What is actually driving the decision to download an app in the app store? What turns an app store browser into an app user? It’s a question that many developers are often wondering, and to truly be successful in the app store, it’s something that needs to be answered. There are many factors to take into consideration, with some weighing more valuable than others.

App Store Search Ranking

app_shoppingThis is an obvious one, but it doesn’t mean it’s any less important. After a user does a search, he or she is much more likely to download the first few listings in the search results than any listings further down the page.

Users see more value in higher ranked apps, and not only that, but it’s unless there is a certain specific need users are looking for, most app store users feel it’s unnecessary to scroll any further than the first page of listings.

It can be hard to improve app store ranking without a steady stream of downloads, but you can always fine tune your keyword optimization until you find yourself in a much comfier spot within app store search results. Aim for the highest search result ranking you can, every step towards rank #1 may greet you with a considerable difference in download rate.

Always remember that keyword placement is important; you can put keywords in your description and your app store title, but finding the right keywords with little opposition is even more important.

App Store Ratings & Online Reviews

If your app has a decent average rating, chances are, you’ll be bringing in a lot more downloads than a similar app with a poor rating. 4 or 5 stars is something you’ll want to aim for as it proves to potential app downloaders that your app actually has some value to it.

Customer reviews in the app store are also pretty important; these can give potential downloaders an unbiased overview of your app, and these things will weigh heavily on an app users decision to download your app.

Online reviews from well established mobile websites can also be a good way to encourage users to download your app. Not only does a good review impact the chance of your app being downloaded by visitors to your app page, but it could also potentially bring in a number of users that would have otherwise never found out about your app.

Incentives and Marketing

We’ve covered this in a previous article, but as a summary, incentive based app marketing can work great for bringing in more downloads, and with a little bit to invest, it can easily become one of the biggest driving forces in an app user’s decision to download your app.

You can read more about the benefits of incentive based app marketing here. Whilst it can be difficult to perfect your app store optimization efforts, incentive based campaigns are a great way to improve the chance of getting downloads from new users.

All three of these things play quite a large role in driving the decision to download an app, with ASO and App Store rating being incredibly important and fairly cheap to improve.