Congratulations! You’ve designed, built, and published your new mobile app for iOS or Android. You sit back, a job well done, and wait for the downloads to roll in.

Unfortunately, building and launching your mobile app is only a portion of its full lifecycle. Regardless of how innovative, useful, or engaging your app may be, competition is stiff with more than two million apps available in the App Store. Without a solid marketing plan for post-launch promotion, your download numbers may quickly flat line.

To drive user growth and retention, maximize downloads for your mobile app using several techniques that will get your app noticed in the App Store and ensure users return consistently.

Do not neglect the app name, title, description, or screenshots.

These items are frequently overlooked upon submitting a mobile app to the App Store – proving to be a huge mistake. Instead of inputting information simply to satisfy requirements, carefully consider how each component works to attract and engage the end user.

First, ensure your app name is different from any and all existing apps. If your name is too similar, it could damage your credibility and rank, making it difficult for users to find and download your app. Next, make your title eye-catching in order to grab your user’s attention and provoke a download.

Carefully craft your description to convey the benefits of the app to your target audience using strategic keywords. Incorporate these target keywords 3-6 times throughout the description in a relevant manner. Keyword stuffing is easy to spot for users and the App Store alike and will do little more than harm your authority and rank. Use Google AdWord’s Keyword Planner to discover lateral keywords to increase your app’s chances of being included in search results.

Include attractive screenshots. Not only do screenshots appear above-the-fold in Google Play, but they balance the heavy text of your description with visually appealing imagery. Screenshots are also effective for grabbing attention quickly. Choose your screenshots carefully based on how they demonstrate the benefits of your app, and always order your most important or effective screenshots first.

Finally, your description should be localized in most common languages. Use Google Translate to translate your description to Chinese, Korean, Spanish, and French. Remember, Google Translate can make mistakes, so have a human proofread when possible.

Get the word out.

Use your existing digital database, including social media and email subscribers, to spread the word of your app’s launch. Post regularly every week (without bombarding your audience) to each social media platform, including a link for download. Include news of your app launch in your email newsletter and consider offering an in-app promotion for app downloads.

If relevant, call media attention to your app through a press release. Use one of the “Big Three” distribution services to circulate your release (PRWeb, PRNewswire, MarketWired) or consider AppShout, a mobile app-specific distribution service with hundreds of thousands of media, blogger, and subscriber sources. If you have the bandwidth, personal outreach to journalists and bloggers can be a very effective tactic. Always make sure your message is tailored to each recipient and your app is relevant to his or her audience.

You may also consider updating your email signature to include an announcement of your app launch that includes a link for download. Finally, you’ll definitely want to add a clear and easy-to-find Call-to-Action and download link to your desktop and mobile website. Brick and mortars should promote app downloads in-store by offering incentives and posting download information through the location.

Make it easy for your users to spread the word too.

Use social sharing to your advantage by integrating social media into your mobile app. When customers can easily share content from the app with their social networks, it expands original reach, creates authority through “social proof,” and increases the likelihood of new downloads.

Additionally, be sure to encourage app reviews! Positive app reviews work as testimonials in the App Store and signal to other users that an app is worth downloading. Negative app reviews, which should be resolved as soon as possible, offer a learning experience to update the app in order to provide a better user experience.

While you should never purchase fake reviews for your app, there are other ways to motivate review submissions:

• Ask for reviews on social media and via email newsletters.
• Include a strategically planned prompt in your mobile app.
• Offer an incentive for writing a review (both good and bad), like a promotional code for an in-app purchase.

Offer the best possible user experience with up-to-date information.

Fresh content that is free from errors is made possible through constant updates. This type of content is most effective for creating return users and decreasing app deletions.

Consistently update your app based on the wants and needs of your customer. (Reviews come in handy here.) Refresh your content regularly to avoid a repetitive user experience. For small business owners on-the-go, mobile editing offers the ability to manage your app content directly from your mobile device.

Collect analytics and observe your user.

Monitor user behavior from app download to app deletion. Use this data to resolve errors and reverse actions that lead to deletion. Use other analytics to optimize the full user experience.

Conclusion: Increasing app downloads and user growth while optimizing for retention can be a difficult process. Optimization techniques can ensure your app gets noticed in the app store and encourage users to return throughout its lifecycle. Prioritize these techniques based on the most urgent needs of your company’s mobile app. Over time, these techniques for maximizing mobile app downloads will allow your business to more effectively cater to the mobile user in order to reach objectives.