How can I increase and retain app installs?

It’s no easy feat to create an app that becomes one of the most popular in the major app stores. The primary factors leading to smartphone application success often lie in the uniqueness, practicality or addictiveness of your digital creation. There are so many apps on every imaginable theme in the Google Play Store for Android or the Apple App Store for iOS that it can be very difficult to rise above the crowd. At the end of the day, an app that is not compelling, free / cheap or perceived as indispensable will not generate installs.


Add to this the headache of retention. According to Robi Ganguly, CEO of Apptentive, “because consumers download so many apps on a regular basis, they’re very used to abandoning your software and maybe even deleting it. As a result, the largest problem in the mobile app ecosystem is really app retention. Within 3 months, over 3/4 of your customer base is gone, never to be seen again.”


Even if your app is excellent and people love it, you may still find yourself struggling to attain visibility on the major app stores. Here are some steps you can take to increase the downloads of your app.


  1. Make it good: a bad app will not get downloads, nor will it retain users. This means you need to do thorough testing to be sure that your app does not crash on the regular. Ensure that it is easy-to-use and that any ads or promotional elements in the app serve their purpose without causing users to throw their hands up in disgust and uninstall. An app that does not work or is difficult to use will receive poor ratings and will be quickly uninstalled, and will continue to fall lower in the ranking.
  2. Encourage users to review your app: positive reviews make all the difference to your app’s success. If you have a significant number of positive reviews, your app will perform better in the app store as many users read reviews before installing. Good reviews generally means more recent downloads, and more recent downloads is a key factor to rising in the app store ranking. Remember, reviews also offer you an opportunity to communicate directly with users and respond to any bugs they report, problems or concerns.
  3. Give users a reason to share your app: Referrals are important to keep your downloads growing. If you can incorporate an offer or motivation within your app for users to refer a friend, this is an excellent way to increase your user base. The motivation could be anything from a discount on merchandise for each friend who installs the app, an extra life in-game or some other value-added bonus.
  4. Engage in ASO: ASO, or App Store Optimization, is the process of optimizing factors that can increase your ranking within an app store. A solid ASO strategy can increase the number of downloads that your app receives. The app marketplaces use metadata factors such as keywords, user reviews, descriptions, or images to evaluate apps. Some keywords are very difficult to rank for (think “casual games”, while others may be less competitive and therefore easier to rank for (“learn basque”). An agency or professional with specific experience in app store optimization can help you to ensure that your app is properly optimised so that users can find it. ASO is a way to improve positioning and app installs without spending all your money on advertising.
  5. App Install Advertising helps too: whilst ASO is key to app discovery and increasing downloads, mobile app advertising can also be an important tool for driving downloads and capturing new users. There are multiple Ad App Install platforms you can use to effectively increase new downloads. Probably the easiest and the first you might want to try include the mobile app install objective in Facebook Ads, App Installs Twitter Ads or Google Ads App Campaigns. From there, there are many other mobile ad networks that can also get eyes on your ads and downloads in your pocket. But remember, spending money on app install ads will not help you in the long run if users just turn around and delete your app from their smartphones.



These are just a few points to consider if you are thinking about if you are determined to increase your app store app downloads. Remember, a bit of optimisation and digital marketing can go a long way. If you’re interested in learning more, feel free to contact us.

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Client Success Manager

Alexis is our Client Success Manager at All Around. She is a Digital Marketing Specialist and Manager with 15+ years of experience in international markets. She is a dedicated client partner, ready to take businesses to the next level, with vast expertise in digital strategy, operations, project management, reporting, budgeting and negotiation.