How to Optimize your App Page for the Google Play Store

Having an optimized play store listing is a crucial element to get discovered in Google Play Search and get more app installs.

Use this ASO checklist to learn how you can optimize each element of your app listing to increase your app’s visibility in the Google Play Store.

App Store Optimization is very different for android and iOS apps. Are you looking to optimize your app in the Apple App Store? Check out our Apple App Store ASO Checklist

Write a Descriptive App Title

  • Together with your app icon, the app title is the most visible element in the Google Play search results (unlike the Apple App store, the subtitle and screenshots are not visible in Google Play search)
  • Therefore it is very important to choose an app name that is unique and describes what your app does
  • Avoid app titles that are too common or widely used
  • Use the available space in the app title to include important keywords (and place them at the very beginning if possible)
  • Whenever relevant, add emojis to your app title. They help to catch users’ attention and increase install rates.
  • Translate and localize your app title for each targeted language
  • App Title Character limit (Android): 50

Write a Compelling Short Description

  • The short description does not appear in the Google Play Search results, but it occupies a prime position on the app listing, above the screenshots
  • The short description is located above the fold in the app listing which makes it well-equipped to grab user’s attention and convince them to download your app
  • The main purpose of the short description should be to boost conversion rates, but that being said, keywords in the short description do give a ranking boost
  • Use keywords wisely and include your most important keywords where possible
  • App Short Description Character limit (Android): 80

Write a Comprehensive Long Description

  • In contrast to the Apple App Store, the long description plays a big part in your app’s visibility as the keywords in the long description do rank
  • The long description shows when people click on the ‘more’ button that appears next to the short description, above the app screenshots
  • Use the long description to explain what your app does, its main features and why it is valuable
  • Make the first lines count as they are the ones that appear before the ‘more’ button.
  • SEO best practices should be used to optimize the long description for discoverability
  • Maintain a good keyword density (2% - 3%) for your main keywords, but avoid keyword stuffing

    Check out our free keyword density checker tool

  • Try to include the most important keywords in the first 5 sentences as those contain the most weight in the algorithm
  • Include mentions, awards or nice reviews
  • Keep the layout simple. Write short paragraphs and use bullet points to explain features or benefits
  • Add emojis to highlight important benefits or features
  • Localize your copy for each targeted language
  • App Description Character limit: 4000

Highlight Updates with ‘What’s New’

  • When you update your app and release a new version you can use the “What’s new” text to communicate the changes
  • The “What’s new” section only shows on the app listing for people who have already downloaded the app.
  • Therefor, the ‘What’s new” section does not play a major role in conversion rate optimization but should be used to showcase new features and significant improvements to existing users
  • Use this field to get people excited about new features and updates
  • Avoid just listing bug fixes and try to tell a story about new features or improvements that have been added

Optimize Your Developer Name

  • The developer name is way more visible in Google Play than on the Apple Store as it appears underneath the app title in the Google Play search results
  • Leveraging your brand name as your developer name can help increase your conversion rate
  • However, it has been found that keywords in the developer name do rank, providing an opportunity to increase your app’s visibility on your main keywords.

Design a Descriptive App Icon

  • The app icon is the only graphic asset that shows in the search results in Google Play, making it much more important than an iOS app icon
  • Design an icon that describes what your app is about
  • Choose an icon that differentiates your app from the competition and quickly grabs users’ attention
  • Make sure to use a single focus point to capture attention
  • Use a border, shadows and gradients for contrast
  • Use a High-res image and optimize the size for each device
  • Choose the right colour palette

    Use our icon colour palette tool to see which colours are used the most in your category

Design Strong Screenshots

  • In Google Play, the screenshots do not show in the search results. They also occupy a less prominent spot on the app listing than in the App Store, as they appear below the fold.
  • Nevertheless, screenshots are a very important element to let people know what your app is about
  • Use the screenshots to visually communicate your app’s user experience. Show users what your app will look like on their device
  • Showcase 1 app feature or benefit per screenshot - you can also design panoramic screenshots that tell a story and encourage users to scroll through the images
  • Add a short caption on the top of each image so people can understand what your app is about as quickly as possible.
  • A/B test your screenshots

    Use apptweak to easily spy on competitors’ screenshots

  • Use all 8 screenshot slots
  • include screenshots for each device, including landscape screenshots for tablets
  • Localize your screenshots for each language

Add a Featured Graphic

  • The featured graphic, which appears on the top of the app listing, occupies a prime spot in the app listing
  • But, when you add a promo video, then a play button will appear on your featured image. If users click the play button, the featured image will be replaced by the video
  • Therefore it is important to create a featured image that has the same look and feel as your promo video
  • Create an image that is immediately recognizable by users familiar with your app or brand
  • Avoid using this area to add additional screenshots, instead focus on reinforcing your brand and app benefits
  • A/B test your featured graphic

Invest in Creating an App Promo Video

  • App promo videos are the first visual element on the app listing (they occupy the top banner spot on your app listing. If you have a featured image, then a play button will appear on top of your featured image. When clicking the play button, the video will play)
  • App promo videos are actually videos you upload to youtube. Hence it is important to design your video in the standard 16:9 (landscape) format
  • Use the video to showcase your main app features and benefits
  • Google Play allows more creative freedom than the Apple App Store. Use the video to really grab users attention
  • Showcase your main features and benefits and encourage users to download your app
  • Design the video for ‘no-sound’
  • End with a call to action
  • Keep the videos between 30-40 seconds
  • Need help to create your app preview? Check out Apptamin

Manage App Reviews & Ratings

  • Ratings and reviews do have a very important impact on app rankings in Google Play
  • Having a lot of positive reviews will also help your app stand out from other apps and encourage downloads
  • Try to get as many positive reviews as possible
  • Ask family and friends to rate your app after you have launched to quickly build a strong pool of reviews
  • Use a 2-step pop up notification process to ask your users if they like your app or not. If they do, ask them to rate your app; if they don’t, ask their feedback
  • Provide your contact info in the app description so that users can contact you directly when they experience difficulties. This might divert them from writing a bad review.
  • Reply to negative reviews to show prospective users you are trustworthy
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