Guide To Improve Your App Store Ranking

FreeCharge, for users who might not know about it, is a recharge app with a difference. We reward our users for every recharge that they perform. And yes, we’re available on all the major platforms.

Enough of a sale pitch. For folks who are interested in knowing what needs to be done in order to improve your position on the play store, follow this bible

a). Invest in ad networks (InMobi, etc.) : though they seldom provide good installs, what they do provide a good download base to push your ranking higher. Infact, if you are a content based business as opposed to a transactional business, you might see good effect out of such a promotion. You could also take a direct route of speaking to publishers who have their own ad engines. Our experience tells us that active downloads is one of the main drivers for app ranking. Use tools like HasOffers MAT or Localytics to get a good sense on install sources.

b). ASO : often unknown, yet often useful. Be sure about the title for your app. Play store gives you no more than 30 words, so be precise with your keywords here. Don’t stuff your description anymore with keywords; it worked in the past but won’t work now. Instead, be clever. The description needs to be natural and meaningful. Be sure to have app screenshots and if possible, a good promotional video.

Also, keep a constant watch on your ranking on keywords. Use Appnique; its a fantastic tool for you to keep track of how you rank w.r.t. your keywords. AppAnnie account is a must if you want to know your standing not just in the category, but in the app store for your geography.

Optimize and play around with the description once every week. You’ll see good and bad results. Identify the changes, iterate till you see satisfactory results.

c). Drive inorganic installs through other mediums : Facebook, Twitter, GDN, etc. Don’t depend on sideloading stores; google’s new system will kill your metrics around. Bid smartly on these fronts. Identify your strengths, and more importantly, you competitor’s weaknesses. Helps a lot in bidding.

d). Reviews and ratings : enough has been said about this in various platforms. I’ll say more though. Respond to all of your customers, either for a good or a bad review. Its not worthwhile to ask for people to re-rate on the play store; however, your response to each review will ensure your customers that you are taking note and trying to help them out. Also shows you are active on the store.

e). Identify your install sources and attach a value to it : Let’s face it. If someone’s cracked this in the industry, do give us a ping. We’d love to exchange notes. Its pretty tricky, yet extremely useful. We did try some mechanisms, a few worked for us. The use of this? Pretty simple. Identify which source gives you worthwhile installs. Its extremely important in case of transactional apps. Knowing this is half the battle won.

f). App deeplinking : is a key to unlock organic downloads, if I may say so. Its also is a must for any content rich app. Understand what app deep-linking is all about. Analyze, figure out all the individual activities you have within your app, and create deep-links accordingly. Look for deeplink.me or other related sources to know more. If not, ping me. Its fairly easy yet easily missed out. Also, another insider tip. Leave a few keywords (and very few) in context with your app within your app. Got that?

g). Build a good product : most importantly, build a good product. If you see huge uninstalls due to a bad product, trust me, your marketing dollars will go down the drain even if you want to rank high. I’ve often heard that simplicity is a great deal for apps, and that one should build simple apps. I could add just one more parameter to it. Build simple apps for your TG. Identify that first and then the definition of simple would automatically appear.

Hope this gyaan helps. It might sound generic, but hey, following these simple mantras helped us a lot. And as a community, FreeCharge believes in sharing simple joys. Enjoy !

[About the author : Raghuram is AVP, Engg. for Mobile at Freecharge. You can reach out at raghuram@freecharge.com for more details.]


Attend NextBigWhat’s upcoming conference, bigMobiConf, scheduled for Sep 13th. The conference focuses heavily on 3D of app business : Design, Discovery and Distribution!

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