Rise above competitors

The Apple App Store has over 2 million apps available for download, while the Google Play Store has 3.3 million on offer. That’s a lot of competition.

Here’s the thing: you could have the best app in the world, but if it doesn’t stand out in the app store, it’s just not going to get the attention – and users – it deserves.

In the past, the theory was “if you build a better mousetrap, the world will beat a path to your door.” That is, if your app is better than the others, then users will naturally gravitate to your product.

Unfortunately, due to the sheer volume of apps out there, this is no longer the case. You have to pull every lever you possibly can in order to make your app stand out, get in front of the right audience, and get downloads.

What does it take to stand out?

Users going through the various app stores are scrolling furiously. All kinds of information is being thrown at them, and they make split-second decisions. It’s thus critical to jump out at the user, cause that thumb to pause for a moment, and click on your app.

This is the first and most important step when it comes to app success in general. Without this, all the hard work you’ve put in is simply wasted.

Then, you have to ensure that your app listing is completely optimized with perfect ASO. Combining these steps into a holistic strategy opens the door to viral app store success.

We’ve gathered some key elements that you need to make sure are covered when assessing your strategy. These are high-level tips and guidelines, and each one requires expertise and experience to get it just right.

Offer value

The first thing an app has to do is answer the user’s subconscious question: “What’s in it for me?” It’s important to be crystal clear regarding the value you provide, and how you answer the user’s needs. This needs to come across immediately – even if it’s only a teaser and draws the user into the rest of your flow.

Offer something different

No one wants or needs more of the same. Differentiate your app immediately, especially given the fact that the user is likely to see it in the context of similar apps. What’s more, competitors might be advertising right above your app, so it makes it even more critical to show your unique value proposition.

Provide the best cover

“Don’t judge a book by its cover” goes the famous adage, but we all know that everyone does. Your app needs the best “cover,” that is everything the user sees before opening the app itself. This speaks to all the sections below and includes consistency across all touchpoints.

Get Creative

While the real estate and app store regulations might leave you feeling limited in terms of what you can do on the app stores, there are plenty of opportunities to get super creative. From awesome videos to the screenshots area that can be taken to the next level, we’ve seen over and over again that creativity is the most powerful lever when it comes to app store success.

Nail your app name, text, and descriptions

While users’ eyes may be initially drawn to images and video, it’s the text that you choose that reinforces the user’s decision to trust your app. Key areas here are your app name of course – which could be the subject of a whole book – descriptions, updates, and more.

Craft the perfect icon

When a user is going through the app store, it’s an app’s icon that is responsible for a large part of the decision to tap through and learn more. So when we talk about standing out, it’s critical that your icon is optimized and A/B tested to provide the best results. Often bigger brands feel that there is no scope to get too creative with their app icon – however, there is always a way to make subtle changes that don’t compromise the brand, and that have an outsize impact.

Be smart about keywords

When thinking about making your app stand out in the app store, most people jump to keywords. And while keywords are important in terms of getting discovered, they are just a part of the holistic efforts an app must make to stand out. Ensure the keywords chosen are based on hard data, and that these are fully optimized to yield the best results.

What not to do

Otherwise known as “app store fails,” there are some important pitfalls to look out for when trying to make your app stand out. These include:

  • Going completely off-brand: this is where apps choose garish colors and wild images in a bid to stand out; not only will this turn users off, but it can also cause irreparable brand damage.
  • Doing too much: this is when apps try and blast the user with images, videos and text that is too intense, too lengthy, and turns users off.
  • Not using an element that’s available: in our minds, this is almost criminal; if there’s a part of an app store listing that can be made to stand out and be awesome, it should absolutely be taken advantage of.

Ensuring your app stands out in the app store

Your app is awesome. You’ve put a ton of effort into creating it, testing it, and giving users an incredible experience. For you and your app to enjoy the success it deserves, you have to ensure that your app stands out in the app store.

The issues discussed above are the starting points; now it’s up to you to ensure that each one of these is focused on, continually tested and improved, and bringing in the results you deserve.