In July 2017 the internet was abuzz with the news that Google would be allowing gambling apps in their Play Store for the first time, in the UK, France and Ireland. With plans to roll out to other countries in the near future.
Known for their long-held (and somewhat hypocritical) resistance toward opening up their Play Store to gambling apps, the change of heart prompted many questions. Was it a move to compete with Apple? Is it to boost advertising revenue? Or have they merely softened their stance on gambling? Whatever the reason, the gaming industry is rejoicing!
How Does This Impact the Betting Industry?
Until recently, operators were limited to distributing their Android apps through their own or third-party channels. This made it hard for users to find these apps and it was costly for operators to promote and maintain them. With Google now opening the door to the Play Store, like Apple has done for some time in the App Store, it opens up a significant customer acquisition channel for online gambling operators. Android users make up approximately 50 per cent of the mobile market in the UK.
Google will keep the reigns tight. Those adding their apps will have to prove they have a valid gambling license in the country they wish to target. Robust measures must be taken to restrict under-age gamblers. Solutions must be in place to prevent access to users in other territories, and all gambling apps will have to comply with responsible gambling practices.
At the last count, 245 gambling apps have been uploaded to the Google Play store. This includes slots, sports betting, spread betting and casino games.
Optimising an App in the Play Store
Now that this significant opportunity is available to gambling operators, it is important to remember that optimising for the Play Store can be a little more difficult than it is for the Apple App Store.
Google's algorithms favour 'high-quality engagement'. This is based on user interaction, not just installs. This means that developers need to do everything possible to not only get customers to download their app, but also to ensure those users follow through and continue to engage with the app.
There are a plethora of simple tactics to best optimise in the Play Store and all of them come down to good graphic design and effective marketing.
If the goal is engagement, everything you design and write should be critically analysed with three questions in mind: Would users want to download? Would users find it easy to download? Does this compel the users to use the app beyond download?
Critically analyse your app and your advertising in the Play Store by making sure your visuals are sharp and catch the attention of your potential users. Your images need to lead them to download and engage. Design copy, your title, short description and long description, with strong keywords to efficiently communicate your app's purpose, what it does and why people should care.
If you've not already taken steps to capitalise on this opportunity, or you're in need of help with App Store optimisation, get in touch with our team today. We are experts in getting apps to rank competitively in both the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.