Play Store SEO – The 5 Golden Rules To Boost Your Downloads

With the five golden rules of Play Store SEO, the relevant rankings of your app will improve and downloads will increase soon.

Play Store SEO Rule #1: Find the most relevant keywords and distribute them correctly

Keywords are the be-all and end-all in play store SEO. When researching the most relevant keywords for your app, you should look carefully at which ones describe the app most accurately. If you know your target group here, you are ahead of the game, because keywords that potential users enter in their search should be used first and foremost.

Tools such as Sensor Tower also help to identify competitors’ keywords. They provide insights into which keywords the competition is using, provide inspiration and expand brainstorming. The stores’ auto-suggest function is also a reliable source of which keyword phrases are frequently searched for. After the keyword research, these have to be evaluated and prioritized. Tools such as Sensor Tower, AppAnnie or TUNE, which provide information on the search volume, can be used for this. The most important playstore ranking factor, however, remains the relevance of the keywords. After evaluation, the keywords must be assigned to the relevant areas. Check out the article on ASO if you want to learn more.

Keywords can be placed in the following areas in the App Store:

App Title (30 characters)
Subtitle (30 characters)
Keyword field (100 characters)

When distributing the keywords, space should always be used economically. Keywords mentioned in the title have a higher relevance for the algorithm. Therefore, you should use the terms that best describe the main function of the app, have a high search volume and increase the conversion rate.

Keywords that already appear in the title should not be re-entered in the keyword field to avoid wasting space. Keywords should be easy to combine to form phrases. The more meaningful phrases there are, the better the ranking potential.

In the Play Store the keywords can be subdivided into the following areas:

  • App Title (50 characters)
  • Brief description (80 characters)
  • Description text (4000 characters)

Google Play Store SEO Checklist

Source: https://medium.com/app-radar-highlights/what-to-know-about-app-title-description-in-google-play-aso-d29a8f795db0

The keywords in the title and in the short description generate the highest traffic. Since there is no keyword field, the Play Store pulls the keywords from the description text. A word is considered a relevant keyword if it is mentioned at least 3-5 times in the text.

Play Store SEO Rule #2: Find keyword niches

If there is a lot of competition and also bad results in the ranking of the top keywords, you have to develop your own niches for which you can build rankings. The niche strategy is about generating long-tail keyword combinations that represent a more specific search intention: e.g. “Rent an apartment in your city” or “Weather in your city”.

A niche optimization helps to generate qualitative traffic and to avoid high uninstall rates. In addition, the target group can be defined more clearly and potential customers are informed about functions and added value possibilities in the first contact point.

Rule #3: Carry out A/B tests

google play store seo ab testing
Source: https://blog.optimizely.com/2014/05/09/the-optimized-app-ab-testing-goes-mobile/

The increase in the conversion rate has a positive effect on the rankings of apps. Areas that contribute to the conversion-relevant increase include screenshots, the defined sequence of screenshots, app title, app icons and the structure of the description text. For these areas, different variants should be created, which are tested against each other A/B to find out the optimal variant. For A/B tests, a variable is tested and changes in the conversion rate are documented. This can be d

one using tools such as Splitmetrics. They make a copy of the store pages to which campaign traffic is routed until statistical significance is achieved.

Potential users fly over thousands of apps, so the icon is very important for the very first impression. In order to increase the chances of a higher conversion rate at this point, the icon of an app must be appealing. Like icons, screenshots have no direct influence on the rankings but can contribute to a better conversion rate, which in turn has a positive influence on the rankings. Icons illustrate visually what the app is about and offer the potential user an insight into the menu and overall usage before downloading. Not only different designs but also sequences, labels and awards can be A/B-tested. The description text only has an influence on the visibility of the Play Store but influences the conversion rate in both stores, which is why it could be tested as A/B. The description text can also be used in both stores. However, since app users have a short attention span, the entire description text is often not read to the end or not at all. Therefore you should entice your readers with a captivating intro and communicate the main USPs and added values of the app. If texts are optimized, they should also be adapted for the SEO.


Rule #4: Consider Reviews & Ratings

Google Play Store SEO Reviews

Source: https://poqcommerce.com/app-commerce/2018/09/infographic-the-power-of-app-reviews/
Good user ratings have a positive effect on category rankings and individual keyword rankings. With iOS there is also the possibility to reset them, but only once.

Reviews are also an important factor because they reflect the general customer opinion about the app. In order to get good reviews, you have to make sure that the app is well structured and stable and that the user benefits from it. In addition, the reviews should be responded to – both in praise and criticism.

The keywords from the reviews are indexed, i.e. algorithmically considered, especially in the App Store. It is, therefore, a good idea to use the most important keywords in review replies if this makes sense. Spam reviews can be reported on Apple and Google and, if well justified, they will be removed.

Rule #5: App retention and customer feedback

Google Play Store SEO App User Engagement and Retention Infographic

To be successful in the stores, you have to develop a good app. All optimization approaches will help little if the app is faulty and the user is dissatisfied with it, because metrics such as usage rates, bounce rates and uninstall rates also have an influence on app rankings. Therefore the technical aspects have to be considered and the app has to be maintained regularly: Bugfixes should be implemented in new updates, as well as the customer’s wishes for functionality should be taken into account. Retention can be positively influenced by the following updates:

  • Implementation of App-Onboarding
  • Development of in-app messaging and push message funnels
  • Customization
  • In-App A/B Testing


If you consider all the rules for the ideal App Store optimization, you can generate higher downloads in a short time. The focus should always be on the needs and added value of the target group, which is reflected in the user feedback. Anyone who takes this seriously and also gets involved in innovations in the respective App Stores will have satisfied users and high downloads in the long term.



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