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How to increase your app downloads and improve your app ranking?

Abhinav Girdhar
By Abhinav Girdhar | Last Updated on November 2nd, 2023 10:44 am | 4-min read
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The number of times your app is downloaded is one of the most basic and clear indicators of the success of your app. Now, while you might have a brilliant app in your kitty, but until it is downloaded by a fair number of people on their devices, well what’s the point really! It is finally the downloads that directly (in case of paid apps) or indirectly (in case of free apps) convert into money in your bank.

Now, the ranking you have on your app store is one of the factors that has a huge impact on the number of downloads you are going to get. This, in fact can become a sort of a catch 22 situation where achieving one of the factors can actually mean that the other will automatically follow and failing with one will cause you to fail with the other.

This essentially means that if you can manage a whole bunch of downloads right at the start, you are bound to get a high ranking on the app store which will make it easier for you to get more downloads.

It might actually be a little more complicated than you think, but there is no need to get intimidated by the whole concept either. I am offering, with this post, a great way to master this process and improve the number of downloads in a big way.

1. ASO is Key

Understanding at least the basics of ASO or App Store Optimization is very important for the success or even survival of your app. ASO in its essence is quite like SEO for websites. These are basically a set of techniques that can help you improve your online search rankings.

(Above video is a part of a more elaborate course on Academy by Appy Pie. To access the complete course, please Click Here, or continue reading below.)

Did you know that 48% of the people come across new apps simply by browsing through the app stores?

The way this works is that a customer searches for something they are looking for and associated apps come up in the search results. If your app rank is abysmally low, it is going to stay buried and never be visible to your prospects.

To add to the complications is the fact that the ranking algorithm for each store is unique, which means that you cannot have the same ASO strategy for both, your android and iOS app.

2. Name it Right

Technically a part of the ASO strategy, naming your app the right way is of extreme importance. Now, if you are still in the development phase for your app, you would need to concentrate on how to name your app in the best manner. The guidelines to name your app are also different for every store. For example the app name character limit on Google Play Store is 50 characters. If you choose a name that is 50 characters long, you would have trouble maintaining consistency, because the character limit for your app name on Apple App Store is 30 characters.

(Above video is a part of a more elaborate course on Academy by Appy Pie. To access the complete course, please Click Here, or continue reading below.)

Furthermore, Google Play Store has quite a strict keyword policy which states that if you use repetitive or relevant keywords in the title with an intent o improve your ASO, your app may be suspended and, in some cases, even removed!

3. App Description & Keywords

Adding relevant keywords to the title can help your prospects find your app with great ease, but that’s not the only place where keywords can help your app. While writing the app description as well, make sure that you include the right keywords.

(Above video is a part of a more elaborate course on Academy by Appy Pie. To access the complete course, please Click Here, or continue reading below.)

The first few lines of the app description are of great importance, because this is what the people browsing the app store would see. The full description is only visible once they click to expand it. The idea is that you pack up the description with keywords, but the first couple of lines should be engaging enough to win over the right kind of customers for your app.

With Apple App Store, you can include promotional text of about 170 characters. This, unlike, the app description can be changed without releasing a new update allowing you to test out a variety of keywords in order to maximize the conversion rate.

4. Pay Attention to the Design of Your Icon

The icon you design for your app is more than just a vanity concern, it can in fact play quite an important role when it comes to people choosing to download your app or not! The process of designing or choosing your app icon should be taken as seriously as designing the brand logo, it is in fact an ever-important part of an effective branding strategy.

While designing your app icon you must make sure that the app icon is visible against both, dark and light backgrounds. Also, make sure that you do not start using an icon that is similar to any other, causing any confusion among the customers.

Apart from the icons of your app, you must also pay attention to other design elements like the splash screen. A splash screen is the first image that is displayed to your app audience while they are waiting for the app to be fully uploaded.

Though it only takes a few seconds or even lesser for the app to upload, if it takes even a little longer a badly designed splash image will annoy the customers.

5. In-App Purchases

In-app purchases are factored in as a part of ASO for both, the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store. It is important that you clearly convey the nature of in-app purchases you implement in your app, because there is more than one way to do so.

Consumable purchases indicate buying articles that the users might need at any point in the app like buying extra coins in a gaming app, or buying a physical product from within the app.

Non-consumable purchases essentially are the ones that enhance the user experience of the app, like removing ads. Such kind of purchases are associated with the Apple ID, which means that they can be transferred between devices. The consumable purchases, however, may be lost when the devices are changed.

Non-renewing subscriptions are those that can only be bought for a fixed time period like a pass for a particular season.

Auto-renewing subscriptions bill the customers on a monthly or annual basis automatically quite like a magazine or streaming channel subscription.

