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6 tips to improve your app store listing and get more downloads

Denis is a Product Owner at Novoda. He fills products with a vision and aligns objectives with features while ensuring a smooth development process. In his spare time he enjoys kitesurfing and hiking.

With over 4.5 million apps across Apple’s App Store and the Google Play Store, app store optimisation (ASO) is increasingly important to help your apps get discovered. In such a competitive environment it’s essential that you present your app in the most effective way to optimise your download and view rate. This post gives some best practice tips for a great app store listing.

1. Give your app a descriptive title

The app title is probably the first thing your customers will see next to your app icon, so it should be as relevant, readable and descriptive as possible. Try adding keywords to your title if you have space, but beware of over-stuffing and make sure it’s easily readable. Space available varies between app stores - you get 30 characters on Google Play and 50 characters on the App Store.

Avoid Keyword Stuffing Left: Good use of Title and Keywords
Right: Avoid Keyword stuffing - you might get penalised by Apple

2. Add impactful images

Appealing images are arguably the most important element of your app store listing. They give you the opportunity to showcase the design and value of your app and are seen by all visitors to your page. Chances are that a potential customer who sees low quality or poorly-designed app store images might not be inclined to read on or download your app.

Don’t just upload screenshots of your app, create mock-ups to give your customer a clearer view of how it looks on a device screen. Describe a key feature on each screenshot, or better still, tell a story with your images as a visual way of conveying your app’s USPs in a logical sequence. Localise your screenshots - translate your copy for each language you provide.
Apple App Store only: Create mock-ups for each device type your app is compatible with (eg iPhone 4s, iPhone 7 Plus, iPad Air).

Design your app screenshot in a mockup Design your app preview images, don't simply upload a screenshot.

3. Create a compelling short description

(Google Play only)

The short description is limited to 80 characters to describe the essence of your app. It’s important as it’s the only text shown to users unless they click on ‘Read more’ to view the long description.

Talk about user benefits rather than your app’s features
Explain clearly what your app does, what problems it solves and how it fulfills users’ needs

4. Front-load your app description with the most important message

Your potential user will see the full description when they click on ‘Read more’. Both app stores give you 4,000 characters to describe your app’s key features and benefits in detail here. Use relevant keywords that describe the key functions of your app and clearly explain the value it provides. Front-load your description with the most important messages to ensure they are conveyed to as many users as possible. Your users may only scan this section so make sure the key elements you want to communicate stand out clearly.

5. Use all 100 characters for keywords

(App Store only)

Apple's App Store lets you add a total of 100 characters for keywords that best describe your app. Don’t waste characters on any unnecessary spaces and avoid duplicating the same words. Put yourself in the mind of your customer and think about what they might search for to discover your app. Good free tools for keyword research are Sensor Tower or Google’s Keyword Planner.

6. Create an app video

A video is a great way to show your app in action and bring its value to life for your customers.
When creating a video, make sure you include the key messages in the first 5 seconds as it’s key to grab your customer’s attention from the start. Although Google Play allows videos of up to two minutes we recommend you limit the length to 30 seconds for maximum impact, which is also the limit on the App Store. Don’t just explain how to use the app, focus on the value it creates for your users.
Creating a high quality video is a serious undertaking and requires a significant investment of time and money. It’s worth making sure all other parts of your store listing are as effective as possible before you focus your resources on this.

Hopefully that has given you some fresh ideas on how to improve the conversion rate of your app store listing.

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We plan, design, and develop the world’s most desirable software products. Our team’s expertise helps brands like Sony, Motorola, Tesco, Channel4, BBC, and News Corp build fully customized Android devices or simply make their mobile experiences the best on the market. Since 2008, our full in-house teams work from London, Liverpool, Berlin, Barcelona, and NYC.

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