Tag Archives: Optimization

App Store Optimization Part 3: Boost Your App’s Profile, Increase Downloads and Generate Better Ratings

In an effort to emphasize the importance of App Store Optimization, the Mystic Media Blog is applying its expertise into a six-part series on the topic. In our previous entry “Master the Art of Writing a Catchy Title and Effective Keywords”, we detailed the ins and outs of the two primary factors in ASO: Title and Keywords. This week, in Part Three, we will focus on the other factors which have less of a direct impact on ASO, but nonetheless are vital to how an app store user perceives your app.

You can control the title of your app, the keywords, and the content of the app itself; however, the amount of downloads and ratings & reviews your app receives might seem out of your control. While they have less of a direct impact on ASO than what we’ve identified as the primary factors: title and keywords, downloads and ratings still retain a big impact on the viewer. A poorly reviewed app is not likely to get downloaded in a competitive environment, and an app with too few reviews and downloads is easy to dismiss. So how do you boost your app’s profile? There are a few tricks we’ll list here, but there is no easy method. Ultimately, a smart, efficient marketing campaign combined with well-executed ASO will boost the profile of your app and create a snowball effect leading to increased popularity.

If an app ranks highly in the app store AND has excellent reviews, regardless of the amount downloads, a user is likely to take a chance on it in hopes of discovering something new and unique rather than settling for the most popular incarnation of the app function they seek.  Studies also show apps with more positive ratings rank higher in the app store. Thus, it’s important for developers to harvest a wealth of positive reviews for their app as they launch an external marketing campaign. The baseline any developer needs to generate positive reviews is a good app, but assuming the app is functional, useful, and intuitive, the trouble becomes coaxing the user into rating your app without coming across as too pushy.

There are a variety of tactics to tackle the ratings problem. Any given developer likely will use social media for promotion, asking their friends and followers to download and rate the app. Many app developers choose to install a code which prompts the user to rate the app. When installing such code, one should make sure the message doesn’t prompt the user until the user has had the app installed for a sufficient amount of time (we recommend at least one week). This increases the likelihood the user enjoys the app and simultaneously eliminates users who install the app briefly.

The developer also has the choice of using either a boring, more standard prompt such as “Would you please rate [insert app name]?” or a more colorful one. Apptentive offers an intelligent ratings prompt which uses messages like “Do you love [insert app name]?” A cheeky message like this only redirects users who have positive feelings about your app to the app store ratings section (if they tap “no”, they are not redirected). Developers are also known to use incentives to boost ratings, such as free points or an alternate avatar in a game.

The app’s profile is ultimately one of the major factors in app marketing which influences the amount of downloads an app receives. The creation of an app’s profile in the app store should be directed with the goal of creating the most enticing presentation for viewers. An app’s profile includes the app icon, screenshots, description, and a video in Google Play. An app icon is worth making a solid investment. App icons should not use words, but should present a compelling image consistent with the UI design and color scheme in the app. Screenshots should demonstrate the most eye-catching visuals as well as display how the app functions. Description should be a concise, attention-grabbing detail of the app’s function and features. As we covered last week, it’s important for descriptions in Google Play to utilize keywords, while curators in Apple’s App Store don’t necessarily search for keywords in app descriptions.

Boosting an app’s number of downloads in service of ASO is tricky. ASO will increase the amount downloads you receive, and yet the amount of downloads will in turn raise your ranking in the search strings. A good marketing campaign backed up by an optimized profile with a top-tier icon and an enticing description will draw viewers in and increase their chances of downloading your app. One of the best ways to improve the profile of your app is to become featured in the app store’s landing page, a prime position which gives your app the most visibility possible. The trick to that… will be covered in the next installment of our ASO blog series. Stay tuned!

At Mystic Media, we have the cross-functional expertise and experience in marketing, mobile application design, and search engine optimization necessary to both create, optimize, and market a hit application. Contact us today by clicking here or by phone at 801.994.6815

Making the Most of Your Tablet Design Part 2: Custom Device Design

In Part One of our two part series on tablets, we explored the top tablets on the market in 2014 and what they offer to both consumers and developers. This article, explores the perks & advantages of custom device application design and optimization.

Companies design applications to connect with their consumers–to attract eyes to their company or product. As developers, we don’t focus on what device the consumer uses, the goal is to hold the user’s attention and potentially engrain our client’s brand in the consumer’s day. When developing an application, one must remember that each device has its advantages and disadvantages, and one cross-device layout doesn’t always get the job done. By optimizing a mobile application separately for phones and tablets, it portrays your company in the best light and engages the end user with the best possible user experience.

As discussed in the previous article, tablets vary in numerous factors, most notably operating system, processing power and screen size. When optimizing a mobile application, there are a few options. Developing an application optimized for smartphones creates an app which can be used to its fullest potential on any smartphone, but the app’s functionality could suffer on a tablet. Developing a tablet-only application optimizes the app for tablets, but again, it will not work nearly as well on a smartphone.

The third and best option is to optimize the app separately for both phones and tablets. Although creating a phone or tablet-only optimized application is cheaper, when the design is optimized for each screen size and device type, your app always looks great, sacrificing neither functionality nor usability on any given platform and ultimately providing the best possible user experience. At Mystic Media, we recommend investing in both phone and tablet versions of your application to maximize the quality of the app, and vicariously the perception of your company.

