‘What is the best/cheapest way to increase app downloads’ is one of the first questions people have after they develop a mobile app. Paid app install campaigns don’t come cheap and developers find it hard to acquire organic users for their app. Here are a few tips which might help:

1.Play Store Name/ Title: The keywords placed in the title should be the ones with the heaviest search traffic.

We can take Paytm for example. It has its name as part of the logo while the actual play store name is “Recharge, Shop and Wallet”. 47%(almost half) people discovered the Paytm app through ‘In Store search’.

This they figured out through search volume for the important keywords. Most people keep searching for “recharge”, “shop” and “wallet” on the Play Store and it makes sense for them to add these keywords to their name.

Suppose you are a niche e-commerce site selling female fashion merchandise and your Play Store name currently is ‘X- Online shopping’.’Online shopping’ is a keyword for which you will never rank high because it is unlikely that you will beat other established e-commerce brands (like Flipkart, Amazon) on these keywords.

So the number of people discovering you through Play Store search will be really low.

The first step would be to change your Title.

If you know that most of the users shopping on your App search for ‘Sarees’ or a lot of time people type “women fashion” and end up discovering your app then you can** rename your app as ‘X- Sarees, Women ethnic Wear, Fashion’. This is just an example.

Use your biggest categories/ most searched keywords in your name.

You don’t even need to mention your actual name in the title if it is part of your logo (as in Paytm’s case).

Make a decision to choose your Play Store name on the basis of data. You can keep changing your names and see the impact on your search rankings.

2.Keywords: To improve your search rankings, you need to know which keywords are relevant and used most often.

For example a part of LimeRoad’s(a player in the same category) PlayStore description** says:

Popular Categories in Limeroad Shopping App — Footwear (Sandals, Heels, Flats, Slippers, Flip flops, Boots), Clothes & Apparel (Dresses, Tops, Tees, Shrugs, Jackets, Winter wear, Shorts, Skirts, Leggings, Sweaters, Sweatshirts, Jeans, Jeggings, Trousers, Denims, Formal wear), Ethnic wear (Kurtis, Kurtas, Suits, Salwars, Churidars, Sarees), Fashion Accessories (Watches, Bags & Wallets, Jewellery, Sunglasses, Belts), Beauty Products (Makeup, Hair accessories, Personal care, Cosmetics, Kajal, Nail paint, Lipstick, Lip gloss), Fragrances (Perfumes, Deos), Lingerie(bras & panties (sets),bras,panties, shapewear, swimwear, sleepwear, camisole, Home And Decor (Decor, Bed, Kids Room, Furniture, Bath, Electrical Aplliances), Kitchen ( Tools, Storage, Coffee And Tea, Bar and Drinkware, Cookware, Table Linen, Tableware, Serveware)

They have tried to inject all the important categories/keywords in their Play Store description. The ideal way to write a description is to not make it spammy but in the same time inject all your important keywords for which you need to rank high. The optimum number of times each keyword should be used is 5–6. Rewrite your Play Store description keeping in mind the keywords which matter to you as I described in the Title section.

One bad thing LimeRoad has done though is mentioning their competitors (and that also more than once) as part of their description. As a result these competitor apps will start popping up in the similar apps section.

3.Logo, App icon, Cover Image, Screenshots and Video: These are simple things which many developers ignore. Have preferably 6 screenshots with each one showing the user use the app. Each screenshot should show an important feature/screen of the app. In a similar way have a unique logo, app icon and cover image which make your app stand out. Video is another important component of your play store page and you should put up a video which explains clearly what your app is all about.

4. Ratings and Reviews: These matter a lot too. I have written about them extensively here: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/your-definitive-guide-5-star-app-ratings-manas-j-saloi

5. Installs: No matter how much you change our Play Store description one of the key factor for Play Store ranking still remains total installs of the app on a particular day. With increase in your daily app installs your Play Store rank will automatically climb up. This is one of the main reasons advertisers promote their apps on in cent networks like Cashboss which drives high volume of installs for cheap.

Google has been punishing mobile websites which use interstitial ads (cover the homepage) to promote their apps.

But you can still have a catchy banner somewhere in your page to promote your app.

Also an increase in total installs pay a key role in driving up organic installs. Our organic + referral downloads increase quite a bit too when our paid installs go up. This is due to the jump in play store rankings as well as apps showing up more in the similar apps section.

Uninstalls also affect Play Store rankings. Google not only looks at installs but also the rate of engagement as well as uninstalls. Try to make sure people find value in your app and don’t uninstall them soon after downloading.

6. Backlinks: Google gives importance to the quality of links pointing to your Play Store page. Just like SEO if your page is getting backlinks from prominent (high page authority) sites your rank would be boosted.

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P.S Follow me on Twitter: @manas_saloi