show depending on user location or device settings. 2
  27. 27. Optimizing Play Store listing: Feature Graphic - Image 2
  28. 28. Optimizing Play Store listing: Screenshots Like other graphic elements of listing, screenshots are responsible for Conversion Rate. They don’t have such a huge visibility on Google Play (comparing with Apple App Store), because the user has to scroll through listing to get to see them. Just taking a glance at the screenshots, users will already decide if they want to try the application or not, so it is extremely important to make a great first impression on the users. Make sure you showcase your best features on the first two screenshots. On Google Play Store you can add up to 8 screenshots. Read more about How to Create Outstanding App Screenshots and check out the 10 Best Tools to Design Mobile Screenshots. 2 The Ultimate ASO Guide to: GOOGLE PLAY
  29. 29. Optimizing Play Store listing: Screenshots 2
  30. 30. Tips to rock your Google Play screenshots: • Put your best features or the most important messages to the first 2 screenshot slots. • Use all available screenshot slots, don’t stop on the 2 minimum required ones. • Use text to explain the information on the images to the users. • Follow your app’s general style and theme, experiment with creating storylines. • Provide a challenging copy to encourage users to install your app. • Show special offers or discounts to give them more visibility. • Localize screenshots!  • And never forget to A/B test them to find the best ones for your product! 2 The Ultimate ASO Guide to: GOOGLE PLAY
  31. 31. 3. Tracking and monitoring Mobile apps economy is ever-changing, and Google Play Store changes as well. Your app should always be prepared to these changes, and your ASO as well! 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. The Ultimate ASO Guide to: GOOGLE PLAY 3
  32. 32. A/B testing Every app is different, and so is the ASO. The same strategy doesn’t work for everyone. 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! 3 The Ultimate ASO Guide to: GOOGLE PLAY
  33. 33. User ratings & reviews Take care of your users, try to provide the best user experience, and keep up with the user reviews. A strong positive user sentiment is an important factor, favoring 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). Google Play offers a possibility to interact with users, reply to their reviews and even convert negative reviews into positive. And remember – the key to success is, above all, a great product! 3 The Ultimate ASO Guide to: GOOGLE PLAY
  34. 34. Final thoughts Your Google Play Store page is a great scope for optimization and experimenting with different elements in order to find a perfect combination that will increase Search and Top Charts rankings, and at the same time convince users to download your app and thus, improve your Conversion Rate. There is always room for improvement, so never stop measuring, tracking and doing ASO! Happy optimizing! The Ultimate ASO Guide to: GOOGLE PLAY
  35. 35. Sign up now and get 14-day FREE trial! Want more downloads? GET FREE TRIAL
  36. 36. THANK YOU!

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