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 In the recent years, App Store Optimization in Google Play and the App Store has undergone quite a change. In 2021 we are seeing more and more picks of keyword positions on Google Play, more difficult entry and breakthrough on given positions in the App Store, the dominance of browsing traffic in the App Store and Google Play, adding new categories by stores, and decreasing the character limit for title in Google Play. That said, changes in ASO (App Store Optimization) do not go hand in hand with shifts in performance indicators, which you must measure with different versions of metadata for your game or mobile app.

Below are top 10 key performance indicators that you must be sure to measure when positioning games or mobile applications.

Keyword position in App Store and Google Play search results

keyword position Google Play

When optimizing metadata for iOS (title, subtitle, keywords, in-app keywords), Android (title, short description, description, anchor links) the central objective is to improve the position of selected keywords and reach the top 10 search results. A higher keyword position means a higher CTR from view-to-click, more product page visits and more installations if your application or game is thematically related to the keyword. In 2021, getting the TOP 10 for the best keywords in terms of search volume is a demanding task that requires plenty of work… and that means from several months to several years.

Daily number of views for Similar Apps tab games and apps

Both stores have a Similar Apps section where you can generate additional downloads. If your application is related by keywords and has the same users, then it will be displayed on the product page of another app. There are already mentions of what impacts visibility on the ‘similar apps’ tab on Google Play on the blog. The greater the number of daily views on product pages of other games or applications, the greater the number of downloads for your app.

Similar Apps Tab Google Play Tinder

similar apps tab Google Play

Daily number of unique views/Unique number, e.g., monthly app (game) views in the search results

App Store Search Impressions

The daily number of unique views of your application in stores shows how many times your app or game has been displayed for different key phrases (there can be hundreds or thousands of them) in the search results. You can browse the App Store to check the daily number of views for your application in the search results.

In order to generate a large number of views, your application must be indexed for a number of keywords that will have a high volume of searches.

Daily number of unique views/Unique number of views for your app (game) in browsing results

App Store Browse Impressions

Organic traffic in Google Play and App Store is divided into search traffic and browsing traffic (high position in a given section, category, featuring applications or games). Changes to App Store Optimization are irrevocable and it’s clear that in the next few years, organic traffic will be built on traffic from browsing. Even now, for most applications browsing traffic is already 85%-75% vs. 15% -25% from organic traffic. In 2021 building traffic from browsing is the cornerstone of App Store Optimization.

Daily number of unique product page visits in browsing results/Number of unique product page visits in browsing results

A large number of daily unique visits from search results means that your keywords are ranked high in the App Store and Google Play. If you are generating views, but not product page visits, there’s a very real possibility that your application for a given keyword is outside the TOP 10. If that happens, it is worth doing an audit and prioritizing other keywords (e.g., with a smaller volume and with a smaller number of competing games in the search results).

Product Page Views App Store Search

If you are not generating your number of visits from browsing in the App Store, it means that your application is not ranked, e.g., it’s not featured by the App Store in its category or similar applications are not displayed on the tab.

Product Page Views App Store Browse

Number of app highlights in the App Store or Google Play/Number of featured app views in the App Store

Featuring on the App Store and featuring on Google Play are two separate things. The former is all about developing a relationship with the App Store and its editors. Poor app graphics or gameplay mean no chance of featuring.

Application tests lie with the editors. If the editors are not fond of your game, it will not get featured. On the other hand, a game or application that does get featured may enjoy this privilege for the next several months or years. Featuring on the App Store begins with filling out a form.

Now, as far as featuring on Google Play goes, it is mainly based on the number of daily downloads. If you generate a particular daily number of installations, you can enter the ranking and be awarded featuring from Google Play. If you spot an increased number of views in your browsing results in App Store Connect, it means that you have received featuring from the App Store. You can monitor featuring in the App Store using tools like Apptweak or Appfollow. A great number of features translates into more downloads from browsing.

Number of featurings

Conversion from views to visits to your product page

Conversion from views to visits to your product pages is one of the key metrics out there. A high rate of conversion from views means that your keywords are ranked high or that your game or app is displayed frequently when browsing the App Store or Google Play.

Conversion from visits to downloads

A high conversion from visits to downloads means that your product page (metadata, icon, promotional video, screenshots) has a high quality, and users who have visited your product page from the search results ended up here thanks to a well-matched keyword.

Number of organic app downloads

The most important indicator when positioning mobile applications that you must monitor during iterations of metadata in Google Play and the App Store. You can be generating high app views, a large number of visits, but still a low number of installs. In that case, your strategy needs to change.


At the very end, there are application downloads and sales. If you’re not selling, it may mean that you are reaching somebody else’s target or that you have a poor-quality product.

ARPU Brothers Founder, App marketing agency for mobile apps and games

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