With millions of apps fighting for attention at app stores, Google Play, Apple App Store, and others use proprietary algorithms to help sort through the noise and present the most relevant apps based on your search criteria.
Table of Contents
- App store ranking factors for iOS applications
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While the specific algorithms aren’t public knowledge, ranking factors are well-tested.
App store ranking factors for iOS applications
- App name: Placing a keyword here carries the most ranking influence. You may use up to 30 characters.
- App subtitle: A new introduction to IOS 11, keywords also play a significant role here. You may use up to 30 characters.
- Keyword field: Use up to 100 characters to specify your most critical keywords.
- In-app purchases (IAPs): Your IAPs are indexed in search and add valuable real estate to your listing so you take up more space as a search result. The display name can be up to 30 characters and the description up to 45 characters. You may add keywords in your IAP description using natural language, and it’s highly recommended to include eye-catching images to improve click-through rates.
- Ratings and reviews: Your ratings and reviews are highly visible on the app store, right below the subtitle. When users are considering downloading your app, this is often the first thing they see. One of the best ways to optimize this section is to encourage your loyal users to rate your app by offering some sort of an incentive.
- Update frequency: it’s critical to constantly fix and address bugs that users experience and report. Be sure to document the changes in every update to send signals to the algorithm that you’re regularly updating your product and services.
Downloads and engagement: Uninstalls and low usage metrics are the biggest indicators of your app’s quality. Experiment with in-app rewards, push notifications, and email notifications to keep your users engaged and on the platform.
Google Play ranking factors for Android applications
- App title: Up to 50 characters, placing a keyword here carries the most ranking influence.
- Short description: Up to 80 characters, this is the copy that appears above the fold in the Google Play Store, which carries the second most ranking influence. While this may not directly affect rankings, eye-catching copy can definitely improve conversion rates.
- Long description: Use up to 4,000 characters to describe your app’s best features, where you can use your main target keyword 3 to 5 times. Be sure to localize the description for all possible languages, and use bullet points to make your description more digestible. Don’t forget to add your trust symbols such as awards, and number of 5-star reviews. When it comes to the “don’ts”, here are a few things Google says to avoid.
- In-app purchases (IAP) titles: You may use up to 55 characters and include your keyword once.
- Package name: Add your target keyword into your URL when uploading your app to Google Play. Keep in mind that the package name is permanent and can not be altered in the future.
- Ratings and reviews: Google crawls and indexes reviews for keywords. When responding to positive reviews, ensure you repeat the keyword in your answer.
- Update frequency: Like the iOS App Store, be sure to consistently address and fix bugs that users experience, and then document the changes in every update to send signals to the algorithm that you’re regularly updating your product and services.
Downloads and engagement: Just like the iOS App Store, poor usage metrics will hurt your search rankings. Experiment with in-app rewards, push notifications, and email notifications to keep your users engaged and on the platform.