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
- Try to avoid app titles that are too common or widely used
- The app title has the highest weight in the Google Play algorithm. Do your keyword research carefully and include keywords people tend to search for when browsing in the app store.
- 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 is visible in the store listing right below the screenshots.
- 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
- 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
- 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. But avoid including unattributed or anonymous user testimonials as this a bad practice that goes against Google’s policy.
- Keep the layout simple. Write short paragraphs and use bullet points to explain features or benefits
- Add emojis and font formatting ( B , I , U ) 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 and Your Developer Page
- 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
- Small developers who use a personal account to distribute an app are less likely to be trusted than a brand.
- 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.
- Optimizing the developer page (feature graphic, short description, page icon and featured apps) can lead to free cross-promotional downloads and greater credibility with users.
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
- Test several icons with Google Experiments to find the option that converts best with your audience.
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.
- Use all 8 screenshot slots for each supported device type, including landscape screenshots for tablets.
- A/B test your screenshots. Test for different creative, colors, landscape vs portrait etc.
- Localize your screenshots for each language.
Add a Featured Graphic
- The featured graphic appears only as a poster frame if your app has a promo video. A play button will appear on your featured image. When you click on “play”, the image is replaced by the video.
- Therefore it is important to create a featured image that has the same look and feel as your promo video
- The feature graphic can also appear when your app is featured on the Play Store. The banner is displayed instead of the app icon.
- 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.
- It used to occupy the top banner spot (replacing your feature graphic) but since the latest Google update, the video is now placed just before your screenshots.
- 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
- Don’t monetize this video on Youtube (no ads) otherwise it will not be accepted by Google Play to appear on your app listing.
- Keep the videos between 30-40 seconds
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
Set up your Google Tags
- Add tags to describe the content and functionalities of your app .
- Choose your tags carefully, you want to select only the ones that are most obviously relevant to your app.
- Tags may affect where your app is displayed on Google Play, and the peer groups you’re compared against.