Every day, more than 6,000 apps are released in the Google Play store, and that number will only continue to grow.
With so much competition, what does it take to stand out from the crowd? Now that you’ve developed the mobile game or must-have productivity app, how do you get it into your customers’ hands?
Several factors influence how Google ranks apps in their store. The most crucial ones are how closely the app name matches the search terms, the total number of downloads your app has, and at what speed your app downloads have grown over time.
Apps that increase in frequency of downloads and the number of downloads rise quickly to the top of the list.
To help boost your app’s popularity, be sure to hit the following crucial factors in your app design and marketing.
The most important selling point of your app, aside from the app itself, is its title. The title of an app serves two primary functions: it tells users what the app is and it helps search engines find the app.
A good title appeals to robots and humans alike. To find your title, consider the following tips:
- Keep it simple, yet unique. Your title should only be a few words long, should convey the main idea of your app, and should stand out from the competition.Good examples include iTunes, Facebook Messenger, and Super-Bright LED Flashlight. Each title tells you exactly what the app does or what a well-known company created the app.
- Avoid “clever” spellings. While it’s tempting to use a witty pun or unusual spelling to make your app stand out, this can actually hurt your rankings.Autocorrect will often make corrections when users search for your app, and your unusual spelling can prevent your app from appearing high up in the results list.
- Avoid generic words. While you want your app’s name to be simple and memorable, don’t go too generic. An app called “Email” or “Game” doesn’t convey enough information.However, a name like “Gmail” works because it is automatically associated with Google’s email service, while “Solitaire Card Game” is a clear way to communicate exactly what type of game customers will find in your app.
Keywords are the language of the search engines. They’re an important factor in how your app is sorted and ranked among other apps. Virtually any text used in your app listing can include keywords. This includes:
- Promotional text
While you want to avoid cramming in too many keywords or using keywords that don’t actually relate to your app, there is nothing wrong with a carefully selected keyword in a URL or description.
An organizational app might use a word such as “organize”, “planner”, or “calendar” while a game might include a keyword like “casual” or “action”.
The fastest way to test out potential keywords is to search them on Google Play. See what apps come up and you’ll find out not only if your keyword returns the results you expected but also if you have a lot of competition.
Within the Google Play store itself, the most important place for your keywords is within your comprehensive store listing. The comprehensive store listing consists of your title, description, promo text, and keywords section. By placing one or two keywords in most or all of these places you can ensure your app is included in relevant search results.
Your promotional text is the ideal place to expand on what your app does and what unique features or services it offers over your competitors.
Design and usability play a major role in producing a high-ranking app. Having a visually appealing icon will draw attention to your app and make it memorable.
A clean and attractive design within the app itself creates a pleasant user experience that will make people want to keep using the app. This increases the chances that users leave it installed on their phones – which can positively affect search rankings – and recommend it to others.
User experience is also a key factor in the popularity of your app. If your app is confusing or buggy, customers will quickly abandon it.
One way to ensure your app feels intuitive and looks good is by following Information Architecture principles during development. Information architecture will help you set up all your content in a way that feels natural to users.
By following a thorough app development and launch plan, you’ll ensure you cover all your bases before, during, and after launch.
Due to the competitive nature of the app market, you’ll likely need to heavily market your app to gain your first customers. The most important aspect of marketing is to keep it simple and avoid misleading potential customers about the nature of your app.
Tap into a variety of sources for marketing, including online ads, advertising through other apps, and email marketing. You’ll want a basic website and social media accounts for your app to help promote it and to offer easy interaction with your customer base.
While it may seem slow at first, once people start to notice your app you’ll see it climbing the ranks in the app store.
A quality app that customers enjoy using will quickly stand out among the many mediocre apps in the store. Combine a good app with quality pre-launch and post-launch marketing, and you have a winning combination.
Lisa Michaels is a freelance writer, editor and a striving content marketing consultant from Portland. Being self-employed, she does her best to stay on top of the current trends in business and tech. Feel free to connect with her on Twitter @LisaBMichaels.