In 2016, the worldwide mobile app market topped $88M and experts say it’s set to more than double by 2020. In other words, it’s no big secret that apps are lucrative. However, with 1000s of new ones launched every single day, the market has become saturated and competitive.
Successful apps have common traits. They’re useful, easy, and dependable but none of that matters unless users download them. Most new users come by way of recommendations from friends, family and co-workers and by browsing the app store. But many consumers don’t realize that only the top 50 apps in any category are visible when they browse via search. So, how can you ensure your development project is not part of the majority millions that can’t be found in category searches?
Let’s look at 5 critical elements of app development that don’t involve coding.
1. Understanding your audience:
Putting yourself in the customer’s shoes is the starting point of any development project. Apps solve problems and make life easier no matter if the problem is boredom, access to finances, or a need to weigh in socially. Consider these things upfront to help you rank in app store searches later:
- Identify the audience’s native language
- What problems are you solving?
- Why does your app outperform your competitors’?
- Which keywords will people use to find your apps?
2. Surveying your competition:
Competitors are a wealth of information. Look critically at the listings of the top apps in your category for these elements:
- Which keywords are they using?
- What type of images and/or videos are they including?
- How many reviews (positive and negative) do they have?
- What information can you glean from those reviews?
3. A name is not just a name:
Yes, it’s fun be unique and many companies succeeded despite uncommon names from the get-go. However, unique doesn’t help when it comes to being found in the app store. In fact, apps with keyworded names outperform non-keyworded by 10.3%. Also, keep in mind app names are truncated at 23 characters (iOS) and 30 characters (Google) so keeping them short is critical.
4. Description. Description. Description:
In real estate it’s location. In the app store it’s description. Well written copy that contains strategically placed keywords and tells the story through pictures, screenshots and videos will delight potential users.
Here are a few tips for writing great descriptions:
- Write in the relevant language
- Concentrate on the first three sentences – they grab the most attention
- Tell and show how your app solves user problems
- Be concise
- List the unique benefits
- When updates are released revisit the description to ensure it reflects changes
5. An image is worth a 1000 words
The importance of app icons goes way beyond first impressions. They are your brand and constant reminders that your app is there to be used. Design a simple and memorable icon that beautifully and immediately conveys the app’s purpose.
Once deployed and listed, app store optimization (ASO) is an ongoing and necessary activity. Use analytics tools to help you stay on track and schedule time to revisit descriptions, update images, and read the reviews and feedback to ensure your app store listings remain optimized for search.