How to Increase App Installs with Tough Competition

Sukanya Surby 
Content Marketing Manager

13 min read

In today’s saturated app market, standing out from the crowd and increasing app installs amidst tough competition can be a daunting task. How do you make your app the preferred choice among millions? Is there a secret recipe for success?

While there’s no one-size-fits-all answer, there are proven strategies that can significantly boost your app’s visibility, attract potential users, and ultimately increase app installs. So, let’s dive in and explore how to navigate this competitive landscape effectively.

1. Drive app downloads with attractive creatives & simple UI

The app experience you create for your users depends on the design of your app, the way it functions, and which platforms you launch it on. Be it your app icon, screenshots, or preview video, users are driven by captivating designs and a streamlined app experience. So make sure to develop an app product page that is clean and visuals that are catchy.

Here are a few ideas on how to do this:

  • Your app icon should clearly represent your brand voice and your app functionalities.

Examples of a few app icons that distinctly characterize the app’s functionality.

  • Entice your users with your app landing page. Be accurate about what problem your app solves and clearly communicate the value of your app. Leverage your app landing page to push the user to the call-to-action (CTA), convincing them to hit the download button.
  • Keep your app image assets clear and easy to understand. Cramming too much information into an image can overwhelm the audience.
  • Try to make your app compatible on multiple devices (mobile, tablet, desktop) as well as on different platforms (iOS, Android) to create a seamless user experience.
  • Where your app screenshots should be striking, preview videos should also present the app experience to consumers and help highlight the benefits.

Deliveroo food delivery has used its first two screenshots to clearly communicate that you can choose your favorite cuisines and get them at a discount. The first image invites users to buy food from their app.

2. Boost app installs by investing in ASO

Having a solid App Store Optimization (ASO) strategy in place is the best way for your app to rank higher in the app stores and gain installs. Target users mostly search for apps through the app stores; if your app does not appear in the related results, you are already losing out on the competition.

Here’s how you can optimize different aspects of your app and strengthen your ASO game plan:

Create a relevant app name

Use an app title that best describes your app’s features. When users get an understanding of what your app does, there’s a greater chance for you to convert app impressions into installs.

Gmail, Youtube, and Waze have well-optimized their app titles with descriptive keywords.

Undertake keyword research

The basis of ASO is finding the right keywords for your app. This involves finding the most popular keywords (or terms that users frequently use to search for apps similar to yours) and targeting those keywords in your app metadata. This will not only increase your app visibility but also encourage users to download it.

For instance, the meditation app Calm has done a great job researching what users search for and named their app accordingly. They target the keywords “calm,” “meditate,” “sleep,” and “relax” in their app title to help users easily find their app.

Discover AppTweak’s ASO Intelligence to help increase your app visibility

Write a compelling, well-structured, informative app description

When composing your app description, step into the shoes of your potential customer. Highlight the problems your app addresses in the first three lines and give an overview of your app’s features and/or benefits in the subsequent paragraphs.’s app description focuses on the action lists and touches on the pain points of someone in need of a project management app

A/B test your app’s creative assets

When it comes to app visuals, a great way to find out which variant most appeals to your target audience is to set up an A/B test. By testing new designs, you will be able to pick out the top-converting asset and attract more high-quality customers.

Competition monitoring

Keeping track of what your competitors are doing helps you get ahead of the competition, identify growth opportunities, and make informed decisions about marketing tactics.

For example, competition monitoring will help you to:

  • Uncover your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses
  • Monitor the keywords they target in their metadata to identify the organic keywords driving downloads to their apps
  • Examine the creative assets your competitors adopt
  • Learn about the marketing channels they use
  • Understand the level of competition from other apps in your domain
  • And so on!

Uncover the top ASO lessons you can learn from monitoring your competitors

Localize your app

To unlock new users around the world, it is important to adapt your app for specific languages, cultures, and geographic locations. Consider optimizing your app and its keywords for the locale of the market you’re targeting.

The photo-editing app Facetune 2 targets both the US & Japanese markets by showcasing screenshots with different models.

Learn how localization can help to boost app downloads

Draw positive reviews and ratings for your app

Another way to increase your app downloads is to prompt users to leave reviews and ratings after using your app. Users are more likely to trust word-of-mouth testimonials over other types of advertisements, so make sure to prompt reviews within your app. The more positive reviews, the more app downloads! Also, remember to tackle and/or reply to negative reviews and obtain important information on how to enhance your app experience.

3. Grow app downloads through social media

Getting the word out about your app on social media can prove to be an effective strategy to boost app installs. Most of the users your app targets are likely to be active on one or more of these social media platforms every day, so it is a good idea for you to build your app store presence via these channels. Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are great platforms to stay in touch with your users and respond to their queries.

Some ways in which you can engage users in mobile app marketing on social media are:

  • Share relevant, targeted content to build a strong relationship with your customers. Make sure to push your content through shares and put forward your app’s key features in the content you’re promoting.
  • Include images and videos to highlight your app’s main features.
  • Hosting contests, polls, sales, promotions, etc., are great ways to drive user engagement. For example, you can give away features inside your app to get people talking about it. The main intent is to stimulate users to take any action – such as liking, commenting, sharing, voting, or following the link.
  • You can also join forums like Quora and Reddit to answer questions and share stories or other details about your app.
  • While posting on social media, make sure to adapt your app’s tone and social media messaging in alignment with your brand’s personality. It helps users to connect with your app more easily and engage with it regularly.

