Welcome to our blog series on "AppOps"—the processes and tools by which companies can best operate and manage their mobile applications. Why is AppOps important? Because companies have moved beyond the "We need an app" phase and now are asking, "How do we unlock more value from mobile?" and, "How do we keep consumers engaged?" The size of the prize available to companies who get AppOps right in mobile is large, so competition is fierce. In this first blog in our series we focus on how companies can help consumers more easily find and download their apps.
Making your mobile app stand out from the crowd
How many mobile apps do you think are now available for download from leading app stores? Would you believe more than 4 million? It’s an almost unbelievable number. And if you’re a mobile app developer or promoter, it’s a daunting number, too.
With all those competing apps, how do you draw attention to yours? How can you grow your user base, make mobile campaigns more successful and boost mobile search rankings?
Two success factors are especially important: discoverability and downloadability.
Will consumers find your app when a need or desire presents itself? The best app in the world won’t succeed without taking steps to bring it to the attention of users. Here are a few ways to improve mobile app discovery and search rankings, and increase traffic to mobile platforms:
App store content optimisation:
- Create a clear and descriptive name for your app and describe it effectively
- Select the proper app category and provide helpful screen shots
App store keyword optimisation:
- Choose keywords that can enhance your search results in an app store
- Watch out for other organisations trying to misuse your keywords.
- Promote your app across multiple channels
- Describe your app and its value on your primary website as well as your mobile site
- Use a “share app” function to encourage users to promote the app to their friends
- Allocate marketing budget according to ROI calculations based on real-time data and analytics
- Identify different geographical priorities, allowing you to target marketing spend more appropriately
Interstitials: These kinds of pop-ups (from a Latin word meaning, the “between space”), take up the entire screen of a mobile user, promoting the app and, with a single tap, enabling downloading.
App refreshes: A well-planned feature roadmap and a regular release schedule allow you to maintain app “freshness” and keep your app higher up in the rankings. Apps that are updated and enhanced frequently retain engaged users: the top-100 most downloaded apps have been found to release three times more frequently than other apps. Facebook and Pinterest, for example, release enhancements to their apps up to 10 times faster than others.
The next step, after consumers find your app, is to get them to download and launch it. Some ways to encourage downloads are:
App Indexing: Make it easy to download your app. Firebase App Indexing, formerly Google App Indexing, gets your app into Google Search. If your app is already installed when users search for related content, they will launch your app directly from the search results. If users don’t have your app yet, an install card shows up in search results.
App attribution: Attribution programs help you trace the source of downloads, helping you monitor and fine-tune your download strategy.
Getting the most from your mobile app investment
A company is likely to spend tens of thousands of pounds (maybe even hundreds of thousands) to develop a mobile app. That investment is unlikely to pay off without well-planned strategies and methods that make it easy for consumers to find your app, download it and help promote it for you.