Effective Strategies to Boost Mobile App Downloads

Are you planning to develop a mobile app for your business? Good idea! Sadly, you’re not alone. There are already 2.47 million apps on Google Play and 1.8 million apps on the Apple Store, according to Statista.

While developing a mobile app is one of the best business decisions you make, it’s just the beginning. You need to have a robust mobile app marketing strategy. Let’s look at some strategies you can implement to increase mobile app downloads. 

Optimize your app

First things first, make sure your app is worth downloading. When someone opens an app store, the first thing they see is the app’s name and icon. If the icon is dull, boring, or of low quality, users won’t bother downloading your app. So, ensure that you put up a well-designed app icon that instantly intrigues the user.

The second thing to focus on is the app’s performance. If your app doesn’t provide a seamless user experience, people won’t use it. Furthermore, a terrible user experience can result in poor ratings and reviews, which can deplete the downloads. It’s essential to invest in-app performance and personalization so that when users download the app, they enjoy using it. 

Prioritize app store optimization

You’ve developed a mobile app and listed it on the app store. Now what? Just like you can utilize search engine optimization (SEO) to boost website traffic, you can leverage app store optimization (ASO) to increase mobile app downloads. Investing in ASO ensures that your app ranks high on app store search results and gets more eyeballs.

Here’s how you can optimize your app for app stores.

  • Keywords

    According to Appraidar, more than 45% of users use app store search to find new apps. Therefore, choosing the right keywords in your app’s title and description is critical. You can use Google Keyword Planner or other third-party tools to identify high-volume keywords and search terms.

  • Categories

    Your app’s category will depend on its type and the purpose it serves. Several app categories are available on app stores, including business, education, entertainment, finance, productivity, personalization, and more. If your app falls into more than one category, choose a category that’s relevant to your app but not too saturated.

  • Location

    Determine if your app caters to a global or local audience. If you want to target a local audience, be sure to tweak your description according to their location. You can also translate the description into their language.

  • Title and description

    In addition to having high-volume keywords, your app title and description need to clearly communicate the purpose and benefits of the app. By reading the title and description, users should get an idea of what the app is all about and how it would make their life easier.

  • Images

    Users always check photos, screenshots, or videos of the app before downloading it. Multimedia elements can highlight your app’s most important features, thereby encouraging downloads. Including one video and a few images of your app can go a long way in boosting your app’s app store performance.

Bonus tip

While the App Store and Google Play are the most popular app stores out there, they aren’t the only ones that exist. TapTap is a popular app store designed specifically for mobile games. For apps, you can check out AppChina, Aptoide, Softonic, and Apkpure. Since these stores have less competition, listing your app on them can help you reach a broader audience and boost downloads. 

Run paid ads

The Appraidar research also showed that 10% of users find apps through a web search, which comprises both organic and paid results. We’ll come to the organic promotion of your mobile app in a second, but let’s talk about paid advertising first. 


Source: Appraidar

As discussed, a majority of users find new apps via app store search. While ASO is crucial, you can’t overlook the fact that 29.5k apps were released on the App Store last month (Feb 2021). The figure rises to 88.5k for the Play Store. App stores are getting competitive, and focusing only on ASO won’t be enough.

Running search engine ads can give much-needed exposure to your mobile app. Though Google Ads has been traditionally used to market websites, almost half of Google traffic nowadays comes from mobile devices. Therefore, using search engine ads can go a long way in reaching your mobile audience and increasing app downloads. 

Launch a website and blog for your app

As mentioned, your mobile app marketing efforts should go beyond app store optimization. If you don’t have the budget to run paid ads, having a website or blog for your mobile app can help you drive effective promotion for your app. While your website might take some time to show up on the search results, the wait is worth it. Once your website is ranked high enough, it can put your mobile app marketing efforts on autopilot mode.

If you have a paid advertising strategy in place, you can still launch a website to support the advertising efforts. Investing in SEO and paid ads at the same time will help you get more real estate on SERPs, resulting in more traffic and app downloads.

