Google Play Keywords

Google Play keywords are single words or part of phrases that a user uses to search for an android app or game.

What are Google Play Keywords

Similar to their App Store counterparts, Google Play keywords are single words or part of phrases that a user uses to search for an android app or game. In Google Play it’s possible to implement keywords in the metadata (changeable elements) on an app’s product page, including title (50 characters), short description (80 characters and the same as the iOS subtitle), and long description (a hefty 4k characters.) There is no hidden keyword metadata field in Google Play like there is in the App Store.

For new apps, it is a steep climb to reach the top search rankings for sought after search queries, so an initial strategy might be to choose the right keywords and see how they perform, not necessarily the most popular.

Why Google Play Keywords are Important

In order to increase visibility (discoverability), growth and downloads (which is the ultimate goal of any ASO efforts) it is imperative to optimize an app’s listing in Google Play.

To highlight the importance of keyword optimization, let’s look at the long description metadata for keyword rankings Google Play. The App Store doesn’t (reportedly) pull long description keywords, making this key optimization opportunity unique to Android apps. With 4,000 characters, it’s advisable to use keywords, phrases, and niche combinations (known in the industry as mid and long-tail keywords that may have a higher conversion value) without engaging in keyword stuffing, the description should be natural.

Google Play Keywords and ASO

ASO also focuses on improving an app’s discoverability (visibility) in Google Play by using keyword ranking to its advantage. 

But what are a few factors that differentiate ASO for Google Play to the App Store? It’s recommended to focus on the app name as it is the only text that shows in the search results. The Google Play Store’s short description offers 50 more character spaces to its equivalent subtitle (iOS) area which is useful, but it also shows on the app listing and not in the search results under the title as it does on the App Store. It is also beneficial to modestly repeat keywords in the metadata in Google Play which helps Google understand what an app is offering to users and may rank higher because of it; in the App Store repeating phrases or keywords do not add more weight and doing so leaves less room for impactful keywords. 

Every day, thousands of new apps are published in Google Play, which means that the search queries, the keywords, and the rankings change too. For ASO which is an ongoing process, the journey to finding the most effective keywords for an app doesn’t end, it’s ever-changing. ASO focuses on hypothesizing, testing, re-hypothesizing, and retesting, which makes the practice of optimizing keywords crucial to improve KPIs such as discoverability, impressions, ranking, growth, and conversion rates.