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6 Smart Tips on Boosting App Downloads

Updated on March 10, 2016

After all those jam-packed days and sleepless nights, you’ve got a great app built and got it published in high hopes. You might be tempted to think, it’s time you take the backseat and enjoy the ride. The fact is, the ride has only begun. Unless you get a decent number of downloads on your app, there’s no way it’s going to reap you any substantial returns. And with over two million apps on Google Play Store and Apple App Store contesting for the same slot, it’s not going to be an easy game. Here are 6 industry insider’s tips to get more downloads on your app.


1. Create an Iconic Icon

The trick is to make it stick

Say you are searching for a music app on the app store. You get a couple of top grossing apps in the search results. Now here’s a question – What’s the first thing about the apps that you come across on the store? It’s the app icon (If you care to note, you tend to look at it even before the app title). An icon can make or break the chances of your app getting downloaded. Experts believe that a user looks at the icon and takes as less as 5 seconds to decide whether to download your app or scroll down looking for more options. While designing an icon, make sure it is unique, memorable, and scales gracefully on multiple devices. More importantly, it should be simple - Cramming in too much into that 0.5x0.5 sq. inch space might do more harm than good.

2. Give it a Unique Title

It all starts with a name

If you look at the top grossing apps in any genre – Flappy Bird, Snapchat, Instagram, Angry Birds – None of them sports a generic title. Make your title unique – a bit of eccentricity won’t hurt. Also, include a keyword in your title. According to Kissmetrics, including a keyword can help your app rank 10.3% higher. More importantly, while naming your app, make sure it’s original. Duplication might not only hurt your credibility but draw legal contingencies as well.


3. Write an Awesome App Description

What’s in it there for them

Description is the place where you set out your app’s unique features and value propositions. And remember, while doing that, it’s important to keep your tone conversational. You might have noted, there’s a default fold in the app description column. This is the most crucial part in app description. If you are convincing enough in this part, the users will read the full description and hopefully click on the download button as well. In stark contrast, a poorly written description can undo all your hardwork and bring you back to square one!

4. Pick Clever Screenshots of Your App

Show snippets of your story

More than anything else, screenshots are the ones that convey the features and functionality of the app to the user, letting them know, what’s in it there for them? Shoddy screenshots set a bad impression and might turn off users even before they give your app a try. Screenshots must give a sneak peek into your app in action. You can simply use screen capture of your app or better yet, brush it up with photo editing tools enhancing the overall effect. Moreover, make the best of the space available. As of now, Apple App Store allows 5 screenshots and Google Play Store allows 8 screenshots.

5. Solicit Ratings and Reviews from Patrons

Reach for the stars

It goes without saying, ratings and reviews are pivotal to getting high number of downloads on the store. Surveys reveal that 4-star apps are 2X more likely to be downloaded than 3-star apps. The same goes with positive reviews. The question is, how do you garner high ratings and positive reviews? Either you take the spray-and-pray approach to rating prompts, like most businesses do. Or you take the smarter way; deploy app metrics to identify your loyal lot of users for rating and reviewing your app.


6. Localise Your App

Go local to go global

Surveys show that 9 out of every 10 smartphone users do local searches. Localising your app not only increases its discoverability but also increases its chances of getting downloaded. Localisation involves adapting your app to the specific culture and norms of the place including language, currency, date and time formats, weight and measurement systems and other such variables. It might sound to be an investing affair but with an online app builder that offers the option of building your app in multiple languages, it’s quite an easy task!


It’s a good practice to test your app for consistency and functionality on multiple devices before launching it on the app store. It’ll give you an idea what works and what doesn’t. Always choose a mobile app builder that offers a pre-launch trial on multiple devices.

You might be surprised to know that most apps are never downloaded in spite of appearing at the top of search results. But if you go by these smart tips, you’ll get more users clicking their way to your app. Getting more app downloads is a self-amplifying loop. You want users to download your app and the more downloads you get, the more likely it is to be downloaded. Just stay persistent in your efforts and you’ll get there!


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