Creating an app can take hundreds of hours. What may start as a simple idea can turn into hours of coding, testing, and re-imagining. We all appreciate a well-designed app, but most of the time, developers aren’t paid enough for the actual work involved. Why is that?
You may have noticed that many great apps are buried at the bottom of searches, while poorly built apps dominate the category. This isn’t because people want low-quality apps, so what’s the deal?
The problem is discovery. A lot of genuinely useful apps are hard to find or might be presented in a “sketchy” way. This will obviously reduce downloads, which leads to a lower app store ranking and even fewer downloads. That means that you could earn less than minimum wage for hundreds of hours of work. Is there any way to turn this around?
The key is ASO (App Store Optimization). When your app’s title, description, and icon follow a few simple guidelines, you can quickly turn an app with a falling ranking into a best-seller, or at the very least, earn a decent wage. Let’s find out how!
Create a keyword list
Unsurprisingly, the main way that users discover and download new apps is through searches on the app store (up to 63% of apps are downloaded this way). This is good news because you can do things to improve your search ranking, but it’s harder to create word-of-mouth.
If you have any experience with search engines, then you already know how important keywords are. Keywords are words or phrases that match your app description. For example, your app might teach people English grammar; in that case, related keywords might include: grammar lessons, grammar trainer, English tests, etc.
The easiest way to find what keywords to use is by doing research with Google Adwords. To use this service, simply sign up for an account (this is totally free, you only pay for the ads purchased). Once you have your account, go to Tools and select Keyword Planner. All you need to do is enter keywords that you think would be related to your app and check the search volume.
For example, let’s say you have a free app for tracking calories. So, you put “free calorie tracker” into the keyword planning tool. You would get results like:
| Keyword | Avg. Monthly Searches |
| Free calorie counter | 2,400 |
| Calorie tracker | 6,600 |
| Calorie calculator | 110,000 |
| Calorie counter | 201,000 |
This gives you a good idea of what search terms are most common on Google, but now you need to see how they do in the app store. Try searching for the terms with the highest monthly search volume and see whether your app would fit in with the search results.
Based on these tests, you might decide that instead of calling your app a “calorie tracker,” you’ll use the term “calorie counter” since it has a higher search volume and still matches your app. This simple step will ensure that the app appears in as many relevant searches as possible.
Choose a title
Next, you need to choose the right title for your app. You probably have a cool, ultra-modern, one-word title that perfectly encapsulates the essence of your app. Maybe you planned on calling your calorie counter “fi,” which is obviously short for fitness. Would this be a smart choice? Not really.
You see, your app’s title is part of ASO too, and not taking advantage of it to optimize your ranking is a waste. So, how can you keep your cool name while optimizing?
Let’s take a page from one of the most popular calorie-counting apps, MyFitnessPal. Does this massively popular brand rely on its name alone? Nope. It optimizes its title for the best ranking. Currently, it appears in the Play Store as “Calorie Counter – MyFitnessPal.”
So, what can you do with your ultra-chic name? Why not try something like “Calorie Counter by fi”? By including keywords in the title, you can increase your app’s downloads by 10.3%.
Write a great description
Now that you’ve gotten your app to pop up in the search results and your amazing name has drawn people in, you need to work on an app description. What are the keys to a great description? Just follow this not-so-secret formula:
- Start with an elevator pitch; this is one or two short sentences that sum up your app
- Once they click to read more, there should be a more extensive paragraph describing it
- Now create subheadings to divide the information on your app logically
- Use bullet points instead of paragraphs at this point
- Keep them short
- Show off your Unique Value Proposition
- Focus on the benefits for the user
- Include excerpts from positive reviews
- Include a call to action
The description’s purpose is to explain your app to potential users in just a few seconds and get them to download it. So, keep it short and snappy. Users appreciate clear, concise communication.
Ensure that your app gets great reviews
Finally, you need to make sure that your app gets great reviews. Now, you may think that this is out of your control, but you can do a lot right now to get more positive reviews.
- Be responsive: When your app receives a negative review, respond to it and try to resolve the issue.
- Listen: If you notice that many reviewers would like to see a certain feature, add it in an update. This will ensure that users will stick with you instead of going to the competition.
- Promote quality: Your app’s perceived quality doesn’t just depend on how good your code is. Its logo, description, content, reliability, versatility, and innovation work together to create a high-quality app. To get good reviews you need to make sure that all of these elements come together.
- Be accurate: The simplest way to avoid negative reviews is to describe your app accurately. Some negative reviews are simply the result of people downloading an app that was advertised as a meal planner but is actually a calorie counter.
Your app is only as good as its content
Remember that no matter how good your app is, without the right content, it can still fail. The easiest way to ensure that your app succeeds is to put the above suggestions into practice or get a professional to do it for you.
We offer specialized editing and writing services to help app developers like you get more downloads and boost their income. To learn more about how we can make your app a best-seller, talk to us today. We look forward to hearing from you!