With over 2.2 million apps available on App Store, the majority of them get buried so deep they’ll never resurface again. If you neglect marketing, your new app may becomes just a speck of dust in the vast ocean of competition.

But don’t rush just yet to dive into complex marketing efforts. Read further to find out 4 simple ways to double or even decuple the chances the users will download your app.

Feel free to jump to one of these methods if you are interested in a specific one:

Don’t forget to reach out to your iOS development company to implement them right away.

1. Add Apple Store optimized app description

Everybody and their brother know what SEO stands for. But when it comes to mobile apps, a new similar discipline has emerged.

The so called App Store Optimization (ASO) makes use of carefully placed keywords and other techniques to make your app more visible on the App Store.

But before you delve deeper into the art of app store optimization, take a look at the ways people generally find their new apps.

How users discover new apps. Survey

Only one app in seven finds its way to user devices via a Google search. At the same time, a whopping 63% of all iPhone apps are discovered by the users who use the internal App Store search.

This means in this battle, ASO is seven times more effective than SEO regarding mobile apps.

The two most powerful weapons in the ASO arsenal are the app’s title and the keywords.

Title is the first thing a user notices about your app along with its icon. It contains the name of your app along with a very brief description. It’s also the most important part of your ASO puzzle.

According to Apple’s algorithms, the keywords placed in the Title carry the biggest weight.

Since the June 2017 the limit was reduced to puny 30 characters. Thus, the best strategy is to use a short, unique and memorable app name (just don’t put any special characters here!) along with your best keyword.

Remember that the title should ultimately catch the users attention and make them crave for more.

Keyword vs. no keyword in title comparison

Your next stop is the keywords field. It has an upper limit of 100 characters so again use only your best relevant keywords. In addition to using single-word keywords it’s vital to find the appropriate long tail keywords (highly specific phrases consisting of several words).

But how do you find the suitable keywords? There are three attributes you have to take into account when picking your keywords.

Relevance-Traffic-Difficulty

Relevance

The degree to which the chosen keyword relates to the key features of your app. Keep them specific (long tail keywords again) and never mislead the users.

The people searching for a Pokemon game will never download your e-commerce app even if it somehow reaches the top 10 results (and those who did download would be furious enough to leave a negative review which isn’t worth the trouble).

Lots of clicks without conversions will plummet your app’s ratings in no time while a high conversion rate will significantly boost them.

Difficulty

The keyword rankings are the second most coveted characteristic. The apps that don’t make it to the top 10 of their respectable categories have a much lower chance of being downloaded by users.

One way to reach that sweet top 10 is to avoid using the keywords that have high competition (i.e. extremely popular) and go for the lesser searched (where the competition is lower). It doesn’t matter if people search some term 100,000 times per day if your app couldn’t reach that top 10 by this word.

Traffic

Your last concern is the amount of traffic generated by the chosen keyword. It doesn’t matter if your keyword reaches the top if the click-through rate isn’t high enough.
This characteristic is pretty important when choosing between several synonyms as your keyword. You can view the precise search popularity via Apple’s Search Adds.

You can use some third-party tools like Sensor Tower or Mobileaction to make your life easier. They’ll scan keywords used by your competitors and pick for you the ones with the best relevance/difficulty/traffic balance.

Google Keyword Planner and Google Trends can be also of great help. The former is useful for the initial research while later helps you notice trends in keyword popularity.

You can also increase the app’s ratings by exploiting localization. The rankings for a single keyword vary from country to country and from language to language. In App Store, you can create a separate keyword list for each language, so use this trick to bypass the 100 character limit. You can read more on the localization strategy in this article.

Once you’ve found your perfect keyword set, try to implement a few more hacks:

  • Remember to separate each word (or each component of the long tail keywords) in the keywords field with commas instead of spaces. This is extremely important as commas allow the Store to take into account not only the exact phrasing but also all the possible combinations of the provided keywords.
  • Avoid duplications with the app’s title as the algorithm registers a single keyword only once.
  • It is widely thought (although there is no definite proof) that Apple places greater value on the keywords that occur earlier in the list. Use this to your advantage and put the stronger keywords first.
  • You should change your keywords from time to time (ideally with each new version released or every 1 – 1.5 months). Remove the keywords that bring you low ratings and use the ones that propel you to the top 10. That’s why you should view ASO not as a one-off endeavor but a process of constant improvement. Just remember not to make drastic changes to the title as this will confuse your users.

