By Linh Nguyen Mai Khanh | March 15, 2017
Google Play is a popular app store where thousands of apps are curated and discovered by Android users all over the world. Once you published your app in the Google Play store, you’ve entered a real game. No matter how excellent and useful your app is, if a very little amount of users know and enjoy it, it is still unreasonable to be considered as a successful app. Getting discovered in a maze of applications in the store may be the breakpoint for you to win or lose.
You may not know there is an art to getting more recognition on Google Play store. Apps rankings are based on many factors such as ratings, user behavior and feedbacks, downloads etc. Google Play search those factors in the overall experience of your app. While these weights and values are a proprietary part of the Google search algorithm, you can work to improve your app’s discoverability by improving those factors listed below:
Have a right understanding on how Google list apps on the store, including the types of things that affect the listing, is very critical. This will vastly help you to put your app in the best possible place to get downloads and installations. One of the primary indicators that Google takes into account to evaluate and rank apps in the app store is the metadata. Here are the most important parts of the app metadata:
– Title: The name of the app should be succinct, accessible and clear about what your app is about; while also be creative, unique and avoid common terms, misspells and reinforce your branding.
– Description: description can be as long as you want, but the very first sentence should strike the users with the unique functionalities, and what users can benefit from your app. Review it to ensure that the most vital text is visible. Use SEO Best Practices to help you make more attractive and useful description, but be mindful of Google Play Content Policies regarding SPAM and IP Infringement. One trick here is using a professional translation service from a third-party vendor for your description can lead to better search results and discoverability for worldwide users.
– Graphic and Image Assets: iconic icons, quality images, and screenshots, video previews will make your app stand out in search results, categories, and featured app lists. On the other hand, the app details page should demonstrate the incredibly valuable experience users can get once they install the app. Those graphic and image assets help users to get your vibe, as well as first feeling and imagination about what your app provides. Actual screenshots of the app so the user can see what they’re getting into are.
Your apps must meet a certain level of quality. Because users always expect high-quality apps, quality is also an important factor that our search and discovery systems rely on to discern what apps to recommend and display at the surface of the Google Play store. As a result, app quality directly influences installs, user rating, and reviews, engagement, and user retention.
When building your app, check against the quality criteria to make sure you are delivering a highly usable experience. Moreover, testing your app for functional quality is also essential. Pre-launch your app and receive a report from Google Play Developer Console to see how your app performs on real devices. This will help you identify and solve crashes and other issues before the actual release of your app.
Users seek for apps that personally relevant them. As for a large number of users find that one of the most effective sources to find apps is personalized recommendations. Moreover, Google Play take user reviews as an extremely strong signal for rankings. These two reasons make developers get more engaged with their users, so in turn, they will leave positive reviews that others will see, or recommend your app to their friends. As the reviews can be polarized, one way to have a little bit control over user reviews is to make the suitable targeted audience. A study stated that positive reviews are found to indeed came from the targeted audience, and the negative reviews came from people outside the target. Obviously, users cannot find usability in the app that wasn’t originally built for them.
Ask no more than permissions that are essential to your app, and make sure that you use them for good reasons. Excessive app permissions cause a negative effect in users, which makes them take more caution when installing your app. It’s highly recommended that sensitive permissions should be avoided as much as possible.
We studied that users are very conscious and sensitive about privacy when deciding which apps to install. A research shows that users on average, 3 times more likely to install the app with fewer permissions requests among the apps with similar and functionality. So use the best practices for your app permissions.
The users are who ultimately drive Google Play search and discovery systems. So getting positive feedbacks for your app will raise the chance to be recognized in Google Play. Therefore, you should encourage users to provide feedback in the form of ratings and comments. Then stay attentive to the feedbacks, give prominence to them, respond to your users and address issues. For example, whenever you get a feedback about bugs or other issues, engage with the feedback and update your app in a rational time. This is one way to provide great customer service and help you to gain more installs, engagement, and higher ratings. Beta testing is also a good way to get feedback from trial users before the actual launch.
You can get an analysis in the ratings and reviews section of the Google Play Developer Console, which gives you insights of what users are saying about your app and how it affects your rating compared to similar apps.
To sum up, making your app discoverable and searchable is one of the most crucial things to keep in mind. Google Play always strives to help users discover the most useful, high-quality, safe and relevant apps. Understand the operating principle of Google Play search system will help you to build the long-term successful app and win the victory in Google Play battlefield.