If you are a developer or ASO marketer, you must have thought about how great it is to have your app or game featured on Google Play. It will give your game or app more visibility and then downloads.
However, making an app stand out in the Play Store can be a challenging task. with over 2.9 million apps currently available in the Google Play Store, competition is fierce.
In this blog, ASOWorld team will introduce you how to get featured on Google Play.
The importance of your apps to be featured
The Google Play Featured feature is important because it increases the discoverability of apps in the Google Play Store to organically explore the next best app for users. Getting recommended significantly increases visibility, which leads to more people following the app (potentially reaching 2 billion active Android devices), which increases traffic to the product page. By being recommended, the app's engagement, popularity, usage, installs, revenue and brand buzz all increase dramatically. Ultimately, featured = growth.
Getting recommendations also gives your app value to the store and users, and proves the credibility and quality of your app. On Android, earning the "Editor's Choice" badge on your product details is a powerful conversion incentive that can help your app grow.
To learn more about App Store featured app, you can check "How to Get Your App Featured on the App Store
" of our previous articles.
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Where do featured apps appear on Google Play lists
While it can be challenging to get recommendations in the Play Store, there are many different opportunities for you to choose from on Google Play. Here are multiple listings where you can showcase your mobile games. Some are curated by real people, while others are based on algorithms.
You can check them all and choose the one that suits you best.
Google Play publishes 3 main lists of apps: Top Charts, New and Editor's Choice. Each of these lists also contains several sub-categories.
For apps, the "Top Charts" list includes 3 subcategories.
Top Free: Most popular free (to download) apps
Top Grossing: Apps driving the highest revenue
Top Paid: Most popular paid apps
As for games, the "Top charts" includes 4 subcategories:
Top Free: Most popular free (to download) games
Top Grossing: Games driving the highest revenue
Top Paid: Most popular paid games
New: Games published in the last 30 days
The apps shown on the Top Charts are heavily influenced by popularity, revenue or release date.
For example, "popular free" apps and games are determined by the following factors:
- Downloads, download speed and recent downloads
- User retention
- Ratings and reviews
In short, if you want to rank your app or game in Top Charts, you need to continue to increase your downloads and revenue.
There are 2 subcategories in the "New" list.
Top New Free: the most popular free apps less than 30 days from the date of release
Top New Paid: The most popular paid apps less than 30 days from the date of release
Editor's Choice is a category of apps and games that the editors of the Google Play Store like the most in that category, or that fit the purpose of that category.
Whether they are destined to be hugely popular or serve a niche market, Editors' Choice apps and games introduce users to the best innovation, creativity, and design on Android.
If your app is recommended on Editor's Choice Google Play, there is a good chance your app will receive millions of downloads.
You can see Editor's Choice in several places on Google Play.
First, there is an "Editor's Choice" tab for apps and games respectively. In this tab, you will see many selected apps and games organized by list.
The second location is the "For you" tab. When you browse the "For you" apps or games, you will encounter the "Editors' Choice apps" or "Editors' Choice games "section. When you expand this section, you will see an "unlimited" list of Editors' Choice apps or games.
You will also see the filtering options that appear when "Editors' Choice" is used as a search, including a pair of star limits.
In practice, the filters work exactly as you would expect, and once turned on, will reduce the choices shown in the search. If your app wins the Editor's Choice award, you can beat the competition.
Google Play algorithm and possibilities - how featured apps are selected by Google Play?
The minimum requirements
In the Play Store's Featured Nomination Form, Google informs app developers that apps must meet the store's minimum requirements to qualify for featured notes.
- Adhere to policy practices, launch checklists, design guidelines, and meet core quality guidelines
- Launch your app on major mobile platforms simultaneously
- Maintain high ratings by listening to user feedback
- Optimize app-related device support (e.g., phones, tablets, wearables, TVs)
- Ensure equality of mobile platforms in terms of design and functionality
- Localize Play listings and app content in Play's key global markets
- Soft launch your game to receive feedback from users
- Submit APK/AAB for review at least 3 weeks prior to release
If you meet these requirements, your app is eligible to be recommended; however, Google warns developers that if selected, "an app quality review will [also] be conducted".
First things first, you'll want to make sure your app meets all of Google's basic quality and policy requirements in order to have a chance of being recommended.
As mentioned above, you need to check that you follow the policy practices, launch checklist, design guidelines, and meet the core quality guidelines. All these elements are important for Google to ensure that you provide a seamless user experience and build a quality app or game.
You should also pay attention to Android Vitals metrics. These are the core Vitals that developers should focus on because "exhibiting poor behavior in Vitals can negatively impact the user experience of your app and can lead to poor ratings and discoverability in the Play Store."
