5 ways to turbocharge your app to success

You’ve spent considerable time, effort and money in developing a mobile app – now what? Doing a great job in mobile is tricky, there are so many things you have to consider. If you’re a business that’s already developed an app, and are now wondering what to do next, it’s worth considering a whole bunch of options. First of all, if you’ve already developed an app, that in itself is a good start. The reality is that many businesses still haven’t developed their first app, or invested in developing a coherent mobile-first strategy, so this puts you ahead of the pack already. Understanding how to launch and optimise your app project to success can often be more challenging than anticipated. To be successful in mobile is all about not just designing and developing a great app that your users love, it’s about continuous analysis and optimisation based on user feedback. In order to achieve this, you need to consider how to market and optimise your app after it’s been developed and launched. Today we’re exploring 5 ways to turbocharge your existing mobile app project to success.

1. Fix poor user ratings and feedback

Addressing the issue of poor user ratings reviews and negative feedback can be a challenging process. It’s very hard to garner positive user ratings unless you deploy certain measures once your app is launched. Ideally, you’ll consider these things before you launch your app, but if you’re wondering how to tweak your existing business app, there are plenty of things you can do. It’s essential that you incentivise new app users to rate your app. You can offer in-app-currency or free upgrades for users who leave a positive review. If you don’t ask, you don’t get, and it’s incredible the number of businesses who launch an app without thinking through this process clearly. You can also decide to segment users by experience and use analytics to create groups of unsatisfied customers based on app behaviour. Work out which app users are most likely to close the app or spend less time engaging with the features.You can divert unsatisfied users to a separate forum, outwith the app store, and offer rewards for posting positive reviews of the app. This is an opportunity for you to take a negative app user experience and turn the situation into a positive by going above and beyond the call of duty. It matters to signal to app users that you care about their experience.

Another way to think about generating positive reviews is to get your timing absolutely right. Sometimes the best way to garner a positive review is to request a review after the app user has had a positive experience. You can engineer your mobile app so that users are prompted to leave a review after they’ve completed a specific action within the app, they’ll be in a better frame of mind and there’s an increased probability you’ll get a great review. You can do this in two ways simply by asking the question: “Do you like this app?”, For users that select yes, you can direct them directly to the app store, irrespective of whether it’s iOS or Android. Similarly, if the app user responds with a no, you can redirect them to an external forum so as not to upset your public app store rating. This way you can maintain a positive presence on the app store, whilst providing a silo for all of your negative app feedback which in turn can be reviewed and dealt with accordingly. Of course the best way to avoid negative reviews is to develop a robust, well designed and developed mobile app that possesses a seamless user experience. Assuming your app is not quite where you need it to be right now in terms of success, you can start to fix any negative review situations (or at least avoid new ones) by notifying users when certain bugs and fixes have been deployed. If app users are prone to leaving negative reviews because of bugs, notify them to say the situation has changed and that the issues have been addressed and kindly request that they re-review the app.

2. Generate more app downloads

One of the best and most cost effective ways to generate more app downloads is to focus on ASO (app store optimisation). If you plan and execute your ASO campaign successfully, you’ll increase the visibility of your app from within the app store and increase the ease at which your app can be discovered through keyword optimisation. If done correctly, this will enable you to increase the ranking of your app from within the app store and ultimately serve to drive more downloads of your product. The trick here is to tweak the right elements in order to manipulate the app store ranking algorithm. The idea of manipulating the algorithm makes it sound like a dark art, but this could not be further from the truth. The reality is that the vast majority of businesses are not deploying these types of techniques effectively, and have no resource to optimise their existing app product, which provides a massive opportunity for forward thinking companies who are embarking on an ASO campaign. By influencing the ranking algorithm in the right way, you’ll maximise your apps potential and enable it to move upwards through the search results. It’s estimated that 63% of all apps are discovered via the app store search function, or via browsing the app store (App Tweak). This just further underpins the importance of having a solid presence and good visibility from within the app store itself.

There are a bunch of tools you can use to help achieve this (there are dozens and you can view a list of the best ones here). These toolkits can help you to take control of app visibility and provide absolutely everything you’ll need to analyse, monitor and optimise your app on an ongoing basis. There are many other ways to generate more downloads of your business app, such as using mobile responsive landing pages and SEO, using social media channels and running paid campaigns across specific channels where your target persona is likely to discover a link through to your app download mechanism. But, the truth of the matter is, there’s no point filling your app funnel unless you’ve got your ASO strategy tweaked and executed to absolute perfection. Wait until you’re confident that your ASO execution is consistent and solid before embarking on paid campaigns and social media. Sometimes all of this can seem daunting, so often one of the best ways to mitigate risk in relation to ASO and the success of your app is to use an experienced agency or app marketer to help point you in the right direction. At Waracle, we often encounter enterprises who have already developed an app but are disappointed with it’s ongoing performance post-launch. If this sounds familiar, don’t worry, help is at hand (you can contact learn more about our optimisation process here).

