Google Play Console
What is Google Play Console
Google Play Console is the platform that Google provides for Google Play and Android developers to publish – and of particular interest to ASO teams – to monitor their app’s performance in the Google Play store. As Google explains, by using the platform it’s possible to: “Publish your apps and games with the Google Play Console and grow your business on Google Play. Benefit from features that help you improve your app’s quality, engage your audience, earn revenue, and more.”
Why Google Play Console is Important
The Google Play console allows app developers and marketers to better understand how their apps are performing in terms of growth, technical performance such as crashes or display issues, and financials. The console offers acquisition reports and detailed analysis which can help app devs / marketers find out how well an app is really performing.
The platform is important as it provides developers with access to first party data (trustworthy information collected about an app’s audience that comes straight from Google Play) that highlights the real performance of an app. The console allows the monitoring of conversion rates (CVR); it shows the number of impressions an app listing receives and the number of installs an app receives from different sources over time. The user acquisition reports found in the console show data on how an app is getting its growth such as users’ origins in terms of source. (Google Play shows users’ traffic source, for example whether organic ‘explore traffic’ or paid traffic from ‘third party referrals’).
Having access to deep analysis contributes to an understanding of an app’s performance in terms of growth.
However, the data is limited. It’s not possible to see attribution (the science of attributing a user to its source) at the campaign ad level, just at the source level, which is why Mobile Measurement Partners (MMP’s) exist- to bridge the gap between them.
Google Play Console and ASO
A pillar of ASO is discoverability and one of the key factors that affects it is the volume of first time installs; the fact that the platform provides that data makes it a vital tool for ASO teams.
Industry experts know that Google takes first time installs into account when they’re making all their ranking and featuring decisions in their store. MMP’s, who also provide tools for analysis can only show the number of users who installed and launched, they can’t differentiate. If these users were to be taken into account it would be impossible to view the figure as a true representation of first time installs which means that the first install data from Google is more valuable to ASO teams. In order to really understand and improve CVR, it’s vital to know exact first time install figures.
The console platform ultimately provides the tools for teams to monitor organic performance. ASO teams must have the stats in order to Increase impressions and installs, and monitor CVR over time. Only by analyzing these are ASO teams able to identify any areas of an app’s listing that need attention or improvement and show where an app is successful, in order to iterate those elements and place them elsewhere on the product page.