With literally millions of apps available to download on the Google Play Store, standing out from the crowd can be fairly difficult. Competition within the Android application development industry is high and while having a functional, engaging app targeted at a specific audience will certainly help improve download numbers, your app won’t market itself.
Like any type of product, having a comprehensive marketing plan will increase the likelihood that your Android app is spruiked by Google and ends up sitting on the home screen of your target market.
A good mobile app development team will be able to help you not only design and develop your application but market it, too. Continue reading to learn more about the strategies you might use to get your app featured on the Google Play Store.
What is the Google Play Store?
The Google Play Store is the largest marketplace for Android apps. Unlike the relationship between iOS and Apple’s App Store, the Google Play Store is not the only place users can download apps for their Android devices. However, it is certainly the most well-known and organised.
In addition to apps, the Google Play Store is also home to movies, TV shows, books, and more. There are currently over 2.6 million Android apps available on Google Play. A little over 96 percent of them are free, and the rest are available to purchase at a fixed price.
According to Google’s website, Google Play is available in over 190 countries, and there were more than 140 billion downloads on the platform in the last year.
What does it mean to be ‘featured’?
The term ‘featured’ essentially means your app will appear on the front page of the Google Play Store. You will not need to rely on users searching for your app specifically or relevant keywords.
The first thing to note is that Google features several different categories on the front page of the Google Play Store. If your app manages to break the ‘Top Selling’ ‘Top Grossing’ or ‘Top for $0’ charts, you will automatically feature on the front page.
Of course, achieving this can be difficult, which is why your best option may be to try and gain recognition from Google’s developers as a ‘new app we love.’ In Google’s own words:
‘We’re always on the hunt for promising new apps — for the clever designs and innovations that make life more enriching, efficient, and entertaining.’
There are a number of other lists and categories your app has a chance to be featured in, including ‘Editor’s Choice’. The Google Play Store also often curates seasonal specific lists or highlights apps designed and developed in Australia. All you need to know is that there are plenty of ways to get your app in front of millions of potential users.
What does Google look for in an app?
There are a number of key features Google looks for in an app. From a designer and developer’s perspective, simply saying that the app needs to be ‘good’ is far too vague and is unlikely to result in an end-product that impresses its users. When it comes to Android application development, be as specific as possible to maximise your chance of success.
Have a target market in mind:
Don’t be concerned if your target market is quite niche — being able to articulate who is going to use your app and designing the software with this demographic in mind will increase the likelihood that users will find actual value in your app.
Pay attention to Google’s wisdom:
Google provides an array of resources to help developers build apps that meet quality standards. Pay attention to their comments when considering your app’s functionality and how you build the user experience.
Adapt to new technologies:
Google is constantly coming out with new products and technologies designed to enhance and extend Android capabilities. Being an early adopter of new products increases the likelihood that Google’s editors will look upon your app favourably.
Be smart about how you reinvent the wheel:
Standing out from the crowd is important — providing you’re doing so for the right reasons. While you want your app to offer something unique and different to your competitors, the overall user experience needs to be what an Android phone user has come to expect. Don’t mess around too much with the position of menus or navigational tools. Follow standard UX and UI principles for the kind of impact you are hoping for.
Maximise marketing with App Store Optimisation:
App Store Optimisation, or ASO, follows many of the same principles as SEO. By including targeted keywords, high quality screenshots, and ensuring your app’s name and description accurately reflect its functionality, you’ll increase the likelihood of attracting relevant users.
Ultimately, there is no shortcut to being featured on the Google Play Store. Your chance of doing so will increase dramatically if you work with a professional Android application development company. Choose a company with a strong portfolio and proven history of engaging in innovative, eye-catching mobile app development. Being featured on the Google Play Store won’t happen overnight. However, just having that goal means you’ll likely build an app that is useful and appeals to your customers.