ASO Tip #2 – An Icon is Worth a Thousand Words

App Store Optimization Tip #2 - Icon

Welcome Back to our App Store Optimization (ASO) series.

Last week we took a look at how to improve discoverablity of your app by using keywords in your app name. This week we will focus on another key branding element of your app, your icon.

As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. The impact of your icon, being an image or picture, is extremely powerful. In many ways, your app icon is even more important than your name is as it is the first thing a user will notice in the list of applications and is often the element of your app branding that is most remembered by a potential downloader. This shouldn’t come as a surprise seeing how much real estate and prominence app icons get both in the store and on device.

Your app icon is like the packaging for your app. It is there to catch people’s attention and communicate in seconds what your app is all about. Its in those seconds that a potential user will make their decision as to whether or not they will want to download or pay for your application.

In our experience a potential user is factoring in the following when they look through a list of app icons to decide their next download:

Design: Is the icon overcomplicated or crowded? Is there text or an image that is hard to make out. Your app icon is pretty small so don’t try to fit the entire app in it. Avoid just using a screenshot and if you have a long title don’t even bother trying to squeeze that in. Work with a graphic designer to create an eye appealing icon that is easy to read and even more importantly recall.

Color: Are the colors of the app appropriate for the genre or subject of the app? Do they stand out from the crowd? Are they too dark and bland? Choosing the right colors is just as important as the right design. You want to make sure that your app stands out from the crowd while not selecting colors that take your app too far out of the genre norm.

Quality: Is the icon fuzzy? Are the images pixelated? Are the colors faded? A poor quality app icon can make or break a decision against you and your competitors. Take the extra time to create high definition icons that are crystal clear and meet the specs of the devices that are out there. Keep this updated as screens improve. It will go a long way to selling your application.

Context: What is this app all about? Does this icon make sense to the user in context to the category they are in and in reference to the name that you have given it? Often times users make their decision right at the list view so you will not have the chance to explain yourself like you can when they hit the product description. You will want to make sure that your app icon relates to the core features of your app so that there is no confusion what this app is all about.

 

 

3 App Discovery Points Every Android App Publisher Must Know

Android App Discovery PointsWhere fragmentation is an app publishers worst nightmare on the technology side with various hardware and operating systems, it becomes a powerful opportunity for app discovery with more than one distribution center available for publishers to use to aid them in their mission to gain app sales.

Google Play is a give-in but to really take your app to the next level you need to be looking outside this store to maximize your reach. Three discovery points every Android app publisher must have on their radar at this point are: Amazon, Facebook and YouTube. We’ve broken down what you need to know about each of these discovery powerhouses including the reason why your app needs to be there.

Amazon AppStore for Android

Launched back in March of last year, Amazon’s AppStore for Android now has over 25,000 applications in their inventory according to their February 2012 report by leading app store analytics company Distimo. This may be quite small compared to the 400,000+ apps in Google Play but this app store  packs a punch when it comes to making money for developers. The same report concluded that out of the top 110 apps that appear both in Google Play and in the Amazon AppStore for Android, 42 of them make more money on Amazon then they did in Google Play.

If you are a paid application then Amazon is definitely the place for you. Distimo said that paid apps in the Amazon AppStore made up over 68% of all apps in this marketplace while in Google Play this percentage is 38% and dropping.

Revenue may be easier to gain in this store because, like iTunes, Amazon is a well known and trusted online/mobile shopping destination. With books, clothing, furniture, music and more in the same location as applications, the Amazon store is sure to attract a large audience who are already connected to purchase anything Amazon recommends to them

Facebook App Center

The most recent app store to be announced by a large industry player, Facebook threw their hat into the ring of mobile applications May of this year. Although this store isn’t ready for primetime, we urge that any app that has Facebook Connect or uses Facebook APIs prepare for its unveiling by creating an App Detail page and Submitting Your App.

With over 800 million active users according to Facebook itself, this app distribution center is expected to have a lot of eyeballs when it launches and with over 10.5 billion minutes spent on Facebook online only (this doesn’t even include mobile) this is one opportunity that you don’t want to miss out on for your app.

Facebook’s App Center will be well equipped to serve your app well. It will even support paid applications to help earn you revenue and it was recently unveiled that it will handle the tricky part of getting the app to your phone with their streamlined app install and launch experience via  “Send to Mobile” which will use Facebook notifications when you are on a desktop and find an app that you want to install on your device.

