Your app is out for several days now, and you still can’t seem to find the reason your app isn’t getting the downloads you would’ve hoped for. I’ll let you in on a little secret, the app store is like a black hole. It’s not yet as simple as it is with web analytics to attribute where all of your downloads are coming from or get any sort of feedback. So how can you get an idea of what marketing tactics work for you? There’re a few different tactics that are proven to bring you more traffic to your app, and I’ll even tell you how to measure your success in the blackness that is your app store marketplace.

Increasing traffic to your mobile app is a matter of getting the largest amount of relevant and interested users to enter into your conversion funnel. Mobile app marketing relies heavily on downloads to lead to conversions and boosting sales.

Improve Your App Store Ranking

Optimization within the app store is key to increasing app traffic. When users are looking for an app on the go they’re looking for shortcuts to lead them to the most quality apps. The App Store is organized in lists of ‘top apps’ and if you’re not on the list you might as well be non-existent. Especially today with the exceptional number of apps on the market app store optimization is of the utmost importance. Just like we use SEO to search keywords online we can also use ASO to become more visible in the app store.

Understand your competition. See what they’re doing and go over a simple competitive analysis of what other apps in your realm are doing to learn what to do and what not to do. Take a look at their keywords and see if there are any major terms that all of your competitors are using, this is a good indication for you. What else do the top downloaded apps in your realm have in common? It’s also been found when packing keywords into your title and descriptions, Apple ranks titles more heavily while Android favors descriptions.

There are also free tools available to improve your app store ranking. A simple free tool like SearchMan helps you to increase your ASO by finding the best keywords to increase your visibility in the app store. The program gives you comprehensible data about how much traffic is being driven by particular keywords, and about your specific ranking in the App Store. Another free ASO tool which comes stocked with an intuitive platform is Sensortower. With built in intelligence like keyword optimization, you can enhance your content and draw in high web traffic. A third and relatively new ASO tool for IOS and Android developers is Straply. This free service boosts your apps rank by checking into your competition and lets you in on what keywords and/or phrases you may have glanced over.

Yet another way to improve your ranking is to ask your users to give you feedback. If you’re offering a great product, your users should be happy to give you a good rating and these organic ratings are what will give you the biggest push in the app store. Now we’re not encouraging you to rig your reviews, but you should be having positive personal interactions with your users. These conversations should include a CTA cordially inviting and inspiring them to leave you a good review in the app store. Your interactions won’t only lead you to good reviews in the app store, but also a great word of mouth publicity for you app.

Find an Analytical or Tracking Vendor

The best way to decide which of the above tactics are working best for your application and driving in the most conversions, is by employing an app that offers attribution tracking. You can optimize your app store rating all day and all night, but because of the ‘black out’ of the app store you could never know why you’re not receiving more traffic.

You can make more educated budgeting decisions when you employ an analytical platform such as AppsFlyer. The mobile app tracking and measuring platform simplifies the data for you to understand exactly which channels are bringing in your most engaged users. AppsFlyer provides both analytics and tracking to measure all of the marketing activity for your app as well as finding what ‘it’ is that attracts users to your app and using that.

In order to measure user engagement and interactions on your application, Mixpanel is another metric and analytics outlet that connects key data to let you in on user activity. If you’re interested in a progressive optimization tool for the mobile experience and ad personalization, a third option to look into is Flurry. This service assists advertisers and publishers by gathering the right information you need to make your ad campaigns and content thrive on your app.

Marketing decisions that are based on data will allow you to set more pertinent goals for the short term and the long term. The analytics will also save you time, money, and effort so you’re not dumping resources into channels that aren’t working for your app.

Horizontal Distribution

The Horizontal Distribution hack was thought up by app marketing genius, Ankur Nagpal. He’s the largest individual developer in the history of Facebook apps creating over 10,000 applications. He discovered the theory while working for a personality quiz startup brainfall.com. The competition in the app store had a much more appealing app, better quality and content, etc. yet somehow Ankur was able to gain 10 times more traffic within the first 2 weeks on the market. By breaking down his application into separate quizzes, he was able to generate 10 times as much traffic. What app would you be more interested in downloading ‘Brainfall Personality Quizzes’ or ‘How Good of a Lover are You?’

The key to the success of horizontal distribution on the mobile platform relies on keyword discovery. The more applications you have in the store, the more relevant keyword searches you’ve entered the competition for; giving the users more opportunity to find you when searching.