App Store Optimization on Google Play vs. App Store: Differences that you need to know

Partner Post - Lab Cave ASO & Ad Mediation for Apps And Games

Posted: October 17, 2018

Find out the main differences between the two largest app stores

The App Store Optimization (ASO) is the effort of improving the positioning of your App in the application stores. If your company has an App, you probably have heard of ASO as “Search Engine Optimization (SEO)” for Apps. You may even know that an ASO strategy is important to boost your results. What few people know, however, is that ASO’s work goes far beyond keeping colorful icons, creative screenshots, and good keywords. Unlike SEO where all the positioning rules are determined by Google, with ASO you need to have knowledge on the differences between Google Play (Android) and App Store (Apple) stores. Find out here what the differences are and what impact they can have on your App. Prepare your business to grow!

Metadata Indexing

The speed difference between these two platforms is one of the things that can cause misunderstandings. One may expect to see both results improving at the same rate. A frustrated feeling may appear when App Store results are already starting to produce while on Google Play the changes are minimal, if at all. Patience! Most likely, Google Play is not “broken,” it just needs a little bit more time.

What is metadata: An app’s metadata is the information you enter into the iTunes Connect page. Metadata includes such things as age range (to gauge suitability for children), keywords, contact information, etc.

ASO relevant fields

The description seems like it would be one of the most important things on the app stores, but as you can see, it does not rank for iOS. For Google Play there is also a little detail: although it seems that the description should be an accurate long form characterization of your app, if you want an eye towards ASO, what will attribute value to your ranking is actually repeating enough keywords. Even though the text seems a bit strange, with the right keywords it is more likely to ranking the top positions of a search (a good thing is that Google Play allows more characters in the description than App Store, so enjoy it!). Another item to note: there is an estimate that only 2% of people actually read the full description of an app, so there is nothing to worry about if you decide to use this space to increase your keyword ranking.

About Bundle/App ID and Title: When you launch an app, keep in mind that these factors influence your positioning, since the process for changing them afterwards is often long and arduous.

Icons & Screenshots

Regarding games in the shooter genre, for example, it is necessary to change the way the A/B tests are done and try different icons on each platform. The results of weapon icons for this type of game are often better than unarmed icons, since users typically expect to find this type of element when searching for a shooting game. For these cases, it’s best to keep the icon with weapons on Google Play and adapt the icon to rules of the App Store. Last, but not least: both stores can penalize the game and even reject it if it detects nudity or some sexual connotation.

Think like a filmmaker: When you demonstrate your App’s interaction possibilities, imagine you are creating a trailer for a movie. Edit your possibilities and select the best one to attract the users’ attention. The ideal is to strike a balance between “gameplay” and “advertising” pieces, even to respect the policies of each Store (tip: 3 “advertising” images vs. 1 or 2 gameplay images, always placed in that order).

Extra Tip

We must not forget that it is essential to be attentive to the particularities of each country (such as Arabic speaking countries), otherwise these details may negatively impact the engagement of a particular user set because it is not in accordance with the cultural behavior of that group (in some situations it is necessary to work with screens where female characters wear different clothes).

Boosting your organic traffic: how to begin

ASO’s work may seem simple at first, but it does require time and dedication that must be kept at a regular rhythm, since you cannot see the full potential of your application with just one update. If you’re interested in taking your first steps and learn more about how you can improve your app’s organic traffic, stay tuned for these tips! You can count on us to continue talking and getting more of your questions answered.

About Lab Cave

Lab Cave has two different ASO teams, dedicated separately to Google Play and the App Store, ensuring that the specifics from the app stores will be reviewed and the potential of each app will be exploited to the fullest. Part of Fibonad Group, the largest Spanish digital advertising group offering Branding, Performance and Publishing services, Lab Cave has achieved more than 200 million organic downloads with its own titles and provides ASO and Ad Mediation services for mobile apps and games.