Increase Downloads

 

Earlier this year, it was reported that consumers spent a whopping 900 billion hours using mobile apps during 2016.  It’s not just time that consumers are spending on apps—they’re spending money, too. App publishers generated around $89 billion in revenue in 2016, and this number is expected to double by 2020. Based on these statistics, it’s not hard to understand why brands are eager to create apps. But, developing the app is only half of the work. Once the app is launched, marketers must get to work to optimize the app to ensure users can find it.

 

Google Search Results


Websites, images, and videos aren’t the only things that show up in Google’s search results—mobile apps do as well. In the past, Google only included apps in the search results that were already installed on the user’s phone. However, the search engine has evolved over time, and now includes apps that are relevant to the query regardless of whether they are already on the user’s phone or not. This means brands have an opportunity to reach users even when they are not actively looking for an app. However, in order to appear in the search results, the app must be optimized.

 

App Store Search Results


Most users head to the app store when they are interested in finding a new app, which is why brands also need to consider how to rank high in the app store’s search results. Fortunately, it’s quite simple to optimize your app and improve your ranking in the store’s search results.

 

Start by analyzing the title of your app, which is what the app store looks at to determine what your app is about. The title of your app should include both branded and non-branded keywords. To illustrate this point, consider the UberEATS mobile app. The official title of this app in the app store is “UberEATS: Food Delivery.” This title contains both a branded keyword, UberEats, and non-branded keywords, food delivery. This title clearly tells the app store what services UberEATS provides so the store can place it in the results of relevant searches.

 

Brands should also carefully select the terms they want to include in the “Keyword Field” on the app’s description. Choose keywords that are relevant to your business with a high search volume and low to medium competition. It may be a good idea to use the Google Keyword Planner to identify the best keywords. Keep in mind that the keywords you have included in your title do not need to be repeated in the keyword field. Your most important keywords should be in the title, and the remaining keywords that you would like to target should be included here. There is a 100-character limit, so choose wisely.

 

Following these SEO tips will help you get to the top of the search results so more users can discover your app. Once you’ve made it to the top, don’t forget to continue to monitor your app’s performance so you can make adjustments to your strategy that will help you stay on top.

 

Author:

Nick Rojas is a self-taught, serial entrepreneur who’s enjoyed working with and consulting for startups. He concentrates on teaching small and medium sized enterprises how best to manage their social media marketing and define their branding objectives. You can follow him on twitter as @NickARojas

Mobile App PrototypingHas the mobile app market peaked? There’s a rumor that mobile apps are losing relevancy. The explosive popularity of mobile app prototyping sites like Proto.io is a point to the contrary.

 

It’s unlikely mobile apps are losing steam. Even if downloads are retreating from their tremendous heights, people love mobile apps. Mobile applications are more prevalent than the mobile web, which is a behemoth in its own right. According to Flurry, “Users spend 90 of their time in apps compared to the mobile web.” That’s an incredible stat and it shows the iniquitousness of mobile apps.

 

Millennials spend over 58 hours a month on social and entertainment apps. People from 35-54 spend over 42 hours a month on social and entertainment apps. There’s a huge market here. Can small business take advantage of the mobile app market? Or are these eyeballs only for big brands?

 

proto

Image Credit: Proto.io

 

Can Small Businesses Benefit from Mobile Apps?


Small businesses don’t have to hit a home-run with their mobile app. All they have to do is create something that appeals to a part of their audience. Here are some examples and ideas. Some of these are for customers and others are for employees.

 

Mobile Customer Loyalty Programs-

 

Businesses have been using punch cards for decades to promote customer loyalty. These cards have their downsides though. For instance, customers often lose or misplace these cards. In certain cases, there is also the potential of fraud. A mobile application erases those two concerns.

 

Mobile Customer Relationship Management-

 

Instead of keeping a bunch of business cards in a drawer, you can use a robust app to keep track of clients and partners. You can also use it as a reminder to follow up on sales leads.

 

Mobile Scheduling-

 

You can remind customers of special events through a phone application. You want to provide value without being annoying.

 

Geotargeting-

 

If you have a special offer that only applies to local customers or suppliers, you can send out a targeted notice through your app.

 

Is Prototyping Important?


Small businesses can creatively use mobile apps. Is prototyping beneficial? Is it an effective way to create a better product? Or is it a waste of time and money?

 

Clients love prototypes. Development teams love prototypes. A prototype type vividly maps out visual progress. A written document is hard to digest and visualize. This quote from BoagWorld says:

 

“The prototype acts as a central hub for everyone involved in the project, offering something tangible to explore and consider, and to show to others without getting bogged down in more aesthetic design decisions. It helps to focus the attention on any problems that need to be solved with the site, and becomes a basis and focal point for discussion.”

 

A prototype is an excellent way to weed out issues with a mobile application. It’s easier to upgrade a prototype than a written mock-up.

