Conquer the App Store in 10 simple steps

Conquer the App Store in 10 simple steps

11th March 2015

You’ve spent months toiling over the development of your app. The UX is beautiful and the backend is functioning seamlessly – but what about marketing? Today we’re exploring 10 areas of focus that enable you to drive downloads and smash the app store. We’ve dissected your path to success into two sections: mobile app optimisation and app store optimisation tips:

1. Develop a mobile optimised landing page

It’s astonishing how many apps do not possess a mobile optimised landing page. This is one of the most effective ways of driving increased downloads. You can apply search engine optimisation best practices to design your page in terms of keywords to increase discoverability. You can also run mobile targeted ads towards your landing page via paid channels such as Google and Facebook. Organic search is critical in terms of users discovering your app.

Forrester estimate that 63% of apps are discovered through organic search.”

2. Use branded anchor text

Anchor text, link text, or link title refers to the visible, clickable text in a hyperlink. You can develop a marketing program that places links to your mobile optimised landing page on relevant web properties in order to increase traffic. When you create links to the page, try to reference branded keywords and a description in the anchor text whenever possible. This will increase the likelihood of potential users discovering your app via the search engines.

3. Add deep links to your mobile app

Google enables the creation of deep links within each of your apps. If you’re unfamiliar with the term ‘deep linking’ its a process that enables users to launch your native mobile app via a web link. Deep linking can associate a URL with a defined action within your mobile app and If you create meaningful content on the web, you can then direct users straight to a specific part of your app. Start off by defining specific action points within your app and create engaging web content that will take users directly where they need to be. Prospective app users will trawl the web looking to solve a problem – make sure your app is the solution they require via deep links.

4. Generate amazing reviews

It’s essential to garner good reviews from outside the app store and there are a bunch of sites dedicated to this. This helps to position your brand and provides an essential means of social validation for your product. There’s nothing more powerful than a genuine recommendation from a trusted source – 148Apps.com is a great place to start. Too many developers rely solely on reviews generated from inside the app store. When executed correctly this is a powerful way to build traffic, social proof and download numbers.

5. Develop a wider marketing plan

This sounds obvious. But it’s astonishing how many app developers create a beautiful product and forget to tell anyone about it. Given the number of apps currently available to download and the level of competition for eyeball time, you’ll need to consider creative means of generating offline exposure for your app. Define what makes your app compelling and develop a story. Approach local and national newspapers and web publications that can link to your app download. Don’t be shy – these publications are always looking for compelling content.

6. Develop a strong title for your app

App store optimisation is still in its early days. It’s not nearly as sophisticated as search engine optimisation in terms of the complex algorithms Google use to affect your website performance. Ensure your brand is central to the title of the app. You should also use descriptive keywords to highlight what the app actually does. This seems simplistic but will seriously enhance your app store performance if you get it right. When launching an app, many developers fail to appreciate the importance of app store optimisation (ASO). You can vastly increase your discoverability in the app store by researching, planning and implementing a strong title.

7. Concentrate on your keywords

It’s the classic scenario. You’ve spent months developing the next greatest thing for the app store and now you have no idea what keywords to use before launch. Here’s our number one tip: don’t use commas or spaces. Apple can still detect your keywords even if they’re joined up without commas or spaces. This lets you squeeze more valuable keywords into your 100 character description. You’ll only appear in search results for words you use so think very carefully about what’s important. Use analytics to establish which keywords receive more impressions and volume relative to your competition.

8. Plan your description

The description of your app can literally be the difference between it being downloaded or completely ignored. If you’re developing for iOS, Apple doesn’t provide much guidance on the matter. You have a 4000 character limit and it’s worth considering this well in advance of your app store submission. All too often developers rush to get an app shipped and neglect to do this properly. Don’t fall into that category. You have to get your message across in a finite number of characters so experiment with formatting and how your text will appear to the user.

9. Use stunning imagery

Your screenshots and icons make a massive difference when it comes to download numbers. Having images that suck can signal failure for the best developed apps. You need to ensure that your app icon is designed to stand out from the crowd. Your screenshots should explain visually what your app does by demonstrating key features. This will ensure users know what to expect when they download your app.

10. Generate amazing app store ratings

This is easier said than done. Your personal influence will only extend so far (unless you’re Kim Kardashian) and once you’ve exhausted the goodwill of friends, fools and family you’ll need to think carefully about how to boost your app store performance using positive ratings. There are a bunch of tools you can use such as Apptentive that enable you to power in-app surveys and ratings. Don’t be afraid to use traditional marketing mediums and social channels to spread the word.

So now we’ve covered the main elements of mobile app optimisation and app store optimisation, you’re ready to conquer the app store. If you’re unsure about what to do, consider outsourcing your work to a reputable agency. Waracle design, develop, market and optimise high performance mobile apps for the UK and USA’s best businesses and brands. Contact us today to start the conversation.

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