This is a guest blog from Gummicube.
When Apple’s App Store first launched in July 2008, there were only a few hundred apps available. A decade later and that number has skyrocketed to around 2 million – 4 million if you count Google Play. As the app stores and competition continue to mature, developers need to stay up to date with mobile trends if they’re to get their apps discovered.
Three key trends in 2019 are:
- Increased need for mobile data
- Implementation of Apple Search Ads/Google UA
- Better user review management
The Need for Mobile Data
When looking to grow your app, the right data will guide you towards the right decisions. For app developers, this means data directly from the App Store and Play Store. Apple has stated that the majority of app discovery occurs within searches, which means using data from in-store searches can provide the most accurate insights. Yet there are still some that use external SEO data designed for the web, rather than the app stores.
As the mobile industry has grown, developers have realized that using SEO data for their mobile apps may have backfired. The SEO approach is designed for the web – mobile data is required for mobile searches. This has led to increased scrutinization of data accuracy and where app marketing companies are getting their data from. They realize that if you want to market your app, you’ll need mobile data.
The Rise of Apple Search Ads and Google Ads
Apple Search Ads (ASA) and Google Ads are two go-to platforms for app marketers. They can place apps, both old and new, at the top of highly competitive search listings. Additionally, the clicks those apps receive from their paid bids have a direct impact on their organic keyword rankings – this is not something you’d get from an ad campaign on Facebook or Instagram.
In today’s mobile ecosystem, it can take time to grow an app’s reach and audience through nothing but organic efforts. With Search Ads and Google Ads, you can supercharge your app’s marketing. That’s why many marketing teams are using them as part of their paid user acquisition programs.
The Push for Better Management of User Reviews
Users have virtually unlimited choices on which apps to install. The app’s reviews and star rating can influence a user’s decision to download it versus a competitor’s.
Negative reviews that frequently cite recurring issues can drive users away. This is particularly true if the reviews receive no responses, or the replies they do get are robotic and apathetic. Not only that, but the algorithms on both the App Store and Play Store track reviews, so a plethora of negative feedback can result in lost keyword rankings.
Managing user reviews can not only improve the user experience, but also protect your app. In fact, Google has recently changed how the Play Store weights app ratings. Now the Play Store gives more value to recent ratings, so apps aren’t penalized by older, negative ratings for issues they’ve already addressed.
Additionally, given the importance of reputation management, the Google Play Developer Console now includes suggested replies for reviews. The suggested replies are a good starting point, but ultimately providing personalized responses and collecting actionable information on common complaints is essential for proper reputation management.
The app stores have been maturing since the early days in 2008. Some of the strategies that used to help grow audiences then are outdated now. With millions of apps for users to choose from, it’s important to keep up to date with the latest growth trends in order to remain competitive.
By utilizing mobile data, developers can ensure they’re targeting the search terms that users are looking for. Using Apple Search Ads and Google Ads can help an app appear before users while improving its organic growth. Last but not least, ensuring user reviews are being seen and replied to can help keep an app’s reputation afloat.
These mobile trends can help keep an app competitive in the App Store and Play Store. When your app is ready to be released, remembering this can make a big difference towards its success.