 

A prototype also offers advantages over HTML. Jacob Krajweski has a masters degree with extensive UX design experience. In an exclusive interview with Brandignity, he discusses Proto.io,

 

“For the average user, Proto.io is easy to master, quick to finish, and full of potential. I’ve done things on Proto.io that were [too] complex for me to know how to do on HTML, with great results.”

 

Jacob is a professional who is sought after for his design skills. Even he can do things on Proto.io he can’t do in HTML. Of course, he could look them up or ask another UX designer. Yet, the power of prototyping software is the unprecedented speed and accuracy. Jason isn’t the only one who advocates prototyping over HTML. Check out this quote from BoagWorld,

 

“The trouble is that building our prototype in code becomes slow and clunky (even with my many years of production HTML/CSS experience), and is far from being ‘rapid’ prototyping.  Getting bogged down in HTML and CSS and Javascript can become seriously time consuming if we start moving our page layout around on the fly.”

 

There’s a reason the term “rapid prototyping” is bandied around. Using mobile prototyping software is fast, and a great choice for small business owners who aren’t sure if they even want their app.

 

Is Proto.io a Good Choice for Small Business Owners?


So you want to build a mobile application. And you want to use prototyping software to test the waters first. One question remains. What should you use? Is Proto.io the best choice? Or should you consider another alternative?

 

Simplicity is key for any prototyping app that targets small business owners. Steep learning curves are time eaters. One of the advantages of prototyping is saving time. Jacob Krajewski says Proto.io is accessible to anyone who can use PowerPoint. In this lengthy quote he breaks down the advantages of Proto.io.

 

If you can use PowerPoint, you can use Proto.io. You know how multiple choice tests are always easier than fill in the blanks? Proto.io gives you multiple choices for animations, transitions and the like. This helps you learn as you go. You are exposed to what can be done, and maybe the next time around, you’ll decide to implement an option you noticed, but never used before.

All the actions are broken down into simple categories, you’ve got mouse interactions, screen transitions, fades, and on top of that, Proto.io lets you generate your own assets from within. You don’t need to import shapes from sketch or Photoshop, you can create them right inside your prototype.

There is full access to fonts, colors, borders, images, etc. You can make everything in wireframes or as complete assets if you like. Proto.io is not needed if all you want to do is show a screen flow, but if there’s any sort of interesting interactivity involved with individual elements on an interface, Proto.io is great [at] manipulating it in nearly any way you’d like.

 

Functionality is essential if you’re serious about improving your mobile app. As this Medium article states, “Proto.io is a surprisingly powerful web app; it has many, many functions.” Here’s why that’s vital.

 

If a feature isn’t in a prototype, you can’t test it. If you want to test it, you have to use another platform. Proto.io is robust, so the chances of this happening are minimized.

 

Of course, Proto.io is not ideal in every situation. Even though Proto.io is relatively simple, sometimes you want something simpler. As this quote from Medium states,

 

“Because everything works by drag-and-drop, clicking buttons and selecting values from lists, it can be a bit overwhelming sometimes to find the setting you need.”

 

Jacob Krajewski agrees there are simpler options out there,

 

“It all depends on the kinds of information you’re trying to get from your prototypes and what level of fidelity you’re looking for. For some applications, a simple click through prototype using basic Invision or Marvel transitions will work. Keynote and PowerPoint can give you a little bit more fidelity for animating various objects.”

 

Another drawback of Proto.io is the price. There is a free 15 day trial. After that, it costs $29 a month (or $288 if you pay annually) and covers five active projects. Still, the robust features make it an astute investment if you’re serious about building a mobile app. Also, you can cancel after you design your ideal app. If you want a free prototyping service with less features, try Invision. They have a free plan if you only want to build one prototype.

 

Conclusion

 

Mobile applications are booming, and they can benefit your small business. Even websites like Entrepreneur think they are a fantastic idea. Prototyping solutions are a canvas that brings life to your mobile app ideas.

 

Have you ever used prototyping software to build a mobile app? Share your experiences and suggestions in the comments.

App Rejection

 

With Google Play moderating submissions, many apps are getting rejected either due to spamming issues, copyright infringements or if there are deemed security risks for a user. Whatever be the cause, it is important to get to the main reason as to why your app was rejected and work on it. We recommend that every developer should go through Google’s policy about the content of the apps, recommended guidelines and how to manage policy violations in case any issue arises before he/she begins development. As a leading Android application development company, we strongly recommend that you do this.

 

Go through the following before you begin development


You will find all the information outlined here on Google; read on to learn more.

 

Google Play Program Developer Policies

 

This recommends the sort of stuff your app shouldn’t do; this deals with the content policy in short.

 

Guidelines and Practices

 

Here is a detailed outline of all the policies and important dos and don’ts. We recommend that you go through this section carefully and read it thoroughly in order to fully grasp everything outlined here.

 

Managing policy violations

 

In case your app gets rejected, you will need to know as to what to do. This section deals with it and has the list of resources you can use in such a case. Every programmer involved in Android application development needs to be familiar with these guidelines and tools.

 

With the amount of resources available, it is easy to understand as why your app has been rejected; Google’s message makes it abundantly clear as to why it was rejected and which policy was violated. Here are a couple of popular reasons why apps get rejected.

