Google is known for thinking outside of the box when it comes to Google Play. Their flexibility to pricing, the review process and listing feature is superior to Apple. Google is taking this ingenuity to a new level with Thursday’s announcement at Google IO that they’ll be offering Google Play experiments.
The first thing to understand is that many people are calling this A/B testing. That’s not the case, though. In fact, Google doesn’t use the words “A/B Testing” anywhere on their support page. A/B testing is when two pages or screens are put up against each other head-to-head. Since Google will allow up to four variations (three tests and one control), that’s technically multivariate testing, or as they’re calling it “experiments.”
I had conversations with Google months ago about this and had early access to preview the environment. I was quite impressed with the offering, which will allow developers and marketers to test creative and descriptions. I also wondered how this would help with App Store optimization.
.The first thing to know is that testing different descriptions and titles won’t help you rank for additional keywords. You’re still only going to show up in search results for those used in your control listing.
Where you will be able to help drive incremental downloads through app store optimization is from a visual standpoint. Through testing the app icon, feature graphic, screenshots, promo video, short and long description fields, you’ll be able to see which “sales pitch” drives more conversion (listing views / downloads = conversion percentage).
I’ve heard rumors that price testing will be available down the road, but can’t confirm that. Regardless, app marketers will now have quantifiable data to back up any hypotheses.
Here are three other points to consider with Google Play A/B testing.
1. Once a user is targeted with a specific variation of your listing, they’ll see it for the duration of the test
2. Tests will appear both on desktop and mobile
3. You can also test your content through localization experiments