There is a lot of enthusiasm out there from developers, both new and experienced ones, to create apps and submit to the respective stores where people can download and there are users waiting to find apps that will make their lives better. As a developer, one wouldn’t but noticed that most apps do not get the desired downloads. Here are some tips to increase the downloads of your apps whether in App Store, Google Play Store or Windows Store.
1. Planning your app
First, think about the quality of your app. Nothing sells like a quality app. Put yourself in the shoes of your users and ask yourself these questions: Why would I want to use this app? What is this app good at? Answering these questions will allow you to make something that people will want to use.
Some of the reasons why someone would use your app:
- If it makes something easier such as buying items, watching videos or movie, etc.
- If it provides valuable information such as stock prices, flight information, sports scores, subway schedules, weather conditions, etc.
- If it is fun and entertaining such as addictive games, Location Based services, Augmented Reality, etc.
- If it solves a problem – people face a lot of challenges in their daily lives and you sometimes hear people say “how I wish there’s an app” to solve their problem.
One other thing to consider when planning your app is to be original. There are so many clones in the stores, you should look for apps that are missing on the app market and make your idea a reality. Be courageous to try something new!
Also note that your apps need to strike a positive spot, immediately. If a user’s first experience with your app is positive, then they’ll want to use the app again and usually, others apps from you.
2. Optimizing your app in the store
Now that your are through with the tedious development process, it is important to take time to make sure your app is 100% visible in the Store.
Your app name is the identity of your app and as such you need to use a name that stands out from the crowd. People can only download the apps that they’ve noticed and this can be done by having an attention-grabbing name. Also try to get relevant keywords into this field. Obviously, app names may sometimes look too awkward from a user perspective but as a developer you just have to use your judgment. One cannot overemphasize the importance of choosing the app name/title wisely.
Make your app desirable. First impression they say last long and one thing about impressions is that they are usually emotional not intellectual. It’s all about the feeling of using the app/product. Give your users a clear picture of how they are going to use the app, is it outdoors, at the office, in the kitchen? During the day or at evening time? See your app description as the elevator speech, where you need to convince your users to download your app before they leave the “elevator”.
Other important features that describe your app is your icon and screenshots, make sure you put some effort into creating professional and eye-catching images. These may not have direct relationship with search ranking for your app but surely they are part of the users’ first encounter. Remember that users are usually emotional and you have to present them with images that will make them to “salivate” and to download your app.
3. Promote your App
Now that your app is in the Store, it’s time to get your app downloaded. Aside from making your app the best it can be, there are things you can do that make it easy for others to showcase your app and help it get more attention. It’s app promotion!
I know you may not have a budget as high as Angry Bird but there are some free techniques you can use to get the words out.
Tweet – Yes, tweeting! This “old-fashion” technique has it unique way of driving traffic to your app. One tweet is not enough, you have to repeat this process at intervals and remember to add tags such as #iOS, #android, #WP8, #Win8, #apps, #trending. The trick is that there are people watching these hash-tags and it’s a way of targeting them.
Share – Repeat the message on all your social channels. Whoever your contacts are, share your app with them and make it easy for them to spread the word. You can also implement a way to allow users to share a link to your app with friends, but make sure you do this in a nice way and not bother the user unnecessarily about it. You could ask your users “Do you like this app? Why not share it with friends?. Better yet, design your app so that people can interact socially within it. When friends need to use an app with their contacts to get the most out of it, you can get a ton of natural, built-in referrals. Word-of-mouth and recommendation goes a long way in getting more downloads for your app.
Link to you app – Create a Facebook page, blog post, website, email signature, etc, and point customers to your app by linking to your app’s listing page in the Store and on the web.
Tools – There are cross-promotional tools out there that empowers developers to promote their apps for free by helping each other. Check out AdDuplex for Windows Phone, Windows 8 and Windows 10 apps, I will add tools for other platforms in a later update.
4. User Ratings & Reviews
For you to have a successful app in the store, you must take user ratings and reviews seriously, positive reviews increase the likelihood of downloads.
Remember I said users are usually emotional with your app and a little bug causing a crash in your app can trigger the wrong emotion. Try to work on your app and make sure it’s free of bugs especially if it’s a paid app; sometimes, your apps are even free and you still get bad ratings and reviews – welcome to the user-century.
Also note that most users will not remember to review your app, you have to implement a way to get those reviews from them. You can ask the user for a review after 5th startup of the app but be sure you’re not annoying or disrupting the user or else you will end up with a negative review. You can also give incentives to users for reviewing your app. For example, in a game app, you can inform the user to review the app and get more coins or points or unlock a new level.
Note: Incentivizing user review is against App Store policy so you have to be very careful about it so that your app will not be removed from the store.
The last tip is app updates. Nothing put users off as an app that seems to be out-of-date. Even if your app is stable and bug-free, revise it and improve it at least once in about six (6) months. This will give your current users and prospective users the feeling that your app is still relevant. Take your reviews and feedback seriously and attend to suggestions in your updates.
On a final note, these tips are just some of the things you must consider to have a successful app in the store. Do you know of other tips or steps you took that produced great results? Kindly share in a comment below.