Ten Ways to Improve Your App, Boost Your Downloads and Make More Money
Ten Ways to Improve Your App, Boost Your Downloads and Make More Money
We all want our apps to perform better, to get more downloads and
make more money. Google tells us that over 1 million Android devices are
activated each day; surely it can’t be that hard to get 1 million
downloads right? Right? If you’ve created an Android app before you know
that getting a lot of active users is easier said than done, but it’s
Whether you are developing Android apps from scratch with Java and the Android SDK, or using a rapid app builder like Andromo App Maker for Android
to create your apps, this article will provide you with some tips and
techniques for driving more users to your app which will result in more
downloads, more installs and ultimately more revenue. Of course nothing
is a panacea, apps can succeed without following these tips, and they
can also perform poorly even if you do follow these tips, but by
following all or some of these tips you will be ahead of those that do
0 – MAKE A GOOD APP
Step zero is your app. Your goal should be to create the best app you
can. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but if you create a good app you’re
already on the right track. Wrapped up in this idea of a “good app” is
the subject matter. Depending on the type of app you are creating (and
the reasons why) it’s also important for you to choose the right subject
matter. That could be something that you are passionate about, a very
popular subject, a subject that appears to be lacking in apps, or a
subject that you think is about to be popular.
Remember it’s not just total downloads that count, it’s also active
users. The more people that actually use your app (a function of its
quality and subject matter) the more money you will make. You don’t make
any money off of those people that immediately uninstall your app. A
good looking app that provides meaningful, useful, or timely content
will keep users coming back for more.
1 – LISTEN TO GOOGLE
Google Play is
probably going to be the most important market available for your app so
uploading your app there is a given. This means that it’s also a given
that you will want your app to perform really well on Google Play.
Thankfully Google has taken the time to let you know what they want from
you when you upload your app there. You should follow these guidelines:
Now since you are probably using Andromo App Maker for Android
to create your app, we’ve already paid attention to what’s required as
far as the code goes, but the rest of it is up to you. You may not be
able to do everything on Google’s list, but the more you do the better
your app will perform.
At the very least you will want to ensure that you provide Google
Play all of the assets that it is asking for. Feature Graphic, Promo
graphic, icons, good screen shots at different device sizes, and a
YouTube video. Take the time to ensure that your assets look great.
You might also want to watch this video for a few tips: Root Access: How your startup can succeed in the Play Store:
2 – DON’T BREAK THE RULES
Breaking the rules or stealing content may seem like a quick way to
get some extra downloads but it’s not worth it. Breaking the rules will
only hurt you in the long run. Breaking any of your advertiser’s terms
of service will result in them banning your account and taking whatever
money is left it in. This means that you your next app will have to look
for another, possibly poorer performing, advertiser.
Breaking the Google Play terms of service will see your account (and
apps) banned from Google Play and perhaps other Google services. This
will, in effect, block all of your future apps from the most important
Android App store there is… NOT SMART.
Play by the rules and you’ll be ahead in the long run.
3 – WRITE A GOOD DESCRIPTION FOR YOUR APP
Make sure you write a good detailed description of your app for any
market you add it to. Your description should contain lots of
information about your app as well as relevant keywords for people
searching the web (Google or Bing) and the app market. Don’t go too
crazy with the keywords though, too many irrelevant keywords and Google
(and perhaps other markets) will notice and your app may get pulled.
Just be honest it’s the best way.
4-TRY ALTERNATE MARKETS
While Google play might be the most important app market out there,
as hinted at above, do not ignore the others. We’ve been working on
making Andromo apps more compatible with Amazon Kindle devices, so don’t forget to upload your app to the Amazon App market.
You should also look for popular app markets around the world. Google
Play is (as I said) obviously the biggest, but there are some important
app stores in some countries which might help you get some more
You might also want to consider porting your app to Blackberry. It’s relatively easy to convert your Android APK using the online repackaging tools but submitting it to the BlackBerry App World
can be a bit of a pain. It may not be the biggest market around, but if
you want some additional downloads, and your app is compatible, I
suggest giving it a shot.
5- BE SOCIAL
This is another obvious step that shouldn’t be missed. If your app is
important to you, let other people know about it. Create a website, a twitter account, facebook page, Google+
page, all dedicated to your app. Tweet and post about it, especially
when you release a new version, and don’t forget to let your friends
know about it.
You don’t want to get spammy, but letting people know about your app is always good.
6- GET REVIEWS AND BE LISTED
There are a lot of sites out there that are devoted to listing or
reviewing Android apps. These are a great way for you to get noticed by
people either in Google searches or by regular readers of those sites.
Here are two links that list some of the sites you can submit your app
to for review or general browsing. Be careful though – I would not
recommend paying any of the sites listed anything for their services
before really determining it’s worth it:
7 – ADVERTISE
Another obvious way to promote your app is to advertise it. You can advertise on ad platforms and websites such as:
- Google Adsense
You can also target mobile advertisers like AdMob, Mobpartner, Tapgage, and others.
House ads, which you can configure for both AdMob and tapgage, are a
great way for you to advertise your app within other apps of yours, or a
paid version of your app in your free app. The best part about using
house ads to promote your apps is their cost: free.
8- LET THE COMMUNITIES KNOW
This is related to other forms of promotion, but subtly different so
it deserves its own tip. The basic idea is to find communities and/or
areas of the internet that may be interested in your app. So if you made
an app that provides people with information on how to make candles, it
would be a good idea to make a post on a candle maker forum.
Places to target include:
- Forums and Communities
- Facebook pages
- Google Plus Communities
- Twitter hash tags
- Tumblr blogs
- Anywhere else people congregate on the Internet
A word of caution before you start posting on every forum and
community in the world: Many forums look down upon spam and
self-promotion, so be sure to read the community guidelines before
posting. Remember to be honest and let people know that you are the
author of the app.
9 – HAVE A SALE
If you have a paid app, running the occasional sale is a good way to
attract more paying customers. You can hold your sales around holidays
or anniversaries if you want. I’ve also seen people change their App
icons or Google Play assets to help promote the sale. All good ideas.
If you do run a sale, using house ads in the free version of your app is a great way to promote the sale.
10 – UPDATE YOUR APP EVERY MONTH
A well-timed refresh of your app is a great way to get your old users
using your app again, as well as getting your app re-listed and back in
front of potential new users. The right refresh schedule depends on the
app, but once a month is a good rate for most apps.
Refresh your apps with a new feature or two, some new graphics, a
better description, or a new ad network or type (banners, interstitials,
etc). Keeping your app updated is a good idea if you want to be
successful over the long term.
BONUS TIP – TRY, TRY AGAIN
As the old adage goes: “If at first you don’t succeed try, try again.”
If you’ve made it this far in this article, it’s time for you to head
back to step one. We’ve all heard the stories: Thomas Edison (depending
on which version of history or quote you believe) tried over 6000
substances before settling on a carbonized cotton thread filament for
his light bulb. WD-40 stands for: “Water Displacement, 40th attempt”,
which means there were 39 failures before that. The important lesson to
learn from these stories is that most people don’t strike it rich on
their first attempt, and you probably won’t either. The obvious
solution: try again.
Now this doesn’t mean forgetting about your old apps, or that your
old apps are failures, it simply means trying something new, and not
giving up after one attempt. Thankfully you’ve got Andromo
in your back pocket, which makes creating new apps a simple and quick
task. So get back on the app-making horse and create the next app to
crack the million download barrier.
Got any tips of your own? Did you crack the million download barrier? Let us know!