Incipia blog

5 Tips on Optimizing Android Apps in Google Play

Gabe Kwakyi | August 15, 2016

Feature Image Credit: Google Play

1. Run Google experiments constantly

Google Play gives you the option to set up experiments and test different variants of several elements of your app listing, including:
  • Your icon
  • Feature graphic
  • Screenshots
  • Video
  • Short description
  • Full description
google play experiments AB test

Image credit: Google Play

Experiments can be run globally (graphics only) or in up to 5 localized languages and you can select up to 3 variants to test with up to 50% of your traffic:
  • For 1 variable you can run a 50% A variant, 50% control traffic split
  • For 2 variables you get 25% A variant, 25% B variant, 50% control
  • For 3 variables you get 16.67% A variant, 16.67% B variant, 16.67% C variant and 50% control
Running experiments is free and can pay off by leading to an increase in your app's daily active userbase. There are plenty of experiments that you can set up and run in fewer than 5 minutes - even if you don't have the resources or aptitude to create new graphics, anyone can come up with some changes to their short description or full description. Here are some ideas for short & full description testing:
  • Short description:
    • Use social proof, like usage numbers or your category ranking
    • Use a couple keywords that will resonate with visitors
    • Try a couple brand slogans
  • Full description:
    • Try formatting your description text
    • Try a How to Use Your App, or FAQ section
    • Test out different variations of the first 5 lines, which are the most prominent lines of your full description

2. Be careful not to stuff keywords

Google is the search ranking algorithm king and is adept at sniffing out keyword stuffing; if Google believes that you are purposely inflating the number of mentions of keywords in your description, your rank may suffer. Check out these guidelines provided by Google Play for more information.

Google play policies

3. Use your title to place one or two of your top, yet highly relevant keywords

The title is the single best place to rank for a keyword, which is true for both Android and iOS apps. It's also a big signal that tells users who see your app in search results what your app is all about. Pick one or two relevant keywords that describe what your app is and include those in your title in this format:

App Brand Name - Keyword one & keyword two

Skype Google Play Listing

Image Credit: Skype, Google Play Listing

4. Pick 3-5 competitors and study what they are doing

Pick a few of your top competitors to study how they describe their app and appeal to users. Study what their screenshots look like, what keywords they are using, what selling points they tout and what users are saying about them. This information will come in handy not only for giving you ideas on keywords or messaging to use, but also so that you will know how to differentiate your app from your competition and better appeal to visitors.

Request an analysis of what keywords up to five of your competitors are using here.

5. Localize your Listing

If your app is globally available, why not localize your listing to make it more universally accessible? You can translate your app listing using Google Translate for basic support, but Google also provides an option to purchase a localized translation from localization vendors. For any countries that you see significant growth in installs and revenue (or your preferred KPI), consider localizing the strings in your app and optimizing to retain those users.

Select languages to purchase translations for in Google Play

Google Play App Listing Localization

Image credit: Google Play

Purchase a translation from an internationalization vendor

Google Play App Listing Localization Paid Support

Image credit: Google Play

That's all for now folks! Thanks for reading - stay tuned to the Incipia blog or subscribe to our email list for more app store optimization tips, tricks and hacks.

Incipia is a mobile app development and marketing agency that builds and markets apps for companies with a development specialty in high-quality code architecture and keyword-based marketing optimizations. For blog/video or speaking requests, business or press inquiries please contact us at