10 Tips to Make Your App Look Cool in the App Store

In this strange and relentless world of mobile application development, the first impression is the thing that matters the most. If your app attracts attention - this is the goldmine.

While it seems to be an obvious thing to claim, some tend to ignore the user experience and first impression, hoping that content alone will make it gangbusters. It doesn't work like that, however, because in order for the user to get to your amazing content, s/he needs to have your app on their mobile devices.

Consequences of failing to make a positive and ultimately engaging impression are well-known, but there is hope as there are several fairly simple ways of making your application look attractive in the app market.

Here are 10 tips that will help you to make your app look cool in the app store.

How to Market Your Mobile App?

Clearly defined target audience

App store works in mysterious ways at times. There are thousands upon thousands of applications of all walks of life — but only those which happened to be in top-25 charts are making serious business. The rest is just there doing time and stuff. Why is it so?

The reason for that lies in the users. For the most part, they are not looking for some peculiar deep cut options, they need to do something, and they simply take what is lying on the surface. The logic behind this decision is simple — apps presence in the top-25 is a noteworthy sign that this particular app is actually useful and trustworthy.

This means — in order to get through you need to be in the top-25. How? Two words — App marketing.

If you want to compete with the big boys — you need to convince users that your app is worth attention. Your goal is to thoroughly explain what makes your app better and/or different from the others.

How? Look at the application from the user’s point of view. Channel directly to their needs and expectations for certain kinds of apps. Why should he care about it? That’s the secret.

Focus on local markets and work on regional rankings

Another important element is knowing where your target audience is situated country-wise. It is one thing when you need to get into the top 25 of United States and completely another when you need to get into the United Kingdom top 25. Thresholds are different and the competition varies.

By localizing your target market and focusing your efforts on building up the presence there you can save yourself a lot of time and money. It is that simple.

In case of non-English speaking countries, it makes sense to make a fully localized version. Even though it seems like everyone knows English — not everyone is comfortable using it. The thing is — for the most part, users prefer to use an application in their native language. Adding support of other languages broadens international appeal of application and immensely widens your audience.

Apply an App Store Optimization (ASO)

The App Stores are huge. It is easy to get lost there. The success of an application depends on the discovery factor. For the most part, users are either skimming on the top or going straight through the referrals. Majority of users don’t go beyond that.

But since there are hundreds upon hundreds of various applications trying to present themselves in the most engaging manner possible — the competition for the top spots is very high. Even if your app is actually better than the others in a selected field — it doesn’t mean it will stand out in the search results. Quite the contrary is within a probability.

Hopefully, App Store SEO aka ASO can help.

How? You see — search engines are weird beasts with less reason than a bag of bats locked in a submarine. They live by their own rules and you can study them in order to turn the tables into your favor.

By applying ASO you give yourself an additional advantage in the quest for user’s discovery. Simple adjustment of the description and elaborations of the title can work magic for the discovery factor. Combined with high volume low competition keywords — it moves your app up the search results ladder straight to the top.

Learn more about app store optimization or google play store optimization.

Make your app icon distinct

An icon is the first thing users see of your application. In many ways, it is “make it or break it” situation. You either hook the user, and he goes on to check out the description and the screenshots, or he just moves on through the search results.

An icon shows what your app represents. It is your coat of arms. It tells what app is about through common symbolism.

Here are few handy tips on making a distinct icon:

    • It should be catchy and easy to remember;
    • It should not be cluttered (remember that it's the icon, not a screen)
    • It should be tied to the purpose of the app;
    • It can be a play on words or images based on the app's purpose or name.

Make a convincing screenshot showcase

Screenshots play important role in the consideration on whether to download an app. On the surface it seems like a nothing deal — just throw in a bunch of screenshots that show how an app works - that’s how app developers usually see it. But in reality, it is a bit trickier.

Upon selecting screenshots for App Store page, you need to keep in mind how users perceive them. They need to understand what is what and how it works through static images. If done right, screenshots can serve as a strong rationale for your mobile app marketing campaign. However, you should keep them to the point and ultra-descriptive.

Here are several things you need to keep in mind about visual presentation in the App Store:

    • Show full cycle of navigation (for example, on-boarding process)
    • Show features of the app and appropriate screens for them
    • Record a video of how the app works
    • Tell a story to the user of how s/he could use the app

Take full advantage of the video opportunities

While adding video presentation to the page may seem abundant — it can be used to further the impression of the product and incite positive decision i.e. download.

How does it work? Basically, this is like an ad for the app. Don't simply repeat your screens, but rather, make the user want to use your app and be happier / healthier / more positive (whatever your app is designed to do).

For example, how app solves a particular problem or how it allows doing more than other apps. The key element is relatability. If the potential user can’t relate to the problem depicted or don’t identify himself with the target audience, chances are s/he won't get the app (unless s/he falls in love with the design or micro interactions...)

Make description credible

While visual aspect is able to raise awareness and carry out the first contact — it is a description that makes a final stroke in “to install and or to pass on” story. The well-written description of an application works on two fronts:

  • Explains what app is about;
  • Presents apps value proposition;

Keep in mind that the text consists of two parts. One that is seen in the search results and the rest of the app page. You need to make the opening lines as catchy as possible so that the user will go to the app page and consider the download.

Think about it from a user’s perspective. For example, you need an app to take notes. You’ve found one and it looks kinda fine, but the description is just some atrocious mix of buzzword mumbo-jumbo and hapless braggadocio. You go “yikes” and move on.

Here are several handy tips on how to make app description work in your favor:

  • Must be written in an engaging manner;
  • Must explain the purpose of an app in plain words;
  • (optional) Show benefits and advantages of your product in contrast with competitors;
  • Must be slightly intriguing.

Secure glossy user reviews and ratings

User ratings and app reviews are an incredibly influential factor when it comes to consideration on whether to download an app. Basically, the better app store reviews the better conversion. However, it is also one of the places where you have little control over the situation.

It can go both ways — scare off potential users due to exposing flaws and inconsistencies or convince them to try it out by the sheer power of positive reaction.

How to secure good reviews? It all comes to one thing — make a good app that is actually useful and tested through and through before going on the market. And if there any problem occurred, just fix it on the notice.

Word of Mouth matters

Referrals are one of the most common ways of discovering new applications. What makes it happen? In a nutshell, it is a direct result of a positive reception of your application. I.e. app is so good, users are telling other users to try it out.

How to make it? Basically, try hard and make a good app, spice it with a clever marketing campaign and voila.

However, because of that, there is little to no control over it. You can’t artificially generate positive word of mouth.

Sure, you can strike a partnership deal with an influencer who will recommend your app to his audience but that is not a guarantee of a positive word of mouth. In fact, it can backfire as an attempt to shove something down the throat.

Make frequent updates

One of the most effective ways of maintaining a consistent presence in The App store is through a steady stream of updates. The logic behind it is simple — it shows that an application is still moving forward and evolves into a better thing.

There are several types of updates worth mentioning:

  • Regular updates — refined features, fixed problems, etc;
  • Optional updates — supplementary features (new photo filters, etc);
  • Seasonal updates — April’s Fools Day treacherous trolling user experience;

Every update in one way or another is a legitimate reason to remind already engaged users about an app and also attract new users through readjusting ASO.

In conclusion

Promoting an application is a challenge. But with these little tips in mind, you can be sure that all your marketing efforts will be ultimately fruitful.

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Volodymyr Bilyk

Content Manager