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App Store vs. Google Play Store In ASO Strategies

Dec 9 2020

App Store vs. Google Play Store in ASO Strategies

Different ASO Strategies Between App Store and Google Play

 

For potential users of an app, the main purpose of visiting the App Store or Google Play is to download apps or games to meet certain needs. In fact, the user groups represented by the two major application markets are different. This difference is reflected in the specific market. You will find that although the information applied in the two stores is similar, users will show different behaviors when browsing them.

 

Some people tend to read instructions, ratings, and reviews to make a content-rich decision, while others will decide whether to download or not in a few seconds.

 

These trends and many other aspects of performance will change depending on which store the user browses. Therefore, we provide an overview of everything you need to know when developing an ASO strategy. You can learn more about the factors here.

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App Store ASO

On-Metadata ASO Factors

 

These factors all depend on marketers and developers, because they can edit from App Store Connect. Except for the "keyword" field, they are all public and visible.

 

In the several text fields presented is where our ASO game has to shine, so we are going to see the possibilities that the App Store has to offer.

First of all, the App Name. In both stores it is one of the most important factors and has to contain some of the leading keywords which will allow users to find the app. In App Store it is possible to use 30 characters. Although the length of the title is shorter in the App Store, it allows to write a 30-character Subtitle to make up for it, on which you can include keywords.

The second one is the Description, and each store offers several possibilities. The App Store includes a long 4,000-characters description, but it is not relevant for Search ASO. 

Instead, it is key for marketing purposes, as it’s the most powerful tool to get users’ attention and convince them to install. Moreover, it has the Promotional Text Field, which is not indexable, that can be edited at any time to inform of updates, events, and such.


The last important field to consider is the Keywords Field, which is only available on the App Store (and, remember, it’s not public), and includes the keywords for which we opt our app to rank for. It allows 100 characters and shouldn’t include keywords that are already on the App Name or the Subtitle.

Last but not least we find the Developer Name, which is important for ranking, as well as its age, because both stores tend to highlight the positive ones. Then, there is the Category, an aspect that doesn’t affect positioning but is important for browsing, as our app will appear in category charts. The App Store allows 2 categories: a main and a secondary regarding apps, plus 4 subcategories when it comes to games.

Visual Assets

 

Our first look at both stores treats visual aspects and layout, features that focus more on marketing than ASO, but they are key for app conversion rate and we must take them into account.

The first impression is almost definitive when it comes to download. Most of installs come just from that, so it’s imperative to exploit the marketing assets that each shop offers. In terms of layout, on top of the App Store, you can find the Title, icon and rating, and the visual claim comes after that in a gallery with a maximum of 10 screenshots, which are useful to show how the app works and can also include a video. Another key aspect to consider is that on the App Store videos reproduce automatically, so users are more likely to watch them.

The icon is the key in terms of conversion, as it must represent clearly the type and functions of the app. It needs to be attractive in order to stand out among the rest and catch the eye of the user.

Off-Metadata ASO Factors

 

These ASO factors are “uncontrollable” as they depend almost on its entirety on the market response towards our product, as well as on the marketing budget. Off-Metadata factors are:

1) Installs volume allows an app to rank better. The App Store doesn’t show this data.
2) Installs speed. The more installations in the less time possible, the better. It will affect the app’s position in the Top Charts rankings.
3) The app stores allow users to rate our app in a range from 1 to 5 stars, being 1 the worst grade and 5 the best. Ratings are good for conversion, and they increase visibility on the App Store.
4) The average rating has an influence on the conversion rate, and it shows the average of all the ratings received. The App Store shows this data by country.
5) References on websites. It’s an ASO conversion factor, as references give the app good publicity that helps the user deciding whether to download the app or not.
6) Reviews. Users give useful feedback, as well as the score, that will improve our conversion rate.
7) Engagement. It may become an important factor, as a large number of active users in our app (with a few uninstall rate) will help in terms of positioning in Top Charts and Featured.

Google Play Store ASO

On-Metadata ASO Factors

 

These factors rely purely on marketers and developers, as they can edit them from the Google Play Console.

 

Textual Fields

 

We should keep in mind that the Title is one of the most important factors and it has to contain some of the leading keywords, the ones that will allow users to find the app. In Google Play Store it is possible to use 50 characters that we can complement with a short description of the app to describe it, which can’t be longer than 80 characters, and it affects ASO regarding search and conversion rate. Google Play also allows to do a long description, which is specially important, and it needs to contain the targeted keywords for a better positioning. It also has to include the arguments that will convince the user to download the app, and it concedes 4.000 characters.

It may be interesting for you: How to Optimize Title, Short Description & Long Description for ASO in Google Play Store

The last informative field is the Developer Name, which is important for positioning, as well as its age, because if it is positive Google Play can highlight it in the store. Then we can find the category, an aspect that doesn’t affect rankings but it’s important for browsing, as our app will appear in category Top Charts. Google Play lets the developer choose only one category.

