How To Get More App Downloads For Free By Optimizing Your App Title

how-to-get-more-app-downloads

This app marketing app SEO tip will show you how to get more app downloads (iOS or Android OS) for free by optimizing your app’s title.

Most developers are like artists when it comes to naming their apps. Often, the name is born at the time of the app idea, which may cause developers to become too attached to an app’s original and creative name. However, the original app name itself could have a negative impact on the application’s discoverability. Likewise, when an app’s name is an afterthought, this could also have a negative impact on an app’s discovery as well.

Having reviewed 1000s of iOS and Android OS applications, I have seen the good, the bad and the ugly when it comes to app names. Like the picture above you can distinguish which picture looks better, it’s pretty obvious. Likewise, every application’s title should have an obvious relation to the application’s function. Most consumers don’t take the time to figure out app titles. That is why having an app title that matches your app icon, description and functionality is key. There are always exceptions to this such as branding, but by and large a straight forward title will benefit app developers more times than not.

How To Get More App Downloads for your mobile application

If you want to increase the chances of app downloads, don’t name your app “Apple” when it’s actually all about oranges. But, there is even more to naming your app beyond basic commonsense, which I have just explained. You’ll also want to take the time to optimize your application’s title to take advantage of SEO keywords.

Currently, the Google search engine gives iTunes App Store links and Google Play App Store links good rankings in their SERP (search engine results page). Take for example the keyword Solitaire. According to the Google AdSense Keyword Planning Tool, the word Solitaire gets approximately 1.5 million searches a month globally. That’s a lot of searches. Doing a quick search in Google for the word “Solitaire” shows 3 of 10 SERP entries were (1) iTunes App Store link and (2) Google Play App Store links.

How To Get More App Downloads

Notice also how the app store search engine results appear showing RTF or Rich Text Formatting resulting in the app’s rating to be displayed. The app’s star rating shown in the SERP will cause searchers to click on those links more often than other search results that do not have a star rating. A check of the apps that showed in the SERP for the keyword Solitaire showed each app title was also only named Solitaire. Obviously, there is strategy and timing as well when it comes to naming your application.

This tactic is not magic. There is work to be done and no guarantee you will be successful. But, if you aren’t greedy and take your time, you may find that you can discover a decent to great keyword name for your app. One that fits your app’s description and generates a decent amount of global monthly searches. Those global monthly searches are how to get more app downloads for free.

How To Get More App Downloads Step-by-Step

  1. 1.) Figure out your app’s functionality before determining the name
  2. 2.) Once you know your apps functionality begin the app naming ideation process
  3. 3.) App naming ideation should include searching iTunes or Google Play app stores for a unique app name
  4. 4.) At the same time you are searching app stores you should use the Google AdSense Keyword Tool (link), searching “search volume” for app name suggestions
  5. 5.) Try different versions of your desired name, while looking at the suggestions provided by the keyword tool, but be sure to pay attention to the “monthly global searches” for your keyword combinations
  6. 6.) I would recommend you go for smaller global monthly searches, because the larger the amount of searches the harder it will be to rank for the keyword
  7. 7.) Use your optimized app name keywords for the official app name

A few additional pointers to help you learn how to get more app downloads for free:

  1. 1.) Write a great app description that is SEO optimized for your keyword app name
  2. 2.) Provide great customer support and encourage users to rate your app
  3. 3.) Add a webpage to your app description when applicable

Every developer wants to know how to get more app downloads for free. While this tip is probably not going to get you huge app downloads, it may help you get 10, 20, 30 even 100 extra app downloads a month just by taking time to optimize your application’s name.

Please share your experience with us if you use the “how to get more app downloads” step-by-step instructions. And if you have any questions please leave a comment and I will try to help you as best I can.

Market Your App or Fail…Not Necessarily

app marketing

A recent article by Sean Ludwig at Venture Beat, based on a survey by App Promo laments that 59% of iOS (Apple Platform) developers don’t generate enough revenue from their app efforts to break even. Unfortunately, Mr. Ludwig did not correctly analyze App Promo’s survey results since the 59% of developers includes Android developers as well. Further more, after investigating the App Promo’s survey I found that only 102 developers were queried for their stunning results, again a mix of iPhone, iPad, and Android developers. The questions that made up the survey apparently were multiple choice and were based on general, revenue/download, and marketing areas. While the survey is at best sketchy, App Promo is an app marketing company, which unfortunately appears to have an ulterior motive — marketing apps for iOS developers and Android developers. The below infograhic is a quick look of the App Promo survey (via App Promo).

