Developing an app is a great way to keep your current and future customers engaged. Not only do apps provide valuable data about your users, but you’re also able to use push notifications to reach them directly where they’re most present: their mobile devices. Whether you’ve developed an app to help you better manage your loyalty program or to create a seamless shopping experience for your ecommerce store, there’s no denying that a mobile application can help you achieve your business goals. But the “if you build it, they will come” mantra doesn’t apply here. Once you develop an app, you have to work hard to promote and market it. With that in mind, here’s a few ways you can get more app downloads.
Focus on App Store Optimization
You’re heard of search engine optimization (SEO). But have you heard of app store optimization? ASO is one of the best ways to help get your app discovered. According to Apptentive, general browsing in the app store is the number one way that users find apps to download, followed by referrals from friends and family and browsing “top rated” or “most popular” lists in the App Store.
ASO is the process of ranking higher in app store search results. Ankin Jain at Google also stated that for the average app, most installs stem from the search feature. This means including keywords in your title and throughout your description copy. Secondary factors include the number of downloads you currently have, as well as reviews, which we’ll get to next.
Build a Website
Although a chunk of your efforts will be focused on the App Store, having a website component is necessary. A website allows you to provide potential users with in-depth information about your product. On the App Store, you’ll notice that you are limited in terms of creativity and content, while a website provides you with free reign to market your app in a way that best represents your brand. These days, building a website doesn’t have to be complicated. Check out this website building guide from DreamHost to get you started.
Create Beautiful Screenshots
In the app store, you have limited space to work with. When it comes to your app store images, avoid basic screenshots. It’s important that you leverage every pixel of digital real estate, which means your screenshots should be properly edited to highlight your app’s best features and position it to sell. Check out the Colorfy app store page for a good example of what this looks like. Notice how images aren’t just comprised of run-of-the-mill screenshots, but rich photography and use cases.
Today, businesses across every industry rely on reviews to help build their brand reputation. The majority of modern consumers will search for reviews before they ever purchase a product. And furthermore, as previously mentioned, reviews play a role in where your app falls in the App Store search.
There are a handful of ways you can achieve this. One of the most common ways is to use an app plugin. An app review plugin prompts the user to submit a review, and can be effective in scoring reviews you may not have otherwise. Another way to solicit reviews is to provide excellent customer service. For instance, Helpshift is a platform that you can integrate directly into your app to help you communicate through a live two-way messaging systems. And there are plenty of other customer service portals you can integrate into your app, too. You can also host contests and promos for users willing to test and review your app.
It’s best to offer a new app for free. With few reviews and downloads, potential users won’t feel encouraged to pay for your app, and you could turn people away. During initial stages, do your best to refrain from charging customers. Alternatively, you can operate with a “freemium” model, where the core app is free but users can choose to be up-charged to unlock more premium features. If this is the case, always be sure the core app can act as a standalone app and doesn’t “trick” users into upgrading. And furthermore, make the benefits of upgrading clear and concise: users should feel excited to try out new features that accentuate and expand upon the app’s primary features.