In this recent VentureBeat article you’ll find the following very precise illustration of how the factors for search rankings impact where apps are ranked on Google’s Play Store (Android):
To expand your knowledge on the subject of app store optimization for an app you are publishing, you should study the above info-graphic.
For more in-depth details on the topic of App Store optimization, check out this free App Store Optimization (ASO) report.
To learn what factors influence Apple’s search ranking algorithm, go factors impacting Apple’s search algorithm.
If an app is published in the App Store, and no one finds it, it is invisible. In order to prevent publishing invisible apps, App Store keyword optimization is key for most publishers. And understanding Apple’s search ranking secrets is no easy task. Fortunately, there are a number of tools out there to help app publishers maximize their App Store search traffic. Here are some of my favorites-
– SensorTower– SensorTower provides a very useful free tool for selecting the right keywords to target. Not only do you learn which keywords are the most popular, but also how competitive those keywords are so you can select keywords to optimize for where you have a realistic opportunity to land in the top 3 rankings.
– TUNE’s App Store Intelligence Service– One of the biggest challenges while optimizing your app’s search traffic is how to measure what keywords are driving what installs. Following their acquisition of MobileDevHQ, TUNE has a premium offering whereby they will map out your organic installs by different keywords.
– Google’s AB Testing for App Store Pages– As part of Google Play, Google now providers a service for app publishers to AB their store pages. This is freaking awesome, as not only can you use this AB testing for the Android version of your app, but you can also take your winning store page and mimic in on your iOS store page.
– NativeX Search Spike Keyword Campaigns– I’d also like to mention my innovative new pet project at NativeX called Search Spike. Search Spike is an innovative new ad product launched in early 2016 which has no direct competition at scale. As long as you have a budget of $5,000 per month or more, Search Spike will help you dominate keyword rankings by running keyword optimized ad campaigns proven to positively impact your rankings. Most developers using Search Spike report seeing an over 100 percent increase in their organic keyword traffic!
Got another App Store Optimization tool to recommend? Please leave a comment to expand on this list.
[Originally posted on Gamasutra April 24th 2014]
Google recently introduced an important new rule prohibiting deceptive promotion of apps on Google Play. It’s great that Google is clamping down on spammy advertising. However, the new regulation doesn’t really address a core, underlying cause for the practice: broken app discovery. With more than two thirds of apps failing to break even, it’s no surprise that some indie devs desperately turn to sketchy ad practices or bot farms that manipulate rankings. Of course, Apple’s App Store struggles with the same woes as well, but given that Google’s core competency is content discovery, it’s fair for the market to expect much more from Play.
Fortunately for Google, there’s a number of means to quickly gain the edge on discovery over Apple. In the process, the search giant can greatly help the independent developer community. (Which, after all, makes up the majority of app developers.)
•Reform the Ranking System: At the moment, Google Play’s “Top Apps” lists are too directly tied to ad spend. Most indie developers don’t have a large enough advertising budget to compete on this playing field, and consequently, none but the very most successful indies last long enough on the top ranks to be noticed. To make things even harder for indies, most Google Play users only download apps from these Top Apps lists. One solution is to create indie-only lists (see below). Google should also tweak its general ranking algorithms to give more prominence to apps gaining traction without ad dollars.
•Address the 5 Star Problem: Similar to the crippled ranking lists, many or most apps with consistent 5 star ratings got them not through organic acclaim, but by working the system. (One common, if very dubious technique: An app prompt asks users if they like the app, but are only taken to the app store to post a review if they answer “Yes”.) There are a number of ways Google could reform this system; here’s just two ideas: 1) Only allow app ratings after fifteen total minutes of gameplay, to curb unfair judging; and 2) Add a pop-up prompt automatically – directly from Google Play – so the users never have to leave the game. This is important to ensuring that the true app ranking score is captured. (The latter is important because most developers don’t typically send users who don’t like their game to the app store, so the majority of reviews are not a good representation of the broader gamer population.)
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