How To Stand Out In The App Stores

The Mobile Application economy is expected to end 2016 at around $86 Billion in revenue generated from advertising and app monetization. There are over 2 million apps in the iOS App store and over 2.5 million in Google Play. Breaking through the clutter is essential to success.

At Hound Dog Digital Marketing, we help a lot of young Mobile App startups getting their app found in the highly competitive environment that is the App store on ios and Google Play. I love startups and I love entrepreneurs. I love the enthusiasm and the innovation. But they generally come to us after they haven’t been able to succeed on their own.

Getting your App discovered and downloaded is a very tricky process. It requires a lot of skill and a lot of pre-planning.   There are a few things you want to understand in order to get your app discovered.

The app store is similar to online search but at the same time it is not the same. It is its own ecosystem and has its own rules. The app store is a lot more restrictive in what you can do and say and a lot more competitive.

These are 5 fundamental tips to help you get your app noticed and downloaded in the 2 primary app stores.

Your Mobile App Name –Make It Relevant

 This is the single most important factor in ASO, so put the effort in upfront.

You are limited in both iOS and Google play to a 50 character limit in your name. Up until September 2016, you could use 250, but that has been reduced. This means that you have to be very focused with your keywords in your name. There are several other restrictions so to quote the app store review guidelines:

  • 3.7 Choose a unique app name, assign keywords that accurately describe your app, and don’t try to pack any of your metadata with trademarked terms, popular app names, or other irrelevant phrases just to game the system. App names must be limited to 50 characters and should not include terms or descriptions that are not the name of the app. Apple may modify inappropriate keywords at any time. 

You can see it is going to take a lot of thought and creativity to be descriptive in your name, getting as many keywords in as possible and still balance your branding initiatives all in 50 characters.

Keywords Be Focused

Unlike online search, you are limited to 100 characters for your keywords so choose wisely. Separate every word by a comma. Whole phrases don’t give you an edge, so just use the keywords composing the search phrases you want to be discovered. For example, “fitness tracker” should be listed as: “fitness,tracker” in your keyword list.

Choosing and searching for the right keywords is not much different than online search. There are tools such as App Annie, Mobile Action and a few others specializing in mobile app keyword research specifically.

Remember, the app world is very competitive so don’t just chose keywords based upon the number of searches the word gets. If you rank #290 for a keyword getting millions of searches a month, it isn’t going to help you much. Most people wont scroll that far in the results. You want to find keywords where you can rank in the top 10.

Make sure your keyword is relevant to your app. The goal is to get someone to find your app AND download it. So ranking for the word “Food” when you are a food delivery app is great but ranking #1 for “Food Delivery” is even better and will lead to more downloads.

App Name and Description

Mobile App Name and Description

Categories – Choose Wisely

In the iOS store you can chose a Primary and Secondary Category, in Google Play you can choose 1 category.

Think about how people search and where are they most likely to find your app that is most relevant to what they are looking for.

Mobile App Categories

Choose the right category for your mobile app

Describe Your App In Terms That People Will Search For

Here is where the marketer in you needs to shine. Describe your App in terms of the features and benefits in a way that corresponds with how people search and engages the reader to want to read more. In the iOS app store, the first 255 characters are visible and in Google Play it is the first 80. Both have a 4,000 character total limit once the reader clicks more.

The ideal description is a concise, attention-grabbing paragraph followed by a short list of main features. Let potential users know what makes your app unique and why they will love it. Communicate in the tone of your brand, and use terminology your target audience will appreciate and understand.

Don’t add unnecessary keywords to your description in an attempt to affect search results. This provides a bad experience for users and can create a negative impression of your app’s quality.

Also, don’t talk about pricing in your app description. Pricing is already shown on the product page, and references within the description won’t be accurate in all countries.

The Latest Trend

Here is something that the game developers are doing more and more and has application with other categories. Build your Value Proposition into the App Icon. This will help with discovery and will make your app stand out from the pack. It also allows you a new and creative way to design your App icon.

Brand Message App Icon

Add your brand message to your App Icon

With over 2 million apps in either of the main app stores and more being added every day, marketing and creativity are crucial to discovery and downloading of your app. Our marketers at Hound Dog Digital Marketing understand this and we stay on top of the changes so we can get your app discovered.