The story goes a little like this…
Sure, we all have great ideas written down in a journal somewhere. Most are completely feasible, well let’s say some are completely feasible and when it’s all said and built the real challenge facing app publisher’s today lies in the marketing. With over two million apps available in the major app stores getting discovered should be a top priority on your agenda. Essentially, the first two weeks after an app’s launch are most crucial to get searchers downloading. Read along as I list a few things to consider on how to be found in the app store.
What Exactly is ASO?
In a nutshell, the specific action of ASO is driving traffic to your page in the app store and getting searchers to download the app. First steps are understanding your customer base and who you will be targeting. This includes the keywords that you believe your target market will be searching. In a new report by research firm Forrester exploring best practices for developers trying to get their apps noticed states 63% of apps are discovered through app store searches. Making this the number one method of getting discovered and increasing downloads.
Don’t miss out on this discovery channel! The majority of publishers don’t even take the time to invest in ASO providing an opportunity to get ahead of the competition. Your app will rank according to these main factors:
- Total downloads
- Trending downloads
- Active Usage
- Ratings & Reviews
Title: A study done by Mobile Dev HQ did a sampling of keywords that looked at the top 25 ranking positions and calculated what percentage of apps had the keyword in the title versus those that did not. Based on this data, apps that included keywords in the title ranked on average 10.3% higher than those without keywords. Bottom line: adding a relevant keyword in your title can improve search rankings.
Description: Write a description that will entice searchers to download. Make a clear call to action while explaining what your app does in first sentence or two. Keep it simple and concise but be original and stick with the theme.
App Name: Create a memorable name that is easy to remember. Long names don’t really stick out so consider using an acronym if necessary.
Keywords: Get analytics for mobile to track app statistics, keyword rankings, features, reviews, usage, downloads, in app purchases and the list goes on. Google recently rolled out Mobile App Analytics to help paint a clear view of your app’s success.
App store optimization takes time and it is a process that needs to be constantly monitored. Every approach will be different but taking the time to understand, iterate and test different methods is sure to increase downloads. Just keep in mind like any SEO, don’t expect to see results over night, however if you’re willing to invest the outcome can be worthwhile.
Design an Epic Icon
The creative design of your app has a huge influence on its success. Apple’s Human Interface Guidelines (HIG) document states that it’s not unusual for people to base their initial opinions about app’s quality solely on the look of the icon. You be the judge…
Consider submitting various screen concepts displaying important features of your app. The imagery does a great job of showing the app and also telling a story of its capabilities.
Beyond ASO, marketing holds the key to your app’s success. Improve recognition using inbound marketing strategies for mobile. Find your users before the planned launch date and post to different forums and groups to start a buzz around the upcoming release.
Pre & Post Launch Website
A pre-launch website will help generate potential customers. As you begin your marketing campaign, think about having a digital space to send your users. Create a site around the app and consider adding an email field for users to get notified once the app is available. The website can also double for a post-launch content hub for further information and direction to the app store download page.
Try a free download day to generate buzz. Cutting the price will help increase downloads and revenue. Also consider providing a free lite version and a paid version with more features.
Social Media & Contests
Enter contests or build your own. Spark engagement on your social media channels by leveraging existing followers to spread the news via word of mouth. Hold a launch party or sponsor events and attend tradeshows.
Keep improving your app and continuously roll out updates. Listen to your users and read what the reviews are saying. Every update is another opportunity to improve ASO and generate buzz.
Blogging, Vlogging & Reviews
Remember you have two weeks to make this successful. Write blogs to spread the word. Try landing a spot on a highly visited website with a guest post. Create a Slideshare presentation highlighting the best features. Film a Youtube clip that is short and to the point demonstrating each valuable function. Submit your app to review sites for increased exposure. Find a famous influencer to back your creation. Or even go traditional and use print advertising in your local community newspaper. There is a plethora of inbound marketing tactics when done correctly can make an app go viral.
As you can tell it takes a lot of effort to be found on mobile app stores so you better start planning! The next time you have a great app idea make sure it’s brilliant. Apple announced that customers spent more than $10 billion on apps in 2013, so don’t be weary because there is certainly potential to tap into this booming industry. Building a consistent channel of traffic to your app isn’t impossible, keep it original and maybe you’ll see it featured in the App Store.