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How to Market an Android App, Tips for Developers: Part 1

How to Market an Android App, Tips for Developers: Part 1

Our new series titled How to Market an Android App, Tips for Developers, is intended for Android developers who currently have an app in the Android Market or are actively developing one. Having personally downloaded and tested thousands of Android apps and games over the past two years, I have identified many characteristics (some obvious, others not so much) which many of the most successful apps possess.

While some of these tips will pertain to marketing an Android app, as in increasing the number of downloads, ratings, and popularity your app receives, other tips will focus on general app development and the downstream user experience.

Tip #1: Have a simple, high resolution Android Market icon

This. is. critical. The Android Market icon is the proverbial “first impression.” A person browsing the Market will evaluate your app based largely on the icon alone because of its positional prominence and our own visual nature as humans (name, price, and ratings are also there). Since a user can’t read the full description of your app without first clicking on it in an Android Market list, generating that initial click relies heavily on the quality and design of your icon.

Requirements (from Google):

  • 512 x 512 pixel PNG file with alpha (alpha = transparency information)
  • Maximum size of 1024KB

General Guidelines:

  • Icon should clearly convey the app’s functionality and purpose
  • Leverage colors and branding images associated with the app
  • Keep it simple, straightforward with large subject
  • Make it unique, attention-grabbing

Examples:

Tip #2: Construct a concise, detailed Android Market description

The first 167 characters of your app description are the most important and should contain keywords that describe explicitly the function of your Android app. When a user performs a search on the Android Market website, a 167 character description accompanies the app icon and is your second chance (after the app icon) to grab a user’s attention. On the mobile Android Market, the description is comprised of the app’s tagline and the remaining 4000 characters, however, before the user hits the “More” button only six lines are displayed (approximately 257 characters).

In general, the app description snippet acts much like a webpage’s meta description in a search result, describing what the user can expect to find.

Requirements (from Google):

  • Product descriptions should not be misleading or loaded with keywords in an attempt to manipulate ranking or relevancy in the store’s search results.

General Guidelines:

  • Give priority to the first 257 characters of the app description (for mobile Android Market)
  • Concentrate relevant keywords and purpose in the first 167 characters (for Android Market website)
  • In the subsequent description area, outline the main features of the app in an easy-to-read, bulleted list

Examples:

Tip #3: Utilize optional promotional content for the Android Market

Take advantage of all of the “optional” material allowed on the Android Market to convince users to take the time to download your app. Not spending the time to provide this information upfront may lead potential users to doubt the general quality of and overall developer dedication to the Android app.

Recommendations (from Google):

  • Provide a feature graphic (used on the Android Market website) to headline your app page. Specifications: 1024 x 500 pixel (width x height), 24 bit PNG or JPEG (no alpha) with no transparency
  • Upload six to eight screenshots (minimum number is just two, not enough) because of their visual prominence in the Android Market (website and mobile forms)
  • Create a short video highlighting features of the app (acts like a virtual test-drive, comforting the user that they “know before they buy”)

General Guidelines:

  • Your feature graphic should complement your Android Market icon (as they will be adjacent to one another in most cases), e.g. similar colors, large text (if any), and consistent graphics/design
  • Edit your video to be brief (3o-60 seconds) and focus solely on the primary features. For Android games, this should largely be gameplay video.

Examples:

If you’re an Android developer, have you already done what’s recommended above in tips #1-3? Or if you’re not, but love Android apps, let us know how much each of these characteristics factor in to your decision to download and install a specific app. Plus, check back for future updates in our series of How to Market an Android App, Tips for Developers.

Related Reviews & Articles:

21 Comments

  1. Thanks for the tips.. By the way when are you planning to release the part-2 of this series??

  2. Great Article! Thanks!

  3. Really liked the article!

  4. http://www.newappsreview.com is made specifically to boost new apps. If you’re a developer, you can easily submit your app to be reviewed for Free.

  5. thanks for tips i am looking for more tips…

    ultimate free android call manager
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=gn.mycalls

  6. Appreciate the tips but I would like to know more as these are limited to design and Google Play listing. I have recently submitted some Wallpaper apps; how to market them?

    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.maximnaturewallpaper
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.naturewallpapertwo
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.naturewallpaperthree

  7. Interesting tips but needs maybe more details to promote apps.

    For example, I made a Sudoku game available here : https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.app.sudoku and I would like to know how to promote it to have my app in first result search on Play Store for example.

  8. If you need some blogs to get reviewed get a list from here:
    http://appsfilter.wordpress.com/need-more-blogs/

  9. We just launched an Android App – Advanced Tic-Tac-Toe –
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=example.pro

    More details can be found on:
    http://www.thinkappz.com

    There are few other games with same title, but ours is very different and challenging that those. But, still we are not appearing on the search on the top. The other apps also are much older apps, so they have more downloads, is this a factor helping them out?

    Any idea how we can improve our app downloads?

  10. One practice I found useful is to allow your customers to post to facebook and twitter with a link to the app. This can have viral effect.
    Please checkout my new app at:https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.timeinc.people.celebfood&hl=en

  11. Indeed its helpful for app developers, looking forward to hear more tips on android since its crowded how we can make sure our app is noticed.
    Thanks.

  12. Try this new game Pick-1, is a challenging and enjoyable trivia game packed with lots of bonus mini games when you unlock achievements and high scores.
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.mobilent.app.pickone&hl=en

  13. Nice Site! I’m trying to market my new developed android app YourELink Budget Planner – https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.yourelink.budgetplanner, your site really is helpful.

  14. Nice Site! I’m trying to market my new developed android app YourELink Budget Planner – https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.yourelink.budgetplanner, your site really is helpful.

  15. We just launched http://www.ikoid.com to help promote indie Android games. We are looking for new games to include in our bundle deals.

  16. Great apps for famous quotes. All Quotes, Quotes by Category, Love and Romance Quotes, Birthday Quotes, Bible Verses, Geeta verses etc
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/developer?id=vRad
    http://www.vrad.in

  17. Thanks for the tips :)
    We are a small 3 member gaming company called “GMonks”. We have recently launched a mobile game app on the Android platform called “Guess The Brand”. The concept of this Quiz game is very simple, and is based on our memory of all the print & television ads we see everyday around us. Using hints provided, the player has to guess famous brand’s icons and logos. We currently have 12 Fun levels carefully made for exciting Game play experience, at the same time keeping it very simple and fun for the end user. It has a very user friendly UI and we are constantly updating the app as we get more feedback from users.
    The link to our gaming app on the Google Play Store is :

    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.neeraj.GTB

  18. Thanks for the tips :)
    We are a small 3 member gaming company called “GMonks”. We have recently launched a mobile game app on the Android platform called “Guess The Brand”. The concept of this Quiz game is very simple, and is based on our memory of all the print & television ads we see everyday around us. Using hints provided, the player has to guess famous brand’s icons and logos. We currently have 12 Fun levels carefully made for exciting Game play experience, at the same time keeping it very simple and fun for the end user. It has a very user friendly UI and we are constantly updating the app as we get more feedback from users.
    The link to our gaming app on the Google Play Store is :

    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.neeraj.GTB

  19. Check out my new casual game I have recently released!
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.thejbix.gravityballfree
    :)

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