With the ever growing app stores (2.8 million apps available for Android and 2.2 million apps available in the Apple app store) you can imagine that it is difficult to try and get your app noticed. As these numbers are constantly rising app user acquisition is only going to become more and more difficult for app developers and marketers to reach their potential users.
User acquisition (often shortened to UA) is the process of gaining new users for your app. It’s a strategy designed around capturing an audience and convincing them to use your app. User acquisition is important as without a strategy, you can find it difficult to convert new users to download your app. As competition increases daily it is important to be on trend and up to date with finding ways to boost your app discovery and convincing them to install it. This can be improved with App Store Optimization (ASO).
To ensure that your app becomes a hit in the app store, you need a strategy to make your app stand out against competitors. The best way to market and fully optimize your app listing is by using ASO.
How to Improve User Acquisition
1. Understand the app stores
Even though both Google and Apple keep their ranking algorithms a secret, there is still lots of information available to help. If you have already launched your app, take a look at how it ranks in the app store, and compare it to your competitors’ rankings. Are the pages for each app store the same? Do the app stores have any restrictions and if so what are they?
Find out what your users are searching for! Start by opening the app store and before even inputting text the Apple App Store displays current trending searches. See if there are any trending searches related to your app and note them down. Next, begin typing a related topic and the app store will start giving suggestions. Be sure to use the applicable keywords found on your app store page, elements such as your title and description. Do not forget that the user will be reading these also, so be sure not to use irrelevant keywords and make sure the title and description make sense.
3. Free vs Paid
As you would expect there are some advantages to having a paid App, the most obvious one being extra revenue. In saying that, be sure to take into consideration that 90% of iTunes App Store Apps are free. With free apps, they are more likely to receive positive reviews, which helps with App Store Optimization and therefore is great for getting more downloads. Can you see the pattern?
4. Try before they buy
Creating a trial period is a great way for users to try before they buy. Showing them what they are missing. It gives the user a chance to try the app for a stated time frame. You can enable features, such as banners or watermarks, that are shown only during the trial, before a user buys your app.
Take Aaptiv for example, the app is free however the fitness subscription costs. Aaptiv offers a 7 day trial, with unlimited access to 100s of fitness classes and if you decide that you do not like the app you can cancel it within 7 days, no questions asked.
5. A/B Test
A/B testing may seem obvious but you would be surprised how many forget that they have created their app for their users, not themselves. Instead of trying to predict what users want, test the app store page elements to see which engage more with their users. A/B testing allows you to make the most out of your existing traffic and helps you find the combination of elements that work for your app store page.
The above image shows Mongram testing variations of app store page elements. However, be sure not to test too many things at once as this can confuse your metrics. Ideally stick to testing 1 element at a time, however, if you are testing a theme like this example, sometimes this might involve testing a few related elements at one time.
With the ever growing app stores, improving your user acquisition essential, and app store optimization can help. By understanding the app stores that will display your app this allows you to know if there are any restrictions and find out the best way to optimize your app store page. As always keywords are a very important component to any user acquisition strategy. Find out what your users are searching for and incorporate them into your descriptions and titles where possible. However, remember not to stuff these elements with keywords, remember it has to make sense to read. Giving the user the option to trial the app a few days before will make sure that the users downloading your app are more likely to use it when downloaded instead of downloading it and then deleting it if it's not for them, as the trial will have already shown the user what the app does.