Google announced back in February that it was looking to start a pilot program to test sponsored search results in the Google Play Store. Sponsored search results are already a major part of Google search results and with over 100 billion searches a month on Google.com, they know a thing or two about implementing the program.
Paid Ads are a great way to promote, improve visibility and discovery of your app. Google has already documented how paid ads can improve content discovery for users in Google search, the same principle should translate well into the realm of the Google Play Store.
While the initial reaction from developers has been mixed, the new paid ads platform could be a good way for premium developers and apps to cut through the noise of some 1.2 million apps currently in the Play Store, in the same way that Google search brings forth relevant content and pushes down spammy or irrelevant content.
The pilot program is only available to select developers at the moment and no one really knows how it will affect app store optimization (ASO) until there is a full rollout. It could end up making ASO easier because of a transparent search volume system similar to Google Adwords.
With hundreds of new apps being added to the Play Store daily, it is more important than ever for user to be able to find your app quickly and efficiently. We have gathered a number of tips to optimize your Google Play Store app so that it can be found more easily by potential users.
Optimize your app for search results.
It should come as no surprise that Search is one of the most important elements of the Google Play Store. Recent statistics show that search represents 80% of high quality organic downloads. This means that people who are using the apps are organically searching the Play Store for a specific type of app.
The Play Store uses an algorithm that takes into account a variety of things before it gives your app a rank. No one (except the people at Google) knows the exact algorithm and criteria, but people have tried to understand it and come up with a list of items that that influence your search ranking. These items are
Number or ratings your app has received
Overall rating (High or Low)
Total number of downloads
Downloads growth rate over past 30 days
Number of uninstalls by people who downloaded the app
How often people actually use your app (App usage)
Looking at the criteria laid out above, there are several things you can do to improve and influence your search ranking. We have listed the main methodologies below.
Put your main keyword in the title of your app
Get reviews/ratings (good ones)
Use your keywords at least 4-5 times in your app description
Have a demo or video about your app
Make sure your app is well designed and user friendly
Upload your best screenshots
Increase usage frequency among users who have downloaded your app
While the methods written will give your app significant advantages in search ranking, it will also depend on what search terms you are competing for. For example, a highly searched term like “alarm clock” will be more difficult to improve ranking significantly than compared to a niche search term like “1920’s photos”.