Let’s also talk about how your website should look like. Ideally, it should explain the benefits of your app in detail. There’s a character limit on the descriptions you can put up on the App Store and Play Store (4,000 characters for both). Hence, you’ll need to be concise and highlight only the main features and benefits of your app.

You can expand on this information on your website and provide users with in-depth information about your app and how it can help them. You can also include reviews, testimonials, case studies, and other types of content to encourage engagement and downloads.

Let’s look at how Uber is winning the website game. The website title – Earn Money by Driving or Get a Ride Now – makes the offerings crystal clear. The homepage further explains the two services Uber offers – Become a Driver or Ride a Cab. The end of every page on the website has Play Store and App Store download links. The website also has a blog, where you can find everything from testimonials to news to work-from-home tips.

Promote your app on social media

Social media is no longer a place where teens would share some crazy stuff they did at school the last day. It has become a powerful medium for businesses to discover untapped markets and communicate with potential consumers. Research from Mobile App Daily showed that 70% of companies leverage social media for mobile app marketing.

Moreover, there are over 3.5 billion social media users worldwide. If you want to increase mobile app downloads, social media is something you can’t ignore.

The first step of promoting your app on social media is to identify your target audience and where they reside. If your app is a business productivity tool that helps managers manage their employees, you’ll likely find your audience on LinkedIn. If it’s a camera app with cool filters and photo editing features, Instagram and Snapchat might be the ideal platforms to promote it. If it’s a video editing app, TikTok can be a lucrative channel.

Once you’ve figured out which channels you want to target, you can utilize the marketing tools each of them offers. For example, almost every social platform – Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and TikTok – has a hashtag feature. You can use hashtags to generate pre-launch buzz and build a social following for your app.

Every social media channel has an ad network that you can use to increase awareness and drive downloads. The advertising costs on social media are relatively less than Google, so you can reach more people and get more downloads on a budget. You can select your target audience based on age, gender, location, devices, etc., to ensure that your ads show up to the right people. 

Leverage Email marketing

Marketing strategies come and go, but hardly anyone comes close to the impact you can create with email marketing. A study conducted by DMA suggests that email marketing can generate an average return on investment (ROI) of about $51.

Once you’ve created a website for your app, you can include an embedded sign-up form to collect emails of website visitors. Ensure that you build trust and rapport with your website visitors to encourage them to share their email addresses with you.

Develop a seamless onboarding process for your email subscribers. When they sign up for your email list, send them a thank you email to welcome them on board. Then, continue sending them relevant content, information, surveys, and offers to keep them engaged. Once the users have downloaded the app, you can send them in-app purchase offers, update information, etc.

Take your mobile app marketing efforts offline

Not many app owners and developers realize that they can take their mobile app marketing efforts online. The fine line between the online and offline world is diminishing, as integrated experiences and omnichannel marketing has become the new normal.

The easiest way to promote your app offline is to create a QR code and link it to the app download page. QR codes are easy to make, and there are many free tools available that allow you to generate a QR code.

Once you have the QR code, you can print it on paper and place it just about anywhere. You can put them up on your business cards, brochures, flyers, newspaper ads, billboards, etc. Since almost every phone camera comes with QR code scanning capabilities, users can easily scan the code and download your app. 

Encourage reviews and testimonials

Last but not least, get as many reviews as possible for your app. When users find an app on the app store, the first thing they look for is its rating and reviews. If an app has poor reviews, it’ll get fewer downloads. Data from App Radar showed that ratings can increase your store conversion by 92% 

 Apptentive App Ratings Conversion

Source: Appradar

App developers often make the mistake of adopting a passive approach when it comes to collecting app reviews. Don’t wait for reviews to roll in. Actively ask for them and encourage your users to rate the app on the app store.

You can use plugins like Appraiter that show pop-ups in the app, requesting the user to rate the app. You can specify the timing and frequency of the pop-up. Sending emails requesting ratings and reviews is another effective way. 

Wrapping up

With mobile users on the rise, apps have become an essential tool for businesses to communicate with their customers, make sales, and generate revenue. However, the competition in the app marketplace is continuously increasing, and companies need to implement the right strategies to increase mobile app downloads.