20 + Steps for Effective App Promotion

With the steady growth in the popularity of smartphones and tablets, the promotion of applications for them becomes relevant. Indeed, among the mass of competitors, a new product is extremely problematic to get into the TOP store. Google Play and the App Store offer a ton of games, entertainment, and software. You can read about the most popular on apppearl.

And no matter what genre the app is, the main task for developers, in this case, is to promote it on the market.

How to promote an app in search results on the App Store and Google Play? The sequence of actions and the list of services to obtain the result.

Search Traffic

Making money on developed applications is the goal and desire of any mobile application developer. The more users have downloaded and use an application, the wider is the possibility of monetization of the application.

Getting traffic from search by categories of application stores generates more than half of all installations as a whole. Being in the TOP when searching can bring the application up to 90% of the total number of installations.

The possibility of getting the application in the TOP depends on the screen size of the device. There are fewer apps displayed on smartphones than on tablets. In the process of selecting an application from a regular smartphone, the user views about 4-5 screens.

In application stores, there are regional restrictions – issuance of requests depends on the region.

Ranking algorithm

The two largest app stores are owned by Apple and Google. They do not reveal the logic of the ranking algorithms and constantly improve them – holes are closed that allow you to quickly get high positions due to spam and bots.

Key ranking factors for applications:

  1. The total number of application installations.
  2. The current dynamics of new installations of the application. The dynamics over the past 3-5 days is important.
  3. Comments and user ratings. Negative reviews can greatly interfere with the growth of the application.
  4. The presence of a constant audience for the application – repeated launches of the application.
  5. Dynamics of deletions – the number of users who deleted the application from the device.

Each application store has its own characteristics when ranking. Google Play takes into account the number of external links to the application page – the largest search engine collects such data without any problems. An important influence on the ranking is provided by the name of the application, its icon and the design of the application page – screenshots and description.

The main success factor for the new application is the number of installations and their dynamics. The most important are the first days in the store. To achieve high positions in collections and general tops, you need from 5 thousand installations on the first day.

How to get high positions

Testing on a real audience

It is difficult for a new application to get many installations if nobody knows it. Arrange application testing before the main launch to solve several problems at the start:

  1. Users will receive information about the new application.
  2. Application performance data in real conditions. List of errors and shortcomings in the application.
  3. We form a loyal audience for the application.

Availability of information on the Internet

There are many options for posting information about the application – from a separate site to a simple page on social networks. The choice of the channel depends on the audience of the application. It’s better to write about entertainment applications on social networks, so the app gets closer to the audience. For business applications, it is advisable to create a separate promotional site with a description of the functionality.

After choosing a channel, you need to do its promotion – the audience must find a site or group. This will be a classic internet marketing – SEO for example.

App Design

Recommendations for writing a description of the application to attract an audience:

  1. When compiling a title, you need to add several keywords. The user will understand what this application is about.
  2. The description of the application should clearly describe the tasks of the application – why the user needs to download it. The structure of the text is important for easy reading. Use keywords in the text for which the app should be ranked.
  3. The demo video of the application briefly shows the user the functionality and features of the application.
  4. The quality and variety of screenshots increase the interest of users in the application. In the game themes, the screenshots will determine whether or not the application will be installed.
  5. The style of the application icon must be adapted for each application store. The attractiveness of the application icon affects the clickability in the search results.

In addition to Google Play and the App Store, there are other application stores. Adding apps to these stores will provide additional traffic flow, but may remove installations from the main store. Getting to the top of Google Play and the App Store is more important.

Media Releases

Publication of an article on the annex will lead to increased interest and more installations. Specialized publications on the subject of the application are looking for interesting news. A new application may be of interest to editors for publication.

The published article brings the target audience and is free for the developer. The application receives an additional boost to growth.

In thematic publications, there is the possibility of paid publication. When choosing a site, select publications with the most targeted audience for the application. The task of paid publication is to attract the maximum number. In a paid publication, the developer can independently prepare material for the publication or use the services of the publication’s journalist. If the author of the article is a journalist, you should check the final article for the correctness of data and quality of expertise.

Ease of recommendation

In entertainment topics, you should think in advance of the algorithm for publishing users to social networks. During the development of the application, it is necessary to take into account the functionality of linking the application to the user’s social networks:

  1. Authorization through social networks.
  2. Publication of achievements from the application in the news feed of the social network.
  3. Give users bonuses and benefits in the application for posting on social networks.

Motivated installations

Buying application installation is considered a black scheme for promoting the application, but it does work. The ability to cheat the number of installations is a hole in the algorithm, which can reduce the time it takes to spin up the application.

The maximum effect of motivated installations can be obtained in the App Store – this factor is considered the main one when ranking the application. Google Play is more protected from spam and therefore the impact of installation dynamics is limited.

You can buy paid installations in special services or directly from the owners of the grids with accounts on thematic forums.

App Ratings

Assessing the application by users is another important factor in ranking. The application should motivate the user to leave a review. How to get good ratings from users:

  1. Embed the appearance of the app assessment screen at times when the user is most willing to leave positive feedback – after completing a level or successfully completing an important action.
  2. There is no need to bother asking for feedback as it is negative.
  3. A message about the ability to leave a review should briefly and clearly call for a review.
  4. In the application functionality, you can make an opportunity for evaluation. If the rating is low, the user sends a message to the developers, and if the rating is high, the feedback page in the app store opens.

