Search engines keep getting smarter and smarter. There were days when you could game the system with things like keyword stuffing and link farms. Those days are long gone. Any honest search engine optimisation consultant will tell you that in order to rank well, you need to do things correctly. This means providing the information that a searcher is looking for and do it better than anyone else.
This Same Rule Applies to Tanking In the App Store As Well
If you follow that advice, the best place to have your app is the Google Play store, created by the same company that created the world’s best, most popular search engine. The same rules apply, and the best quality apps will end up on the top of the search results on Google Play. The app developers that do the best job will get rewarded. The searchers will get the app they want just like app in the sky. It’s a win-win. Of course, that begs the question, how does app quality get measured by Google?
App Usage Matters
Like the way Amazon tracks the pages read in an eBook sold in their Kindle store, Google tracks app usage. If a customer is still using an app over time, then they must be pleased with the app. So, the percentage of users still using the app a week, month, or months later, matters in terms of where your app will rank in Google Play search results.
Just like the way search engine rankings change, the same is true for apps. Things like frequency of updates, as well as ratings and reviews, used to play a big role in rankings in the app store. But, like keyword stuffing and link farms, those things can be gamed and taken advantage of by unscrupulous marketers. How long an app is used is a much better indication of its quality. Of course, it takes a lot longer to develop a track record in that regard. Gaming reviews and ratings can be done quickly.
How Do You Improve Retention?
The obvious start is making the app easy to use. If someone downloads your app and then struggles to get it set up properly, they will quickly abandon it and may even delete it before giving it a chance. While making an app user friendly is a very large topic, the most important aspect is to create a good UI/UX that is very easy to use.
Instructions are a problem. Users don’t want to read a lot of instructions for an app. A user-friendly UI/IX should make it easy enough to use. If more information is needed, consider adding tips that can only be accessed at the right time.
Set Expectations Immediately
Make sure you make it very clear right away what your app will accomplish. Most users will give an app listing very little time or attention. In fact, many don’t do much more than look at the screenshots of the app, and completely ignore anything that’s been written about it.
If the screenshots off the app show it will solve their very specific want or problem, they’ll give it a shot. If not, they will scroll right past your listing and try a different solution. If the screenshots are not accurate and they download it to find something different, they will delete it or never use it. All of these outcomes are bad for your future listing or ranking in Google Play.
Fresh Content Matters
Many apps are content based, such as a variety of games. If your app is like this, it’s important to continue to add fresh content. This will keep users returning to your app, which will help your search ranking in Google Play over time. News apps, such as that of the BBC, are a great example of content-based apps that are updated with fresh content regularly. Consider having a visible and recognisable brand and logo, looking at options from brand design company is a god place to start.
First Time Use Needs to Be Easy
Don’t ask too much of a user when they first use your app. If you ask for too much information, if the setup is a long process, they will abandon your app and look for a new one.
Bring Users Back
Be sure and implement push-messaging with your app. Also be sure and personalise these messages if possible. One example would be to give a special offer on something to people that have already purchased from you. Targeted push notifications will do much better than random ones such as sending a cat-specific offer to someone who doesn’t have a cat.
By following these mobile app marketing tips, you’ll be giving yourself a great chance of improving your rankings in Google Play over time.