Digital technology has taken the world by storm. The labyrinth nature of the Internet has engulfed us with a blanket of convenience, making the world a much smaller place to live in. From booking a cab to ordering pizza, we have been spoilt for choice with the number of apps available in the market. Ever since the concept of applications was invented, these tiny widgets have evolved from the phone and tabs to laptops and even smart TVs.
In the past few years, there has been a drastic increase in the number of apps; however, the number of active app users have remained stagnant. According to a study, the average mobile app retention rate is just 20% after 90 days. Even if they have stayed on and not deleted the app, on an average, more than 75% of users fail to return the day after first use. These figures make us wonder – are mobile apps close to extinction?
While some of the essentials apps such as Whatsapp and Facebook will remain an active app on the phone, the rest of them will predominantly disappear. So, what is the future?
Progressive Web Apps – The future of apps
The newest trend observed on the Internet is the emergence of websites with app-like behaviour in a browser. A shortcut to these websites can then directly be added to your device home screen based on how frequently you visit them. The progressive functions of these app-like websites have coined the term Progressive Web Apps, which is the next big thing in the effervescent digital world.
Apart from the plethora of advantages an app user faces, a progressive web app can widely benefit any brand or organization. Gone are the days when websites were merely developed for desktop usage and apps for mobile phones. Considering the fact that most of the organic traffic comes through mobile, it is now mandatory for organisations to take their digital game up a notch to cater to their target audiences. A PWA fills in the gap between an app and a website and is the perfect solution for increased sales or leads.
Furthermore, the cutting-edge application shell architecture used in progressive web apps makes it ideal for e-commerce websites. It eradicates the need to download the app and provides the user with the added benefits of higher page loading speed and enhanced performance in places of limited connectivity.
A lot of leading organisations have already incorporated the concept of Progressive Web Apps in their digital space. Flipkart and Ola are few of the early adopters of this technology. So, its time for mobile apps to move on and welcome PWAs.
There’s an app for everything these days. If you are a heavy user, you probably have numerous apps installed on your smartphone. Each app in your phone serves a purpose, giving you a good reason to use when required. Only thing is, there are too many apps that share similar features and functionality, so you need to come up with ingenious ways to make your app stand out.
At present, there are more than 4 million apps in Google’s Play Store and Apple’s App Store combined, and these numbers are increasing at a huge rate. To stand out in this overflowing marketplace, your app needs powerful marketing and promotion. Here’s a quick guide on the many ways you can market your newly launched mobile app.
Even before you begin marketing your app, you need to be 100 percent sure it is prepped and ready for displaying on a selected app store. Little things like the app icon, software updates, and app descriptions play a big role in your app’s awareness and life cycle in a store. Keep a cheat sheet for app store optimisation next to you throughout the development and marketing of your app.
A lot of apps launching today are really just an extension of a product or service that already has a strong presence on the web. If you’re going the reverse way, you still need some sort of website presence that can be used as a promotive platform. The best option is a landing page, which can be used to promote your app organically. Let’s say you’re writing an informative blog article that centres around your app-based product or people search for the product you offer on Google; if the first point of communication is a landing page, there’s a big chance that searchers get converted into a user of your app.
Make the most you can out of the freedom of expression offered on the landing page. You can provide detailed information about your product and even create a mock version of your app to give users a taste of what to expect.
Human, a fitness initiative, launched as an app to inspire people of all ages to get active for a minimum of 30 minutes every day. To boost awareness for the app, a landing page was created that explained in detail the various features and benefits of using the app. The landing page included app screenshots, a simulator that showed real-time statistics of the app’s usage and various testimonials. Installs of Human hit the 1 million mark and the app was also rated amongst the best of 2014
Advertising is the fastest way to create awareness about a product and the same can be said for your app. There are a number of third party services that enable you to create and promote app install ads, so keep your finances in check and work out the best possible deals for advertising your app.
Facebook and Google’s app install campaigns are the best to start with. Here are the steps:
If shelling out money for advertising isn’t a good option for you, try the alternative route with social media promotions. Blogging, hashtagging, and page posts are some of the many techniques you can utilise on social media. Audience engagement helps build trust and value for your app and works wonders in the long run, provided you have patience and perseverance when using this marketing method.
One of the quickest ways to increase app installs is to request current users to write reviews and rate your app. App Store algorithms calculate app popularity through user reviews and number of downloads, which ultimately push your app to the Top Charts. You can implement the review and rating feature in your app via a number of unique ways; asking for reviews after multiple usages of the app or providing additional app features after a review or rating is done.
Just like Google’s numerous tools that help keep track of a website’s performance or the number of views and clicks on an ad, Mobile App Tracking tools help you track the number of times your app installed. Even when you promote your app through paid advertising, you can use app tracker tools to see from which method of promotion your app is benefiting most. Doing so helps in managing your ad expenses as well as gives you some pointers on what needs to change to enhance your app’s user experience.