The main important KPIs are
- Application non-response (ANR) rate
- Crash rate
- Excessive wake-ups
- Stuck partial wake locks
You can check the status of these core Vitals for your app on the Android Vitals dashboard in the Google Play admin center. Make sure to check them after releasing a new version of your app to identify issues and bad behavior affecting users.
Google also provides many best practices and recommendations for developers to improve the stability and performance of their apps on each of these important cores. Be sure to check out their resources for more information.
An app being recommended by an editor doesn't happen by accident; it requires a highly polished, well-performing app/game, optimized product pages and hard work on a marketing strategy/roadmap, which means the process of featuring is closely tied to the following elements of ASO.
There are no hard and fast rules on how to make an app featured; it is a combination of factors that ultimately determines the app's appeal to editors and thus attracts a broader audience.
Google Tabs and keywords
The main difference between features on iOS and Android is that algorithms play a bigger role in the Play Store. the average number of daily features on Google Play is also higher thanks to the dozens of clusters of apps not hand-picked by the editorial team that is showcased on the Apps and Games homepage.
Of course, your app category should affect how and where your app is displayed in the app collection; however, Google tags may also affect browsing traffic on the Play store. the Google Play guidelines state: "We encourage you to add tags to describe your app's content and features to users. Tags may affect where your app is displayed on Google Play."
Include relevant keywords in your game titles, short descriptions, detailed descriptions and URLs.
Use long-tail keywords - they have less competition.
To get a keyword indexed by Google Play, it needs to be found 2 to 5 times in the description and once in the title.
To learn more about Google Play keywords optimization, you can check "What About Google Play Store ASO And Its Keyword Optimization
" of our previous articles.
The difference between the features in the "Apps" and "Games" tabs of the Play Store is clear: game features are more diverse, visual, and dynamic than those of apps. While the app collection mainly displays the app's icon, title, and average rating, the game features can display all of these as well as screenshots, promo videos, and Google tags. That's why promo videos for your games need to be landscape, and why it's highly recommended to include landscape screenshots on Google Play - so you don't miss out on any featured opportunities.
App Reviews and Ratings
Reviews and ratings are further indicators used by Google to ensure that you provide a good in-app experience for your users: like core vitality, they help the store ensure the quality of the app. Therefore, having a positive average rating is important to help improve your discoverability and explore the store's traffic.
Having good reviews and ratings can also lead more directly to your app being recommended, as there is a collection of "top games/apps" apps. In this case, your average rating and reviews are one of the main factors considered by the algorithm.
To learn more about reviews, you can check "ASO Advanced Strategy: How to Reply to App Reviews on App Store&Google Play?
" of our previous articles.
Advance Strategy: additional steps to help your app featured on Google play
Unlike Apple, in most cases, you cannot request a feature from Google Play editors.
If you are an indie game developer, you can use the form to submit your game for consideration. Or, if you are not an indie developer or own an app rather than a game, your next best option is to extend your connection to influencers in the industry.
When you work exclusively with influencers who own blogs, you can build a library of quality backlinks. Ask bloggers to use your app and write reviews, or come up with something more creative. For example, a running app could partner with fitness bloggers for a monthly challenge where they log their daily runs in the app and then review the experience on a blog. Google will recognize the increasing buzz around your app.
Keep up with the seasons
The Google Play team has been working hard to make the Play Store more curated and editorial. They are now launching apps in special sections for seasons and holidays. When appropriate, have your app change based on the seasonal and holiday schedule. You'll bring more attention and give Google the opportunity to showcase your seasonal updates.
Pre-Registration allows you to build excitement and awareness for your apps and games in the country of your choice before you publish them to Google Play.
After you offer your app or game for Pre-Registration, users can access your item details to learn about and pre-register your new app or game. Then, when you publish your app or game later, all pre-registered users will receive a push notification from Google Play about the installation. Eligible devices will also automatically install the app or game on the day it launches.
In addition, there is a "Pre-registered Games" section under the "For you" tab. If your game appears in this list, you will definitely get more visibility and downloads.
Step 1. Open Pre-Registration 3-6 weeks before your planned release date. Pre-Registration ties pre-release marketing to your item details on Google Play. With Pre-Registration enabled, your item details are searchable in the Play Store, where users can learn about and pre-register your app or game before it is released.
Step 2. Drive traffic to your item details page by promoting your Pre-Registration campaign across various marketing channels.
New and Recently Updated
Google Play has a section called "Recently Updated" or "New & updated games" under the "For you" tab. " section under the "For you" tab. This section will include apps and games that have been recently updated or released.
You can use this section to give your app or game more exposure.
First, you need to update your app or game regularly. Updating your app regularly will help you stay competitive on Google Play, as each new version is an opportunity to re-engage existing users and attract new ones.
Then, to increase the chances of getting recommended in the "Recent Updates" list, your app or game should be updated with new features or content. In other words, you can't just fix a small bug.