As you probably already know if you are reading this article, having a great, useful app is not enough. You need more and more people to discover it and enjoy it, so you need to know how to promote an app.
The first question that should come to your mind is where should you promote your app? A report from Forrester quoted by many blogs in the industry such as pixack.com reveals the most popular places people use to discover your android app:
Google Play – 58%
Word of mouth – 41%
The most popular/top-rated apps lists – 23%
Browsing online – 16%
Social media – 15%
Search engines searches – 14%
Ads in magasines and newspapers – 7%
Blogs – 7%
Other – 7%
Newsletters – 6%
TV ads – 6%
Mobile ads – 6%
Radio ads – 3%
Because Google Play is the most popular platform to present your app to the world, here are a few tips on how to promote your app on Google Play:
– optimise your app. Xda-developers.com has avery helpful community, so you can find a quite a few tips on their forum. Here I will go more in depth with each section of your android app that you can optimise.
How to optimise an app on Google Play
- App name in Google Play – the maximum length is 30 characters and should include at least one of your most important keywords. If you are not sure about what could be the most successfull keyword for your app, you can easily verify it using these free keyword research tools to see things like keywords ideas and monthly searches for the keywords that you have in mind filtered by location and device. Another important possibility if your app is international is translating your app’s name into each language that you target.
- Description – if this is your first android app that you publish on Google Play, then you should start by scrolling through Google’s guidelines and practices so that you won’t be kicked out from the store. When you get into a new place, you should read the rules first before investing time and resources. Just like with the laws, breaking them will hurt you; no one cares that you didn’t know. Once you get this done you can either write the description yourself or hire a copywriter to do it for you. To get your app rank high you need to include your keywords in the text. Don’t forget to make it clear and catchy, paying special attention to the short description. Don’t simply list the features of your app using a blunt technical terminology because your users want to be informed and entertained, not confused. Try to complete each feature with a clearly stated benefit for them, list in a clear manner the reasons why they should download your app and don’t forget to have an attractive call to action. As for the technical limitations, Google limits your short description to 80 characters and the full description to 4000 characters.
- Icon – make sure that it’s love at first sight. If people don’t like how your look, they will only download and install your app if they have no choice and let’s face it – the competition is fierce on Google Play. Make your icon stand out from the rest and pay special attention to the color that you use to grab and keep your audience attention. This colors guide will tell you the effect of the most used colors on people’s behaviour and how to combine them to fit your purpose.
- Screenshots – why would you not take advantage of this opportunity? Remember that a picture can worth a thousand words and when the majority of the users don’t have the patience to read half of that for each app when they browse through Google Play apps. The maximum number is 8 screenshots for each supported device platform. If you have any troubles uploading graphic assets, screenshots and video, click on this Google Play resource to find all the limitations for them.
- Video – create a stylish and fun video of your app. You have 30 seconds to 2 minutes to convince your audience that your app can make them happier. Think about the main feature of the app and highlight it in the video. A good video can convince them to download your free or paid app. Make it amazing and they will share it with their friends. Start with the beginning – identify which of the most successful 18 emotions triggering the viral video response matches the main features of your app.
- Beautiful design – would you want an ugly app? Ofcourse not, so don’t asume that others will! Your app should look like first class, not like a draft made by a beginner. Don’t overload it, make navigation smooth and have easy to tap buttons. Pay special attention to colors, contrast and fonts and read free tips from experienced app designers.
- Functionality – make sure that everything works smoothly before you release your app. If you release a draft, you will get bad reviews from people. It’s not hard to imagine how they will feel when they see a nice description with all the features they want, they install the app and then end up getting error after error or even worse – a big freeze! Their enthusiasm will turn into anger and frustration. Even if you fix everything and make it great afterwards, the negative reviews from people you disapointed will turn the task of convincing others try your app a true challenge. Also, try to make your app size as small as you can so that it can be easy and fast to download for everyone.
- Downloads – Track your number of downloads and the downloads growth rate. If your growth rate is getting smaller, you should consider updating your app with new features and promote your android app’s page on external websites too.
- Reviews – once you release an app the first people you should turn to are you friends and family. Ask them to download your app and write a review to help you get started. If you get a few negative reviews at the beginning, then you reply and be as convincing as you can to have the review re-edited or deleted by the user. Ratings and reviews on Google Play are one of the most important ranking factor for your app. A large number of reviews and positive ratings are the key to getting the top positions in Google Play. Without a constant flow of reviews and ratings your app will lose the battle.
- Updates – legends don’t stay on the first positions in Google Play. If your app was a big hit in the spring of 2013 and you haven’t done anything at all to improve it in any way, you probably already discovered that with no proper maintenance, your success was short lived. Ranking high on Google Play is in fact a process that needs to be kept alive with regular updates, regular downloads and regular feedback.
- Usage – check the usage of your app and see what you can do to increase it if the level is unsatisfying given the app’s role and functions.
- Uninstalls – if a big percentage of people who download your product unistall it after a short while, Google won’t like it. There are also many apps that have been great at the beginning, but after several updates users started to hate them an uninstalled them because the apps became annoying or they started to have functionality isssues.
– increase your app’s page rank by getting links from relevant sources, as taught in the section below.
How to promote an android app on the web
- the first good advice that I could find comes from entrepreneur.com build a simple website with just one or two pages to promote your app. You can make it even before the app is completely ready and give your users the chance to subscribe and be notified when the app will be released. Write about the features that you you add and ask for feedback to see what other features might be interesting or useful for your audience. When you can, make a demo and upload it on YouTube and on your website.
- promote your app on social media, in the press, contact bloggers and app reviews websites, check out directories and forums. This technewscentral article gives you direct links to dozens of websites where you can promote your android app page to increase your apps page rank on Google Play.
- for a comprehensive list of all the methods you can use to make your app popular check out this list with 81 different ways to achieve your goal.
As you started to complete these steps I recommend here to get your app in the top results of Google Play it’s crucial to use Google Analytics to have a clear, measurable view on the efficiency of the steps you are taking. There’s no reason to work your way blindly towards your goal, when you got this free tool that reveals the outcomes of every action, giving you the possibility to adjust your actions accordingly.
If you are at the end of this article, now you should already know how to promote an app on Google Play. If you know any other methods not mentioned here, please comment below.