In case you haven’t noticed, there is no shortage of mobile apps on the market right now. Google Play and the Apple app store each have over a million of them. You can find an app for practically anything – from doing your taxes to calculating your BMI, to keeping you from drunk dialing your ex.
With so many mobile apps vying for attention, creating the actual app is the easy part. Yet the majority of organizations and developers are not utilizing ASO (app store optimization) to give their labor of love its best chance of success. Here are some great tips for getting your app optimized for the mobile store:
Title and keywords
According to mobile development company MobileDevHQ, the app store search is the second most popular way people find apps to download (the first being word of mouth). They also found that apps that use relevant keywords in their titles get 10.3 percent higher search rankings on average. That means that keywords are important here.
Think about what keywords you want your app to be known for, and then do a search in the app store to see how relevant they are. Include the keywords that are most relevant to your intended audience in your app’s title and listing description.
MobileDevHQ also states that user reviews are another big factor when users are choosing which apps to download. You can’t exactly control who reviews your app or doesn’t, but there are some ways to encourage it.
First off, integrate some kind of review submission option with your app. You can use a prompt asking users to leave reviews if they’re happy or just provide a link to the review page. Apptentive is one easy way to integrate this option into your apps. If you have a Twitter following, just ask users to leave a review if they like your work.
Once you start getting thousands of downloads, use Applause to leverage your reviews. This free download analyzes your reviews and rates your app across key factors. It’s a bit like Klout for mobile apps. You can use this information to see what people are saying about your app, and to learn how to make it better.
Tweak and experiment
It’s okay to tweak your title, change your category, and revise your description after you’ve created your initial listing. In fact, you should definitely do this to see which keywords and categories get you the most downloads. The MobileDevHQ app is great for keeping track of app analytics. Not only do you get detailed performance reports, but the program also has tools to help you select the best keywords.
Once you’ve got your ASO in order, generate some buzz around your app. It’s best to get your product out there and on people’s lips as early as you can, as more downloads may mean better app store performance.
A good number of Twitter users are also mobile users. Twitter’s real-time, short message quality goes hand-in-hand with the mobile lifestyle. Create a Twitter account for your brand and create a following. Don’t just Tweet about your app, though. Add your personality to your tweets. You can also join developer forums and other forums relevant to your app to get your name out there.
Release a screen shot
This is probably the most underutilized technique of all, but keep in mind that a picture really does say a thousand words. Whet the public’s appetite with a preview of things to come.
Pitch relevant blogs
If your app aims to solve a problem in a particular niche, then it might be worth it to pitch to well-known blogs and websites in that industry. For example, if your app focuses on teaching kids to speak a new language, you could get in touch with language learning and K-12 education blogs. The Appstorm app review network also accepts submitted iPhone apps for review.
Devices are always being updated, so make sure that your app remains compatible with newer versions of the most popular devices. Also, keep tabs on user suggestions and incorporate them into future versions to keep your audience happy.
Hire a pro
If you’re simply no good at marketing, there’s nothing wrong with sticking with what you know while somebody else does the heavy lifting. Hire someone who knows their way around when it comes to digital marketing, assign the task to someone else on your team, or use an app marketing firm like Appular. Sometimes, it’s best to outsource so that you can focus on what you do best.
Above all, don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. The number of apps on the market may seem daunting, but the truth is, a lot of them aren’t that great – and most of their creators don’t employ proper ASO. If you have a killer app, half the battle is already won. Continual ASO, along with some solid marketing efforts, will give your app the best chance at getting noticed.