How to increase downloads - Whats working and whats not

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  • Forum posts: 12

Aug 3, 2016 8:33:28 PM via Website

Hey all,

perhaps you are in the same situation as we are: After month of work you have finished your app, did proper testing and then with desperate released it to the App Store. After a week or so you realize that there is simply no traffic coming to your App and thus no downloads are generated.

On various forums, blogs and websites you can find lists on how to boost your downloads. They all tell you the same things:
1) ASO (App Store Optimization)
2) Review exchange
3) Advertise (z.B. AdWords)
4) Make a Promovideo
5) Get an review from professionals

Okay, let's go through the list and the experiences we gathered for or app Hexagonian - Connecting Colors:

1) ASO (App Store Optimization)
Theory: The idea of ASO is to provide the right keywords in order to get found from the search engines. The most prominent place for your keywords obviously is the title. Be sure that you choose it well. A good site for free research on keywords is AppAnnie. You can look for similar apps as yours and see what keywords they are using. These keywords can be placed in the title (limited space) or in the description. But dont exaggerate it since the search engines will interpret it negatively.

Truth: Okay, ASO really is important -I think that is clear. This is especially true for the interaction with the visitor for your app. But ( ! ) if you have a lack of downloads the ASO for higher ranking within the Play Store will not work. Let's see our app Hexagonian - Connecting Colors. If you enter Hexagon in Google Play you will find the game. Okay there is no competition on that name. But if you enter Connecting Colors there will be all kinds of apps but no Hexagonian. So even with these keywords in the title there are no hits. That emphasizes the statement "Without downloads, ASO will not boost your downloads".
But keep in mind that a good placement of keywords is still needed to help you interact with people.

2) Review exchange
Theory: There are some websites that offer a review exchange service. The idea is that you give a review to an app and in return you get a review from someone else back. There are some rules to that exchange: You have to really test the app, giving appropriate feedback and keep the app for at least 2 days on your phone.
This is not like buying 5 star reviews (which would be against the Google policy)! From this portals you can also get low star reviews.
Actually I like the idea much since you get feedback, downloads and reviews.

Truth: The theory sound very good. However the drawback is that people using these portals just download your app because they want reviews in return. So it might not be your target group that is giving you reviews. This might result in low star ratings because they lack interest in your apps topic.
But there is also another important thing to mention. Hexagonian got 8 reviews from these portals; 6 five stars, 1 four star, 1 three star. However Googles Play Store seems to filter out reviews it thinks are bought/fake/whatever. After some days all the 6 five star reviews vanished leaving just the four and three star review. Google seems to distrust the higher star reviews more than lower star ones. In the end you will get a lower review rating than you hope for.

3) Advertise (z.B. AdWords)
Theory: Advertising is straight forward. In order to get more downloads you have to reach the people. We tried AdWords and the setup for Apps is quite simple. You choose your campaign which will use your Play Store images as base setup. Then you add some advertising text and enter what you want to pay per install (CPI = costs per install). The CPI could be 1$ for example. You are basically just paying for real downloads.

Truth: It really works as stated in the theory. However to get a high number of downloads will be expansive.

4) Make a Promovideo
Theory: Use different sources to promote your app. You can use YouTube to upload an video for promotion. The good thing is you can link the video directly to your Play Store entry. Without great afford you can provide your visitors another channel of interaction.

Truth: We also did a little promotion video (search Hexagonian in Youtube). Like with ASO you have a problem that almost nobody is finding your video if you dont have any other promotion channel. However this method might work good if you have a big social network or a well visited YouTube-Channel.

5) Get a review from professionals
--This is something we haven't tried yet. But it will be interesting to see the effect.*

All these topics mentioned above might work different if you have big community in the first place. This is just how it worked out for us. It is also not intended to discourage you. But be sure after finishing your app the real work has just begun.

All the best,

  • Forum posts: 21

Aug 4, 2016 10:20:16 AM via Website

I would like to complement more tips for app promotion.