 

Spamming


This is perhaps the top reason why most apps get rejected and here are a few steps that we think you can take to address this.

 

Inspect content and clean it

 

If there are excessive keywords and tags either in your title, description or metadata, Google would consider this as misleading, excessive or irrelevant and label it as spam. Avoid using lists that are separated by commas in your description and repeating keywords. These should help you clean up your content as per the guidelines laid down by Google.

 

Admit wrongdoing, stop it immediately and file for an appeal

 

Some apps are aggressive when it comes to reviews and some even post fake ones. If this is the case, stop indulging in these, admit it and file for an appeal. Correct the issue mentioned and detail in your appeal as to what actions you seek to take in the future to ensure that such things don’t happen again.

 

It is recommended that you keep all of this in mind during any mobile app development; we do so!

 

Copyright issues


This is quite a serious issue and Google is pretty stringent about Intellectual Property Rights. In case your app was rejected because of this, here are a few things that we as a leading android app development company recommend that you do:

 

Never clone

 

Well, if you rely on someone else’s idea and the original developers file a DMCA complaint, there is nothing much that you can do about it! Start afresh and this time around work on your own idea!

 

Review the title and description

 

Never use a term that has been trademarked in your titles; this is a sure shot way to rejection. However, if and when your app gets rejected because of copyright issues, review this aspect first. Also, trying to cash in on other popular apps and games in your description is another thing that we strongly recommend that you avoid.

 

Images too can cause problems

 

Yep! You heard us right! In case you use copyrighted images or logos, your app will be rejected. If you think you have grounds for an appeal, you may do so. But, if your app doesn’t have the permission to use the copyrighted image or logo, you won’t get anywhere!

 

Improper Rating and Dangerous Products


An app that is unrated is a means to get it rejected as users with content filters won’t be able to see them. Google provides a content rating questionnaire for you to fill. We recommend that you take this seriously and fill it with proper answers in order to get a proper rating.

 

If an app is deemed as a security risk to a user, Google will consider it dangerous and anything at all that is suspicious is sure to be rejected. We recommend that you scan links, seek user consent in case you ask for personal details and verify the ad link networks used to avoid rejection.

 

Other things that might get your app rejected are sexual content, anything to do with gambling, drugs or illegal stuff; Google usually has a no tolerance policy towards these and if your app even has a semblance to any of these, it will never feature on Google Play.

ASO Strategy

 

Search for, and build a list of competing apps. Just like in Search Engine Optimization, knowing your competitors and what are they doing will help you improve your app. There a plenty of tools to measure their (your competitors) performance, you can find a useful list in this post.

 

But don’t stop here, research what your competitors are doing outside of the app store. Google their apps and see which sites / blogs are writing about them and reviewing them. Below are some useful search engine queries you can use:

 

  • CompetitorsAppName + review
  • CompetitorsAppName + app review
  • CompetitorsAppName + ratings
  • CompetitorsAppName + comparison
  • CompetitorsAppName  intitle:review
  • CompetitorsAppName inurl:review
  • CompetitorsAppName site:youtube.com
  • CompetitorsAppName review site:youtube.com

 

Another way to find out who is talking about your competitor’s app is via their link profile.

 

Grab the tunes url of their app and use a toll like Majestic or Open Site Explorer to see who links to their app store page, most of the reviews will link either to the iTunes page or to the developers page.

 

Review app Title, Keywords and Description


 

These are some basic components of your ASO and should be reviewed on a regular basic. Search trends re changing as so need your keyword strategy. We have already covered the basic principles of ASO in this article.

 

Analyze How People Use Your App


 

Decide on your KPI and measure them, tolls like Yahoo’s Flurry Analytics can give you some insights into things like retention, usage, demographics and interests. Downloads are great but you have to make sure people continue using your app. Listen  to their feedback and take it into consideration when launching your next update.

 

Listen to your users


 

Ratings and Reviews are very important part of ASO and we believe them to also be a ranking factor. Apps with better ratings and reviews tend to rank better on the app store.

 

Do check your reviews regularly and take notice of the feedback from users.

 

Create a video trailer for your app


 

I don’t have to explain you how popular online video is. Having a good quality trailer within your app store description can increase downloads of your app.

 

Promotion Outside of the App Stores


 

Using the data from your competitor analysis, get in touch with sites and blogs where your competitor’s app has been reviewed and see if they can review/talk about your app as well. Your SEO outreach skills and contacts will come very useful here.  Don’t stop on the contact’s you’ve discovered during your competitor analysis. There are plenty more opportunities out there.

 

Use tools like Impactana to find influential YouTubers, journalist and bloggers in your niche.

 

Paid Promotion


 

In addition to the influencer outreach we have discussed above, you can use paid channels as well. Both Facebook and Google AdWords offer ways to promote your app. Check out Facebook App Ads and mobile app installs campaigns form Google AdWords. If you have a video trailer for your app, you can also use it for your Facebook and YouTube campaigns.