Mar 6, 2017

According to one estimate there are 2.2 million apps available for download in App Store and about 2.6 million in Play Store. How to get your app discovered in this humongous universe of apps; and how to get your app featured in the top 10 lists in App Store or Play Store? After all, if your app is not ‘discovered’ it is simply lost, no matter how exceptional it is.

Here are some pointers.

Begin at the beginning: Your app has to first stand out in its concept. There are apps today for virtually everything under the sun. Be your strongest critic. As yourself whether app solves a problem or opens a new door or engages the user in a new way – something that the current slew of apps are not able to do, or as well as your app will do. If your answer is negative, then way forward is the drawing board not ‘go live’.

App Store Optimization (ASO): Yes! Another new term. But, this one is simple. It is similar to SEO. According to Forrester, 63% of apps are discovered through app store searches, making it the most reliable channel to find apps. A few ASO tricks are:

1. As a rule of thumb, use your keyword in the app title.
2. Bullet list your app’s features in the description.
3. A simple, unique and beautifully designed icon can win the eyes of picky users.
4. Add relevant keywords in the description.
5. Make the first three screenshots your best depictions since the app stores show these three in the gallery.
6. Avail App Indexing to drive traffic from SERPs to your app page in the app store.
7. Keep pushing for downloads through multiple ways of marketing. Higher the number of downloads, better the rankings you will receive.
8. Positive reviews and ratings can boost a higher ranking in the search result.
9. Lastly, ASO is not an end game. It is a continuous effort of evolving tactics.

Personalized app recommendations:  If you grab the interest of your user, you not only gain a buyer but also potentially a loyal user. So, keep your user happy and engaged. Also, remember that Facebook has made it easier for users to discover apps based on interests, not just chart busters.

For example, in its ‘App Center’ Facebook allows you to select the games option from the left menu of the homepage, where you’ll be shown a list of apps based on your interests or hobbies, including games played by your friends around the world. That’s not all. You can find recommended games above the chat option on Facebook’s web app.

Visual Search: This is an obvious trick we tend to overlook. As you type in the search bar, a list of apps will pop up. Allowing the user to browse without typing completely is called Visual Search and is another cool way to get your app discovered.

App Bundling: It’s a trend in App Store that’s catching on. Through App Bundling Apple allows its developers to sell up to 3 bundles of 10 apps. The fact that it reserves a special place in the featured app pages will increase the chances of your app being discovered. Simply name your bundle, pick the apps you wish to add, write a description, and you are all set to sell your apps. App Bundling has an added advantage. It not only boosts your rankings in the app store but also targets a wider audience.

Reviews & Ratings: We are dealing with simple human emotions here. People will look to the reviews of current users before they make up their mind. Positive ratings and reviews are simply the most reliable way to increase downloads. Even word-of-mouth has a big impact. Keep engaging your users and encourage them to spread the good word. Make it easy for them to provide feedback and ratings. You can also collaborate social media influencers to gain traction.

Progressive Web App: This is an offbeat solution for those who want to cut to the chase faster. A progressive web app uses modern web capabilities to combine the best of native apps and web apps. Unlike mobile apps, you don’t need to compete with millions of apps in the app store. Rather, work on the right keywords and raise the bar of your SEO strategy to get the highest ranking in the search engine results. Quite simply ride on the power of web and its current day light weight capabilities on mobile devices.

By the way, an endeavour like getting it right with app discovery is never a small exercise, nor is it a done deal with a few tricks. But, there lies the excitement. If you have a cool idea to share on this challenging task developers face, go ahead and share it… and help spread the knowledge.

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