You’ve just built a brand new iOS or Android application. Your app’s design is a masterpiece, you’re proud of its UI, it got straight A’s in testing, it works on every device imaginable and there’s not much competition in its niche market. Perfect!
Application made. Check! Application published. Check! Shared it on your Facebook page and Twitter? Check! Again, perfect! You feel like a rock star, right? Now it’s time to kick back, watch the downloads come in and celebrate!
Well, maybe not. Your app has been live from dusk to dawn in the App Store and Google Play and now you’re eager to check how many times it’s been downloaded. Psst! Only 10 times… and no one’s reviewed or rated it. But don’t worry. Only one day has passed and it’s time for a little patience.
Fast forward three days and the number of downloads is growing at a snail’s pace. Hmm… Something’s wrong. You begin spamming your friends with a volley of tweets and Facebook updates.
A month goes by. You’re still at 223 downloads and no one has left a review yet. So is there something wrong with your app? No, the culprit here is your application store optimization (ASO), which you can think of as SEO for apps.
Wondering how ASO can help increase app downloads? These eight tips will sort you out and put your mobile application in the downloading fast lane.
1. An apt title
Your app’s name is its first thing people identify with. It’s crucial to give your application an apt title so users can relate your app to its category.
Keywords also play an important role in your app’s name. These keywords should describe the kind of app it is as clearly as possible.
Also make sure to give your application a name that’s short, easy to spell and easy to remember. App names can be as long as 225 characters, but only 25 appear in search results, so name it precisely. And make sure you don’t give your application the same name as an existing app.
2. Write a good description
It’s important for an application to have a useful and relevant description, similar to a website’s meta description tag. Follow the Goldilocks Principle: add keywords, but don’t overstuff it; keep your description balanced, not too short and not too long.
See the description column as an opportunity to give the run down of all of your app’s features and and benefits, and to add relevant keywords, awards and other references that are worth mentioning. Make sure to include a Call to Action (CTA) at the end, so that visitors feel that your app is a must-have.
3. Make a video
Making a video for your application is a must. Your video should be simple and though professionally narrated, and it should clearly explain your app’s workflow in the easiest and most professional way. And keep it short — no longer than 2-3 minutes.
A good — even professional quality video — can be made with your phone or tablet. But the hardest part of making a video is getting the sound right. We recommend hiring a professional voiceover artist to narrate your video.
And if making a video isn’t in your budget, go for an application like Apptamin, which specializes in “in-app” videos.
4. Localize your content
Just as Local SEO (LSEO) is important for sites, localizing your app will benefit your app’s ASO. Your app doesn’t need to be local, but its description should be localized. This will increase organic searches for your app.
Make localized translations of your app’s description, including versions in at least Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Spanish and French. And make sure your app’s video includes subtitles for those languages, too.
You’ll need help with translation, but thankfully, Google Play has this feature built in, or you can use a professional translator or even Google Translate.
5. Choose the right price structure
Choosing the right price model for your app can also contribute to its success. There are many price models out there for apps, such as freemium, completely free, free with in-app purchases (most profitable) and paid.
Do some market research of your niche industry to give your app the right pricing. Then it’s time to have fun. Celebrate anything and everything, and put special offers and discounts on your app, but only for limited periods. This will boost your downloads, for sure.
6. Take professional real-life pictures and app screen screenshots
Good pictures not only increase your app’s search rating, but also boost downloads, too. Screenshots and real-life pictures showing your app in use will convince potential customers to download it.
Your screenshots should showcase your app’s main views, functions and instruction pages. Apple’s App Store gives you five screenshot spaces and Google Play gives you eight.
Along with screenshots, add clean and professional real-life photographs. They should show people using your app in the situations it was built for. This will give your app a human touch and increase downloads.
7. Advertise your app on other applications
As mobile becomes the new television, advertisements are becoming more and more popular on apps, too. Use your own apps or others to promote your new app.
A network dedicated to this kind of inter-app promotion is called a cross-promotion network (CPN). Specialized services and apps like Flurry AppCircle, AppTurbo and AppGratis provide a platform to promote apps. Some are free, while others offer paid services.
8. Create an affiliate network for your app
After advertisements and CPN networks come affiliate networks. Affiliate mobile networks include applications that showcase your app, review it and throw in exciting offers. Users tend to download apps that come with pleasing offers.
Another option is a mobile marketing automation platform like Tapjoy, which helps build your user base by monetizing app downloads for the user. This is another quick and easy method to increase your app’s downloads.