With a clear-cut logo, striking screenshots, relevant category ASO description will work wonders!

2. Filter the reviews

Good ratings along with positive reviews is one of the most important things that derive your app’s downloads. Research by Inside Mobile Apps shows that in the most contested categories, there is a strong correlation between the apps having lower ratings and a worse ranking.

How rating affect position of the app in app store. Graphic

While disappointed users always have enough energy to leave a scorching review the satisfied users/ones may need a nudge. You can a link to the review page in the app’s menu. You can automatically ask your users to leave some feedback after a certain period/number of uses. Or you can use a sneaky tactics from the EA’s playbook.

Remember Dungeon Keeper, the mobile game? No? Good for you:) Purging that thing from one’s memory requires a ton of mental bleach!

At the launch the app was nothing more than a micro transactions highwayman in an unconvincing videogame camouflage. The continuation of a beloved classic, it was slammed down by critics and fans alike earning it an incredible 0.3/10 Metacritic score.

But for a while the game had an average Google Play rating of 4,5 stars. How could something like this happen?

Well, the developers implemented a neat system that asked the players to rate their experience with the game. If you press the “5 stars” button, you’re sent to the store’s rating page, but if you press “1-4 stars”, you’re redirected to the feedback page where you can email the developers.

This way the negative reviews get filtered before they reach the store and the developers receive the feedback from the dissatisfied users (which can be extremely helpful).

Rate your experience form in Dungeon Keeper

Leaving feedback in Dungeon Keeper

Courtesy of Eurogamer

The moral of the story: the reviews filtering works. But for the love of God, make sure that your app is actually good first!

And remember not to incentivize good reviews with any kind of rewards for this is forbidden by Apple.

3. Implement Google AdWords

When it comes to advertising your app on AdWords, you have the following options:

  • Search Network
  • YouTube Network (TrueView)
  • Display Network

You have quite a lot of control with any of these options targeting any iPhone user to the app store.

Or, you can create something known as a Universal app campaign. Google will create ads on the fly and display them wherever possible on their network, with the intention of making them as relevant as possible when doing so.

AdWords Mobile Preview

Here you can find a detailed guide for each of these options and pass the information to your marketers or set ads by yourself. The thing you developers should do beforehand is to instal conversion tracking code to your app.

It’s a little complex to cover here, so you might want to head over here, to learn more.

Conversion tracking code implementation

There you’ll be able to learn the traditional ways to install tracking codes. You’ll also see information related to tracking apps, using a ‘Firebase’ platform by Google.

As you need to deal with code here, ask your developers to take care of this for you. Once you’ve set up conversion tracking, you’re then free to move on to setting up the prefered ad option and count your app downloads.

4. Implement Action/Share App Extensions

App Extensions is an iOS 8 feature that increases the synergy between different apps and can make your app visible to the people who don’t even intend to use it.

If someone sees the name of your app somewhere else and has an idea about its functionality, he/she is more likely to search for your app in the App Store.

There are two basic kinds of App Extensions:

  • Share Extensions
  • Action Extensions

The Share Extensions allow users to share a piece of content from your app. For example, a customer may find your sneakers deal worthy of sharing with all of their friends via Facebook or that one obscure Mongolian messenger only three of them use. Sharing makes your app instantly visible to a wider public and acts as a free marketing.

The Action Extensions allows users to execute an action pertaining to your app from within another app and visa versa. An example of this may be using Bing to translate a page of your e-commerce app or utilizing ViewSource to inspect its source code. This can indirectly boost your app’s visibility by increasing its functionality and making people browsing other apps become interested in yours.

Wrapping Up

Your chance to get noticed by potential users have just gotten so much higher!

But don’t fold your hands yet. Making your app visible is not a onetime effort (especially the whole ASO part). It’s a long road of constant improvement. And along the way new techniques arise.

The new iOS releases will bring new ways to stand out among the competition so you’ve got to always stay on top of your App Store optimization game.

It was, of course, impossible to cover all of the existing techniques in a single article. What are the methods that you’ve implemented for your apps? How did they help you in a fight for user attention? Tell us in the comments.

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