Pop the champagne and let the streamers fall, because the Google Play Store crossed a major milestone in Q1 2016 with over 11.1 billion downloads made in the quarter. That’s a substantial increase over 2015’s Q1 downloads, and an appealing target for app developers across the world who are looking to expand their audience.

But even though the figures sound promising, not all apps get a fair share. The apps that are consistently absorbing most of the downloads – your Facebooks and Snapchats, for instance – have been optimized specifically to take advantage of the Google Play Store. The fact is, if you ignore app store optimization for Google Play you are leaving money on the table – and your competitors will gladly scoop up their share of those 11.1 billion downloads.

So how do you optimize your app for the Google Play Store? It’s a complex science, but we’ve compiled a list of simple tips that will help you get started.


First and most importantly, you’ll want to keep in mind how Google recognizes and ranks your app. Unlike with iOS, the Google Play Store does not have targeted keywords. You won’t have a chance to paste words into a text field or add title tags to your app like you would in iTunes Connect. Don’t mistake Google Play’s lack of a keyword bank for a lack of keywords, though – Your app still ranks for certain words or phrases, but you don’t get to manually enter a list to target. Instead, Google uses your title, short description and long description to determine which terms your app is relevant for.

When writing your title, short description and description, keep the following in mind:

You’ll want to highlight terms and features that are highly relevant to your app in order to secure the best possible conversion rates from users.

  • It helps to make one of your key terms a part of your app’s title. This should be a core feature around which you have focused your app.
  • The words and phrases used in your short description will be scrutinized by Google’s algorithm, and if they are relevant to your app and its core features, you can really benefit in search rankings as a result.

As you choose your Google Play keywords, you’ll want to keep in mind how users search on mobile. In the app stores, search is mostly based on phrases – “photo editing app”, for example. So instead of targeting just one word at a time, try working phrases into your description and short description. You could begin by stating, “This photo editing app makes it easy to…”, for example, naturally working the phrase into a sentence and explaining why that phrase is relevant to your app.


Now that you have a solid foundation for how to optimize your Google Play Store description and short description, you’re poised to grab your piece of Google’s impressive download numbers. Who knows – Your app might just be the one to push Google Play over 12 billion.