Phone only applications can be fixed to have multiple viewing options. We all have seen and experienced the 1x & 2x buttons on iPads, which allow you to adjust the size of the application based on what device you are using. While this seems a reasonable solution in theory, in practice, it appears shoddy and cheap. When one application attempts to optimize only for a phone and utilizes the same general framework for tablets, it often ends up mediocre on the tablet. For big companies, it’s not up for debate–they recognize the importance of appearing on the cutting edge so they invest in multiple device applications

Take a look at the Youtube mobile app. Their iPhone & Android apps limit the app to display vertical orientation on phones, but on tablets they optimize the design to display both vertical and horizontal orientations based on the angle at which one holds the device. By optimizing the design of the app to change based upon the screen size and device orientation, Youtube allows for a customized feel and content placement on all devices, ensuring the end user will spend more time on their app increasing the quality of the user experience.

Device optimization is worth the time and money because it allows the mobile application to live up to its fullest potential functionally and is aesthetically pleasing on every screen. In addition, marketing your app in both the phone and tablet categories within the app store gives your app a major boost in visibility.

When developing an application, the number one goal is to avoid looking amateur. If the application looks amateur, it turns off the user, consequently causing less downloads, uses, and of course,money. In the spirit of app store optimization and attracting downloads, it is critical to maximize the exposure to your mobile application. Having a bad application is worse than having no application—it can degrade the business in the eyes of your customers and potential users. Rather than squander your time and money on a cheap app, satisfy and impress your customers by developing a multiple device optimized application.

At Mystic Media, our team is equipped with all the tools to develop your app, optimize it to devices, and even develop market strategies. We have the knowledge, the work force, and the work ethic to design your mobile app to its fullest potential. Contact us today by clicking here or give us a call at 801.994.6815

 

Making the Most of Your Tablet Design Part 1: The Top Tablets in 2014

In Part One of our two part series on tablets, we’ll explore the top tablets on the market in 2014 and what they have to offer both consumers and developers. Part Two will intensively explore the perks of cross-platform tablet application design and optimization.

The tablet market has experienced unprecedented growth with sales growing by over 50% in 2013. Although tablets have existed for over 20 years, the iPad revolutionized the industry when Steve Jobs suggested that a tablet was not simply a personal computer, but a game machine, music player and movie player as well. Rather than a laptop in a different shape, the iPad represented a portable media consumption device with a longer battery life and seemingly endless possibilities for applications. The top tablets for 2014 indicate the future of a business already in an upswing.

iPads are the gold standard when it comes to tablets. They represent the combination of mainstream consumer satisfaction with high-class IOS design and delivery. The top two iPads on the market are the iPad Air and the iPad Mini with Retina display. Retina display entails that the graphics on iPad Minis are so clear, one cannot decipher the pixels at a typical viewing distance. iPad Air has been widely praised as the best tablet on the market. It’s sleek and fast with a 1.4 GHz processor and Apple A7 chip, and while it is on the pricey side, you get what you pay for. IOS designed apps generally yield the most pleasant user experience, although, at Mystic Media, our experienced design team are highly capable of designing aesthetically impeccable cross-platform apps in  IOS, Android, Windows & Blackberry.

The top Android tablets include the Amazon Kindle Fire HDX, Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1, and the Google Nexus. Android’s open-source programming code allows for a greater variety of devices, as well as a more crowded app store. Developers love the Android OS because their apps are more easily approved and reach a broader audience. Many hail Samsung’s Galaxy Note 10.1 as the premier Android tablet on the market. With a 10.1 inch screen, 1.9 GHz processor speed, and 2560 x 1600 pixels, the Galaxy Note 10.1 is bigger, faster, and also more crisp than both iPads currently on the market. It’s also $100 cheaper than the iPad Air. Its main competitor within the Android tablet sphere is the Amazon Kindle Fire, which has the fastest processor speed among mainstream tablets with 2.2 GHz. Its graphics are also on par with the Galaxy Note, and it offers 24/7 video tech support. What sets the Amazon Kindle Fire apart is its compatibility with Amazon, which led cnet.com to label it a must-have tablet for Amazon Prime members.

The Microsoft Windows 8.1 OS is the middle child of Operating Systems, ignored but gifted in its own right. Microsoft’s Surface 2 is generally regarded as THE Windows tablet. The Surface 2 sets itself apart by offering a full contractible keyboard, making it a practical device for getting work done. The Asus Transformer Book T100 also offers a contractible keyboard, along with a 10.1 inch screen and the longest battery life of a mainstream tablet with almost 11 hours. While Windows tablets have major processing power and practicality, they are much less popular, and thus have fewer applications, which also works to the advantage of developers who will have less competition in the App store.

In deciding upon your tablet, you must evaluate the size of the screen, the processor speed, screen resolution, operating system, storage capacity, and battery life. You must ask how you’re going to use it–is it for media consumption, or productivity? Where you’re going to take it, will it be around the house or are you bringing it to work? Will you listen to music on it, or make music? For the casual user, the iPad generally fits the bill, for the developer, Android tablets tend to take the cake, and for the workhorse, Windows offers the best processing power and functionality.

At Mystic Media, we’re experts in the application design field and are highly capable designers for both tablets and smartphones of all Operating Systems. Contact us today at www.mysticmediasoft.com or by phone at 801.994.6815

Stay tuned next week for Part 2 of our two part series on Tablet design focusing on cross-platform optimization.