As the mobile development ecosystem has matured, consumer expectations have also shifted. Consumers demand more from their apps today than they did three to five years ago and the game has changed. This is something you need to be continuously aware of. New technologies such as augmented reality (if you’re interested in developing AR apps, check this out), virtual reality, wearables, location based technologies and connected beacons and the Internet of Things (IoT) are all relatively new technologies that can be used to provide vital new features and enhancements to reinvigorate your existing app project and stimulate additional downloads. If you’re a business or brand seeking how to leverage more value from your existing app, it’s worth talking with your development team about how you can leverage the functionality of each new technology to bolster the performance of your mobile product.

3. Improve the usability of your app

If you’ve already developed a mobile app, you might be concerned with the UX (user experience) and worry about low usage rates and abandonment. Most often, the best way to increase app usage and retention metrics is to focus on delivering a quality UX. There’s simply no way around this and users will not hang around and engage with an app that has a poor UX or onboarding experience. App users will very quickly make a decision about your app when they use it for the first time, and go to a competing product if they’re not 100% satisfied. Enhancing UX will lead to better app engagement, increased conversions, lower abandonment rates and increased monetisation. If you’re concerned about your app UX, you can use a platform like Apsee to understand which areas of your app’s UX can be optimised. Or you can work directly through a mobile development/optimisation agency to fix the problem. This way you can get access to mobile touch heatmaps, UI analysis metrics and real-time app analytics to boost the performance of your offering on an ongoing basis.

One of the most common ways to combat ‘app churn’ (app churn rate is the volume of app users who cut ties with your product during a specified time period. These app users are said to have “churned.”) is to follow a specific process. This process will broadly entail ongoing analysis/measurement, split testing, push messaging, advertising, updates and measurement. Use analytics to get to grips with who is using your mobile app and why and split test your app experience to find out what works. You can re-engage lapsed app users through push messaging campaigns and advertising and notify users as to when certain bugs have been fixed. Once you’ve developed a decent operating tempo you can go back to the start of the process and analyse the results of your actions, rinse and repeat.

4. Develop for new platforms

Understanding the benefits of each app development platform can be difficult. Between iOS, Android, Windows and other platforms, each OS can vary massively, and knowing how to expand the reach of your app can be hard. The best way to get started in app development is to tackle a single platform. If your main goal is monetisation, it might be the case that iOS represents the best fit for your first app. If your main goal is reach and app downloads, it might be that Android represents the best way forward for your first app iteration. It’s unlikely that one singular platform will fulfill all of your commercial and technical requirements, so if you’ve already developed an app for one platform and proved that it can be successful, it’s time to start thinking about how you can shift across to the next platform.

One of the biggest factors to consider when developing for new platforms, is the target audience of your app. If your app is designed to reach a mass market audience, iOS and Android will be the top priority. If your main goal is ROI, you’ll need to think about which platform is liable to generate the most revenue relative to your app development costs. If you’re producing an app for an enterprise app store, similarly you’ll have a completely different set of objectives and choosing the right platform will depend entirely on the requirements of your project.

5. Exploit new technologies

If you’re a business or brand with an existing app, or suite of mobile apps, running across different platforms, it’s worth considering how you can improve the performance of your app by incorporating new technologies. It might be that you developed your app a few years ago, and there are now a bunch of features that can now be integrated that weren’t available at the time your app was developed. If so, it might be the case that you can add significant value to your existing and new users by incorporating new technologies that will enable you to boost app user engagement and create new and lucrative monetisation opportunities. If your aim is to be successful in mobile, staying in touch with the latest app development trends and technologies is no longer an option, it’s a prerequisite.

The world of mobile app development moves at lightning pace. Using the cloud can be a great way to make your app project more scalable and focus on new features (based on data and analysis) that can be deployed on a continuous basis. Security is another area where there have been significant technological improvements and represents a huge challenge for app owners and businesses. Issues such as unintended data leakage, data storage and broken cryptography must be taken seriously, and there are numerous new innovations that can be deployed to enhance your existing mobile offering.

Conclusion

Developing an app is one thing, but making sure it performs according to your plan after its launched is a totally different story. Designing and developing an app is equivalent to hitting first base, there’s so much more work you need to do to derive the maximum amount of value possible from your mobile investment. Getting started in mobile is tough, but getting it right first time can be even harder and many businesses are now seeking ways to either redevelop what they already have, or discover new way to optimise and leverage an existing app. In either instance, the answer usually lies within three specific areas: fixing poor reviews, generating more downloads and improving the UX of your app via analytics on an ongoing basis. You should also consider how you can improve mobile ROI and user engagement by rolling your existing app out across new platforms and understand how new technologies can be integrated into your current app. If this sounds familiar, and you’re a business seeking to turbocharge the performance of an existing app, contact the Waracle team today to kick-start the conversation.

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