Marketing an Android App

So, your app is finally ready and you want to make it to the top on the Google Play Store.

What do you need to succeed on Google Play?

A lot of different things actually.

I will talk in this article about these different aspects that have an impact of what position you’ll get in the Play Store and how much money you properly will make. The different aspects are:

  • Type of App (genre)
  • Quality of the App
  • Target Audience
  • Keywords
  • The presentation in the Google Play Store
  • Let people know about your App

Type of App

From Google’s view of the Play Store, there are only 2 different types of apps, Games and “the others”.

The general deploying process is the same, but the competition for games is much, much harder. For a “normal app”, you maybe need only a few marketing options I will mention later, but for a game you properly need all of them.

Quality of the App

You can not make a crappy app successful.

To define quality is a little bit tricky when it comes to apps. One thing is for sure, you need to offer some kind of value in your app. What this value is can be very different. A value for a game can be “Fun”. An educational app should teach you something. Information can be a value too. From a recipe app, you would expect to get information in form of what kind of dishes you can do but also how to do it with an easy to follow description and an appealing image from the dish.

To ask family and friends can be helpful but it can also mislead you. I show you what I mean in a minute with one of my apps that made it to the top.

But one thing I recommend to do is, ask yourself if you would download this app.

Target Audience

Not everybody will love your app. Make it clear to people who should download the app. A good place to do this is the description of the app. This can you prevent from getting a lot negative reviews because of people who thought the app was something different and are disappointed.

My advice, define your audience: kids, young people, old people, female, male, people from a specific country or area, … somebody who want to win the lottery and likes gaming …

The target audience can make a huge impact.

Let me give you an example from my very first app I made “Coffee Recipes”. My idea was to make the app available for a worldwide audience of coffee lovers. Therefore, I hired people to translate the app into 6 different languages. So, in the end I had the app in the following 7 languages: English, German, French, Spanish, Russian, Chinese, Hindi.

This costs me a lot of money. One thing that was good about these different languages was, that the app went up fast in the Play Store. The downside, on the other hand, was, that every time I want to update the content, I had to hire people for translations.

Because of the translation problem I reduced the languages to English and German. The app doesn’t get the same number of downloads anymore (only about 1/5) but it makes the same amount of money! Not every country you’re supporting is making you money, but it can boost your app to grow faster.

It’s worth to think about it.


Let me start with a simple example. What do you think people are using as search string to find an app about “Coffee Recipes”?

The chances are quite high that it would be either “coffee recipes” or “coffee”. So, if you want to make a “Coffee Recipes” app, people need to find your app by using keywords like “coffee recipes”, right?

Let’s head over to Google Play Store and test our theory.

The following Screenshot shows that I used the search string “coffee receipes” (I know, it should be recipes) . The Screenshots from the search result shows the 1. Page of the search result. This is the place you want to be, right?


The RED marked are 2 of my apps. The app on the position #4 is the app “Coffee Recipes” I made 3 years ago (my very first app) and I didn’t touch it in over 2 years. But still on #4, why?

  • The name of the app contains the search criteria
  • The description is targeting the audience I want, almost only the “right” people are downloading the app.
  • People like the value they get
  • Appeling Icon
  • Very little uninstalls, some people have this app since from the beginning
  • People continue downloading, day after day, it never stopped for one day

When you do the description for your app makes some real content with information. A collection of keywords will result in that Google suspend your app without a warning.

The next example is from my app “Cabbage Recipes” which claims the position #1 in the search result for “cabbage recipes”.


Again, the name of the app is as closest as possible to the keyword I am targeting “cabbage recipes” and this keyword has not so much competition but also fewer people who are interested in the topic.

To search for keywords with less competition can make your way up to the top much easier. How to find keywords with less competition? Google has a free tool called Keyword Planner. You need an Adwords Account to use it, but it’s free.


When I showed the app to a friend, she kind of disliked the app. Happily the app made it anyway 🙂

And in case you want your own Recipe App, check out my free “Recipe Template“.


The presentation in the Google Play Store

What is it people see first?

The icon of your app and the name of the app.

And I can not stress it enough how important the icon is.

Again, an example from my own experience I made with my app “Coffee Recipe”.

This is the first icon I had:


I found this icon through Google Images and for some reason I liked it. But a short time after I published my app I didn’t like the icon anymore. So, I changed the icon into this one:


After that, I got 10 times more downloads. Couldn’t believe it by myself, but this is what was happening.

Where to find images for your App icon?

There are a lot of free images you find for example via Google Images. But, because of the impact an icon can have, you should also consider hiring a designer.

A good place to find a designer is I use their service all the time.

Let people know about your App

Ads Monitoring

Ads like Google’s Adwords work in both ways.

You can have Ads on your free app and make money with this Ads. Or your can buy Adwords campaigns that show your App offer on other people’s app.

Using Adwords campaigns is not free but it’s a proven way to get people download your app quick.

Sharing on Social Media

Sharing your Link to the Google Play Store with a short description is free and there are a lot of options.

My personal favorites are Google+, Google groups, Facebook status posts and post in Facebook groups. If you have a lot of Facebook friends and most of your friend are in the target audience, they can help you and support by writing positive comments and pressing the Like button. But if you get a lot of negative feedback it make it harder for you. You can’t control Facebook.

But here is the thing. Before you post like crazy, make sure that your target audience is using this social media. And think about time zones. Maybe your target audience is not in the same time zone like you are.

Facebook Page

A Facebook page is free. But it is definitely not easy to get a lot of people to this site. And to buy Likes from Fiverr doesn’t really help. These paid people only click on the Like button and disappear. There don’t click on the Link to your App on Google Play.

But I don’t say it’s impossible. It depends on the type of app and your engagement in Facebook.

The Sniper Page

A Sniper Page is a single sells/ review page that only focuses on one product. In this case, the product would be your app.

I discovered this method about a year ago and found it very powerful. What you basically need is a domain, web hosting, and your 1 page Sniper Page (selling page) you make for example in WordPress to keep it easy.

For example:

Your buy a domain name “”.

Now you can build subdomains for every app you want to promote this way.

We say I have 2 apps, my coffee recipe app, and a shooting game. So, my subdomains could sound like this:


What I’m using myself right now is the Web Hosting from “Bluehost”.

I get here for $6 per month a domain name with 25 subdomains, web hosting which includes WordPress and Emails and so on. Not too bad. If you want to check it out, here is the big fat button to click on:

If you’re not sure how to do the Sniper Pages, you may like this program. It takes you by the hand and shows you everything. Take a look by yourself. It’s not free but affordable and worth every penny.

Hope this information was useful to you.

See you next time.