If you don’t have Facebook APIs running in your app and you have been thinking about it, now is a good time to prioritize this on your product roadmap. No word yet on when App Center is about to launch but word on the street says that it is soon.

YouTube

Although not an app store, YouTube, being the second largest search engine according to comScore, makes this discovery point extremely valuable to Android app users. We strongly suggest to all of our clients the creation of a 45-60 second marketing YouTube video for their application as part of their marketing collateral. Not only can you utilize this video as part of your product page within Google Play to enhance the saleability of your app; having this app live within the YouTube environment will allow app publishers to take advantage of the search results.

It is extremely important that any YouTube video you send live be well equipped with keywords and calls to action in order to maximize conversion of video views to downloads of your app. App publishers should maximize the use of the video title, description and tags by creating copy that is chock full of keywords geared towards search engine optimization.

In addition, a link to your app should always be evident in your description for all of your apps. Publishers should also utilize the Call-To-Action Overlay which YouTube makes available for your video which allows for a transparent ad unit to appear during viewing which can be used to illicit downloads of the app.

Above all else, however, your video should be high quality, engaging and relevant to your target user in order to be effective.

 

 

ASO Tip #1 – Use Keywords in Your App Name

App Store Optimization Tip 1 - App NameOne of the most popular services we provide at App Promo is ASO or App Store Optimization. Our App Store Optimization service includes a thorough review of how your app is positioned or will be positioned within the app store and recommendations on potential changes that would better serve your app within this environment to increase discovery and sales.

We have created a series of articles that break out 5 tips we have found to be most useful when it comes to optimizing your app within a storefront. This is the first post of the five. In this post, we will take a look at one of the critical marketing elements of your product in the app store – your App Name.

Your app name is at the core of your product brand. This along with your icon act like the cover of a book for your app. It is essential that your app name be creative, thoughtful, enticing and indicative of what your app does but often times app publishers forget that it is also critical that the name itself contains keywords which are core to your app.

The name of your app is one of the strongest areas search engines both within the store and outside the store online will use for search discovery. For this reason, it is important to think about what your user will search for when they are looking for your app and consider using some of these keywords in your name. If your app is an Apple Puzzle game that be sure to use Apple or Puzzle in your app name somewhere, for example.

In addition, as mobile app store users make most of their download decisions within the list of apps they scroll through on their device, it is essential to grab their attention with your name. Using keywords which accurately and succinctly describe what your app is all about will help users understand in the a small amount of time what your app is all about and will help increase downloads but more importantly qualified downloads of your app.

Here are some TIPS when selecting a name which is optimized to market your app using keywords:

  1. Select a name that has something to do with the core offerings of your app – don’t be afraid to state the obvious here
  2. Be creative but don’t sacrifice clarity for cleverness (again a spade can be a spade)
  3. Identify keywords for your app by thinking like a user and figuring out what they would search for and include some of these keywords in your name
  4. Look to your direct competitors to understand the format and keywords used in their app titles to learn from those around you
  5. Utilize a two part name separated by a dash or a colon to free up room to use keywords e.g. Monkey Madness – Kids Puzzle Fun

Look for the next post in this App Store Optimization article series next week at www.app-promo.com.

App Discovery a Key Focus at Mobile Web & Apps World – CTIA 2012

It was definitely a sign that the app space has matured as the focus of this year’s Mobile Web and Apps World 2012, of which we participated this year at CTIA, had more to do about the business of applications than APIs, tools and technology. And even the APIs that were discussed at the session were mainly focusing on making money as was the case with Mastercard’s overview of their OpenAPI payment platform for use by the developer community.

With an agenda full of presentations and panels on monetization, marketing &  advertising strategies it was a chock full day of what to do to succeed with an app both in terms of discover and revenue.

Discussions kicked off with a SuperSession on Marketing & Monetization of Apps led by Josh Rochlin of Xtify with panel members Ted Verani from Trilibis, Dan Lowden from Digby, Derek Ting from Enflick and our very own Gary Yentin from App Promo. The panel discussed costs, discovery, revenue challenges and ended discussing the recurring  argument of HTML5 web apps and mobile web and which is better or will win the “war”.

