Millions of other apps are available in the market, so there’s a crucial need for mobile publishers to focus on app store optimization. It will help you improve your ranking in the app store, which then increases the number of app downloads. A higher rank makes you more noticeable to your target audience. You’ll start bringing in more traffic to your app store page. This gets you a step closer to the end goal of getting more users to hit the download button.

App Store Ranking Factors

There are a number of factors used to determine your rank in an app store. Here are some of the most important ones:

  1. High rating and positive reviews – The higher rating and number of positive reviews an app gets has a big impact on ranking. A higher number of positive reviews with high rating naturally improves the download decision and boost your ranking.
  2. App downloads – Another important ranking factor is the number of downloads you get. App publishers should aim to maintain a steady amount of downloads for good rankings in the app store.
  3. Keyword relevance – You can boost your ranking by adding the right keywords to your title and app description. Although you’d naturally want to go for popularly-used keywords, this will increase the number of competitors you have. A good idea is to go for popular keyword combinations that aren’t frequently used.Appropriate-title-with-keyword
  4. Revenue – For paid apps, the revenue you bring in could be considered in your app ranking. It’s safe to assume that Google and Apple give more visibility to an app if it has a good record of revenue generation.
  5. Country – The performance of your app in one region can influence its ranking in another region. Have strings of the APK translated in multiple languages to localize your app. This will boost its ranking in multiple regions.
  6. Backlinks – Quality backlinks could be an important ranking factor for apps, especially in the Play Store. Try including links to a number of relevant pages to improve your app ranking.
  7. Social proof – The popularity of your app on social media platforms also affects its app store ranking. This is especially the case for Android apps. The number of shares and +1’s apps get on Google+ is considered when determining their ranking.
  8. App starts – Getting many app downloads is really good. However, it doesn’t just end there. The number of times users actually start and use your app also determines its ranking.
  9. Retention – Your app retention rate refers to the number of people who keep or uninstall the app within a period of 30 days. This rate affects ranking. Catering to the right audience and using the right description will help ensure better retention after app downloads.

App Discovery Report

According to a report published by Forrester, a majority of users discovered apps through general browsing. At least 63% of iOS users and 58% of Android users learned about the apps they’ve downloaded by generally browsing an app store. This shows how important it is to optimize your app for a higher ranking. Using relevant keywords and clear descriptions for your app is the best way to get discovered.

App Discovery Report forrester

Around 50% of iOS users and 41% of Android users discovered apps through family and friend recommendations. Over 30% of iOS users and 25% of Android users learned about the apps they’re currently using through the “most popular” and “top rated” section in an app store. Direct advertisements didn’t perform as well as the previously-mentioned channels in garnering more app downloads.

How to Increase App Downloads

So, you’ve now optimized your app store to get discovered. But, your download rate isn’t increasing as desired. Here I’ve highlighted some simple tips to change this:

  1. Press release – Write a compelling and informative press release about your app. You can publish your press release on high authority and traffic sites like PRlog then more app downloads are likely to follow.
  2. App review sites – Getting app review sites to do a piece on your app can be a great way to attract the right audience. A well-written review recommending your app could generate a significant number of downloads to boost your performance. Androidcentral, engadget are great app review sites.
  3. Social media outreach – One of the most effective ways to promote your app is through social networks. Reach out to potential users through social media platform they’re most likely to use. Share your app story, press release, and review pieces through an appropriate social media channel and ask them to retweet or share it.
  4. News site outreach – Attract potential users for your app through news sites catering to millions of users. For instance, an app that aids patients in tracking their vitals or recording their medical history got featured in Lifehacker or Techcrunch then you can see lots of downloads as they have a very huge audience.
  5. Influencer outreach – Introduce your app to influential people and bloggers specializing in your industry. If they like the app, they’ll help you promote it by sharing it with their multitude of followers and readers. This is a smart method to get exposure for your app and increase the number of app downloads.
  6. On-site blogging – Writing a blog post about the app on your own website can help you introduce the app to your visitors. Make sure you share this post through social networking channels and allow your followers to learn more. Include useful screenshots, images, demos, and videos to the blog post in support of the app.
  7. Guest posts – Guest blogging can effectively help you in building an audience. Write informative and interesting posts about your new app for blogs that cater to your niche. Avoid sounding too promotional as this might drive away potential users. Instead, make it sound enticing by giving a detailed description about its unique features. Provide a backlink to the app in your call-to-action.
  8. PPT submissions – Create an eye-catching and informative PPT about your app and its features. Include a brief story as to how the app or your brand was conceived. AuthorStream and SlideShare are some of the most influential PPT submission sites you could use. Make sure you include backlinks to your app download page and other informational pieces about the app.
  9. PDF submissions – You should also promote your app and get more app downloads by making a PDF submission. Design an informational PDF brochure about your app and promote this through various channels, including popular ones like Scribd. You can also upload this file on your website for your visitors to download.
  10. Attract more reviews – Quality reviews can persuade prospective users, thus helping you get more app downloads. However, it may be incredibly difficult to get good reviews since many satisfied users don’t take the time to write a review. I recommend implementing an app review plug-in or offering incentives. Both will motivate users to leave a review.
  11. Social media sharing – Like I mentioned in #3, sharing posts and demos about your app is a great way to get more app downloads. Try to get your followers and readers to share these posts with their friends and connections. Maybe you could offer a free trial of a paid app in exchange for sharing.

App Downloads: Case Study

Let’s take a look at the case of Ankit Srivastava who managed to increase the number of downloads for his first Android app. He focused on getting high-quality screenshots of the game since his selling point was the user interface. He also optimized the app description for ASO and expanded his connections on Facebook. Srivastava posted to relevant Facebook groups, forums, Reddit, Quora, and other channels. He even sent out messages to YouTubers asking them to review the app in their new videos.

Within the first 20 days of doing this continuously, Srivastava was able to get about 15,000 app downloads. When a user searches for the term “music player”, the app now ranks among the top five in the app store. It’s clear that a successful app promotion campaign works to improve app ranking and visibility as well as increasing reach to boost app downloads.

Takeaway: Here’s a free app review site list with email IDs and an email template that you can use to promote your mobile app.

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