Yesterday, we covered the best way for indie developers to get featured on the App Store. It is full of great information that will raise your chances significantly of getting featured on the App Store, but what if you want to be featured on Google Play? It’s possible, and while I do not want to say that it is easier to get featured on Google Play rather than on the App Store (even after excluding how many app submissions are submitted to the App Store versus Google Play), dual is a lot more transparent about what they are looking for in apps. If you’re ready to get your app featured by the geniuses minds of Google, keep reading to find out what you need to know.
Know the essentials of a successful app
Unlike Apple, Google openly tells developers what they believe makes a successful app. Take a look at their essentials for a successful app checklist and be sure that your app meets all of these requirements. A lot of these prerequisites are not surprising: for example, Google expects your app to be high-quality. However, Google would also love for your app to be available on other non-smartphone devices, such as tablets and the television (e.g. Amazon Fire).
We want to stress that last one. Google knows that the future of apps is on one of the oldest technologies we use to entertain ourselves: the television. If you want to impress Google and increase the odds of being featured on Google Play, your app definitely needs to have TV support.
I strongly suggest that you go through the essentials checklist as linked above, and click on every category and read it thoroughly. Google breaks down everything you need to know about adhering to their quality control. Bookmark it, print it out and tape it to your wall – do whatever you have to do to be able to reference this checklist easily; it is that important.
Available for every type of device
We mentioned this above, but it is worth stressing again: ensure that your app is available for every type of device that uses Google Play. That doesn’t mean that your app needs to be universally supported on every smartphone and tablet, but it at least needs to be supported on most; especially the most popular brands (e.g. Samsung’s Galaxy line).
Know their don’ts
Google also has a list of annoyances that drive them crazy. Check out the list in the previous link, and take a look at some of the things that will disqualify your app from being featured on Google Play. Many of the annoyances are merely style preferences. For example, Google does not want you to use the same style of buttons that you would use in an app on iOS. Rather, Google wants you to use buttons that are aligned with their style. Basically, when someone looks at a screenshot of your app, they want the person to automatically recognize that the app is running on Android.
Google also does not want you to use bottom tab bars in your apps. Again, this style is more aligned with an app running on iOS rather than Android. Ensure that everything happens in the action bars near the top of the screen. Go through the checklist linked above, see everything that you need to avoid in order to be featured.
Contact a fellow indie dev
One of the best ways to be featured on Google Play is to simply contact and any developer that you know that was also featured. They can tell you everything that you need to know about what they did to get featured and can aid you in getting at the contact with someone over at Google. Sometimes, the best way to be featured is to have a window of opportunity to the source!
Optimal Play store listing
Once again, Google has a list of things that they want to see in every Google Play app page. At first, the list is pretty daunting, but if you develop your app correctly a lot of the issues should not affect you. Run through the list, create a checklist of things that you need to fix or add, and go back to the drawing board to find your app more appealing to Google.
Stellar app description
Many of the techniques below are common practice between Google Play, App Store, and other digital stores. We wrote a great post last week detailing the essentials that your store page needs to have, and one of the things that our readers took away from this post is that writing a stellar app description is absolutely essential to your success. We urge you to read it, but here are some takeaways you need to know about writing a compelling description:
- Hook readers within the first three lines.
- Make them want to read more about your app.
- Use proper keywords whenever possible.
- Using ASO techniques, find the best keywords and phrases for your app.
- But don’t stuff your page full of keywords; one keyword/phrase per paragraph will be suitable.
- Explain exactly what your app is all about.
- Let people know what the app is about and why we should care.
- Was your app reviewed? Mention positive quotes from different reviews.
Your app needs to have at least 50,000 downloads and a 4.5 rating. If you are not there yet, use this time to fine tune your app.
Your icon is one of the most important aspects of your store’s page. Be sure to include a beautiful icon that is eye-catching and looks professional. This is vital, because let’s face it: if most people will ignore your app due to poor looking icon, what makes you think Google is going to feature your app on Google Play? Food for thought…
Include high-quality screenshots and a trailer
Also include high-quality screenshots and a professionally shot trailer. Be sure to include your top three screenshots on your store page first. Most people only browse through the first three images, and if one image looks poor they may turn away and look at another app. Google knows this, so abide by this rule.
Google Play also supports trailers – and they are quite popular among Android users. Be sure to include a trailer that looks like it was created by a professional but also explains everything you need to know about the app. Keep it under 30 seconds long, and you will do just fine.