Op-Ed: Benefits of ASO and Google Play Store Optimization

opinionThe following is a guest contributed post from Beata Green, Managing Director of HeadChannel.

Just as a website that’s been optimized for the search engines is easier for users to find, so are applications that have been optimized for an app store. But why is it so important to implement ASO?

Why Is ASO Important?

If you want to get your app seen, you must submit it where it’s most likely to be explored, tried or downloaded. And 63% of app discoveries occur through app store searches, making these the largest channels available for the discovery of your app.

What ASO Does

ASO, or app store optimization improves the visibility of an app via the high ranking of the app in a particular app store’s search results and rankings, resulting in a higher number of downloads for that application.

Elements of Successful ASO

Successful ASO requires the consideration of several items when listing an app for download.

Name and Description

Any app title should be concise, but should also explain the purpose of the app. This is also the place for keywords. Descriptions should also contain keywords so that your app is easy for users and bots to find. Typically, the character limit for app descriptions is 4,000, and so being concise is crucial.


The icon associated with an app is ultimately the visual representation of what that app can do for users. A well-designed app will make it recognizable by potential users, as well as help to increase the ratings, reviews and downloads your app gets.

Categorising Your App

The category and type you choose to place your app under should be as accurate as possible, as it will communicate to bots what your app does. The right category is also important; since you can only choose one, ensure it is relevant.

Demo and Screenshots

More downloads and reviews could very well be the result when you offer users a free demo. Providing screenshots is another way for users to peek inside your app, removing any guesswork on their part.


Including a Google+ plugin within the app is a good idea, as it will reach Google+ members. The more +ratings your app receives, the more visible it will be in the Google Play store.

Why Visibility in the Google Play Store Requires Attention

Getting an app seen and downloaded in the Google Play Store is different from the process involved with an iOS app store, for example. This is because the Google Play Store’s engine has an algorithm which is driven by semantics, while the iOS store’s algorithm is driven by phrases. As such, there are several key differences.

First, the Google Play Store has no field for keywords.  Therefore, including as many keywords as possible in the app description field is recommended.

Google Play also has a social media aspect, which is Google+. This allows for the possibility of far more impact as far as +1 ratings go. This social factor carries much weight, as users will trust those users who have given a + rating to an app.

There is only one category on Google Play for games and apps, but the site will add a list of the similar apps downloaded by users.

ASO Is an Ongoing Process

The process to optimise an application for high app store rankings is as detailed and can take as long as optimizing a web site for high rankings in a major search engine. Tweaking and monitoring must occur on a regular basis over a period of time. The investment of both time and effort will result in a channel that consistently drives traffic to your app, effectively solving the problem of your app being found.