Fisku, a mobile marketing firm focusing mainly on media buying for apps, reviewed the top 5 Mobile App Marketing Super Practices including the importance of working with multiple traffic sources and the need for real-time tracking.  Mobile leaders, Poynt and AirPush ads, talked about mobile ad strategies that they see being effective in the marketplace. And Urban Airship, Bottle Rocket Apps and MTV formed an afternoon panel led by consultant, Chetan Sharma to discuss media consumption strategies on mobile stressing mostly the importance of a strategy to keep users engaged and using apps including the use of push notifications.

Of course, we here at App Promo, are truly excited to see such a flurry of conversation and focus on the business of applications and we expect that forums like this will continue to grow as more and more app publishers are looking to make a true business out of the products they have in market. Congrats and a big thank you to Larry Lockhart at NextVision Media for putting this session together to add the conversation at this years CTIA.

Check out coverage of MWA 2012 at CTIA in Wireless Week: http://www.wirelessweek.com/News/2012/05/CTIA-making-money-mobile-web-apps/

 

Wake Up Call – If You Spend It, They Will Come [INFOGRAPHIC]

The results are in from our First Annual Developer Survey we completed in April of this year and we have used the data to create our very first INFOGRAPHIC. Our goal with this survey was to shed light on the truth behind what it takes to be successful with your mobile app. We hope that this information can be used to help you better your app as a business.

We welcome re-posts to help spread the word on this very important topic to the app developer community so feel free to save and post this infographic on your own blog or site.

For a full review of survey results, download our FREE white paper “The Necessity of Mobile App Marketing”.

TPMA Recording of App Promo Presentation “Succeeding in the Business of Apps: App Marketing & Monetization”

We recently presented on “Succeeding in the Business of Applications: App Marketing & Monetization” at the monthly Toronto Product Managers Association (TPMA) meeting on April 24, 2012 here in Toronto.

Event Description:

“Mobile Business Apps: Marketing & Monetizing. Mobile Apps are part of just about every new product introduction these days. Whether the Mobile App is the core product, or whether it is a peripheral feature or add-on to help use your main deliverable – launching and effectively marketing it is part of the new reality.When businesses and product owners start conversations about launching a mobile application, discussions focus on user experience, functionality and code. Money and effort are spent on the design and development but strategies to help the application succeed are often forgotten or left out. This session aims to shed light on the challenges app owners and developers face in making a business of their applications and marketing it effectively. Gary Yentin and Tom Emrich use their years of experience in product marketing in the mobile space to highlight the strategies, tactics and steps needed to drive your apps’ success – despite a noisy and saturated marketplace.

You can watch a recording of this one-hour session here: http://www.screencast.com/t/lNLzik80

Big thanks to the TPMA for the recording and the opportunity. Be sure to follow them on Twitter @TPMACA or visit www.tpma.ca for more information.

Welcome to the New & Improved App Promo

We are proud to unveil our new look!

We’ve totally revamped ourselves for 2012 and have added some new services and offerings which better aligns App Promo to our new tagline “helping you succeed in the business of apps”.

In addition, we have created some great new touch points for you to keep in contact with us including our brand new blog and our newsletter which publishes on a regular basis.

To get you started, here is a rundown of everything you need to know about the new App Promo:

  • New look and feel – we’ve done our biggest makeover yet from head to toe, what do you think?
  • Smartphone and tablet responsive coding – we are using some new technology on our site to make sure you can experience it to the its full extent on mobile, desktop or tablet
  • Expanded mission – we are now focused on the business of applications covering all angles from strategy to monetization and app marketing
  • Additional offerings – we have formalized some offerings we have been provided to clients over the past two years including strategic consulting and monetization services
  • Increased visibliity into our work – we have a brand new clients section which highlights who work with, what they are up to and some hands on case studies
  • Larger partner network – we’ve met some great companies over the past year who share our passion for helping app developers and owners succeed with their products, check them out on our Partners page and share your support
  • Bigger voice – we’ve been active on Twitter and Facebook sharing other people’s news and today we start to create our own with our new blog and newsletter! Sign-up today!

Despite all of the changes you see, what hasn’t changed is our commitment to help you succeed with your application. It’s what we are all about here at App Promo.

Can’t wait to hear what you think! Comment below or drop me a line at tom@app-promo.com.

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