The mobile app stores are a bigger channel for new user acquisition than email and the mobile web combined.
A mobile app is a tool for customer retention. It is a tool for fans and clients who want to be only a tap away from your information or latest news.
Veteran Silicon Valley investor Fred Wilson recently shared his thoughts following data from a comScore report about mobile websites and mobile apps:
“Mobile Web Is Top Of Funnel, Mobile App Is Bottom Of Funnel”
A mobile app user is more valuable than a website visitor or email list subscriber.
A study of Target, Macy’s and several other retailers showed customers with the retailers’ mobile app visited the store once more per month on average, a 50% increase (from two visits/moth to three).
A business’ best, most valuable customers are often their mobile app users.
As more retailers and other businesses are discovering the high lifetime values of mobile app users, getting their app into the hands of more customers and prospects increases in importance.
Acquiring mobile app users should go beyond email blasts and converting web visitors.
Mobile app marketers and publishers should aim to connect with their high-value target audience when and how they search the app stores with app store optimization.
An optimized app enables access to the largest user acquisition channel
A recent study reported that app store search was the most popular way mobile apps are discovered and installed, with recommendations from family and friends second (which then would likely lead to an app store search).
Optimizing a mobile app, known as App Search Optimization, is an ongoing process of making adjustments to an app’s store listing to better connect with its target audience. We generally measure optimization by visibility and conversions.
Visibility and conversions
Visibility in the app store increases when an app listing is built for relevant target keyword and phrase coverage. If you are the large retailer Target, being the top result for “Target Games” is not important or relevant, where “Target Shopping” is.
Conversion is the number of installs an app acquires from app store visibility.
Visibility: from Top 10 rank for 100k monthly searches to 200k
Conversion: from 15% conversion to 30%
The net result would be an increase from 15,000 organically acquired users to 60,000 users.
This simple example serves to help illustrate the goal of ASO – better relevant keyword and phrase coverage and increased conversions.
One of the most over-looked benefits to an optimized listing is the long-term competitive advantage acquired from matching your app’s listing with what users are looking for. Conversion impacts rankings for both the Apple and Google Play app stores.
As your app is discovered in relevant app store searches, conversions – where users see and select your app among the results to install – confirm to Apple and Google that your app is in fact a relevant result for the search and the app’s rankings increase providing more visibility and so on.
Mobile apps are for customer retention and engagement
Businesses with mobile apps likely acquired many of their users via their existing channels.
The two most common for most businesses are:
- Promoting the new mobile app or apps to their email lists of clients and prospects
- Converting mobile website visitors to their mobile app
The thinking goes, once a user has the Yelp app installed, they are less likely to start a restaurant search on Google and instead open the Yelp app.
We know app users are valuable, and tapping existing channels like web traffic and our email lists is an obvious place to start. But where app users really come from is from organic app store search.
An investment in optimizing your app store listing helps tap into organic app store traffic and a new source of users, and creates a defendable position as you optimize the positioning to match how your target audience is searching for your app.
App store optimization (or ASO) is an evolving subject as Google, Apple and even Facebook all iterate quickly to gain a competitive edge, provide a better user experience or just catch up to this rapid shift from PCs to mobile.
Learn more about optimizing your mobile app for app store search traffic with Gummicube.
The Author, CEO Dave Bell:
Dave Bell is the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Gummicube. In this role, Dave is responsible for overseeing the business strategy for the company, driving growth and market development. Dave is a pioneer of the mobile entertainment industry with more than 15 years of experience publishing, marketing and distributing mobile applications and games across carrier, direct to consumer and app store channels.