6. Exemplary Screenshots

Humans are visual by nature, hence when they are simply browsing through the app stores, it is only natural that they should be attracted to high quality screenshots in the app.

It is therefore important that you create some great screenshots which not only look great but also cover the maximum number of features thus offering some measure of value to the users. Another important thing to remember here is that not all the screenshots would be visible in one go and not many would scroll past the first two or three. This means that your first two or three screenshots should be really the best ones and convey as much of information about your app as possible.

7. User Ratings & Review

If an app receives a bunch of positive reviews and high ratings, automatically the number of downloads would also increase. To get great ratings, you must provide great user experience as well! The app should function smoothly, should not crash often, be free of bugs, or any such other issues. Apps that have a high rating will also enjoy a high ranking.

The easiest and most effective way to get more ratings is by asking users to rate your app. This can be done by sending a periodic push notification or pop up within the app to rate it. It is natural that some of the reviews or ratings you receive would be far from flattering. However, if a large number of ratings or reviews mention the same problem, it is time you took a look into it and make necessary improvements to the app. These ratings and reviews are very important for prospective customers who are contemplating whether or not to download your app.

8. Add a Demo Video

A little more complicated than putting up a screenshot but exponentially more effective in terms of the interaction and the results that they may bring to you. In fact adding a video can in fact improve your download rates by as much as 25%. To top it off, the customers who watch the video are three times more likely to download the app.

The video you make should be short & crisp and add only as many features as can be easily consumed by the consumers. Also, make sure that you do not rely only on the audio, because quite a few of the customers would watch the video on mute. End the video with a clear call-to-action, encouraging the viewer to download the app.

9. Market Your App

There are millions of apps in the world. To ensure that your app gets the traction it deserves, it is important that your app is able to attract the attention of smartphone users. Simply ranking on the app store may not be enough. Even a perfect ASO isn’t enough if your app is not particularly well-known.

Market your app online and increase the online presence of your app. Advertise its best features and use your business’ brand to spread the word about your app. Social media platforms are excellent tools to popularize your mobile apps. Brand recall is a powerful force that will drive up app downloads for your app.

Educate users on what your app is capable of and answer their question regarding your apps. Use boosted and sponsored content and increase word-of-mouth marketing.

10. Leverage discovery platforms

As an app marketer, you need to look beyond just the app stores to promote their app and make it visible to the right audiences and increase the overall app traffic. Though app-install ad campaigns are effective, but not the only way forward. App discovery platforms review, categorize and promote specific app types to audiences looking for an app just like yours.

Here is a list of some of the most compelling discovery platforms that can help your app get loads of traffic and installs!

  • App Gratis
  • Platforms – Web, Android
    Though most Android mobile apps are available for free, you may have a business model that requires you to charge your users for downloading your app. In this case, you can consider offering your app for a slashed price or free download for one day only! App Gratis is a great discovery platform for such offers.

  • App Crawlr
  • Platforms – Web, iOS, Android
    On App Crawlr, apps are categorized based on many factors, including popularity trends, rating, and similar reviews. It helps app users in their decision-making. Yet another great advantage of this platform is that your app can be displayed in multiple categories, simultaneously boosting your app visibility.

  • App Pikr
  • Platforms – iOS
    The platform is great as a discovery platform and even lets you offer your apps for a discounted price. The platform has an “Apps Gone Free” section, where the previously paid apps can be downloaded for free. Platform visitors can share your app on their favorite social network, thus boosting your traffic.

  • PreApps
  • Platform – Windows, iOS
    PreApps gives your apps great exposure, even before they are launched. Through their paid subscription plans, you can get services like prelaunch exposure, app review submission, app review submission, press release creation, and distribution package, app review submission, demo video production, and app store optimization.

  • TapScape
  • Platform – Android, iOS
    The platform is unique in providing customized reviews for apps and useful information that developers and tech enthusiasts would love. You can either wait in queue for a free review or get a paid written or video review.

  • Best Apps Market
  • Platform – Android
    The platform exclusively reviews only free apps. The apps are categorized under three categories – free, reviewed, and personalized.

11. Improve User Experience

User experience is an important part of the app experience. No matter how well-designed your app is, it won’t be perfect for every user. Take user feedback and keep improving and updating your app.

App design trends change with time and it is important that your app looks good. Everything from app design to your app’s features must be updated with time. The better the user experience, the more likely it is that people stick with your app.


These tips will help increase your app downloads. However, these tips alone aren’t enough. They can increase your app downloads but unless your provides them a service they actually want or need, your app won’t succeed.

The most popular apps in the world, provide their users with a unique USP that can be found nowhere else. Your USP is what will eventually make or break your app. Good luck with creating your app. You can use Appy Pie’s AppMakr platform to create your app. Try it out!

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Abhinav Girdhar

Founder and CEO of Appy Pie

App Builder

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