Google Play ASO

Original photo by Philip Graves, Unsplash

What do the produce market(farmers market) and Google Play have in common?

You probably read articles/posts on the subject of Google Play ASO. After reading them you might felt overwhelmed. Because these articles were too complicated, too many things to remember and understand.

In this article, I took a different approach. We will focus only on the fundamentals of Google Play ASO. This should help you understand:

  • Where are your problems?
  • What you can do about it. Or at least give you an idea.
  • What is stopping you to get downloads.

If you have any specific questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.

What if you don’t know anything about ASO. Why should you care about ASO?

A huge portion of your app/game downloads will come from the Google Play app store. Understanding ASO will help you get initial downloads but also get more downloads.

Let’s go back to the question.

Both produce market and Google Play have customers/users who need/want your product or app/game.

By becoming a part of Google Play you get access to these customers/users.
And in the return, you pay a fee + % of sales.

What do customers/users want?
They want a safe place to easily find and download good apps and games.

Therefore Google Play arranges apps and games based on how good they are. (Or they try to do that)

What makes a good app/game?
Good user experience and consistency to provide that experience.

Good user experience:
Battery usage, Number of bugs, Time spent in the app/game, Retention, etc…

Working on making a good app/game, should be your top priority. Because everything else will benefit from that. But that isn’t enough because there are 2.87m apps(source) on Google Play. Here comes ASO.

What is ASO(App Store Optimization)?

  1. Visibility
  2. Conversion

With ASO we want to increase the chance for the right people to find and download your app or game.

Making the right people find you = Visibility
Making them download your app/game = Conversion

1. Visibility

Visibility is about making the right people find you.

Visibility is also the primary way Google Play arranges apps/games. That is why the good UX and consistency of your app/game have a huge impact on visibility in the app store.


Snowball effect:

Why does better visibility lead to more downloads?

  1. Brand Recognition

1 Awareness

Visibility is like marketing in the early days. Making people aware of your app/game is sometimes enough to make them download your app/game.

To put it another way, if they don’t know you exist, they can’t choose you. That is why visibility is so important.

2 Brand Recognition

Need/Want precedes awareness. People in the first place need to have a need/want for your app/game in order for awareness to make a change.

If they don’t have a need/want right now, they might later. Here having a good app name and app icon is important because it makes it easier for them to remember you.

For example:

B: If they don’t remember your app name they will do a generic search. Then your app icon might seem familiar to them. That is why they might choose your app/game over others, this is called the mere exposure effect.
Again this works if you have a good app icon.

Generic search is pretty much any search that isn’t brand name search. An example of brand name search is (Spotify) and an example of generic search (Podcasting).

2. Conversion

Conversion is all about making people download your app/game.

What is conversion?

What impacts conversion:

There are many types of recommendations:
For example recommendations from your family and friends will play a big role in what app/game you will choose. Because you trust them and their choices.

Why is conversion important?

  • It helps you show consistency
  • It helps you to increase visibility

How can you improve conversion?

  • Asking for reviews
  • Increasing visibility
  • Improving screenshots
  • Making better app/game




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A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store

A graphic designer helping android developers get more downloads.