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4 elements that will drive more app downloads

Nicola Massa


Ensuring that the ratio of people who download your app out of those that visit your app store remains high is one of the best things you can do to ensure that your app will be among the first in the list of research results for your targeted keywords.

App conversion rates are perhaps just as important, if not more important than app store visits. Of course, if both are high, then that means you’ve optimised it well. The only other thing to worry about after that would be retention.

But for now, let’s take a look at how to optimise your app conversion rate. You’ll mainly have to look at four elements to encourage downloads.

App description

The first element to consider is your app description. Think of it like an elevator pitch to your potential readers, but made under 160 to 170 characters. There are at least two key components you may have to consider.

First is the content itself. Within a few lines, you have to sell your publication app to them, and the best way to do this is to focus on your unique selling proposition explaining they should expect and what makes your offering unique.

The second component of a well-crafted app description is the placement of strategically-selected keywords. Keywords should both address app store and web search.

Get the guide to convert your digital readers in subscribers

App icon

While searching for apps on the app store, the first thing that usually catches the eye when presented with a list of app choices is the icons. In fact, people that are already familiar with your branding and logo and are actively searching for it will automatically click the icon if they immediately recognise it.

The key here is the design. Everything from the colours, to your logo to recognisable graphical elements should be something that your readers will associate immediately with you.

In an effort to cover all of these, you might be tempted to stuff too many elements into your app icon, but remember that the app icon is small and might be displayed smaller still in tinier display screens. Trying to get too many elements fit inside that small space will just do the opposite.


Images are worth a thousand words. And for the limited amount of text that you can comfortably use to completely convey what your app is all about, image screenshots are the best option.

Your app screenshots should show some of the most important features of your app. More than this, since your app is merely a vehicle to convey your magazine to your readers, it should also show some examples of your content. For example, magazine publishers generally update their first screenshot to display the cover of their latest issue. If you have a very interactive magazine with multimedia content, then find a way to reflect that.

Your allowed screenshots are not unlimited though. Depending on the app store, expect to be allowed five to eight screenshots. It may be helpful to strategize this and really decide what you want to show. It might be helpful to create a mini-storyboard and have an actual graphic designer create composite images.

App previews

Videos have become popular in helping convey to potential downloaders what an app is all about. For those who already know what that app is, it’s just a way to get them more psyched and tip those in the fence towards downloading the app.

The strategy should be the same as for the screenshots. While it’s not necessary to keep updating it based on your new issue; although that wouldn’t be too bad of an idea, would it? Kind of like a trailer! Anyway, the best practice is to showcase your app in a more dynamic way than with static screenshots.

Reviews and ratings

Garnering good reviews is one sure way to convince visitors to become downloaders. Star or numerical ratings are the first things that pop in this area, although you should also pay attention to comments as they can make or break potential downloads. When you’re sure that you’ve got a good app and product, you can motivate your existing users to leave a review.


Keeping your app conversion rate in check and always high is one of the best ways you can ensure that your app is always on top of the list during app store searches.

To find out more about how to promote your app and how conversion rates factor into it, download our Starter’s Guide to App Promotion and User Acquisition for Magazine and Newspaper App Publishers!