“Build it and they will come” doesn’t necessarily apply to mobile apps. There are more than two million apps in the main app store. Having people actually connect with your app is one of the biggest issues you’re going to face if you create an app, and you aren’t alone.
One of the simplest but most often overlooked ways to market an app is app store optimization or ASO. This is because, according to Neil Patel, browsing in the app store is the top way people discover new apps, and closely behind that is browsing the most popular app lists in the app store.
The following is a guide to ranking higher in the app store and what you need to know to optimize your listing.
Keywords are extremely important, and statistics show that just by having a keyword in the title of your app, your ranking can increase by 10.3%. Don’t just stuff keywords into your title. Use them in a way that is going to describe your app as well.
When you’re choosing keywords, you need to think about what’s going to be relevant to your app, but also what your targeted audience is going to look for.
A good starting point to do keyword research for ASO is to look at your competitors and see how you stack up against them every week.
It may be that your keywords change as well. You need to constantly monitor your performance the performance of your competitors over time to see if you need to make changes on your keywords. What ranks well one week might not perform as well the next.
Optimization in the app store is an ongoing process.
Along with having keywords in the name, you should also integrate them into your description.
Look for keywords that are specific, and perhaps less competitive. The higher competition keywords are very difficult to rank for.
Do your own keyword research outside of the app store. If you spend a lot of time and effort building a great app, but you don’t put any time into your keyword research, it’s likely that it isn’t going to be successful.
Manual keyword research tends to be more effective than using ASO tools.
Have a Strong App Icon
An app icon is another good way to get people to take note of your app and ultimately improve your app store rankings.
Your icon is going to be displayed on a mobile device and very small, so keep that in mind when you’re designing it. You want something clean and simple, but eye-catching at the same time.
As well as the icon you use, your screenshots are important too.
When you have good quality screenshots, they tell potential users of your app exactly what it’s all about.
You want to highlight the core features and benefits of your app in your screenshots and include a description with each. Keep it short and to the point.
App store optimization can feel a bit like a trap because the secondary factors that play a role in how well you rank are often related to how many people have downloaded your app and left reviews.
You do need to work hard to get reviews for your app, even if it’s fairly new. Not only do reviews help your rankings, but they can also, of course, encourage people to download your app if they’re positive.
You need to motivate people to leave a review for your app because unless they had a bad experience, they’re not very likely to do it otherwise.
One way to remind users to leave a review is to send a push notification.
You need to give users time before asking for a review, though, so they’ve had a chance to use your app. You can also send out a reminder if they don’t leave a review, but don’t do it so often that you’re frustrating users.
Along with push notifications, think of ways you can build relationships with the people who download your app. If they feel like they have a relationship with you as the developer, they’re more likely to leave a positive review.
Finally, market your app outside of the app store, and it’s likely to help you increase your ranking because you’ll get more downloads, and downloads factor into rankings. You can create a website for your app, and consider guest blogging and contributing to other websites as a way to build buzz and drive traffic back to your listing.