 

Visual Assets

 

One of the differences between Google Play and App Store is that the first one displays a feature graphic that takes up nearly a third of the screen, which can include a video. This content should be representative of what’s the app about, so make it clear enough! Then there’s the Title with its icon, rating, number of downloads (information not available on the App Store), category and short description.

On the other hand, the screenshot gallery offered by Google Play is located after the ‘read more’ button, and can place a maximum of 8 images. Videos redirect the user to a YouTube link, a feature that makes it more difficult to them to watch them to completion, but it tells us that the ones that do so are engaged with the content, as they chose to watch it.

Off-Metadata ASO Factors

 

These ASO factors are “uncontrollable” as they depend almost on its entirety on the market response towards our product, as well as on the marketing budget. Off-Metadata factors are:

Installs volume allows an app to rank better. In Google Play, we can see the reach of downloads.

 

Installs speed. The more downloads in the less time possible, the better. Speed will affect the app’s rank in the Top Charts.

 

Google Play allows users to rate any app or game in a range from 1 to 5 stars, being 1 the worst grade and 5 the best. Ratings help improve search rankings and conversion rate to download.

 

The average rating has an influence on the conversion rate, and it shows the average of all the ratings received. Google Play displays a general global average.

 

References / backlinks on websites. It’s an ASO conversion factor, as references give the app good publicity that helps the user deciding whether to download or not. On the other hand, we know it is a Google Play ASO factor for Search. Read more about this in this post by our CEO.

 

Reviews. Users give useful feedback, as well as the rating, that will improve our conversion rate. Furthermore, Google takes into account the keywords used in reviews, so it helps ranking higher.

 

Engagement. Some people say it may become an important factor, as a large number of active users in our app (with a few uninstall rate) will help in terms of ranking in Top Charts and Featured, mostly for games.

App Store vs. Play Store Keyword Optimization

 

Before you start choosing keywords, you must understand the main difference between Google Play and App Store: How do they determine search keywords?

 

In fact, Google Play and App Store have many differences in the rules for determining keywords. We will separately introduce the optimization strategies of the two stores.

 

Before we start, let's first distinguish the relationship between Apple App Store and iTunes. These two terms will be used interchangeably in the article, which actually refers to Apple's app store. iTunes connect usually refers to the developer's back end, which is a management platform for updating iOS applications and viewing app data.

 

App Store

 

Update and scoring

 

The difference between App Store and Google Play is: In the App Store, if you want to update app keywords, you need to submit an App update. Although you have not modified other items, you still need to submit an update and wait for approval.

 

The disadvantage is that the current score of your app will be reset to 0. However, the historical score is still valid in the overall score, but the average score displayed in the search results will be temporarily reset.

 

Therefore, before submitting an app updates, try to prepare a new set of keywords. The rules of the App Store are constantly changing. Keyword optimization is a process of constant trial and error. Don't be afraid to modify and improve keywords frequently.

 

But keep in mind that your score will be reset every time you update. Therefore, it is necessary to find a balance between update frequency and keyword optimization.

 

Title

 

The title of iTunes must be within 50 characters, and the extra part will not be displayed. The application title contains core keywords, and the ranking will be higher. However, please avoid stacking keywords in the title.

 

Application title, preferably a simple phrase, or a logical phrase or sentence containing the most core keywords. If the name is too long, it will show up as a bunch of garbage keywords, and the name is too short to give full play to the keywords. So strike a balance.

 

The kayak in the picture is a good example. It clearly shows the functionality of the App, but it also contains important keywords. If you want to learn more, you may wish to check the performance of your similar applications and those with higher rankings.

 

Keyword field

 

This part is the most effective project for keyword optimization in the App Store. The number of characters in the keyword field cannot exceed 100. When adding keywords, we have the following suggestions for your reference:

 

1) Use keyword other than company name and application name

2) Try to write 100 characters
3) Use English commas to separate keywords, do not use spaces.
4) Each word can only be used once, repetition will not help.
5) (English) Use only singular or plural words

6) Try to choose some short keywords so that more keywords can be generated.

 

Although all individual keywords are separated by commas, iTunes’ algorithm will automatically merge each keyword into a keyword phrase, so there is no need to worry about order or grouping. In the following lessons, we will introduce in detail how to choose words.

Google Play

 

App Title

 

According to the rules of Google Play, keywords in the app title are more weighted than keywords in other positions. Google limits the number of characters in the title to 30. Therefore, you need to be more selective when choosing keywords.

 

Description

 

Google Play will extract keywords from the description; the keyword has a space of 4000 characters, and you can write many keywords.

 

But do not stack keywords in the description, it will appear very low. The correct way to integrate keywords into the copy description is the right way.

 

It is recommended that each keyword appears 4-5 times in the description. Too many repetitions will not help improve ranking, but will be considered as spam keywords, so it’s best not to exceed 5 times.

 

In conclusion

Although the basic operating rules of App Store and Google Play are the same, the keyword detection rules are still different, so they must be treated differently.


ASO Topic Google Play Ranking Algorithm,

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