ASO Blog

6 Effective Aso Hacks for Google Play Apps

Tue 30 May 2017, 11:33 AM - laurie

It’s our turn to contribute to AppInstitute’s blog, one of the world’s leading DIY Ap Builders. If you have a great Google Play Store app but not enough app downloads, follow our 6 hacks to improve your App Store Optimization (ASO) and increase your app users.

Read the entire post on AppInstitute’s blog.


Both marketers and app developers are finally embracing the importance of App Store Optimization (ASO). The internet is producing increasing amounts of ASO-related material, but its complexity can sometimes be overwhelming.

Although ASO normally follows the logic of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store can each have their own particularities that are worth distinguishing. Even though the Google Play Store surpasses the Apple App Store by over half a million app listings, the former is still hidden by a “veil of mystery” when it comes to its search algorithm and ASO best practises.

Perhaps the perplexity comes out of the fact that there are simply not enough resources with information about Google Play, and perhaps Google is always one step ahead. Even the most experienced ASO experts can get frustrated with Google’s ability to personalize the ranks and app store listings based on accumulated search history. Whichever the reason, this guide strives to demystify the Google Play secrets in a few simple steps!

Discover our 6 effective ASO hacks to improve your Google Play rankings and increase your organic downloads.

Hack #1: Despite the algorithms – visuals still matter!

The human eye is very sensitive to subtle changes in visuals. Google knows this well, and encourages developers to adopt a proactive approach towards graphics in its Play Store Guidelines. Indeed, the app icon is the first and one of the most prominent visuals your users will see. It is, therefore, no secret that it needs to be attractive and catchy! When designing an app icon, remember: it needs to convey the following two messages:

  1. “Download me!” – Making the users hit the download button is the ultimate action that you want the icon to inspire. To do that, your icon needs to be both catchy, simple, and perfectly in line with your app’s purpose and design. Do not underestimate its importance and make sure to A/B test several versions.

  2. “Use me!” – The icon’s job doesn’t end with the user installing the app. Even more importantly than downloading the app, you want the user to use it. To do that, make sure to have an app icon that stands out against the multitude of different backgrounds. One way to do that is using a border.

Usability and user engagement should now be the number one concern of Google Play developers. Recently, in the pursuit of fighting the spammers, Google has performed a major change to its algorithm. More specifically, their focus is directed to “promoting high quality experiences based on engagement, not just installs.” This is Google’s way of making sure that good quality games recieve the space they deserve. Quality and app engagement are Google’s key priorities, and making your users active is of higher importance than ever before.

Hack #2: App title

Google, in contrast with Apple, is a bit more restrictive when it comes to the character allowance for the app title. Allowing only up to 30 characters, Google limits the number of keywords that you can use in the title.

Make sure that you use the tight limit effectively. Pick keywords that are not only strong, and reflect what your app does, but try to make the title unique to your app so it stands out among others!

There are a few tools that can help you there. Amongst them, AppTweak, one of the best ASO tools for keywords research. It provides you with a clear indication of the keywords performance, taking into account numerous criteria including the Search Popularity (coming straight from Apple for English-iOS keywords), the Competition or the KEI (Keywords Efficiency Index).

Last but not least, try to limit your creativity and don’t use special characters. They may not be recognised by Google. Should that be the case, Google will use your app’s ID instead in the app’s webpage URL. That, certainly, wouldn’t be good for your SEO!

Hack #3: Short description

Since Google is a bit more restrictive in terms of the app title’s character count, the short description is the place, where you can concisely (in 80 characters) describe what your app does. Ideally, you should form it out of the strongest keywords, since the Play store algorithm takes them into account with a similar weight as the app title. The goal is to […]

Want to learn more? Read the rest of this post on AppInstitute’s blog.

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App Store Optimization ("ASO") is the process of improving the visibility of a mobile app (such as an iPhone, iPad, Android, or Windows Phone app) in an app store (such as iTunes or Google Play for Android). App Store Optimization is the mobile equivalent of Search engine optimization. Specifically, App Store Optimization includes the process of ranking highly in an app store's search results and top charts rankings. ASO marketers agree that ranking higher in search results and top charts rankings will drive more downloads for an app. - From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.