Developing apps and offering them to users for a fee or for free (with different monetization methods) is a good way to make money online.
However, it’s not going to be a walk in the park. It’s not as simple as building an app, offering it to potential users, and waiting for the revenues.
An important aspect of generating income from apps is the number of downloads. This applies to both for-a-fee and free (but monetized) apps.
More downloads obviously mean more revenues for premium apps. Similarly, for free apps and those that follow the freemium model, more downloads means more potential income.
If you are looking for ways to significantly increase your app downloads, consider the following tips:
1. Make sure your app is useful and bug-free
Before anything, you need to ascertain that the app you are offering is something that will serve a need. Don’t expect an app to be attractive to users if it does nothing important or if it provides functions several other more reliable apps are already providing.
Your app should offer something different from others. Come up with an appealing but highly intuitive interface or add more features that make it distinctive.
Additionally, make sure that your app is free from crashes, performance issues, or bugs that make it unreliable. Strive for perfection or something close to it. It would be useless doing any download-boosting strategy if the app itself is not worth getting.
Offering a half-baked or imperfect app will not only result in poor ratings and reviews; it can also affect your brand or the reputation of your other applications in the app store.
Update your app to match trends in design, layout, and features.
2. Optimize your app store page
Before apps get installed in devices, almost all of them go through official app stores – Google Play for Android and the Apple App Store for iOS devices.
Generally, developers have to create an account in the app store and pay a registration fee. After doing this, they can then proceed to add their new apps to the store, post screenshots, and do other customizations.
It’s not enough to just add your application to the app store. Google or Apple will not do anything to promote it or to make it search-friendly. You are responsible for making optimizations that will help increase downloads.
These optimizations include the adding of relevant keywords, metadata, and a useful description. Conduct a keyword study to find the right keywords to add. It also helps to undertake A/B tests to determine which customization yields the best results.
Take note of keyword ranking, app store impressions, and the resulting number of downloads.
3. Interact with users to address issues and increase positive reviews
Almost all users prefer to download apps with more positive reviews. That’s why it only makes sense trying to encourage positive reviews for your app. Don’t let bad reviews and poor star ratings stay as they are.
Many of them are likely just because of some misunderstanding or the failure of users to properly use your app. Address these as soon as possible with a polite response. If there are valid complaints or criticisms, consider updating your app to resolve issues.
Make it a habit reading and answering the questions, complaints, or concerns of users who have tried your app.
Recommended: Handling Bad Reviews and Leveraging Good Ones
If they posted negative reviews and low ratings, they may consider updating what they posted upon reading your reply. The bad and neutral reviews will only be permanent if you don’t do anything about them.
4. Encourage users to refer your app to other users
Expect to spend more time responding to bad reviews but don’t ignore the good ones. Those who are impressed with your app can serve as endorsers and may even refer your app to other possible users.
If you are offering premium apps, you can promote your referral program to those who have good feedback on your app. Entice them with a storage boost, free coins, or even a percentage of the revenue you would generate from the new user they will refer.
5. Consider localization
Don’t limit your target users to English speakers. Take advantage of the online availability of your app. Myriad of users from other countries who don’t speak English could find your app useful if its interface is in the language they use.
Recommended: The Breakthrough Of 6 Translation Apps in 2018
If you can’t do a proper translation of your app’s language, don’t hesitate to hire a reputable app localization services provider. If you want to expand your app’s target users to non-English speakers, make sure that the translations don’t end up in an embarrassing blunder.
6. Use social media promotion
Promoting your apps is not limited to the app stores. You can also turn to social media to reach out to more potential users. Advertise your app on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social network sites to reach out to the nearly 3 billion estimated number of social media users worldwide.
Just make sure that you carefully plan and execute your social media campaign so that it is not regarded as spam or unwanted content.
Here are some ideas of what you can post on social media to promote your app.
- Spread the word about your affiliate program on social media. Post your affiliate program links on Twitter or Facebook. Advertise your special discounts or promos.
- Write brief stories relating to a problem that can be solved by your app. Make it something relatable and easy to read. Illustrate how your app can be useful to your intended users.
- You can also produce interesting videos related to your app. Aim for something that can become viral. You can then add download links for your apps.
- Offer prizes for social media users who promote your app. This strategy may entail some costs, but it is usually an effective way of promoting any product. You can launch an online contest asking netizens to write the most creative post about your product.
- Use paid social media ads. This is another strategy that requires you to shell out some amount, but it generally works. Social media ads are said to drive app downloads by nearly 50% according to a Mobile App Marketing Insights paper released by Google.
- There’s also the option to use social media influencers. This option is not applicable to all types of apps though. The impact of using social media influencers is usually limited. They tend to work well with apps for a broad market such as games, cameras or filters, and entertainment apps.
7. Build a website for your app
Most users discover apps outside of app stores. The most popular sources of app awareness are friends and family. App stores only rank second. Other popular app discovery platforms are search engines, company websites, and TV.
Create a website for your app, then optimize it to rank high in search engine results. This website does not have to be grand or sophisticated. Just make it decent and good enough (i.e. fast and easy to navigate) to serve as an anchor for your app’s online presence.
Take note that this website is essentially what potential users will visit as they search for your app after learning about it from friends, family members, colleagues, or from a TV ad or coverage.
8. Evaluate and tweak your strategies
Don’t forget to monitor the results of your efforts. If you want to achieve doubled app downloads within a month, see to it that you evaluate the outcomes of the strategies you try.
You can do a weekly evaluation to decide if you need to tweak and enhance the methods you use, or just abandon them. You can’t continue using a strategy for months if it is not delivering the desired results.
Doubling your app’s downloads in less than 30 days is not impossible. You just need to use the right methods and maneuvers.
Have a definite goal and periodically evaluate your progress so you can apply the necessary tweaks or changes in what you are doing until you achieve the desired outcome.
President and CEO of Day Translations, Inc., Sean Patrick Hopwood believes that productivity tools, such as mobile app, are essential and should be available in different languages. As a multilingual person himself, he fully appreciates the efforts of mobile app developers who create productivity tools. Aside from capably running his translation company, Sean indulges in soccer and Latin American dances.