The primary place an Android app is listed is in the Google Play app store. Google uses this app listing to index an app for app store search results and rankings. Optimizing an app for discovery and conversion in Google Play is where Android app marketing starts. This process of optimization for discovery and conversion is called app store optimization, or Google Play ASO.
Google Play App Indexing
The algorithm Google uses to index mobile apps is not public, but we do know what elements of an app listing impact indexing and ranking:
- the App Title is indexed
- the short and full descriptions are indexed
- the long description has the biggest impact in which keywords an app ranks for
- individual keyword ranking is impacted by click through rates (CTR)
While the app listing helps Google determine what searches an app is relevant for, conversion plays a big role into where an app ranks in specific searches.
Google Play App Store Discovery
Before a conversion can occur, an app must be discovered. A user searches Google Play and immediately see results for apps Google feels meets their query. To help Google understand what searches are relevant to an app (or conversely, which apps are relevant to a search), Google relies on several elements from the app listing. We have created short, useful guides for how to maximize the benefits and opportunity provided in each of these elements.
App Title - how to format an app title with examples
Short Description - how Google uses this field, and where potential users see it
Long Description - why getting this right has more impact on app discovery than any other field
Converting Views to Users
Anything that is viewable impacts conversion rates, including the app title and descriptions. But visual elements tend to have the biggest impact on what users expect and how they understand an app features. Conversion rates are highest where creative elements highlight features that align with user searches. The creative elements include:
Discovery and Conversion Work Together
Where an app ranks for specific searches in Google Play is the combination of what the app is indexed for and how well the app converts when shown in specific search results. As such, discovery by a relevant target audience should be the goal of any optimization effort. Much of this starts with determining who the target audience is, and how they are searching the Google Play app store, including the specific search terms they are using. Learn more about developing a target keyword strategy and building a keyword bucket of relevant search terms.