As mobile devices and smartphones increasingly outpace desktops for all sorts of web needs, the focus is now on native apps. Naturally, app stores on various platforms are becoming the favored marketplace for millions of apps and the number is rising at rapid speed.
It is no longer easy enough to get featured by app stores if you do not work towards increasing downloads, retaining your users, and become one of the top apps on the featured list.
So, just like SEO, app store optimization (ASO) is becoming the order of the day to beat competition in app store. Here are 10 effective ways to use ASO to get ahead:
1. Tell your Existing Audience About your App
Telling any existing web users or subscribers about your mobile app is the first step to build a loyal user base. Here are some ways to do it more effectively:
- Give your users an idea about your apps with a few screenshots and pitch the benefits.
- Ask them to subscribe to your mailing list to stay updated about your upcoming app.
- On launch day, inform every one of your web users. You can consider making a promotional offer as well, but that depends on your niche.
2. SEO and Keyword Research
Even if your app is not yet launched or you haven’t finsihed all of your content, start SEO efforts for your app site early on.
- From the very beginning try to make your app site SEO friendly by optimizing headings and titles
- Rigorously focus on keyword research by looking at your competitors
- Start publishing a blog about your app with target keywords. Avoid making it a promotional one and rather try to make it informative about your business niche.
3. Share on App Sites
This is a quick and easy way to start getting the word out about your app to potential users.
- Ask your users to post their comments and feedbacks.
- Reply to questions or comments whenever they arise to create a dialogue with user. These vocal users make up the nucleus of user community. Do not ignore them!
4. Online and Offline PR
PR (public relations) is meant to build your reputation in your respective niche. Here are some examples of effective PR strategies:
- Print (i.e. newspaper, magazine) interviews and television appearances are simple ways to kick off an offline PR campaign
- Speak about your app in conferences and take part in the occasional press conference
- Take part in IT fairs and and submit your app in contests
- Search out influential forums, create social network accounts, and write informative blog posts to make your presence known online
- Creating an interesting videos and trying to make it viral is another effective way to make your app known by millions
5. Promo Codes
If you launch an app, promo codes are a great tool. Promo codes are nothing but codes sent by the promoter of an app to offer discounts, special offers or waivers for selected users. Here below we mention a few important things to utilize promo codes to beat the competition:
- Promo codes work better if you have already laid out the groundwork by marketing your app among your contacts and potential users
- Create all of the promo codes as soon as your app is approved. Then, submit an update of the app within a day of your app launch. When combining these two steps, you can set up almost 100 promo codes to be ready almost as soon as your app hits the app stores.
- Make sure that your users and contacts do not experience difficulties when trying to redeem them. If possible, guide them as how to do it.
Advertising an app is surely one effective way to drive users download it on their device. There few effective yet inexpensive ways to advertise your app and get good user following quickly. Advertise your app on as many platforms as possible.
7. Share Videos
Promotional videos are often more effective than other means. But, uploading a so-called promo video is often not enough; you have to do a lot of marketing and social sharing to create a true video sensation. Here are few simple and effective steps:
- Make a video that is simple, direct and involves some fun apart from merely explaining the app to the viewers
- Upload the video to all major social video sharing platforms like YouTube, Vimeo, etc.
- Share the video links across social media and in blogs across the web
8. Localize your App
An app that is optimized to address location-specific issues will surely have a leg up. Being global but appearing local is the key to setting yourself apart. Here are some important localization tricks:
- Google offers localized badges to use in apps. These would facilitate using local language in apps according to the location and preference of the user.
- Localization tools in most app development platforms offer to evaluate all local specific information and features and thus make it even more personal to users and helpful for you.
9. Make It Easy to Share
Sharing achievements from your app should be as simple as possible. Most users do not like to tap more than twice to share a something from the app to their social platform. Offering a social sharing option with easy and quick access is the key.
10. Launch with Perfection
When launched, an application should have at least some hype from the marketing work done prior to its launch.
A strong marketing and publicity campaign both online and offline should drive the hype before your launch date. An emphatic press release and strong media coverage one week before the launch date is ideal.
On the launch date, post the official news and any video links in all social platforms, forums and content sharing platforms. Seek out all kinds of favorable and peer-sponsored reviews and opinions found on forums and social sites and feature them prominently on all of your media channels.