Your app has been designed, launched, and out in the wild. Now all you have to do is wait and watch the downloads roll in, right?
Well, there’s still more work to be done before that can happen. For instance, you have to make sure your app is as easily discoverable as possible. One way to do this is to improve your app’s mobile search ranking. There are two easy ways to do that:
- App Store Optimization
- Media and Influencer Outreach
In this article we’ll go over some tips on how to best utilize these approaches to improving your app’s mobile search ranking.
App Store Optimization
Simply put, getting a good ranking in the app store bumps your ranking in mobile searches.
Ranking better in the app store can feel like a very lofty goal that isn’t very realistic. But only those who exhaust all the possible ways to obtain a better rank succeed in this. As much as businesses invest in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for their websites, basic App Store Optimization (ASO) for your app can go a long way.
Why is it important?
Working to rank high on search is indispensable if you want to be found on app stores.
According to Tune, nearly half (47 percent) of iPhone users in the US find apps by searching within the app store. Going after getting your app featured seems to have less returns since only 10 percent of users find apps through top charts and featured screens.
To optimize your app, it’s important to know these top ranking factors:
- Keyword in the app title and description
- Number of downloads
- Ratings and reviews
- Icons and screenshots
Let’s start with Keywords.
Choosing the right keywords improve your search ranking up to 10 percent. So you really cannot discount its importance when optimizing your app. But how does one know what’s a good keyword and what isn’t?
Firstly, it’s important to understand that the purpose of your app’s title and description is to convey the essence of your app. Using an irrelevant keyword just for ASO will backfire, so stick to what is relevant. There are three things to consider:
- High volume of searches
- Low level of competition
- High relevancy
Thankfully, there are online tools like SearchMan or KeywordTool. These tools help you find good competitive keywords based on language, country and category. While you can’t impact the number of downloads directly, know that app store searches reward apps that do well.
Another thing you can do to improve your chances of ranking higher in app store searches is getting good ratings and reviews.
Here Are Some Ways to Increase Reviews for Your Mobile App:
App Review Features
One thing you can consider is asking your users to submit reviews while they’re inside your app. You can utilize push notifications that have links to rate your app embedded in them or you can use a feature such as the Text WYSIWYG feature to embed a link to your app’s store listing where users can rate your app. It’s simple and easy to implement—and usually works for both iOS and Android apps.
Run an In-App Rating Campaign
Along with asking users to rate your app, you can add incentives for doing so by using push notifications to give a small discount or another valuable incentive for users to leave a rating for your app.
Run an In-Store Contest
Adding to the idea of creating incentives for your users, if your business has a physical location you can run a contest for customers that show up to your store. For example, each customer who gives your app a 5-star review gets a raffle entry. Or you can add additional mechanics to the contest, then award the winner with gift cards, free products or any other prize you think would pull interest to your contest. Not only can this net you reviews, you’ll probably get some new downloads from it as well.
Icons and Screenshots
Ever since the days of hieroglyphs and cave paintings images have been used to convey important messages using visual queues. Images tend to pull in more interest than text, so your app’s icons and store screenshots are a big component of what your users remember when they think of your app and your business.
When designing your app and its icon, make sure all images used are representative of your brand and your app’s function. Here are some business app icon design tips from designer Dan Counsell:
- A great app icon should be simple, memorable and beautifully designed, and it should convey the main purpose of the app from just a quick glance.
- Match the key colors of your icon to those within your app and company.
- Don’t use icon borders. They look ugly, and simply don’t fit in anymore.
Use eye-catching imagery for your icon, and make sure to use your app’s most interesting screenshots. Investing in a good design team can mean the world to an app’s attractiveness to potential users and can be immeasurably helpful in getting app downloads.
Media and Influencer Outreach
Along with using choice keywords, you need to make sure you get people talking about your app. One of the best ways to get the word out about your app is to reach out to media and online influencers. If you’re successful in doing so Google will begin to pick up the signals if more credible people are mentioning your app and linking to your site thus driving more traffic to your app. Getting a good ranking for your website and app will help legitimize your overall authority and will bump up your ranking in mobile searches.
If you are rolling out a new major feature, having a limited-time promotion in your app, or if your app is fairly new, that is something newsworthy! Don’t hesitate to reach out to the media. They are used to getting pitches from businesses, so why not give it a try? If there’s a mutual opportunity there, they will not hesitate to let you know. However, getting the attention of bigger media outfits could be tough– so we recommend that you pour more effort into local media.
Popular bloggers, celebrities, industry experts and local personalities are all people who can impact the popularity of your app. Reach out to them! It doesn’t have to be a super long message (in fact we recommend going the “short and sweet” approach). A friendly “letting you know” email will suffice.
But if you want to do more than this, you’ll have to narrow down your contact list to include only people who have an audience that might be interested in your app. Let’s say Anne owns a Mexican restaurant and she wants to boost her app’s reach. Here’s a sample email she could send to a local food blogger:
Reach out to local personalities who have influence over your direct customer base. Knowing these people are good for your business too, as you can also expand your network to reach people of note in your community.
There are tools like NinjaOutreach and BuzzSumo that can help you identify the influencers in your field or location and we encourage you to do your research on which tools will be the best help for you in your field.
We should also mention that you can reach out to online celebrities who do app reviews, but know that most of them will charge you a fee, and there are some app review sites out there that offer to feature your app for a fee as well.
As you can tell, growing your business through a mobile app doesn’t end when you launch it. Apps can power-up your marketing, branding and sales and if you want maximum benefit from it, you’ll need to put in the thought and effort towards how it can best represent your business.
By implementing the tips outlined in the post, you will surely get a boost in your mobile search rankings. Remember, patience is also an essential ingredient of any search optimization campaign. As the classic phrase goes, Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Be diligent in monitoring your results, but make sure you keep marketing your app and business on a regular basis as well. There’s plenty of other channels and techniques that you can use to promote your app, and we encourage you to be creative in your thinking and approach when it comes to promoting your app.
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Still have questions? No problem! Reach out to us and we’d be happy to help :)