App optimizing for App Store and Google Play

Application monitoring is an essential part in the sphere of mobile application optimization. Today many developers are trying to promote games, programs, increase the number of free downloads.

The main objective is to reduce the cost of marketing. Recently, for example, even indie developers have shown interest in optimizing their offers.

Mobile app optimization strategies

Before you start looking for optimization tips, you need to understand that there are three strategies that help promote a program or application in Google Play or App Store:

  • increase visibility by adding words;
  • improve position in search results with keywords;
  • increase the conversion rate of app installations.

There is no single strategy that alone can be helpful in optimizing an application. It is important to use a combination of them correctly. Although the second and third strategies may work independently.

You are wrong if you think that your applications do not need to be optimized. Too much competition from well-optimized programs will put your applications at the bottom of the search results.

2. - The picture


  1. Step one- analyzing

In order to correctly calculate each step and use one or all of the strategies described above, it is important to analyze the supply market. After all, it is possible that competitors are also engaged in optimization, studying the market, and finding solutions.

It is necessary to carefully study the top search results of keywords, to analyze competitors' applications. Collect all the data in one pile and make a decision based on it.

The following tools might help to gather information:

  • AppFollow. This tool helps you monitor your competitors' applications;
  • AppTweak. Helps you select keywords for your games or educational apps;
  • AppAnnie. With this tool, you will find historical rankings and achievements of the application.

You can also do your own analysis via Google Play or App Store.

For example, bad app ratings have a very strong impact on the user's interest and can lower the app to the bottom of the search results. So it's important to attract a potential client and to do everything you can to get him to put five stars instead of three or two. To do this, developers use the following trick: at the point where the user got a positive experience (received a gift from the application, reached a new level, defeated the boss) a pop-up notification appears asking whether he likes the game or not. If the answer is yes - they ask to put 5 stars in the Store, if not - they ask what is wrong and promise to fix it to prevent the negative rating.

  1. Step two – creating proper semantics

Creating the correct semantic kernel is the most important step. You will need to learn which words or phrases are most commonly used in the store queries. But Google Play and the App Store don't have the tools to help you. So use your head and hands to determine the keyword frequency.

Sometimes you may find the following tools useful, but don't get carried away with them:

  • Wordstat from Yandex or, for example, Adwords Keywords.
  • Various hints that appear in Google Play when you type in keywords. Using them, you can find frequently used keywords to create a semantic offer among competitors.

For each localization, you can use a combination of languages. For example, for Russian audience, you can write in Russian and English, and for German audience - in English and German.

Pay attention to what the top apps are for each keyword. The biggest competition happens there. To track your progress, do the following:

  1. Write down the position of the program you are optimizing at the moment.
  2. Change the keywords.
  3. Analyze whether the application is going up or not.

This way, you can change the keywords and their number until the program rises to higher positions in search results.

Once you have analyzed all the keywords, you will be able to apply one or another strategy. For example, if you select one of the two strategies described above, you must find words that increase your visibility in the search engine results to outperform a competitor. After all, the main thing for you is to drive away from the traffic that the competitor's application brings.

  1. Step three – proper naming and keywords

Once you've mastered semantics, move on to finding and choosing popular words. They should be in the title. The rest of the words will serve as keywords. However, in this case, you must take into account the number of characters the stores allow to use.

For example, in: 

  • App Store the number of characters is limited to 255 characters in English. If you use a different language, the limit is doubled;
  • GooglePlay the number of characters is limited to 30 characters.  

Pay special attention to the plural and singular numbers and cases. Properly made names increase your competitiveness by several times.

Experienced marketers and developers do not recommend using the marketing text. As Apple, for example, increasingly began to refuse such campaigns, block programs with such keywords, Google Play has also tightened its rules regarding spam in titles and keywords.

