The app is ready and waiting to be installed by the many million mobile phone users. But how does an app provider make sure the app is installed on the smartphones of its target group? And even more importantly, how do they make sure it stays there?
Download numbers are an important indicator for the success of an app. The most important prerequisite is good search engine optimization (SEO). The app has to be found in the major app stores so mobile users can install it. It could therefore be sensible to use a (search engine optimized) website like the company’s own site to present the app and link to it. Presentation of the app and the download links should also be integrated and promoted in all other means of communication such as email signatures, blogs, social networks, mailing campaigns, newsletters, payed advertising, etc. The cost for successful app promotion is not insignificant and in many cases it even exceeds the development effort of the app. Depending on the type of app, experts expect costs of up to three dollars per installation.
ASO: app store optimization
Speaking of SEO, web content has to be optimized so users can find it via Google. The equivalent for apps is called ASO, which stands for app store optimization. As with the search engines, the marketplaces of the major operating systems iOS and Android have their own rules, according to which content is searched and found. For example, it is recommended to include one to three keywords in the app title itself, write an understandable and informative text with screenshots, and create a simple, informative app icon.
Names and awards are not smoke and mirrors
Naming is crucial to being easily found in app stores. The name of the app should be self explanatory. In addition to this, app stores offer plenty of space for a description of the app. The right keywords have to be used here as well to ensure the application is easily found. The category, in which an app is displayed in the store, also determines how easily it can be found and should therefore be selected carefully.
App awards can make the number of users increase dramatically. Therefore, it can be helpful to submit applications, especially if there are not yet many mobile offering in the app’s market segment.
Ask those who use the app
User ratings and comments have a great impact on the download numbers. It is therefore sensible to ask users to rate the app – especially right after conversion (positive completion of an action) such as a purchase or redemption of a coupon. It is equally important to respond to user feedback, and especially the negative feedback. In addition to a feedback function, it makes sense to integrate a referral feature, with which users can draw their friends attention to the app.
To generate attention for a new app, you can pitch them on tech blogs, which test, describe and evaluate new apps. When it comes time to launch the app, journalists, bloggers and other experts who write about apps should be actively addressed.
Keeping users interested
However, actual use of the app is more important than high download numbers. The following aspects are crucial in this regard: offer current, exclusive content or special promotions such as sweepstakes and coupons. Nothing so reliably results in regular app use as attractive new content, that no one else offers the user, that invites them to join in and that provides them advantages. Therefore, regular updates and exclusive content that is reserved only for app users are important instruments for retaining them. Good performance and an intuitive user interface are equally important. Users expect applications to be fluid and easy to use, especially on their smartphones.