4. Leverage content marketing to engage with more users

Content marketing is an indispensable avenue of mobile app marketing to encourage those important downloads. A structured and unique content strategy not only helps you offer value to your app users, but also holds their interest. Your app content may vary between blogs, social media posts, e-books, white papers, landing pages, e-mails, case studies, video tutorials, newsletters, etc. We have listed here a few ways you can use content marketing to drive more app installs.

Create quality content

A piece of top-quality content subtly prompts users to digest important scraps of information in an enjoyable way. It is a great way to promote your brand.

Opt for long-form content

Long-form content that does well is often valuable, relevant, and insightful for readers. Also, make sure that your content is clearly related to the purpose of your app so that readers are naturally guided from your content to the CTA.

Engage users with more interactive content

A great way to keep your users engaged is to consider incorporating quizzes, infographics, and surveys in your content.

Be consistent with your blogging schedule

Delivering regular content is not always easy. It means staying on top of the latest trends in your industry and providing authentic content that people can share. Pushing content more frequently also helps boost your website’s SEO strategy.

5. Optimize your app onboarding experience

A user’s first interaction with your app can be your win-or-lose moment. A good app onboarding process drives higher user engagement, more downloads, and positive reviews. Think about how you can initiate a personalized and smart onboarding process to get a user to sign up, make a new purchase, or watch a video. Here are a few best practices for your app onboarding:

Demonstrate your app value

An engaging onboarding experience must establish value. At the end of their onboarding experience, a user should clearly understand what your app can do for them, why they need your app, and what your app’s most prominent features are.

Create a personalized app user experience

Know who your users are and what they are looking for to create personalized experiences for them. Apps that offer personalized product recommendations, suggestions, relevant offers, discounts, push notifications, free tokens, and in-app messages will see users return to their app more often.

Simplify the app sign-up process

Users tend to turn away from apps that ask them to input a lot of information to get started, so make sure that your app sign-up process is easy and straightforward. A good way to make your app appealing is to reduce the sign-up steps. Even if you need additional information, ask for this at a later stage. Once a user signs up, collect their details gradually while educating them on why you need it. Be transparent about what data you need and why.

Enable users to skip

Some users may not want to walk through the entire onboarding process, particularly if your app is pretty self-explanatory. In that case, you don’t need to forcefully onboard them. Allow users to jump right in and get a firsthand experience of your app instead of guiding them through.

Ensure a smooth app navigation

A smooth onboarding process entails a smooth navigation experience for your app user. Don’t leave users wondering which buttons to click or how to find their way around the app. Keep your navigation process simple and intuitive to help users enjoy all the features of your app. Most importantly, keep your content legible and your UI layout minimalist.

6. Consider in-app tracking to increase app installs

Mobile app tracking is all about keeping track of users’ journeys to your app. It allows you to better understand users’ preferences and behaviors and help you gauge if your marketing strategies are successful and which ones are worth the investment. Knowing who’s really driving organic traffic to your app can help you estimate your marketing budget. You can remove the inefficient traffic sources and invest in the ones that are worth the money.

For example, in-app tracking lets you know the advantages and flaws of your app, whether a user is uninstalling your app at a certain point, how long they are logged into your app, or if they like any particular feature.

You can begin by installing a software development kit (SDK) to ensure data tracking for your campaigns. There are a lot of tracking tools available in the market, each with its variation. For instance, Google Analytics, Intercom, Mixpanel, Segment, etc.

Here are a few tips to make the most of app analytics:

Define clear app goals

It’s important to set your goals first if you want your app analytics to work. Different apps have different goals depending on the revenue model (in-app purchases, paid app, in-app ads, etc). For example, e-commerce apps will aim to increase brand awareness, while gaming apps will look to expand their user base. So your app goals depend on why you built your app in the first place and what purpose it serves.

Measure app KPIs

There are a whole lot of engagement metrics to measure your app performance:

  • Session length: The time during which a user performs activities in your app. This metric helps you measure how engaging your app is.
  • Average screens per visit: This metric tells you if your app has a user-friendly design. A high-quality app design will let users easily transition between screens.
  • Monthly active users: With this, you can determine if the number of users who engage with your app (active users) is growing each month. An increasing number of active users would mean a lower user acquisition cost for your app.
  • Cost per acquisition (CPA): A metric that lets you track the amount of money you are spending on each user you are acquiring.
  • Churn rate: A useful metric that helps you track the number of users that walk away from your app after initial use. This could be due to your app’s complicated navigation, frequent page crashes, lack of updates, or no more levels to accomplish (for a gaming app).
  • Retention rate: As opposed to the churn rate, this metric allows you to track users who return to your app after initial use. Thus, you know if your app offers value to your users.

Keeping track of these metrics will help you meet your app goals. Draft the questions critical to your goal and ensure that the metrics you track answer them.


The app stores might be a competitive space, but every day we see new app players in the stores overtaking competitors for downloads and ranking. These are some of the best ways by which you can encourage users to download your app:

  1. Create enticing app creatives and an intuitive user interface.
  2. Invest in ASO.
  3. Build your app store presence through social media.
  4. Leverage content marketing to engage with more users.
  5. Personalize user onboarding experience.
  6. Use in-app tracking tools to monitor user behavior and preferences.

Eager to learn more about app user acquisition? Get in touch with us and find out how you can boost your app installs with AppTweak’s amazing features!

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Sukanya Sur
by , Content Marketing Manager
Sukanya is Content Marketing Manager at AppTweak, creating intriguing content for app marketers. She possesses strong editing skills, delights in storytelling, and holds a deep appreciation for classic literature.