If your app downloads have flatlined, you’ve come to the right place.

Maybe your app has been sitting in the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store for a while, and growth is stagnating. So what can you do about it?

You see, a mobile app, much like the human body, needs regular fixing and fine-tuning. There’s always room for improvement; in fact, you should be actively looking for ways to improve your app: updating it with the latest software, adding new features, fixing bugs, etc. And you should always be exploring strategies to expand your user base.

That bring us to the ASO (app store optimization) health check.

If you’ve put marketing your app on the back burner, now’s the time to recommit your focus. With millions of apps begging for a user’s attention, what can you do to make your app stand out? How do you get your app to rank higher than the competition?

Even if your downloads are steadily growing, we here at MindSea believe that complacency is the fastest route to failure. So whether it’s a new year, a new month, or simply an ah-ha! moment in the middle of the day, it’s always the right time to revisit your company’s goals and evaluate the health of your app store listing.

The best part is, you can do an ASO health check with very little fuss. Here’s what we recommend:

Reconfirm Your Keywords

Understanding how your target audience conducts a search is the first step toward making your app visible in the app store.

Even if you did some keyword research when you first launched the app, it’s likely your users’ needs have evolved and they’re searching for terms that you haven’t leveraged yet.

Keep in mind, the words you associate with your app may not be the same ones your target audience is actually searching for. You have to do your research to make sure that the problems your audience is trying to solve and the features they’re looking for are incorporated into your keywords.

Having the right keywords and placing them correctly—in the title, subtitle, description (for the Google Play Store) and/or keyword bank (for the Apple App Store)—is crucial to getting more eyes (and the right eyes) on your app.

Update Your App Icon

Have you considered that your branding may be in need of a refresh?

It’s OK to admit that your app icon is outdated—you’d be in good company. Many well-known brands have redesigned their icons over the years, and some do it fairly regularly:

Source: ResetEra

A design update could be as simple as bolder colours and cleaner lines, or it could mean a complete rebranding. In that case, approach the rebranding process with clarity of vision and focus, which can come only after doing thorough testing and research. Many businesses, from startups to global corporations, go through rebranding. Some do it right; others, not so much… Don’t be one of those.

Upload New Screenshots

First impressions count.

Screenshots act like insurance of sorts. They give potential customers a taste of what using the app will be like without the commitment of downloading. But screenshots need constant updating.

This is especially important if you’ve recently updated your app’s interface. New features, bolder colours, better branding—all of these changes warrant updated product images.

Looking for some inspiration? These 13 app product shots immediately caught our attention—in a good way!

Incorporate A Video Preview

Photos are nice, but in 2019 it’s all about video!

Videos can tell a story in a way photos can’t. They’re attention-grabbing, engaging and fun—and using video in your app store listing is one way to stand out from the crowd.

Give your audience a dynamic glimpse of the user experience with a video preview.

Use your 30 seconds wisely: Hook the user right away with beautiful graphics, clearly articulate the purpose and benefits of your app, and end with a call-to-action.  

Here’s a great example from the Movies Anywhere app:

Using bold graphics and familiar images, the video succinctly states what the app is about and ends with a persuasive reason to download it (it’s free!).

Get Your Current Users To Leave Reviews

Reviews are one of the best—yet most underutilised—ways to drive traffic to your app.

A built-in system for encouraging users to leave ratings and reviews should be a priority for your next app update. Why? Having a higher rating (four stars and above) will improve your app’s visibility and leave a positive impression on people browsing the app store.

Simple as that.

While you’re bound to get a few negative reviews, encouraging and embracing even the bad reviews already places you above the competition. Those who have nothing to hide, hide nothing, and you can use that constructive feedback to make the app better—your users will appreciate that.

Add Value Within The App

You probably update your app frequently. But if those updates are all bug fixes, and you haven’t given your users something new to log in for, chances are you have bigger things to worry about than attracting new users—you need to worry about retaining your existing ones!

The last thing you want is for once-loyal users to get a sour taste in their mouth and leave you for a competitor (and maybe leave negative reviews behind).

Remember: There’s always somebody trying to come up with something bigger and better. So do yourself a favour and keep your app fresh with new features, expanded options, improved navigation, etc. You want to speak to people today, not people back in 2015.

A little bit of effort and innovation will keep your users loyal and help reel new folks in!

Conclusion

Here’s the bottom line for you: ASO shouldn’t be taken lightly.

If you want to increase your app’s ranking, you have to do the work: evaluate, research, improve. But put in the effort, and you’ll watch the benefits roll in!

The steps above are in no particular order, so pick one and get started on your ASO health check. While you’re at it, check out our eBook How To Make Sure Your Mobile App Lands Five Star Reviews: