There are over 1.4 million apps in App Store making it an extremely competitive marketplace. In addition to competition, one of App Store’s major issues is still app discoverability. Only a few apps make it to the top lists, and there is no way to improve your ‘SEO’ to the extent you can do it with Google. However, Appstore offers several tools that make it easier for apps to stand out and improve their download rates.
Your Icon and Screenshots
When it comes to how the majority of users discover apps, the data show that 53% of iOS users find them by simply browsing the App Store. And when they browse many apps in their search results, your first contact with their eyes is your icon.
Believe it or not, your icon makes an enormous impact on the conversion rates. Thus, you want to ensure it’s pretty and straightforward. That means it should clearly communicate what it is without any additional clutter.
App Store Optimization (ASO)
Speaking of search and browsing, ASO is the mobile brother of standard SEO. While there are some serious search issues in iOS App Store, making sure you get the keywords right matters.
Like traditional SEO, it’s all about high volume, low competition keywords. It might be trending keywords, or something related to your competitor if you want a quick win but if you’re not delicate about it, Apple might think you’re spam.
In general, it’s your copy and your title. Use your title (e.g. Wunderlist: To-do list and Tasks); Apple allows up to 255 characters in it.
Good copywriting is very powerful. Especially the intro lines – the first few lines that are shown to users before they hit ‘more’ to expand the text. It should be clear, snappy, with a strong value proposition and a powerful call to action.
Video & Screenshots
The video is a relatively new feature only introduced last year. But you can imagine what a great opportunity it is to convince a user to download your app.
An excellent product demo video involves a mix of selling, storytelling and inspires action. Here’s our article on how make an outstanding demo video.
With screenshots, you want to achieve that the users “get” the app. That means you want them to get a clear idea of how it works and delivers the promised value proposition. If it’s a productivity app, walk them through the process. If game, show them where the fun is.
App Store is also known as the 1% economy. That means you need to be one of the select few who get into the top list, to see massive results. To rank in the top 25 chart in the US, you need at least 100,000 downloads in 72 hours.
Unless you have a big marketing budget, that might be a too much of a challenge. Instead, there may be quick wins in regional markets like Spain, Germany, Sweden, UK, etc. The threshold to rank in top 25 is much lower there.
Boost Your Reviews
The better your review, the more conversions you get. Even though icon and screenshots are huge when it comes to getting attention, positive reviews close the deal in 75% of cases.
Make sure your app is well tested and the bugs are removed. Provide an outlet for customer complaints as well as technical support. Lastly, segment your users into those how like your app and those who don’t, before you ask them to review your app.
One way to do it is by asking them whether they’re happy first. If not, send them to customer support and if they are, ask them to give a rating.
Although unrelated to discoverability, it’s a recent feature that can help you to sell more. Developers can basically create promotional offers and offer multiple apps bundled together at a discounted price.
Paid apps can be included in bundles of up to 10 apps. The great thing about it is that these app packages are featured on App Store’s main Featured page, boosting your chances to be found. You can include your app in maximum 3 different bundles.
Word of Mouth
Sometimes the best way to win is not to compete. As mentioned before, 53% of iOS users find new apps by browsing the App Store. The second most popular app discovery source is friend and family referrals.
Some of the fastest growing apps were great at scaling on the back of this tactic. Instagram, Snapchat, even Uber and Airbnb gained most of their traction through virality and word-of-mouth.