App Marketing

While there is no doubt that the iTunes App Store of 2012 is nothing like it was back on July 10, 2008, indie developers should not be frightened off by Mr. Ludwig’s incorrect assesment or App Promo’s developer survey. For starters, there is always going to be a viral app success in the iTunes App Store whether it’s due to sheer luck, great app concept, or other intricacies that don’t include marketing budgets made up of thousands of dollars. Besides the viral effect, there are several questions raised by this scary survey. Most developers only need a Mac ($1200) and to be registered as an Apple developer ($99) to create and publish apps in the iTunes App Store. Was this survey a determination of one’s value for their time or investment dollars (you know real cash) used to create an app for the cost metric? I tried to access App Promo’s survey to see the questions, however, the survey is now closed and all 102 results (both iOS and Android) are confidential. While I am not refuting what App Promo states, and actually agree that marketing is necessary for developers, I have seen some very big success from indie developers’ efforts with very little investment other than their time, such as Chad Towns and his iPhone app Doodle Army

Chad published Doodle Army in 01/2010 and since doing so has had approximately 2,000,000+ downloads. Funny thing is that Mr. Towns to date has spent approximately $200 total in marketing this app and that was after the app had been live in the iTunes App Store for one year. Sure he has poured many hours of  his own time into this app and much of that only after the app realized success. Nonetheless, if Doodle Army had failed he would have been out only the cost of his time and a few hundred bucks. Another early iTunes App Store success is Steve Demeter and his app Trism netting him $250,000 in 2 months time. It is said that Demeter worked on the his app part-time after work, again costing him his time and $99, as I am guessing he already had a Mac. While these success stories are not the norm, there are plenty of developers who have and are making money from their app development. However, app marketing is going to continue to be a huge problem as well as a threat to the indie developer.

The iTunes App Store top 200 paid and free is filling up with large corporations apps who have huge calculated app marketing budgets to keep their apps in the top spots for both the free and paid apps using mobile advertising, banner ads, and their own large app communities. This will continue to increase as the money continues to be spent by app customers, which is not expected to peak anytime soon especially as mobile evolution continues. It does not take a rocket scientist to determine that if the top companies can pay their way to the top 200 paid and free spots, this limits the opportunity for an indie to get their app in a visual location to chart better. While the indie developer is not going to be a thing of the past, they will face increased and potential unstoppable competition.

For indie developers, there are several things that they can do on the front end of their app development to increase their chances of success. First, create a unique value proposition for your app that is timed right, well developed and not an after thought app being pushed to the market too early or incomplete simply to try to hit the lottery. Second, there is always the publishing option. If your app is a cut above the rest, you can potentially work a deal with the ever increasing app publishing houses that are popping up like pimples on a teenager. Although, you can expect to give up another 1/3 of your revenue, but 1/3 overall is better than no thirds. Third, seriously consider a marketing budget and strategy for your developed app using any and all free and low cost Guerrilla marketing tactics to gain awareness (social media, app community, forums, etc). Lastly, and very grass roots, indies need to start working together and quit thinking that their app idea is top secret or could not be better without collaboration. Try pooling your time and talents with others, graphically, creatively, etc. where each gets a percentage of the app revenue. This is a great model to realize reduced cost/loss and increased probability of success/revenue.

The iTunes App Store is turning corporate and has been from the beginning, which is only going to make it harder for the indie (little guy) to scrape out a big win, but don’t believe everything you read, even if it is from Venture Beat.

Describe Your App..Before Others Do!

app marketing

app marketing

The number one location developers have access to to sell their applications is their app’s description in iTunes, the Android Market or another app market. Since iTunes is the largest we will focus on how iPhone and iPad developers can successfully use their app description to convince users to buy their app. Here are four tips on how to better compose your app description to increase your app sales.

1) Don’t be shy: This is where you the developer pull out all the stops and describe every feature of your app. Now, this does not mean be over technical and provide a description that only developers would understand, but think in terms of features. Explain what your app does and how it is going to make the users life either easier or more enjoyable (if a game). Be sure to boast about your app and don’t be shy to talk it up about your app. One key point, don’t make claims about your application that are beyond what your app is capable of doing. You will be called out faster than you can imagine in the user reviews if you make this mistake.

2) Honesty: Transitioning from the last point mentioned above, be brutally honest with your customers about your app whether good or bad news. For example if you become aware of an issue with your application and it is something that will take an update to correct then a good practice is to place a statement top of line in your description notifying customers you are aware of the situation and working to correct it. This does a couple things immediately. First it builds trust with your customer base and second this helps you to manage your customer service efforts better. The first place customers will go when their is a problem with their app is to the description to look for the support or customer service link. While working their way through the description they can see that you are aware of their issue and rest assured your are working to fix it. Here is an example of how to write an issue into your app’s description: “We are aware that the application crashes when trying to use the online co-operative game play mode. We have fixed this problem and have submitted an update to Apple. This issue should be resolved in 4 to 7 days.” This keeps users informed and reduces the number of nasty emails in your customer service inbox. You should also be honest about good news about your application, such as being featured in Apples New & Noteworthy or What’s Hot areas as this mentally helps users to make a purchase of your application because if Apple says your app is good then it must be worth purchasing.

