How to improve your app discovery

How to improve your app discovery

App market is becoming more competitive which makes every new app to be a tree in the forest. Unsurprisingly, the first step to generating downloads is to let people know your app exists. By mastering ASO and app marketing strategies, you can generate more demand by making your app more discoverable.


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While it’s important that you attract a larger audience, it’s equally important to attract the right users that will find value in your app, use it consistently, spend more money on it, and spread the good word to their friends.

Improving discovery means increasing brand exposure, driving more positive app reviews, and improving app engagement. From a business perspective, this leads to lower acquisition costs and higher retention rates – a perfect formula to generate sustainable revenue.

Here’s 7 tactics to boost your app discovery.


1. Conduct keyword research

It’s impossible to rank for every keyword in your category. Effective keywords provide information about your core users’ needs and the unique value your app provides. We can break down your target keywords into four categories:

  • Problem keywords: what are the users’ biggest problems?
  • Feature keywords: what is your unique selling proposition (USP)?
  • User keywords: what are the main demographics and key interests of your users? For example, your app can be built for football fanatics or young investors, which call for very different targeting approaches.
  • Location keywords: where are people using your app? This can be divided by countries, cities, or general locations like your home, office, park, or even subway station.
  • Action keywords: what is the user doing when using your app?

For an in-depth explanation of how to conduct effective keyword research, read our ASO guide for mobile marketers.


2. Explore paid user acquisition strategies

User acquisition (UA) is the method of driving new users to a mobile app through marketing activities. Let’s explore a couple of platforms that enable proven and effective UA:

Instagram and Facebook ads

Instagram is the 4th most popular mobile platform, where the vast majority of users are using the app on their mobile devices. Downloading apps through Instagram is a seamless experience, making it one of the most effective ad platforms for mobile apps. You can experiment with a plethora of creative options including stunning in-stream video ads, static ad carousels, and even interactive polls on Instagram stories.

On top of this, you can leverage Facebook’s vast advertising capabilities. Be sure to choose the “App Installs” objective and experiment with different calls-to-action including: install now, download, learn more, book now, play game, and more.


3. Tap into mobile ad networks

Ad networks connect app advertisers to publishers (aka apps that host ads), aggregating ad space supply from them and matching it with advertiser demand. While there are many to choose from, the AppsFlyer Performance Index is a trusted way to identify which ad networks have been proven to be most effective for mobile advertisers.


4. Invest in App Store ads

Whether it’s showing up on the search tab or specific search results, consider advertising directly on the App Store. The biggest benefit to App Store advertising is user intent. You can target people who are actively searching to download new apps, and be able to strike when the iron is hot.


5. Leverage social media & influencers

Influencer marketing is only getting started. Nearly 40% of Twitter users claim that they’ve made a purchase as a “direct result of a Tweet from an influencer.”

If you’re just starting out, distribute promo codes & referral codes to micro-influencers to post about your app. Micro-influencers are usually more receptive to working with brands as they build up their portfolio, and are extremely effective in communicating to their respective communities.

At the end of the day, content is king. Provide content guidelines, but don’t forget to let the influencers drive the creatives and enable them to speak in their unique tone of voice, which resonates best with their audience.


The front page of the app store reaches millions of users ready to download apps every day. For the App Store, editors choose their favorite apps in the Discover section of the store. They often include in-depth stories, and behind-the-scenes interviews to help highlight the best apps out there.

As you would imagine, being featured is no easy task. Here’s what Apple says you need to have to crack the coveted “featured” nut:


The 7 factors for getting featured on the App Store:

  1. UI Design
  2. User experience
  3. Innovation
  4. Uniqueness
  5. Accessibility
  6. Localization
  7. App Store product page

The 8 additional factors for getting your game featured on the App Store:

  1. Gameplay design
  2. Art and animation
  3. Controls
  4. Story and characters
  5. Replayability
  6. Sound effects and music
  7. Technical performance
  8. Overall value


SEO & organic mentions online

While Google notoriously claims that links and social mentions don’t affect rankings, there is evidence that refutes this claim. Generally, the more press and buzz you generate on social media from authoritative personalities and sources, the more positive signals Google receives about your app. So it’s true when they say Google is always listening!


Key takeaways

Now that you’ve gathered the knowledge to get your app discovered to the right audiences, let’s summarize what we learned:

  • Prioritizing ASO to improve your app listing is a long, but rewarding process that can drive business results including lower user acquisition costs and higher retention rates.
  • The key to sustainable growth is attracting a larger audience while targeting users who will engage with your app. Investing in the keyword research process can help you achieve that goal.
  • Don’t force content guidelines on influencers. Instead, allow them to create their own creative vision and amplify their own tone of voice that relates best to their audience.
  • Advertisers and publishers are connected through ad networks, which aggregate ad space supply. In the vast world of ad networks, AppFlyer Performance Index is an effective way to identify the most effective ad networks for mobile advertisers.

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