If you talk to a search engine optimisations consultant about ranking, you will most likely hear that it is not possible to beat the system. If you want your website to rise to the top of search engine results, then you will have to be the best match for the keyword or query by the user. You need to have a high quality and well-respected site. A mobile app development agency will tell you this is the same case with the app store.
Google Play is the best app store when compared to the others because it will naturally promote apps to the top, as long as they are good quality. Users can find the best apps without having to do a lot of searches, and if a developer is good, they are rewarded. How does Google determine whether an app is a quality app or not?
Currently, they are looking at retention. If Google sees that the user has been using a given app for a month, then they assume they have had a good experience. This means your app is going to be rated by how many users are going to be using it for days and weeks to come.
In the past, it used to be about ratings, updates, and reviews (this included responses to reviews). These factors are no longer that important. They might have some impact on the formula used by Google, but retention is what trumps everything else.
How Can You Improve Retention?
Making it Easy to Use
This looks like a piece of obvious advice to give someone. But what you can do to make your software easy to use is a big topic. One way of reducing drop-off in retention is by having a good UI/UX that is easy to use.
One mistake that developers tend to make is providing instructions on how the app should be used. If you have an app that needs instructions, then the design is bad. If you have to tell the users something, then it is a good idea to use a tooltip or similar, but only when the information you are providing is going to help them.
Setting the right expectation for first use users is going to give your listing very little time; this will just look at the screenshots instead of reading what you have written. When looking at an app, a user is going to have a specific task or experience in mind, and this is why they give the listing little time. If they see that the app is going to meet their needs, they are going to install it and give it a try.
But if they install the app but they are not able to see what the description promised, then they will install it fast and never use it again.
Keeping it Fresh
If the app is content-based, e.g. a level-based game instead of utility, then make sure you keep adding content. When users know they are going to get something new when they open the app, they will most likely revisit it. If you were to visit the BBC app 5 times a day, you can expect to see a different thing every time you open it.
Improving User Experience on First Use
When you want users to sign up the first time they use the app, then make sure you ask as little as possible. If the process of signing up is complex or has too many questions, then many people will not do it. You should make small tweaks that make the process more straightforward and remove any complications that can complicate things.
Inviting Users Back
A good way of re-inviting users back to the app is by using push messaging. When creating the push message, make sure it is a personal message instead of something generic. Let’s say the user has bought a product before, have a message that is related to what they bought or something that goes with it.