3) Use your description space: All too often I will see an application description that is maybe a hundred words and usually bulleted. These app descriptions are usually confusing to me and I consider myself to be somewhat app savvy. Imagine how a casual app user feels when they go to purchase an application and there are 2 sentences in the description and 5 bulleted features with little clarification as to why users should purchase X app. This is a classic failure to communicate to potential customers what your application is all about. If your app has no features and only can muster 2 sentences worth of description than fine. For most apps this is not the case. Don’t be lazy with your application’s description and be sure to take your time to write a thought out description with the following parts: 1) Intro/teaser- critical information about the application that can stand alone if necessary 2) Body- bulk of description with features, reviews, in depth app history, developer history or any other information that is interesting about your app or that could help sell your app. 3) Links/Customer Service- Be sure to provide links to reviews that have been completed on your application. Include YouTube videos and if you do not have a video of your app in action consider having one made by CrazyMikesapps or another reviewer. Although, links are not hyperlinked in the description they are still relevant and can be cut and pasted from the web browser version of your applications iTunes description. Finally be sure to provide app support and or customer service website links for all of your applications. There is nothing that will hurt an application more than if there is a negative issue with an app and there is no way to inform the developer.

4) Ask for feedback: One of the very best places to get honest information about your application is from your customers. Think of this as your best focus group possible. Why? Because your users have either downloaded your free app or purchased your paid app for whatever reason, most likely because your app either solves a problem or provides enjoyment. Ask your users for tips on how you can make the app better. You will typically get solid feedback, which can help you make future versions of your application better. Additionally, ask users what other features/game play they would like in your application. Sometimes they may provide you with development ideas you may have never considered. Be sure to give your customers credit if they give you a development idea that you use and it makes your app better. Put a shout out in your “Description” and you will win over a customer and show other customers that you listen to customer feedback, which builds trust.

The app description is the #1 place to convince and convert app browsers to become customers. You can do this by providing a thorough explanation of your apps features, game play, provide industry review teasers, customer service promises, links to videos and anything else you can think of that helps to describe your application and what your app does. If your app description is lacking change it today and see if you can convert more app browsers into app purchasers. MV

Why Your App Sucks! 4 Reasons to App Oblivion

app marketing

app marketing

You have spent either your time or money in the quest to develop the next great iPhone/iPad or Android app to get rich. Your plan is to join the likes of Rovio Mobile or Backflip Studios with a hit iPhone app that will create an almost never ending revenue stream. But hold on a second, your app isn’t selling, in fact, it appears if no one has even heard of your app because your only experiencing a handful of downloads a day at best ( that is one hand, 5 fingers). Does your app suck. Possibly! Here are apps that I would put in the category of “sucks.” Apps that 1) have no purpose 2) are broke and get hung up in endless memory leaks. 3) crash continuously 4) and those that a normal person cannot figure out how to use. Maybe a little harsh, but you have a small window to make someone a happy customer for paying money for your app. After all what is the best marketing method, word of mouth by a satisfied customer. Here are reasons “why your app sucks.”

1) Your App Name Sucks- If you are making an application that is for example involving baseball, perhaps you should include this in your title. The iTunes App Store and most likely but not for certain the Android Market use a search engine algorithm to provide search results to customers. If I search iTunes for “business cards” in iTunes I will be served up several apps that have the word “business” in their title. While this makes sense it does not make sense if you have created a business card application and you name it “The Connection App.” While there may be a deeper meaning for your app name that is full well if your customers knows what that meaning is, but they don’t. The point is do some keyword research in iTunes or the Android Market for your app’s niche. If it is a cooking application, search cooking applications, cooking, baking, recipes, etc to find the keywords you may want to use for your app.

2) Your App Functionality Sucks Because You Rushed Your App To Market- You were so confident your “kick ass” app was going to rock the iTunes App Store or the Android Market that you cut some corners in the development process to push the app out early. Naturally, once the app hit the market you saw little to no return on your time or money. Stunned you tried to figure out what went wrong when all along you knew deep down you were taking a chance by submitting your app without all the bugs fixed. Take your time and fight the urge to submit your app before it is ready. The consequences could harsh by plummeting your app to the bottom of either app store and worse yet you may incur the wrath of the customer by a flurry of negative reviews. Make sure your app is as good as possible with all advertised functionality working, within reason.

