Say you are an app developer and you’ve created an app. It could be for any purpose such as gaming, shopping, messaging, or news updates.
You’ve done a lot of hard work in developing the app. And you now want people to use it.
But to use the app, people will first have to install it. And that’s just what you want. You want to increase your app downloads. The higher the number of downloads, the better will be the visibility of your app visible on the concerned App Store.
But the question is—how to get people to download your app?
To do it, first make sure that your app is really helpful to your audience. The phone’s limited storage space is a common issue that keeps people from installing new apps. Hence, your app should appear worthy enough to be downloaded and retained.
Once you’re sure that it’s relevant to your target audience, get started on promoting it. How?
Here are nine ways to do it:
A. Choose a simple name
What is there in a name? A lot.
A simple, plain name is easy to remember. And easy to refer to. People tend to forget complex names and hence, skip on the apps with complicated names.
So, keep a name that is relatable and colloquial for your target audience. A short, sweet, and memorable name will do it all.
But before you finalize the name, do intensive research to ensure that it’s not already in use.
Also, app stores usually allow you to choose a name with up to 225 characters. However, it’s suggested that you use only up to 25 characters for an awesome name.
You can use a witty abbreviation that conveys the purpose of your app. Or the exact term to relays what the app does.
The chief aim here is to choose a name that is easy to remember and conveys the utility of your app.
B. Get your basics right
Once you’ve created the app, make sure you optimize it for the App Store. Wondering what does it mean?
You probably know what SEO (search engine optimization) is, right? It helps your website rank high in search results. Similarly, there’s ASO—App Store Optimization—for mobile apps.
It determines the visibility of your app in the search browser of the app store. And higher the rank, greater are the number of downloads. Hence, ASO is the most critical influencer for app downloads.
“For the average app, search actually makes up the vast majority of installs.”
-Ankit Jain, the Head of Search & Discovery at Google Play
To keep your app store optimized, make sure you:
1. Use the right keyword
Using the appropriate keywords in the app title and description is very important. And to find them, you can use Google Keyword Planner. These keywords help your app rank when the end-users search for them.
2. Get others to point to your app
Yes, we are talking about backlinks. When relevant web pages point to your app link, it boosts your app store rankings.
3. Get people to actually open and use the app
The number of times end-users open your app actually matter. So does its retention.
That means the number of times your app has been opened, counts. And for how long users kept it installed also affects the ranking.
To appear in the search results, it is important that users keep it installed for at least 30 days.
Besides these three main factors, your app’s revenue also affects its rankings. Apps that generate a good amount of revenue are likely to be ranked high by ASO.
Once your app is well-optimized, its visibility will improve. This will increase the number of app downloads which will in-turn affect its rankings.
C. Decide on an awesome icon
After keeping an enticing name, it’s time for an equally enticing icon. Why?
Right after the name, an icon is the first that people notice. And this makes it a critical feature.
Your icon should not only be eye-catching but should also convey what your app is all about.
That doesn’t mean you’ve to add complex designs to it. You can keep it simple, up to the mark, yet informative. And, of course, keep image quality high.
According to ASO, you must avoid fabricating words in your icon. And a good background color/border makes the icon appealing.
For example, Instagram’s icon resembles a polaroid camera. This complements the way it functions and captures images.
D. Ask users for their reviews
How will you tell your audience that your app is authentic, reliable and trustworthy? Well, let your existing users do it for you.
Plus here is a fact: people rely on word of mouth recommendations more, as compared to advertising.
These reviews do not only help improve your ranking but also make the app appear worth using.
Hence, encourage organic reviews on your app.
To do it, you can show in-app notifications, send emails, or messages to your users. And make sure you sound humble.
And once people start posting their reviews, make sure you respond to them. Reply to their suggestions, revert to their complaints. Such engagement increases the trustworthiness of your app that definitely boosts downloads.
Do you already have an up-to-date profile and a decent number of following on social media? Why not promote the app amongst your followers then?
You can share an awesome image or maybe a fabulous teaser of your app. It will create excitement among the audience.
A rigorous online presence will lead new customers to know and download your app. So share it wherever possible. It could be on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Linkedin, YouTube, etc.
But remember—sharing will not do wonders alone. You have to be proactive on social media. That means you’ve to respond to any queries/comments by users.
Or you can even connect your app to social media accounts. This will increase the chance of your app being shared by users.
F. Reward them to promote it for you
You have probably heard about referral marketing and word-of-mouth tactics. That’s one of the best ways to increase your app downloads.
Just make your target audience the ambassadors of your app! Yes, you heard it right.
This can be done by providing incentives when they refer your app to others.
For example, for a cloud storage app, you can provide a certain amount of free storage credits to your users on each reference.
Similarly, for a shopping app, each time a user joins the app using another user’s referral, you can give them both a discount o their next purchase.
Referral marketing, thus, is a proven tact to boost the number of app downloads.
G. Utilize the potential of print promotions
Now that you know how to promote your app online, you must also consider doing it offline.
While digital means are readily actionable, offline promotions have a longer attention span. They keep users engaged for a longer duration. And that’s just what you need to get them to download your app.
You can use flyers, brochures, or magazines to do it. Or if you’re a product-based business, you can use your product packaging and carry bags too. How?
You can mention the name of your app or its App Store link on these print media creatives. And add an instruction (call-to-action statement)—Download our app now!
It will guide the users about what they need to do.
But there’s just one problem—they’ll have to pull out their phones to tediously type the URL or app name, find the right app, and finally download it.
Since it is a long process, many people might not put the effort. But a small addition can help solve this issue easily—a QR Code.
QR Codes are advanced level bar codes that store a lot of information. They are being used everywhere—education, medicine, museums, parks and where not.
And they can be used for quick app downloads too!
All you need to do is create an App Store QR Code. It is the most easy way for users to download your app.
They only need to scan it with their smartphones. It will automatically recognize the phone’s operating system and redirect to the appropriate App Store.
Just remember adding a CTA that tells users what the QR Code does. And if you can also offer them an incentive, the chances of installing the app will only increase.
H. Analyze your users
Analysis is the key to enhancements. So make sure you get information on all the W’s—what, when and where.
When you know your potential audience base, you will get a chance to optimize your app.
The most common tool used by developers is Google Universal Analytics. It helps you get accurate user account and interpret the ‘sign in’ user experience.
Other common analytical tools are Flurry Analytics, Mixpanel, Amplitude, Appsee amongst others.
These applications help you see how your users are engaging with your app. Or are they using the way it was meant to be. You can also check the retention rate and the uninstall rate.
Tracking the user activity will help you optimize your app to its best limit.
I. Keep improving
No app is perfect. It has to keep improving to enhance the user experience. And make sure you keep making such improvements.
These improvements might include solving the existing bugs on a regular basis. And introducing new features.
It will keep the users engaged and will encourage the potential ones to join-in.
These are nine ways you can increase app downloads. From developing a useful app to optimizing it for ASO, and improving it for user engagement, make sure you’re doing it all. Provide all that your users want and they’ll reward your app with an increase in downloads.
Still have any queries? Ask them in the comments.