Paid advertising

To get installations from real users, you need to use various advertising channels:

  1. Contextual advertising on Google.
  2. Social networks.
  3. Banners on themed sites.

Recommendations for improving the effectiveness of advertising campaigns:

  1. When setting up an advertising campaign in Google systems, select the type of company aimed at receiving installations.
  2. Temporary targeting will save your budget at an inappropriate times. For entertainment applications, morning and evening hours are most important.
  3. It is always necessary to seek the best conditions from the owners of the advertising platform. Offer not just to buy ads, but to cooperate.

Evaluate each advertising channel – how much it costs to install one app. It is also necessary to measure the quality of the audience – how many users opened the application a second time.

Email Newsletters

The availability of a ready-made database of email-subscribers is another shareware channel for attracting an audience. A separate letter about the new application with a description of its features will add real users to the application.

Free account

The ability to download the application for free significantly expands the coverage and simplifies the receipt of new installations. With free installation, the user receives limited functionality and can always buy the necessary functionality in the application.

Video ad

Creating a professional commercial makes it possible to advertise on popular video hosting sites – Youtube, etc. It is easier for users to watch a small commercial than to read and think.

Application size

The less the application weighs, the more users will install it. You need to make an application about 30-40 megabytes in size. Smartphones on iOS and Android systems do not allow downloading large files via the mobile Internet by default. Downloading large applications is delayed until connected to Wi-Fi, and possibly forgotten by the user.

Application Section Links

When ranking applications, the engagement indicator is taken into account – the frequency of the application launch and the time it works with it. Deep links to sections of the application increase user activity on the desired content of the application.

At the moment, the functionality of deep links is supported in the application advertising service on Facebook. Google is testing the effectiveness and is likely to allow use in the near future.

Audience sharing networks

Services for application owners, where each participant advertises others in their application. This method provides very wide coverage of a diverse audience. Participation in cross-promotion networks is paid for by advertising other applications on their own. List of Services:

  • Appbrain;
  • Chartboost;
  • Appflow;
  • Nativex;
  • Brusmedia;
  • Appia;
  • Startad.

Services for promoting gaming applications:

  • Applift;
  • Applifier.

Splitting functionality into multiple applications

The user downloads the application to solve his problem. Not all users will use the features of the applications. Creating a separate application for each function will break the audience. The user will know for sure that he will complete his task in a separate application. The size of each application will be much smaller than one large. As a result, the total number of application installations will increase.

Main banner of the App Store

The administration of the App Store choose applications for the main screen on their own. To meet the requirements, the application must have a number of characteristics:

  1. The application solves a specific problem or a set of similar tasks.
  2. Application design should be done professionally and efficiently.
  3. The process of achieving results in the application must be worked out to the last detail – the convenience of interacting with the application plays a significant role.
  4. The release of the application should be accompanied by great public interest – online publications and the media should write about you.
  5. The publication date of the application should coincide with the thematic event in real life. The application is relevant for users right now.
  6. Multilanguage application – the ability to choose the application language expands the reach of a potential audience.

What’s new

A detailed description of the What’s New section attracts an audience. It is necessary not only to describe the corrected errors in a boring way but to motivate the user to install the application with an interesting description.

Process gamification

Increasing audience engagement makes the application more interesting to the user. Adding game elements to the solution process motivates the user to reopen the application.

Interface elements for user engagement:

  1. The user’s rating increases as the number of purchases or actions increases.
  2. Bonus account and various ways to get bonuses.
  3. Show the overall progress of the user in the application.

Ideas for gamification are not always obvious. One solution to the problem of involvement is to create a minigame inside the application.

Advertising through a celebrity account

Collaboration with bloggers and celebrities can briefly increase the audience of the application. The process of discussing the terms of advertising is quite complicated, so it’s easier to use exchanges. When buying through the exchange, you should check your account for authenticity and a lack of cheating by bots.

Push notifications

To return users to the application, remind them of the existence of the application and activity in it. Display messages about new promotions or offer bonuses for passing new levels – all that will be interesting to users.

Performance analysis

You must measure all actions aimed at reaching the audience. The main metrics for evaluating the effectiveness of advertising on each channel:

  1. The number of installations and their dynamics.
  2. Cost per user.
  3. How many ad impressions it takes to get one installation.
  4. If the application is actively monetized, the total balance of expenses and revenue of the application.

Application Quality Assessment Metrics:

  1. Information on achieving goals.
  2. The length of the session in the application.
  3. The number of application launches.
  4. How often do users open the app.

The application needs to be analyzed to understand the goals and problems of users. Analytics Services for Applications:

  • Google Analytics for Apps;
  • AppsFlyer;
  • MobileAppTracking;
  • Mixpanel;
  • App analytics.

Part of the services is paid because it provides opportunities for fine-tuning and tracking user actions.

Continuous development

The application must be constantly updated to keep up with the needs of users. Improving the product will bring more users and increase company revenue.


Iren is the editor of the apppearl.com and freeappsforme.com. She tries to always be aware of novelties in the world of mobile applications and trending technologies. Loves to write app reviews and about modern tech.


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