3) You Forgot to Create A Website Thus Your App Sucks Because You Have No Marketing Base of Operations- If your selling an application you should, at a minimum have a basic website, blog, or Squidoo page to hock your wares. You need a base of operations to provide customers, bloggers, press, and others a place to find out about your app. This is also the hub of all your marketing efforts. You should have search engine optimization (SEO) set up for this website to pull potential customers in from Google for the keywords that best fits your app. How about a place for feedback from customers, or complaints, which leads to no customer service if you do not have a website. No customer service or poor customer service equals poor reviews on iTunes and the Android Market and lessens the chances of bloggers looking to review your application. Website can be developed and hosted for less than a few hundred dollars self hosted and in most cases you can even getaway with a free website from the many different blog sites or free websites.

4) Zero Competitive Research on Your Part Caused Your App to Suck- Instead of doing a little fact checking, due diligence, or research you skipped all of that and went right into the development process for your app. Once completed you unfortunately found out that there were about 10 apps that did the same as yours, or you were unable to get the app name you wanted because it had already been taken, long before you thought of your app. These kinds of problems can easily be avoided if you research your app genera. You may find that there is a lack of functionality that can be exploited in your app niche or that it does not make sense to make another tip calculator app since there are about 10 or 20 free ones already developed. Do your research, determine if you should create a totally different app than you intended to.

Don’t sell yourself short and let your app SUCK! Take your time, do it right, build a website, do your research, name your app the best possible name you can to give your app a chance at being found in the iTunes App Store and the Android Market. If you have tips on how to market your iPhone/iPad, or Android app please leave a comment below. Also, if willing please share your app horror story and how your app sucked! Thank you. MV

5 Ideas How to Create a Top Grossing iPhone, iPad, or Android App

app marketing

app marketing

Creating and developing a top grossing iPhone, iPad, or Android app is not easy. Or is it? Not to take anything from the developers at Rovio Mobile or the now iconic iPhone app “Angry Birds” but who every would have that that pissed off birds being shot out of a slingshot at incredulous pigs would turn into a multi-million dollar app and more? The developers created an app based on their unique idea (story line) providing unique graphics and game play in a simple to grasp app that is becoming a household name. Here are 5 ideas on how to create a top grossing iPhone app:

1) Uniqueness- Although there are almost 500,000 iPhone, iPad, and Android apps for sale there is still plenty of room for your top grossing app. One sure fire way to create an app that sells is to come up with a unique, fresh, different app that provides entertainment or solves a problem. Sounds easy, but it is not. A few tips on how to do this, use your imagination, go with what you know (hobbies, sports, work, etc), find an app niche that has not yet been exploited, be creative. A final word on uniqueness, developing an app that chronicles your Grandmother’s farts, while unique is not gonna do it, so don’t go there.

2) Social influence- The world has turned social and there is plenty of room for exploiting the social movement with apps. Twitter, Faebook, YouTube, StumbleUpon, FriendFeed, Quora, and the many other social sites offer API’s to use their social network in your new app idea. Take advantage of this and see what gap exists with information from these social networks. One caveat, do your competitive research to ensure you are not duplicating another app.

3) Build your app for all platforms- Once you have your app idea, be it for the iPhone, iPad, or Android I suggest you develop it for all platforms to maximize your revenue potential. If you do not have the talent in one development style, seek another developer you may be able to barter with for like services. The more platforms your app is for sale, the more potential you have for profit.

4) Build a feature rich app- Pick your app genera and do competitive research to see what certain targeted apps have feature wise. Then up the ante and add better, newer, or increased features and functionality that the competitors do not currently offer. This would make your app better than the competition and potentially make your app better seller.

5) Build continuing content- One of my favorite app models is the continuing content model. This app development model is directly related to community building. The idea is to have a long range vision with your app in the early stages. You do not have to know everything, but have a concept that will allow you to offer 4 to 6 updates, easily for your sanity, over a period of 2 to 6 months after initial launch. You can market this to your customers from the very beginning and potentially hook customers due to the offer of free increased content. A classic example is the iPhone app Pocket God. The developers at Bolt Creative are on episode #36 and probably never dreamed in the beginning that Pocket God would become this popular nor their community as involved. This is probably one of the most underused methods to develop a top grossing app, but one that works because people love FREE stuff.

These 5 ideas may work alone or in combination with each other. Be creative and see if you can create a top grossing iPhone, iPad or Android app. If you have any specific app marketing questions please leave me a comment and I will do my very best to answer your questions. Thanks for reading my blog.