How to become popular on app stores

There are over 2.55 million mobile apps available just on Google Play store. This means 2 things: 1) the app market is still growing, it’s first, 2) the challenges for Android app developers are huge. How can you stand out and become popular on app stores? How can you drive installs, get new users, and increase your visibility? 

Let’s look at the must-techniques to improve your Android app performance.

How To Become Popular On Google Play Store in 2024

1. Create a good looking icon

The icon is literally the first hook of any mobile app. Never underestimate the importance of visual part of app. It’s important to have an eye-catching icon to make a good impression on users once the open the list of apps and choose which ones they will open to see more. Make your icon different from competitors. Everything matters here: size, color, geometry, symbols or text. 

What you shouldn’t do:

  • Don’t use your own photos, photos of your friends, family or celebrities. No one knows you or your friends, this kind of pictures won’t attract new users. Using photos of celebrities is the worst idea because Google Play will ban you.
  • Don’t make just one color icon without any text or image. This plain colorful circle won’t attract user’s attention.
  • Don’t overload an icon with text and details. The icon should be clean and simple. Scroll through popular app on stores to see how their icons look like.

What you should do:

  • Make your own art image and custom design. To do that you can use Photoshop or editors like Canva, Pixlr, Visme or any other. There are as well online icon generators for your help.
  • Use default AppsGeyser images. But you can lose individuality since a lot of app makers use custom AppsGeyser designs. To stand out from competitors you need something more unique.
  • Edit images created by other people and make them unrecognizable for users. 
  • If you really need to use the face of celebrity in your design, then do it cartoon or art style.
  • Put the name of your app on icon. This is the simplest (and yet good-working) way to design an icon – just choose some background and put the name of app (it should be short and bold), make sure that you use big size of font, so people will be able to read it. Of use just the first letter of your app name, like Facebook does.

2. Make professional screenshots 

Screenshots are the first things users see when they open the app page. Most users decide to install an app just by judging screenshot and app design. The better quality screenshot you provide, the higher chance to get new installs. You need to try to show the whole functionality of your app (or at least the most important parts of it).

What you shouldn’t do:

  • Don’t use not appropriate screenshots. If you screenshot a made in different styles or different proportions, for example. It can only scare off the users.
  • Don’t use random images from the Internet. Putting screenshot of not your app or just random images (not even screenshots) may only harm you. 
  • Don’t use low-quality images. Everything on screenshots should be well-seen. 

What you should do:

  • Use the screenshots of your real app. It is better to take 8 portrait and 8 landscape screenshots. All of them should be in high quality and have a good readability. 
  • You can decorate them with explanatory text.
  • Unique style and proportions for all screenshots.
  • Make sure your screenshots look professional and without Ads.
  • Use mockups of smartphones. On Freepik you can find a lot of free PSD files – app mockups. Just insert your screenshot into a mockup of smartphone and they will look way more impressive.

3. Find strong keywords

The keywords you use give 70% of app success. Yes – yes – yes! The right keywords will launch you on the top of App Stores. 

To find ideas for keywords you can use SearchMan. It’s simple. To explore Android keywords ideas click the button “Android Sign”, choose the category of your app and look at popular and top-grossing apps. How to find good keywords there? The good keyword has high volume (big purple stripe) and low hits (small blue stripe). Also, high KEI signs that you see the strong keywords.

Another way to find keywords is to visit KeywordTool. Choose in the menu Play Store, type in the search field any keyword related to your app. If you type, for example, “Ninja” and press the search button, you will get the list with different keywords. Each of them has Search Volume, Trend, Competition and CPC. The higher volume and lower competition, the better keyword is.

What you shouldn’t do:

  • Don’t use a one-word keyword with a high level of competition and wait to installs. If you put into search “Fitness app”, you will be lost in the amount of found apps. Your app needs to stand out from competitors.
  • Don’t use irrelevant keywords. If you have an app about cooking, then your keywords should not include something about cars, renting, trading, loans, etc. 

What you should do:

  • Use keywords with a low or moderate level of competition.
  • Use long-tail keywords. These are long keywords that will more likely drive traffic to your Android app. Apps can be overloaded with keyword “Fitness”, but have a low competition for keyword “Fitness Exercises for vegetarians and vegans”. But before making a fitness app for vegetarians, make sure that people really search for it.
  • Put keywords in both – a name and a description. It helps app search engines.