Do you know any other interesting tricks of the app marketing trade? Share your ideas in the comments below.
This article was originally published on BusinessLine on Campus
So you’ve developed a mobile app, excellent, but what next?
There are more than 4 million apps in the Google Play Store and Apple App Store and this number will only increase with the coming years. While each app is exclusive to the developer, only a few get the deserved recognition from users. To be precise, the fate of your app after its development depends on how many users download and use it. According to research, 63% of apps are discovered through app store searches, so it is highly essential to optimize your app for the app store.
Here are some best practices to get more app downloads and to increase your rankings in the app store.
No, naming your app after you or your business won't work well. A good idea would be to choose two to three keywords and using at least one of them in the title of your app. According to data, apps with keywords in the title rank 10.3 per cent higher than those without a keyword in the title. This way, your app will show easily in the search results. However, make sure that you don't make the app name look like a spam by overstuffing keywords. The title needs to be short because that’s what users can read in a single screen. Obviously, you don’t want your title to get cut. Titles are usually cut after the 23rd character (including spaces) in the App Store and the 30th character in Google Play. The first thing that the users see about your app is the name and icon. This is the first and the best chance to impress your users. Therefore, be cautious and creative when thinking of a name for your app.
Most of the times, users may need an app for some particular function, but they may not be sure which, app to download for the same. In such cases, the description option in the app store comes in handy. Reading the description of the app will help the users know what your app does, and it will also decrease the chances of uninstalls as the users know about the app well before downloading it.
Make sure the description is precise and concise and brings out what the app does exactly. Use bullet points wherever required and avoid dense paragraphs.
Also, read our blog on "10 Free Apps for Productivity, Social Media & SEO.”
As we said before, an app icon and the app’s name are the ones that catch your users’ eyes easily. Make sure that your app’s icon is designed from scratch. Also, do not make it too elaborate or complicated. Keep it simple, unique, and attractive and make sure the icon breaks through the clutter. Do remember that the play store and the App Store have both varying standards in terms of size, geometry, and color scheme of app icons, so design the icons accordingly. The iOS icons should be sized to at least 1024×1024 pixels and the Google Play requires a 512×512 icon.
Have you noticed those screenshots that are shown in the app store when you check out an app? Well, that’s your next chance to capture the attention of your potential app users. To make a visitor download your app, you must place screenshots tactfully in this section. You can upload up to five screenshots for an iOS app and eight for an Android one, however, only two or three screenshots will appear in the gallery when the page loads. Only use screenshots that will differentiate your app from other similar apps. For the best results, you could A/B test various screenshots to see, which drives the most downloads. Read our blog on “How Design Can Help Tell a Brand Story.”
Like any other software, your mobile apps will also need regular updates and upgrades. If you launch your app and forget it, your users will download it and forget or uninstall it. Release periodical updates with relevant release notes explaining what’s new in the update.
You don’t have to urge them to review or rate you with pop-ups every other minute, but gently nudge your users to rate your app. This will always help in increasing your views. Furthermore, do not ignore negative reviews, but pay attention to what was wrong in the users’ experience and try to fix it. The apps with high ratings are all ones that keep their audience engaged and take customer feedback positively. You can also make use of influencer marketing to get your app reviewed by top digital influencers.
If your app is something that needs to be bought, set a competitive pricing. Instead of making your app more expensive than other similar apps, set a nominal price and improvise on making your app the best in the category. If your app is free, then add it to the in-app purchases category to improve its listing and visibility.
When your app is available in various languages and is compatible with different OS versions, it is bound to get more view and reach than an app released only for one OS and in English. Both the iOS and the Play store allow you to localize your listings to make discovering your app easier for customers in other countries.
We hope by now you have understood the various best practices that must be followed to improve your app download. Comment below some of the other tips that you would like to add to our app store optimisation cheat sheet.
Welcome to the club !! Google Maps for Android has now crossed one billion downloads. Last month, Gmail for Android became the first app to cross this milestone. The listing of the Google Maps app on Play Store currently shows that the app has more than 1 billion downloads and between 1 billion to 5 billion installations. This obviously doesn't count on the iOS installs.
It will be interesting to see long does it take for the other apps from the Google stable like the Search & Hangouts as well as Facebook, WhatsApp & Twitter to cross the milestone. They current statistics are as shown below:
In 2011, it was Google Maps which was leading the race vis-à-vis Gmail, with the former becoming the first ever Android app to reach 50 million downloads. Although Gmail crossed the cart and catapulted quickly to the 1 billion mark, but it has been quite a journey for Google Maps-one of the oldest and most valuable components of Android. From mapping between two points, it has evolved into a navigation companion showing 3D maps, scaled distances, walking directions, indoor maps and what not. It definitely deserves an applause.
Note: Though there is no official announcement from Google on this, but the Google Play Store listing statistics are a fairly credible number to go with.