Written by: Dan Ganancial, Consultant at Ivanhoe & McToterson
The mobile app nation is growing, and so are users’ appetites for cool apps! App competition has become fierce as mobile-app developers and companies fight to gain brand awareness and consumer interest. Many apps depend on top placement in app store rankings in order to attract and acquire user downloads. To acquire a higher ranking for your app, here are a few things to consider:
1. What category will you be assigning to your app? Some categories (like social and communication) are more competitive than others, thus obtaining a higher ranking can be harder or easier depending on the category you select.
2. Is your app Free or Paid or both? Competition is on average less fierce in Paid categories versus Free categories. However, you have to ask yourself “How many users visit Paid versus Free?” According to a BGR blog post citing Gartner Research, free apps will have accounted for nearly 90% of all downloads in 2012. The new year 2013 should see this trend continue.
3. Research your competition. Which apps rank highly in app store search results for your keywords? What are their features and value propositions? What other keywords do they target? What makes them better than other similar apps? Pick the top 3 contenders based on similarity to your app and the competitor’s success.
Before Your Launch
1. Keywords matter. To successfully market an app, you need to understand the keywords that will matter. Selecting strong keywords for your app builds the foundation for success of the remainder of your app marketing strategies.
2. Choose a good name. The right name can make or break an app. Your app name needs to be unique, memorable, and include the most important keywords that potential users will be searching for.
3. Brand image matters, so create an amazing icon. Make your icon amazing so users will be more likely to click on your app after seeing it in search results. Your icon should also stand out in a grid on your user’s device, making them more likely to open and interact with your app on a frequent basis.
4. Screenshots are your visual seller. You need to convert interested consumers to real users by convincing them to download your app. Screenshots are an essential tool to help turn these consumers into users. Make sure your screenshots are memorable, informative, and exciting. They need to draw a user’s eye to them, explain exactly what your app does, and convey how easy your app is to use.
Getting your app discovered is the fundamental challenge every app marketer faces amidst the growing see of available apps across iOS, Android, Windows Phone, and other platforms. Marketing will play a key role in building brand awareness and obtaining the most important factor that will increase your app ranking. That factor is …
Downloads. Downloads. Downloads.
Get them! Get as much as you can. Obtaining downloads and growing your user base will depend heavily on your app marketing efforts. Your goal should be to maximize press coverage that your app receives, maximize social media networking in order to increase app user engagement and interaction, and focus on gaining strong word-of-mouth and virality.
Part two of this article offers ideas on how to successfully market your app and accomplish the goals stated above. Stay tuned to this blog for the continuation.
* What app-ranking strategies or techniques have worked for you? Please leave us a comment.