A Comprehensive Guide to Mobile Apps Marketing and SEO

Everyone has an app these days. Every major company with a website will also guide you to an app from their mobile site, and often they entice customers with additional content and offers available only through the app.

This appeal means there are literally millions of apps (6+ million in 2017 on just Apple and Google’s platforms, as seen below). If you don’t market appropriately, your app will get buried on the rankings. And people are not scrolling through hundreds of apps per keyword search. Even if your app is valuable, low rankings will lead to low perceptions.

Mind your Target Market

Not only are there millions of apps, it is incredibly difficult to get people to download new ones. comScore’s 2017 study found that over 51% of users did not download new apps in a single month. The same report showed that millennials are more interested in finding new apps than older demographics, which is important to keep in mind when developing your marketing strategy. It is also a good idea to find the top apps in your demographic and either imitate or stand out.


Additionally, if you don’t have the resources to create apps for different operating systems (e.g., iOS, Android, Windows), choose the most appropriate store for your market. Apple users are more likely to spend on apps, while Android users are looking for cheaper or free apps. The difference is evidenced by the respective profits of Apple and Google’s app stores.


Initial Stages: App Store Optimization (ASO)

In order for people to find your app, you have to help them. This is where ASO comes in. The main idea is similar to SEO, but to appear in the first few results of an app search. The components to pay attention to include:


The first thing people see, and it also contains the “title tags”, or the keywords that the App Store algorithms match to searches


The title and icon are the two first impressions potential customers see. An icon that seems decoupled from your app’s content and purpose may discourage customers from even looking at anything else. It may also lead frustrated customers away if they feel duped by the icon and title.


Succinctness is essential, as potential customers have tens of other apps to skim as well. Use simple sentences and break them into bullet points to make skimming easier.


Descriptions can only go so far. The saying “a picture is worth a thousand words” applies here. The app’s description is light, and more text is only revealed by explicitly tapping on a button. Screenshots, however, are immediately viewable from the main app download page.


Reviews are essential to new downloads. Low ratings will instantly turn off potential customers, and with the near commodification of apps today, why would anyone invest time and resources in exploring a poorly rated app.

Be sure to reply to reviews as well, both positive and negative, to foster greater community involvement and demonstrate you’re an active developer who responds to customer complaints.

Furthermore, it is important to have reviews. Gently nudging your users to rate the app is perfectly fine – just don’t be obnoxious and intrusive, otherwise you will get reviews, but they’re likely to be negative.

Initial Stages: The Influencers and Social Media

Have a social media presence. The main contenders like Facebook and Twitter are important, but depending on your target market, you may want to spend time also investing in social media campaigns on other platforms. Well-established communities often have their own social media platforms outside the big ones.

And don’t forget about influencers. These people are social media stars, both on YouTube and otherwise, and their followers listen to them. Partnering with the right influencer can rapidly spread the word about your app and subsequently increase your download numbers.


Follow Ups: Landing Pages and Email Campaigns

An app landing page is the perfect way to showcase your app in all its glory. The app download platforms have limited space, and they’re not optimal for video demonstrations or even feature previews. A landing page should show the breadth and depth of your app, and using video is even better than screenshots. But make sure to avoid autoplay videos, because people visiting from mobile sources may have metered connections and will surely move on to the next app if your site consumes 5% of their monthly data allowances.

As for email, while it may seem outdated, it is effective in not only converting people to your app, but also following up and maintaining contact with customers. Social media is great for reaching the masses, but many people may want to interact in private, and email is the perfect tool. Moreover, metrics like reads and click throughs are easy to track with email.

The era of quick money from building an app is over. It is vital to stand out from the crowd, or you will risk your app flailing in a sort of app-purgatory: a few people will use it, but it will never gain the traction you want without proper marketing. Start with this guide and build your presence from there.


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