It’s been said that if you build it, they will come. But whoever came up with those words of wisdom definitely wasn’t thinking about apps. The reason? Millions of them available on different app store platforms, so merely building an app is no guarantee that anyone will even know it’s there, much less become persuaded enough to download it onto their smartphones.
According to Statista, there were, as of March 2017, 2.8 million apps on the Google Play Store as well as 2.2 million apps on the Apple App Store. If you add other app stores like BlackBerry App World and Windows Phone Store, then you can understand how merely making apps available to the masses won’t do much for your app-download numbers.
In order to help you succeed in a crowded marketplace where there are so many options competing for consumer attention, here are 5 app development tips for small businesses.
- Solve a Problem
Before your app developer gets down to business, you need to brainstorm to figure out exactly what problem your app will solve. Check out the app stores you plan to sell your app on for some inspiration. For instance, you’ll see there are apps to help people find rides, find short-term rental accommodations, and more. Once you identify a problem, seek to resolve the issue in a out-of-the-box kind of way. This will encourage your target demographic to download the app and to tell their friends and acquaintances about your app. And, as the advertising world has known for ages, word-of-mouth advertising is the most effective type of advertising.
- App Store Optimization
App store optimization (ASO) is a process by which you can increase the rank of your software in an app store. This includes asset optimization and keyword optimization.
- Asset Optimization: Asset optimization refers to the non-text aspects of your app, namely in-app screenshots, app icons, and preview video. Consider it this way: If your app store listing grabs attention because of your adherence to asset optimization considerations, consumers are more likely to download it. However, if your screenshot pics look uninspired, consumers may not give an otherwise useful app a second look.
- Keyword Optimization: Keyword optimization refers to the text included in your app store listing page. In addition to selecting the right keywords, you also need to write well enough to persuade consumers to download your app. What are the right keywords? You need to research to find out what keywords are applicable and most used by the demographic you’re targeting. One source notes that including a keyword in the title of your app store page can boost your app’s search ranking pertaining to that keyword by, on average, 3%.
- Monitor App Performance
It’s easy to assume that you can sit back and watch the app downloads pile up after your software developer has completed it, tested it, and uploaded it to an app store. But this couldn’t be further from the truth. You have to factor into the equation that there are numerous things — things you have no control over — that can negatively impact the performance of your app. For instance, an operating system update on a smartphone, tablet, or other mobile devices can adversely influence app behavior and lead to issues that include, but are not limited to, more app crashes. This means that you must monitor the performance of your app to ensure that the user experience is always a good one. Fortunately, there are tools you can use to help with this sort of monitoring. Examples are Crashlytics or Crittercism, both of which will provide app visibility during the development stage so that your app developer can quickly resolve problems that arise. Such apps are also useful when the app is completed as they will provide you with important information on crashes, latency, and other issues.
- App Development Tools
When it comes to building an app for your small business, there’s no need to reinvent the wheel. Specifically, you can take advantage of app development tools to build, market, and monetize your app at a fraction of the cost of proceeding without app development solutions. Whether you want an easy way to integrate your app with third-party apps, to monetize your app in the form of surveys, to boost app engagement with your users, to achieve direct advertising deals with other app developers, or to do any of a number of other things to strategically position your app, you can achieve your objectives by incorporating the right tools into your strategy.
- View Recorded User Sessions
There are tools available, such as Appsee, that you can use to view recordings of people using the app developed by your small business. This will provide you with strategic business intelligence and insight since you’ll get to see any potential problems people encounter that might impact whether they’ll actually stick with your app.
There are millions of apps vying for the attention of consumers, so it’s important that you differentiate your offering in the crowded marketplace. By following these 5 mobile app development tips your small business will be able to put out an app that attracts and retains users.