4. Write an accurate description

The description is important for search algorithms of Google Play, other app markets and users themselves. With proper keywords, you can get a higher rank on search. At the same time the perfect app description with the list of benefits and values of your app can bring more installs. Use this opportunity to tell more information about the app idea and unique features. It’s’ necessary to use keywords there. But be careful with a density – don’t over-use keywords. The description should be naturally written, sentences should make sense. 

What you shouldn’t do:

  • Don’t just list all keywords and give zero valuable information. This can be considered as spam.
  • Don’t’ write a description without keywords. 
  • Don’t use 10 keywords at the same time. Focus on 2-3 keywords.

This is an essential part of an app’s metadata, where you will be given a 4000-character limit. Users can find information about the app and its main features. Utilize natural flowing sentences to attract and persuade people to your app. Above all, it should be informative and easy to understand.

What you should do:

  • Tell about the problems your app solve, its features. 
  • Put keywords in proper sentences. Use a simple and natural language.
  • Insert keywords in the first paragraph. 
  • Use call to action. Try to show what users can get from your app and ask them to install it. Even simple “Make your app popular on Google Play now” will work fine.

Moreover, the description makes an app relevant to app store search algorithms. Google utilizes keywords from this portion to index an app. On the other hand, keywords in descriptions of the Apple App Store are less applicable.

5. Use branded keywords in name and description

Using already popular brand names of video-games, other apps, movies, websites can easily boost installs. The huge amount of users search on markets something related to the brands. But using these keywords is risky and you can get banned if you don’t follow some rules.

What you shouldn’t do:

  • Don’t name an app with a brand title only. “Pokemon”, “Snapchat”, “GTA”, “Facebook” and etc. You will be banned for plagiarism.

What you should do:

  • Be smart while using branded keywords. For example you can create a PDF reader app with the name “Cheats For GTA”, “Guide For Pokemon”, manual “Settings For Viber”, case simulator app “Case simulator for Standoff”. You will be able to use these popular names, and it won’t be plagiarism. Because you provide only a guide, cheats, setting and so on, not the apps or games themselves.
  • Use branded keywords in the description as some enumeration. For example, “Share (name of your app) on Snapchat, Facebook, Telegram, Twitter”. It won’t be a plagiarism since you just call users to share your app.
  • Understand the risk of getting banned. Even the smart use of branded names can sometimes provoke issues.

6. Translate a description into different languages

One of the simple tricks to gain more users is to translate your app into different languages. Users can search app in the native languages and this is your chance to gain users outside your main audience. You don’t need to be a linguist to do that. It’s enough to use Google Translate or any other online translators like Deepl. Translate your description at least to the most popular languages: Russian, Hindi, Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, Malay. 

What you shouldn’t do:

  • Don’t translate your app to Chinese (or Mandarin) on Google Play. China has a block for worldwide internet, so Google Play is not available there. People use their local app markets to find new apps.
  • Don’t hire a professional translator to do the job. You will save money and time just by using online translators.

What you should do:

  • Check if keywords are translated correctly. 

7. Choose the right category

Choosing the right category for your app can bring up to 20% of success. Do you know that Arcade and Action are the most overloaded categories? So for your action game, you can actually choose other categories such as simulator, role-playing, puzzle, adventure. When your app will have 10 000 – 50 000 installs you can update your APK and change category to Arcade or Action. This category changing will help you to get the better position in popular categories with a large amount of installs.

What you shouldn’t do:

  • Put apps into absolutely unrelated categories. For example, choosing the Arcade category for photo-editor our business app, won’t increase the visibility of your app, and may even make it much worse.

8. Make a video preview

Video previews are becoming more and more popular in the decision-making of users whether they want to install an app or not. You can make a whole cool presentation, but it will require a lot of time, or you can just screencast the use of your apps and show on video the most useful and important features. This is not an obligatory step, but a good video will for sure help you to boost installs. 

What you shouldn’t do:

  • Don’t make videos too long or too short. 4 seconds are not enough and 1 minute is already too long. Make it 15-30 seconds long.

What you should do:

  • Put a hook and some action in the first 4-5 seconds. The user decides to watch or not to watch the video till the end within a few seconds. 


These are the essential tips to become popular on app stores like Google Play. But it’s necessary to understand that search algorithms are constantly changing. And the secret of good app search optimizations is not revealed to anyone. To stay competitive and grow your ranking you should track the progress, update your app, make A/B tests of icons, titles and description, search for new ways to increase installs, experiment with keywords to find the right ones, etc. 

Always research your competitors and trending apps on Google Play. We are pretty sure that it will help you to generate a new idea for your app promotion on app stores.