Everything You Need To Know About Google Play Store Rankings
Traditionally, apps were ranked according to global aggregate ratings. Come November, the company announced, Google Play Store rankings will be localised. This will be further followed by changes in early 2022 that will allow users to rate and filter reviews based on the type of device they are using.
Ratings and user reviews are incredibly important. They are the main tool at your disposal to attract new downloads and increase the digital reach of your application and business. Too often, Android app development is understood to be only the process of building the app itself. In reality, everything from early planning stages to marketing is part of making an app.
Ideally, your Android app development team will also be well equipped to handle deployment and advertising. Here’s what you (and they) need to know to ensure that your software reaches your target audience.
Google Play Store optimisation
Just as you optimise your website and online content for Google’s algorithms, your app will require Google Play Store optimisation. It’s important to note that optimising for the Google play store requires different strategies to optimising iOS apps for Apple’s App Store, so don’t try and apply your knowledge of one system to the other.
One of the first steps you will need to attend to is putting together your comprehensive store listing. This includes all of the information that users need to locate and understand your app. As part of your comprehensive store listing, you will need to come up with a title, description, and promo graphics. Let’s break these elements down:
Title: Fairly self-explanatory. Hopefully you already have a title for your app, but if not, try and come up with one that is unique and instantly conveys the app’s function.
Description: The description is your opportunity to explain what users can expect from downloading your app. The Google Play Store requires two descriptions — a short one and a long one. The short description is only 80 characters long and is the part that is automatically viewed without having to click ‘see more’. With that in mind, make sure your short description is snappy and to the point.
The long description, on the other hand, can be up to 4000 characters. Here is your opportunity to further elaborate on app features and functions, and also include relevant keywords to grab the attention of Google’s bots.
Speaking of keywords, it’s generally not recommended to repeat keywords when writing an iOS App Store description. The opposite is true for the Google Play Store. Make sure you repeat your keywords at least three times, so Google understands that you’re trying to target these terms.
Promo graphics: If you don’t include screenshots, graphics, and illustrations with your Google Play Store listing, you can pretty much forget about anyone downloading your application. Humans are visual creatures and before downloading software, we want to know that it is not only functional but visually engaging.
Promo screenshots are a great way to attract attention, make your app stand out, and build brand recognition. It’s important that you don’t just use any old screenshots. As is the case with all types of optimisation, higher quality and resolution will produce better results. Google has provided some guidelines on this.
Other marketing strategies
Other than optimising your app for the Google Play Store, there are plenty of other strategies you can use to expand your reach.
As always, social media is a great way of introducing your brand and software to a new audience. If you have an existing email subscriber list, make sure you use this to your full advantage when releasing your application.
Finally, make sure that your users are providing feedback. One of the best ways to get the attention of Google’s bots is by having your users engage with your Google Play Store listing. This involves leaving ratings (preferably 5 stars) and reviews highlighting what they enjoy about your application and what they think could be done better.
How the upcoming changes will affect you
The upcoming changes to the Google Play Store are designed to help those involved in Android app development. App experience can vary a lot depending on a user’s region and device type. As always, Google wants to provide users with the best information possible so they can make an informed decision. If you’re an Android smartphone user in Australia, reading a review from a tablet user in Switzerland isn’t necessarily going to be of great help.
Google has advised that they will let developers know 10 weeks in advance before any changes are made to the Play Store. They will also personally reach out to developers that experience a change of more than .2 stars on a device in a key market, so they can plan what changes need to be made appropriately.
While it’s important to keep these changes in mind, understand that users will always respond well to an app that is engaging, innovative, and functional. By focusing on these key attributes, you can be confident that your application will perform well in the Google Play Store rankings.