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How to Improve Your App’s Visibility, Organically

New eMarketer report explores mobile app install marketing

In late 2017, Apple unveiled a completely revamped App Store with a clear focus on helping surface mobile apps to its users. Why? Because consumers are drowning in a sea of options.

Apple’s App Store is home to over 2 million mobile apps, and the number of apps available on the Google Play Store is even higher—at 3.6 million. Getting an app in front of the right user is a tricky task, so of course there’s a marketing discipline to help: app store optimization (ASO).

Optimizing an app’s core assets—such as the icon, title and description—on Google Play and Apple’s App Store can help marketers push up their app store ranking without spending a dime on media buys. If you’d like to use paid ads, Google is working to make that easier, too. Earlier this month, Google announced it was adding several new programs to help app developers reach more users who want to download their apps. An upcoming beta test will allow developers to surface relevant app content within ads, such as in-app product images or descriptions.

The majority of US smartphone users surveyed by Button and App Annie in November 2017 said they were most likely to discover or install a new app via one of those app stores. Other sources, including various types of mobile advertisements, were considered less likely ways to find or download a new app.

Our most recent report, “Mobile App Installs: What You Need to Know About User Acquisition,” lays out the app assets marketers should optimize to connect with consumers. Users already in an app store are already at the bottom of the funnel and have signaled an intent to download a new app. How to convert that to a download?

Here are two tips on how marketers can tweak app assets to maximize visibility and discoverability:

App title. One of the easiest elements of ASO involves choosing a title that quickly conveys its primary purpose, but also includes keywords to improve search rankings. But both Google and Apple limit the number of characters in an app’s title to stop developers and publishers from stuffing titles with keywords. A carefully chosen title can both deliver SEO strength and clearly convey the app’s function.

App description. If you weren’t able to include all of your desired SEO magic in the app title, here’s a second shot at it. But don’t overload your description with content designed to appeal foremost to crawler bots. Remember that you need to entice an actual person to download and then engage with the app. Good copywriting blends keywords with a clear description of what your app does.

Listen in as analyst Rahul Chadha discusses the ins and outs of app discovery in the latest episode of eMarketer's "Behind the Numbers."