You’re in the process of creating your dream app, which you just know people will download in droves. All you have to do is publish it on one or several of the app stores, right? Not so fast. Long gone are the days of instant app millionaires, this isn’t 2008. That’s not to say there aren’t countless numbers of app success stories every year–there are–but, these app developers had a marketing and app store optimization plan in place way before launching their apps. With millions of apps already in the market, how will you help your debut to stand out? How do you plan to get buyers, downloads and users?
Develop a useful app
App optimization won’t work if you create an app which isn’t interesting or useful. During the Angry Birds craze, there were a host of copycat apps that actually did quite well. Yet, many of them didn’t. You don’t want to oversaturate the market with a copycat app. Yet, your mobile app doesn’t just have to become another version of your online store or business.
You can make it much more creative to appeal to an even larger audience than your current customers. One such app is the Purina Petcentric app, which helps you find pet-friendly locales when traveling. Purina is a pet brand, but their app is actually useful as well. So, if you start with making something useful for your target market–your app optimization results will go even further.
Plan your app release date in advance
The reason you want to do this is to ensure you get press coverage. In addition, you should keep up with major announcements in the tech world because they will compete with coverage for your app. The objective is to build anticipation around your app and get it previewed by influencers.
Make sure your app can get indexed for Google
You may not have known that app indexing is markedly different from web indexing. The reason is apps don’t have “pages” or “sites” for Google to crawl. In addition, they do not have hyperlinks to connect to one another. As a result, you must use app indexing in order for your app to show up in Google search results. This lets crawlers read your in-app content and index it. What does app indexing mean? It means you must have a webpage. When Google indexes apps, it connects it with web content. This way, it gives the user two search options–content in the app or in the browser. Your onsite mobile app landing page should include:
- Keywords in the title tag
- Image ALT text
- Meta description
You also want to ensure your mobile app landing page is mobile-friendly so that mobile and desktop searchers can view it clearly. Not to mention, it should detect the device used by the searcher in order to direct them to the corresponding app.
Create an epic description
Now that you have a useful app, you need a description that will not let new users turn away. Make it bold, action-oriented and easy-to-read. You should definitely do this for the first few lines of your description, as it’s all anyone will read before deciding whether your app adds value to their time. It’s worth it to come up with a distinct and alluring description. Just make sure it’s factual, as well.
Ensure your app description is scannable
Users are bombarded with a bevy of apps. When writing your description, break up your paragraphs and use bullet points. People don’t want to read a diatribe or novel about your app. If you have press coverage and/or user testimonials–add those too. Not to mention, these are items you want to list:
- The version number
- Bug fixes
- Changes made through updates
- Links to the app website
Ask for user feedback
The modern user wants their voice heard. You should give them the platform to do so through your mobile app. By giving unhappy customers an avenue for reaching out to you, it shows them how much you value their opinion. As a result, you should include a “Send Feedback” button in your app which connects straight to email.
This can be a two-way channel for helping to improve your app. The customer is also left feeling better when they know they can get instant support. Once you have helped them, you can ask them for a review. If they are happy with your level of customer service, it is more likely they will leave a good review.
Place keywords in your title
You want people to download your app. Just like marketing your website, you need to make use of keywords.
Don’t use the name of another app
Some app developers use a black hat tactic of creating names similar to existing apps with the hope the user won’t know any better and download the copycat app. This has annoyed millions of users, that Apple may even ban your app from their store. You also want to stay away from generic terms such as “photos” or “music,” which may turn off users.
Keep your app title under 50 characters
Put yourself in the shoes of your potential users. They don’t want to read a horrendously long title. This is why your title needs to be engaging, clear, direct and short.
Measure your results
Revenue is one thing, but you also want to know which features are drawing people in and which ones cause them to leave. It also helps to know how often people use your app on a daily basis. Here are some key metrics to measure:
- Your daily and monthly active users
- Retention rate
- Average revenue per user
- Lifetime value
- Keyword ranking
Consistently update your app
Apple will remove apps which have not been updated for an extended period of time. Furthermore, Google highlights sites which are consistently updated. With regard to Apple, they want to know that the developer will regularly improve the user experience. It’s also important to update your apps to comply with any modifications in Apple policy.
There you have it, essential tips for app optimization. The last thing you want is to launch your app and find only three people downloaded it within a week’s time. You need to have a plan, implement your plan and optimize your app to ensure you get the maximum number of users and downloads within your target market.