Also, the Apple App store dislikes long titles, which consist only of keywords. Therefore such titles and programs also strongly sink in competitiveness and position in search results. So always write sensible text and do not try to deceive the system. For example, for the Apple App store, it is best to use a hundred characters and exclude the keywords. If some part is not included in the name, you can use it in keywords.

If you change the title, you should also change the keywords. Also, remember that keywords from two localizations cannot be combined into the one-word combination. That is, if you write "настольная игра (board game)", you can not write "настольная game".

Using these rules, you can increase the application's position search engine results.

  1. Step four - description

If you make a wrong description of the game or program, it won't attract a potential client. Usually, these include sentences with indistinct meaning, with an overflowing number of characters. It is necessary in three, four sentences to explain briefly and succinctly what the meaning of the game or program, what its purpose is, how it differs from competitors. 

It is necessary to write as much as is fitting in the visible part of the smartphone so that the user reads to the end, rather than leaves for later. The description should not bore him. Refusals to install also affect the appearance of the game in search results position.

For Android, there are 167 characters given for description, for iOS - 255. It is important to consider this when compiling.

  1. Step five - screenshots

Now let's talk about what the screenshots should be like. The screenshots should only be custom-made. You don't have to take pictures from the stocks and pass them off as yours.

There should be one on the screenshot:

  • an explanation of what the program does in this screenshot;
  • an imitation of the device on which the program is running;
  • a contrasting background.

Write the gist. Again, brevity is the soul of wit. Don't try to squeeze in a lot of unnecessary phrases in small font. It only repels a potential client.

Which looks good:

  • vivid screenshots;
  • style and colorfulness;
  • a minimum of text;
  • the absence of the provider's name in the screenshot;
  • the icon of a fully charged battery.

These are the rules you will have to deal with when promoting programs and applications. You shouldn't avoid them: even with a good name and description, incorrectly created screenshots can ruin the competitiveness of programs.

Another rule to follow when uploading screenshots is localization and adaptation to gadgets. On Google Play, you can upload horizontal screenshots. There you can also upload large screenshots. Such pictures are easy to look at both smartphones and personal computers.

You can upload up to 10 screenshots to the App Store and 8 screenshots to Google Play.

  1. Step six - videocontent

Video content is best tested. Because some users like video content, but others are repelled by it. Video content should be tested for conversion separately from other changes - in titles, keywords, in screenshots.

Also, for example, there is a limitation for Apple: video must be mounted in the same language. The localization must be adapted to the one used in iTunes metadata. And that's not all, the video must be the same for all iPhones. Otherwise, if it was made only for the iPhone 6, then on the iPhone 10 the video frame will be stretched. This means that the store will simply refuse to download such a video and will completely block the application.

Video can be deleted if there are:

  • transitions to other applications like VK, TikTok;
  • promotional materials like "Available on the App Store" banner.

In the video content, you should show how the program works, the sequence of action, and the screens. By the way, the audio track may not be present, but remember that audio, like video, should be fully original. Other people's videos and music of famous musicians are blocked. The longest video should be no more than half a minute, and the shortest - 15 seconds.

  1. Step seven – icon design

Application icons are selected to the preference of the designer or owner. Each store allows the different sizes, to which icons must correspond.

  • for Google Play - 512x512;
  • for the App Store - 1024x1024.

You can prepare about 3 options and check each one in practice. The icon that will take a higher place in the search results should remain in the store. The icon should not be overloaded and bright, the trend of the last year - visuals in the style of "Flat". For title pictures of companies such as housing and communal services and traffic, code is suitable simple icons with text. So it becomes clear to the average user, what the application will be about.

How to test the effectiveness of promotion?

Some services help to test the conversion of potential customers. For example, a service like SplitMetrics helps you find out which set of screenshots and icons handle the conversion better. However, such services require external traffic to the program you are going to test.

In general, all you need to do to determine the most successful promotion strategy is to test and retest. Each time all the theories need to be tested in practice. It is necessary to improve the components, over and over again, individually. 

Ready to start?