Do you know the importance of the first 30 days on Google Play?

When releasing a new app, it is understood that it will rank far down the food chain. After all, your app is new and unproven just yet.

What Google has done on the Play store is that they have given new app an opportunity to live, a chance to get to a more respectable place in the world of the unknown, the Google Play ranking algorithm.

Increase App Downloads

Well, one good way to get a solid foothold in the the play market is by increasing your downloads. I have seen apps in the "top new" categories having more than 50k downloads. That's 50,000 at least in 1 month! This huge spike in download, besides making money for you from your android apps, will help you gain in the rankings.

What you can do to increase the download rate at this time is for one, cross promote your apps. Announce in your other apps about the availability of the new app. Users of your other apps will know about the new app, and if they like you enough, they'll download your app :)

Besides that you can announce on forums as well as advertise. Remember, you are trying to get downloads increase of your apps, you need to "sell" your app to the potential "buyer", even if it is a free app. Use a CPA network if you gonna advertise, as it will make the most use of your money to get the downloads (I know, one regular here, Steve, might disagree with this), but to get a good result from ads, you need a higher budget, a couple of hundred dollars.

For more tips on increasing downloads and revenues, check out 3 Steps to Increase Mobile Ad Revenue in 2013.

Get ratings for your app

One of the key points in app rankings is the ratings that it gets from users. The more 5 stars you have, the better you will rank, and in fact, the better people will download your app.

How to get more 5-stars ratings? I use a method that prompts for ratings after X number of uses. Find a comfortable number for your app users, and prompt for the ratings. Allow the users to skip the rating process if they so want to.

Some apps actually incentivize the user to rate the app with 5 stars to get extra bonus items. Be warned though, this is most likely against the Google Play's terms. I'd suggest you stay away from this methodology.

Perform app store optimisation

App store optimisation, ASO, should be carried out a few times within these 30 days. You should play around with app naming, description text changes, icon and screenshot changes. See what is working, and stick to it.

In my experiences though, ASO can be a double edged sword. I have had apps go down terribly because I changed the keywords and descriptions. So, before you make any changes to stuff on your app, make a back up of how it was BEFORE the changes.

Make money from your Android apps

Monetisation option within the first 30 days depends on your taste really. Some developers prefer to wait till they have a bigger user base before starting monetising. I prefer monetising from the start really. As once the 30 days are over, your downloads could really drop terribly low. So I make sure I make the most out of the 30 days window given to us developers.

There are pros and cons on both the monetisation strategies of course, like you get better user base and potentially better ratings due to the lack of ads. On the other hand, suddenly releasing an update with ads would add new permissions to your app, and could make users unhappy.

If you'd like to take the "safe" route, then use in-app ads at least. Ads that are gonna make you some good money with the peak period is around.

How many downloads can you expect?

I recently released 3 apps (all live wallpapers) on the Google Play, and all 3 had carzily different download rates.

One app made over 7k downloads, another over 1k, while a 3rd one made an awesome 6 downloads (one of which was my own download!). So, it is either make or break in the 30 days.

The app that made 7k downloads has for the past few days been getting lesser than 100 downloads a day, it is still not a bad achievement I say, and that download rate should be there for a while now. At it's peak it was slightly over 400 downloads.

So, go on then, and make the most of your app's launch!



  1. Hi bill

    Who said i would disagree about using a CPA network? :) I just think it´s a bit too much in appbrain´s case, but at least you are paying for downloads and not clicks that you don´t know if will turn in downloads. If i think CPA network is effective? Hell, YES!

  2. Hey Steve,

    Thanks for the feedback :D You DID read the whole thing I wrote? LOL!

    Yeah, I agree too, CPA networks are effective, and yes, a little costly for us indies. But if the cost were lowered, it would also mean that our monetisation from CPA networks would be affected.

    Oh boy!

    1. Yes so true, that´s why using google analytics to count downloads from referring links and pay developer´s directly might be a good alternative the advertiser pays the full amount to the developer so it´s a win win scenario. If you or someone are interested in this, please let me know :)


    2. Your blog been needing an update for a while now, how about a post on how you go about doing this?

      I'd surely be interested in it :D I'll need to see how it works out with Basic4Android as the development platform.

    3. Good call, i will make a post about this soon :)


    4. Just made a new post talking about this in my blog :). Check it:

    5. Awesome stuff Steve! Will write a blog post directing readers over :D

      And buzz me up at bill at mobiadage dot com and maybe we can run a case study on this live? Couldn't find your contact detail on your blog :P

  3. Here is some more detailed article on this, I've created, and want to share with you people.

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