Increasing Android app downloads without spending any money – Part 2 – Factors effecting ranking

So you have made app with great design and tested code. Ok hold on ! you don’t do this first. Part 1 is important, but what is even more important is to spend time planning go to market strategy even before you write first line of code or it will get really difficult to figure out business channels after app is done. Either it should be done side by side if you have team otherwise decide everything beforehand.

We will first understand the google play app ranking algorithm metrics. (note – these are just self realisations and surfing results, nothing official by google ) before moving to tricks in part 3.

  1.  Number of Rating/Comments of app
    Likely to be high for apps which are used often and therefore top of mind.
  2.  Overall market ratings from 5
     Apps which are in continual use are likely to have good customer satisfaction
  3.  % of active installs
    Percentage of copies of an app which stay installed. This is a very important factor in determining app rank.
  4.  Updates
     If app is maintained by developer or not because updates ~ improvements and addition of new features.
  5. Number of recent installs
    Those who have installed an app more recently are likely to use it more often.
  6. Total number of installs
    Affected only slightly by frequency of use. Maintain single APK for all devices as mentioned in part 1.

Next we talk about google play search ranking algorithm metricsPlay Store works on “organic discovery” which is search driven. Organic users seek your app on their own – without paid advertising. These users are not only free, but much likely to become loyal users than those who installed app after seeing advertisement. 75% of downloads on google play are by organic search as studied by Fiksu. Where 50% – brand name search and  25% – generic search. Data shows that users who find app by search are 50% more likely to become loyal long-term users. A study by Fiksu determined that 75% users found app on google play just by using search. Thus search is an important app discovery tool which is  largely determined by the following :

  1. Keywords in app title
    the key in your app tittle is the most important element which impacts search rank. Right keyword in app can effect position by 80-100 spots. Identify your most successful keyword and include it in the title.
  2. Keywords in App description
    Within app description, frequency of keywords increases your search rank. Try to use a keyword multiple times. This impacts rank by 10-20 spots.
  3. Keywords in promo text
    This is the tag line of your app. This convey what your app does in easy to understand fun way .
  4. Localisation
    Adding localisation of strings in android app, tells the play store that app is specific to that country and increases the rank of app in search results for that region.
  5. Page Rank
    Google uses its classic Page Rank to determine ranking of app.Page rank basically referes  to the number of inbound pages pointing to your App.  There are many traditional SEO activities you can do to generate links to your app which are discussed in part 3 .

google play app ranking algorithm metrics combined with search ranking, determines where your app will be placed in the market. We will try and attack these points learnt here in part 3 (coming soon)  to see how ranking can be improved and thus increase downloads. Our aim is to attack both Volume-driven and Rank-driven download-acquisition models :)