You just launched an awesome app.
Your app store keyword rankings are well. It has started generating buzz.
…and it’s even getting featured across the Android and iOS app stores.
Your app traffic is increasing steadily.
You’re happy with the rate of downloads, conversions, leads, and in-app purchases.
But suddenly, it seems you don’t know what’s going on anymore. You start noticing a drop in your app store keyword rankings and your lead generation rate begins to drop as well.
You check your analytics reports and you notice a significant drop in traffic.
Now you’re worried.
Everything seems to be upside down.
Is this for real?
You can’t believe it just happened.
You need to rank well and retain your ranking positions across the app stores if you want users to find your app through search.
According to a Forrester study, 63% of all apps are discovered through app store search. So if your app isn’t ranking well in app store search, how will it drive free organic downloads?
All right, take a deep breath.
Just remember, ranking drops happen.
Once you’ve consoled yourself, it’s time to find a solution.
“How can I get my rankings back again,” you ask?
If you have this challenge, you’re not alone. I’ve been there as well.
I know how you feel right now.
Your app store keyword rankings are a very important metric and a drop can significantly affect your bottom line.
It’s likely you had a flaw in your ASO (App Store Optimization) and you need to fix it. I will give you some strategies on how to fix your ASO so you can restore your app store keyword rankings.
But before I let you in on how to get your app store keyword rankings back in the app store after a rankings drop, here are a few reasons why it happened in the first place.
Why Your App Store Keyword Rankings Dropped
1. Changes in App Store Ranking Algorithm
Google and Apple are constantly testing and updating their algorithm. Fortunately, unlike SEO where there are over 200 known ranking factors, in ASO there are just a few.
When your app store keyword rankings fluctuate, one reason could be that the ranking factors have been changed and you’ll have to make adjustments to regain your position again.
2. Poor Choice of ASO Services Provider
Who handles your App Store Optimization?
Don’t trust your business in the hands of self-acclaimed experts, just because they promise to rank you number #1 in your category. At the end of the day, the top rankings might not bring you the results you are looking for.
If your ASO provider manipulates your app store keyword rankings, they will eventually fall flat.
When it comes to choosing a provider, choose one that has a proven ASO track record and that details every step of their strategy for you. Ask them why they are doing what they are doing and to explain how their strategy will help you reach your goals.
If you don’t want to hire someone, learn to do ASO yourself. Understanding how it works will also help you choose an ASO provider in the future.
A good ASO strategy can help you prevent a rankings drop and increase the brand visibility of your app.
3. Low-Quality App and High Competition
Generally, a low-quality app and high competition are two factors that are working side-by-side to pull your app down in the app stores. If your app is truly valuable, then you don’t have to worry about low-quality drop effect.
However, you still have competitors to contend with.
Having a great app means you’ll have a low uninstall rate. A drop in your app ranking could be because customers are not satisfied with your app, or your app isn’t functioning as you claimed.
Moreover, you’re not the only one trying to rank higher in your category. It’s possible that your rankings drop is also a result of your competitor implementing more effective strategies.
Alright, now that you have an understanding of why your rankings have dropped, here’s how to regain your app store rankings.
5 Effective Ways to Regain Your App Store Keyword Rankings
1. Work with Multiple Traffic Sources
Using multiple traffic sources can help you improve your app store rankings significantly.
Other traffic sources may include:
- Apple and Google Search Ads
- Mobile ad networks
- Real-time bidding platforms
- Incentive-based programs
- Other growth hacks
The idea is to increase your reach as well as download install rate. Don’t rely on one traffic source.
Part of the keyword ranking algorithm takes into account the number of downloads you’ve received in the past 7 days, so by having multiple sources for downloads you will inevitably increase your app store keyword rankings.
2. Align Your Mobile App Efforts With Your Marketing Mix
Your marketing mix includes every strategy, plan, and approach which your business has developed as a way of influencing consumers to try your product and become brand ambassadors.
It’s often referred to as the 7Ps marketing mix.
At the end of the day, you’re not looking for users to download your mobile app and leave. You want loyal users, in-app purchases, and advocates.
In order to achieve this goal, you need to align your mobile app marketing efforts with your overall marketing strategy.
Your app’s popularity can also influence its ranking in the app stores. Therefore, utilize happy customers’ testimonials to market your app on social media platforms and add some social share buttons in your app to make it easy to share.
3. Re-Optimize Your App’s Page Listing
As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, 63% of app downloads are from app store search results.
So it’s important that you optimize your app for searchers.
Optimize your app name, description, and creatives, and don’t forget to add the target keyword to your title as this can impact app store keyword rankings significantly. Optimize and re-optimize to match the current trends.
Rich Wagstaff, an app developer, doubled his downloads simply by changing his app icon.
He has also been able to maintain his rankings by building a high-quality app that has good retention.
4. Understand Your Audience and Make Your App Worthwhile
Don’t join the bandwagon of app developers if you know deep down you that you’ve got nothing special to offer.
Your app MUST add value to your audience.
To achieve this, just like in any marketing capacity, it’s important to conduct market research to understand your audience so that you can design a customer profile and develop an app that’s tailored to meet their needs.
Be sure you conduct enough testing to be sure everything is working. If bugs are found fix them before pushing your app to the app stores.
5. Get More Reviews to Boost Post-Download Engagement
How many reviews does your app generate a month? Make it an optional requirement for users to review your app.
Authentic reviews will push your rankings to the top.
You can program your app to keep reminding users about reviewing your app if they haven’t done so. Engage your users by replying to their reviews, whether bad or good.
Both Apple and Google now give you the ability to reply to app store reviews to show your customers that you are listening to their feedback. It may seem overly time-consuming, but it pays off in the long-run.
User feedback is a powerful ASO ranking factor that can boost your app’s organic reach. According to AppsFlyer, every paid install drives three organic installs.
Having all of this in place will help you regain your app store keyword rankings even after a significant rankings drop.
But regardless if you are hiring an expert to do this for you or you prefer to do it yourself, you need to be patient.
Because it takes time.
Follow best practices and keep testing.
You can do it!
About the Author
Steve P. Young is an app marketing consultant and founder of AppMasters.co. He helps clients get featured by Apple, increase downloads using App Store Optimization and drive cost-effective influencer marketing campaigns.
Get the Mobile Action Newsletter
Get the latest ASO tips, app marketing strategies and market analysis delivered directly to your inbox.