Buy Ratings only
Potential users are not familiar to your app, so they will prefer to download app which is ranking higher and rating high. Reviewapp4u dot com is great to offer app ratings both for Android and iOS apps!

Social media networks

Having a Facebook Page for your app is a must-have where you can ask them how they like your app designs and features and any get feedback. Also, you can share any news about your app, etc. However, remember not to make your posts only about your app, though. That is boring. It’s like talking to someone at a party who only talks about themselves.

More tips from:

— modified on Sep 1, 2016 11:32:50 AM

  • Forum posts: 12

Aug 6, 2016 7:38:31 PM via Website

Hi Zoe,

thanks for your additions. Social media really could also be big influencer.

I also looked at your link and as stated above ASO is important but if you lack downloads it is not the method to really boost you downloads. Dont get me wrong, everybody should do ASO but as newcomer with low number of downloads dont hope for a big boost from that alone.


  • Forum posts: 24

Aug 9, 2016 1:11:50 PM via Website

5 days since I published my first app and still not much movement, tried every free way to promote it. Maybe in the next weeks I will try with AdWords. Thanks for the info!

  • Forum posts: 12

Aug 9, 2016 8:27:27 PM via Website

Hi Agustin,

releasing an app for sure can be frustrating. If you go for AdWords think about doing a video first. Because you can add that to a universal app campaign and thus use another promotion channel.

Wish you the best,

  • Forum posts: 21

Aug 17, 2016 8:57:42 AM via Website

@Agustin Tamagno
Whether you tried many free ways to promote your app? How long you did that? It will take longer time to get the good result. Did you try these listed below:

Make a video
Videos shows great ability even just 30 seconds, it has power to show users such as YouTube why the App is worth a try. Make up a story of your app? Show the real life? Yeah, both OK.
Offline promotion
Make connect with your friends and families. You may ask them to help you spread your app in their relationship circle. Also, participate in meetings or conferences that are relevant to your App, and make full use of it to build partnerships.
Social media networks
Having a Facebook Page for your app is a must-have and powerful where you can ask them how they like your app designs and features and any get feedbacks. Also, you can share any news about your app, etc. However, remember not to make your posts only about your app, though. That is boring. It’s like talking to someone at a party who only talks about themselves.

If you want to try paid methods, CPI would perform better result then CPC/CPM. As I and Christian mentioned in previous replies, you can other them. Like

Buy app rating & reviews
One app can get reviews, it must get installs firstly. Reviews provider will guide real users to install app, play and reviews it with ratings. This method will rank app top in a short period. At the same time, the traffic is from real users which is organic. It will Not have bad impact on apps.

Edit by Admin: Link to external site removed.

— modified on Aug 17, 2016 9:28:32 AM by moderator

  • Forum posts: 2

Aug 23, 2016 12:12:50 PM via Website

You said very detailed, but the fact is that, APP easy to promote the day is gone forever. Almost every niche market there have many apps competitive eachother. Users become more and more critical, they care about UI,performance,security etc. Maybe we need do some deep survey before we build an app.

  • Forum posts: 16

Aug 25, 2016 11:55:26 AM via Website

I'd say that besides all this points, there's a great luck factor. I had a game with 300+ downloads/day (for a couple of months), with almost no promotion. Installs came mostly from Google+ shares (I didn't do any promotion or post in Google+).

And I think this game is not the best I've made. Other games had less than 300 installs/month with same promotion.

  • Forum posts: 79

Oct 6, 2016 2:03:49 PM via Website

I'd say that other than this focuses, there's an incredible fortunes component. I had a diversion with 300+ downloads/day (for a few months), with no advancement. Introduces came for the most part from Google+ offers (I didn't do any advancement or post in Google+).

What's more, I think this diversion is not the best I've made. Different diversions had under 300 introduces/month with same advancement.

  • Forum posts: 32

Oct 14, 2016 1:04:36 PM via Website

Well, it is very useful information to share with us, now app promotion is much needed process in digital marketing strategy for any app. For that above listed all tips/information are very helpful for all of us.