It’s becoming extremely challenging for developers to get their apps noticed after publication, especially since users have nearly two million mobile apps to choose from when accessing major app marketplaces. The fact that the majority of those apps never get installed even once surely does not brighten the prospects. And we all know that installation is the first and most crucial step to generating leads and making conversions.
Therefore, if you want people to find, install, and use your app after you upload it to the Stores, you need to have a strong strategy. I’ve already discussed general tactics for increasing app installs. In this piece, I’ll describe the specific steps to take in order to make sure your app gains the visibility it deserves in online app stores.
Strong visuals are a must
As the saying goes, “A picture’s worth a thousand words.” While app titles and descriptions have to be translated and localized for each country and region, visuals are the language that is understood and shared by every human being who has the gift of sight.
The first thing that draws a user’s attention to your app is the images it displays. A strong image is also the first thing to engrave itself in the user’s mind. Your visuals are perhaps your first – and only – chance to convince users to find out more about your app and possibly download and install it.
The app icon is the first part of your app users will see, especially when they’re searching through app stores. You can do a little keyword research and tweaking in order to optimize your app’s ranking in app-store search results. That will certainly help. But when your app listed along with competing titles, your icon of choice can mean the difference between a user choosing your app or opting for another one.
Put some extra effort in designing and choosing your icon. By all means, do not settle down for a shrunken version of an app screenshot.
Consider testing your app icon before releasing the app itself. You can do so by doing pre-launch advertising through Google Adwords and Facebook or buying ads on mobile ad networks. You can post your ads with different versions of your icons and see which one is getting the highest click-through rate.
What’s in an icon? Here’s our in-depth guide to designing a great app icon to catch the eyes of users everywhere.
There is definitely more to screenshots that simply displaying screen captures of your app. You should think of them as banner advertisement for your app. Most app stores will display your screenshots more prominently than your app’s description; therefore, they must be optimized to make the most impact.
Make sure your app’s screenshots are as crisp, clean, and professional as possible. If possible, display photos of real human beings using your app on their devices. For instance, applications for kids should have at least one picture displaying kids using the app. Also, make sure the app can be clearly seen on the device in the picture.
The point here is for the user to see the app in action. You should include three to six screenshots from your app, each of them containing a different instance of the app.
Beside the icon, your app’s screenshots are its strongest visual representation and a decisive factor in driving users to download it. Here too you can test using traditional banner ads to see which screenshot yields the highest click-through rate.
Not sure which screenshots tell the best story? Here’s how to pick the best screenshots to use in the Stores.
Cover images are different from screenshots, and should therefore be treated differently as well. Don’t underrate them – they can really boost user installs.
Cover images should include elements of the app’s UI and give an idea of what the app does, but they shouldn’t be the simple re-posting of a bland screenshot, and certainly not a sized-up version of your icon. Cover images use different proportions, so if you’re going to use a screenshot as part of your cover image, make sure it doesn’t end up looking weird and stretched-out.
Well-done cover images can create trust in your users, while poor-looking covers can discourage them from even reading the description that goes with your app.
A lot of your app’s functionality might not become visible through mere screenshots and images. Beyond images, short videos can help a lot in helping users understand the benefits your app offers and increasing your install rate, especially when combined with voice talent and background music.
However, creating successful video trailers for your app is delicate work and a lot of intricacies are involved, especially when you plan to launch your ad on different advertising and social media platforms.
Therefore, unless you have plenty of in-house expertise, I highly recommend that you outsource it to professionals. There are several agencies that specialize in app videos and will help you to create videos for a fee that is more affordable than traditional video production companies.
If you are going to invest in a video, make sure it has subtitles for the local language, and if you can spare a few bucks, have it translated into the most common languages. This can help you increase download rates.
If you have a considerable budget to spare for your install campaign, you can use video ad services such as YouTube TrueView Ads in order to expose your video preview to a targeted and engaged audience.