SEO Backlinks for Google Play ASO: What Are they and How to Build Them

Today, we are going to talk about the connection between SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and Google Play ASO, and more precisely about backlinks and the impact that they have on ASO for the Google Play Store.

Backlinks and Google Play ASO… Match?

What are backlinks and how are they connected to ASO for Google Play? Let’s have a look at Google Play App Store Optimization together and see what they are about.

What is a backlink?

If you know about SEO, you sure know what a backlink is. Basically, a backlink is a link to your website (or store listing in this case) placed on another website or blog. Backlinks should always there to provide additional information to the reader. But it’s more than that: it always (and most importantly) has weight in the ranking of the linked website (or app).

domains linking the Google Play app of Facebook
For example, you can see here some of the domains that are linking to the Google Play app of Facebook (Ahrefs tool)

Backlinks could also be placed on the social media profiles. Creating direct links to your app or game in your social media descriptions will definitely reinforce your backlinks strategy. However, it cannot only be links that come from you if you want this strategy to be effective. You need to count on partnerships with other websites and blogs that can provide you with quality links to your app.

Now that you know what a backlink is you might wonder: why should I bother to get them for my app?

Why are backlinks important in Google Play ASO?

Backlinks are important because they can help you with keywords rankings: quality backlinks placed on strategic websites can provide you with higher keyword rankings. Obviously, this is not instantaneous and it requires time and effort, but after conducting some experiences we found that backlinks were indeed helping keywords rankings in Google Play ASO (we discovered this in 2017).

However, it is important to highlight that nothing is 100% sure and defined in terms of backlinks and we don’t really know for sure what is the exact impact of backlinks on Google Play ASO. In any case, we can imagine that they have more impact than what we think. We know that it has an impact on Search, as we just demonstrated, but we don’t know whether they have an impact in the Explore / Browse sections of the Google Play Store, or not. This is still quite a mysterious part of ASO for Google Play and nobody really knows more about it, but we can assume it has some impact.

Google Play

Why is ASO crucial for this strategy to work?

If backlinks can help your mobile app or game rank higher in Search, it doesn’t mean that you can forget about ASO optimization and other factors, and for various reasons.

First, if someone gets to the app directly through a backlink, you could think that the job is done and that the user is most likely to download the app. However, it is definitely not that easy and if the listing is not optimized, the chances for this user to end up downloading the app are very low. For this reason, it is very important that you optimize your app and make its listing convertible, which means having the on-metadata factors optimized to convince the user to download.

Another reason you need to have your ASO fully optimized for this strategy to work is that a backlink strategy won’t be enough for your mobile app or game to rank for your selected keywords in a high position. Backlinks can help and make your app rank higher for some keywords but it will most certainly not make it rank in Top 5 if the rest of the ASO on-metadata fields of your listing are not optimized.

9 Ways to build high quality backlinks to your mobile app or game in 2021 like a PRO

Perfect! We already know that all the links that point to our application can help us both at the SEO and ASO level. The questions is… How do we generate links for our mobile app or game? Here are the 9 ways to build quality links and improve the visibility of any app:

1. Link to your app from your website

It may seem obvious, but … Do you have a website or a dedicated landing page for your app? If yes, include a link to your app or apps to this page. The more and better links your website receives, the more authority it will have and thus, more authority will be given to the apps linked from this site. In case you do not have a website for your application… What are you waiting for? 🙂

2. Social Media

Create profiles in social networks and link to your app or your website (that, in turn, should link to your application). You can create profiles on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, LinkedIn, SlideShare, etc. Most of these links are “nofollow”, but if we want to have a healthy “link profile”, we have to have some nofollow backlinks. The “link profile” is the total set of links that an app or domain receives.

3. Media & PR

Create a press release and send it to general and specialized media. If you’re lucky, someone will publish it, and with a bit more luck, some media will include a link to your app. You have to try!

There are agencies that are responsible for these types of tasks. If you have a budget, it might be a good option.

4. Sponsor an event

Sponsor or collaborate with an event in your sector and get a link from the event’s website to your listing on Google Play Store or App Store. Event and conference websites usually receive media links and have good authority.

5. Become a speaker at an event

Give a talk at the congress and get a link from the congress or event website to your app. I have already mentioned it in the previous point, but the links from event websites are cool!

6. Write a guest post

Partner with other apps or websites from your sector, and write a guest post on their blog. These posts usually include the links to the author’s website or the application itself. You can share your experience in creating or managing the app, some growth hacks or interesting data about your app, to mention a few.

7. Create a spectacular infographic

Infographics present a great opportunity to become viral, so if you prepare an interested content, filled with data, tips and milestones, in a form of infographic, make sure to include a link to your website or listing. People and media are very likely to share this kind of content, and it will help you get more mentions and backlinks.

8. Startup directories

List your startup in AngelList, Crunchbase, Startupxplore, Startup Ranking, etc. And get relevant high quality backlinks for your website or mobile app!

Read more > The 33 start-up directories you should be listed on (TNW)

9. Buy some backlinks (Black Hat SEO)

I never recommend buying backlinks, but it’s something that you (at your own risk) can do… BTW, if you can buy links, it means that there are people selling them… Just look for that people! It’s important to note that this technique is considered link spam (Black Hat SEO).

Black Hat SEO

The concepts of Black Hat SEO and Black Hat ASO have certain similarities, but they are not the same. In future posts I will talk more deeply about Black Hat ASO! Which, by the way, I do not recommend under any circumstances.

Some tips for building Backlinks

Building links is relatively simple. Building quality links, however, is not simple at all. Here are some tips to help you with the link building strategy for your app or game:

  • Authority > Build backlinks on high authority websites. Focus on QUALITY.
  • Relevance > Build them in relevant topics to your application. Focus on RELEVANCE.
  • Anchor text > Don’t forget about Anchor text. It matters! Try to get some EXACT MATCH ANCHOR TEXT backlinks, but be careful… Don’t spam!
  • Use ahrefs to measure authority of any app and to spy the backlinks from other apps. Maybe there are other tools out there, but ahrefs works AMAZING.

Last tip: Run away from link farms, automatically generated links, and those from websites of dubious quality!

Backlinks for ASO – Conclusions

In short, backlinks in ASO for Google Play are a very interesting way to boost your ASO strategy, always keeping in mind that a backlink strategy should be work as part of a whole mobile growth strategy and the optimization of the whole listing of the mobile app or game.

Did you know that backlinks had an impact on ASO for Google Play? Have you ever tried to work with them? Let us know in the comments!

Maud Panier
Maud Panier
Content & Social Media Manager at TheTool. I enjoy traveling, sports and I'm always willing to discover new things and face new challenges.

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