Tips to Get Your App Noticed

As you may have noticed, there is a consistent trend towards people spending more time browsing on their mobile devices than on computers. Additionally, those who are browsing on their phones tend to be spending a substantial amount of time using apps, rather than traditional browsers. In fact according to Comscore, 87% of all time spent on mobile phones is done in apps. This, among other reasons, is why we highly recommend all publishers consider creating a mobile app for their site!

While having an app does provide many potential benefits to a publisher, in order for it to be effective it needs to be downloaded. This is no easy task due to its ability to fall by the wayside once in an app store – there is a lot of competition! Statista reports that in 2015 Google Play had roughly 1.6 million apps, while the Apple App Store had 1.5 million:

App Store Optimization

With the number of apps increasing, App Store Optimization (ASO) has become an extremely important aspect of getting an app in front of consumers’ eyes. ASO is the process of getting an app to rank higher on search pages within app stores. While comparable to Search Engine Optimization (SEO), ASO strives to increase visibility of the app’s page. In theory, the greater visibility leads to more app downloads, which is where the investment in an app pays its dividends. With all of this in mind, below are four main factors that publishers should consider when working on App Store Optimization:

Title: The title is the first thing people will see when browsing the app store – it’s the first impression, and therefore is the most important aspect of the app. The Apple App Store allows up to 255 characters in a title, but it’s important to note that only 25 show up on search results. With this in mind, the title should be informative, but succinct, and should include keywords that are relevant. While a clever name may catch the eye of potential customers, it won’t garner any downloads if it doesn’t show up on relevant searches. Based on a study by MobileDevHQ, an app title that includes a keyword has a 10.3% ranking increase on average. You shouldn’t exhaust all 255 title characters just to slip a few keywords in there, but if you can work them into a clever title it can definitely help!

Description: The description of the app is another important factor in search ranking, and should inform customers of exactly what the app is for, as well as the benefits to using it. While keywords within the app description can help with app store search results, it is important to keep your customer in mind and make sure that you aren’t overlooking what information they want and need. A description stuffed with keywords may generate some traffic through search, but if customers can’t make sense of what the app does, they are not likely to download it.

App category: While it is important to put your app in the right category, it is also worth noting that you will be competing pretty closely with other apps within that category. With this in mind, it’s recommended that you do extensive research before selecting a specific app category. Figure out what categories are relevant, and then look at competitors within each category. Apple recently introduced subcategories into the App Store, which allows apps to compete in very specific areas of interest, so make sure to explore all of the possibilities!

app store optimization

Ratings: This may seem obvious, but better ratings on an app will help it rank higher for keywords. Regardless of how specific a keyword may be, MobileDevHQ has found that there is a positive correlation between ratings and search rankings (duh!). This does not mean publishers should get every single user to review the app. Remember that even if the ratings help with search rank, people will be able to tell if reviews are forced or fake. If an app has all five-star reviews and very generic comments, it can hurt the credibility of the app. Apps will earn ratings over time on their own, and those honest ratings are the most beneficial to everyone. These ratings give customers more reliable information, and also provides honest feedback for app owners, so that they can continue to make improvements on the app.

These are just a handful of the many aspects of an app that can determine when and how often an app is discovered, regardless of what app store it is in. There is no ‘right’ approach to getting an app discovered, but these tips are worth keeping in mind throughout the process. No matter how helpful or fun an app may be, it won’t be downloaded unless people know what it does, and how to find it.