Marketing

24 Ways to Increase Your Mobile App Conversion Rate

Nearly 40 mobile marketers weigh in with their top strategies and tactics for increasing mobile app conversion rates.

Jessica Malnik Jessica Malnik on August 18, 2020 (last modified on August 26, 2020) • 18 minute read

Did you know that there are more than 2.5 million apps in the Google Play Store and over 1.8 million apps in the Apple App Store as of March 2020?  

With so many apps in the app store, just standing out is no easy feat. It is crucial to maximize not just any traffic that comes to your app store listing but also any in-app purchases.

So, in this post, let’s take a deep dive into mobile app conversion rates, including:

What is the mobile app conversion rate? 

Your mobile app conversion rate is the number of visitors who take the desired action on your website.  With mobile apps, your mobile app conversion rate is two-fold:

  • The number of visitors who view your app listing and then install the app 
  • The number of app installs who make a purchase in-app 

How do you calculate mobile app conversion rate?

Calculating your mobile app conversion rate is simple. You simply take the number of conversions (i.e. app installs or mobile app purchases) and divide it by the total number of visitors. Then, multiple it by 100. 

For example, if you have 100 app downloads and 10 of them purchase something. Your conversion rate would be 10%. 

According to a recent survey of mobile marketers, we found that the average conversion rate is between 1.6% – 2%. 

24 ways to increase mobile app conversion rate 

There are many tactics you can use to increase your conversion rate, including: 

  1. Make the app easy to install
  2. Address friction points during the app install
  3. Optimize for first impressions
  4. Market your iOS and Google Play apps separately
  5. Optimize for app store searches
  6. Target the people who are most likely to convert on social media
  7. Test everything
  8. Use split-testing tools
  9. Write a compelling mobile app description
  10. Keep the mobile UI/UX simple
  11. Use lots of content to promote the app
  12. Humanize your app
  13. Build a quiz funnel
  14. Use push and in-app notifications wisely
  15. Make sure your app screenshots are clear
  16. Add more visuals to your app store listing
  17. Leverage localization
  18. Segment your audience based on similar attributes or pain points
  19. Communicate your value proposition clearly
  20. Make the CTA buttons more prominent
  21. Cross-promote your app across existing traffic sources
  22. Make sure the app icon is memorable
  23. Optimize for faster loading speeds
  24. Get more app reviews

1. Make the app easy to install 

“Make conversions easy,” says Melanie Musson of AutoInsuranceEZ.com. “If a potential customer is on the fence about converting, the slightest obstacle will keep them from it. Make sure that the process is as streamlined as possible.” 

Alexandra Zelenko of DDI Development says, “Your lead generation and capture form should be the quickest and easiest area for conversion rate improvement. The rule is: the less information you ask for, the higher your conversion rate will be. That’s why your forms should be easy, clear, and functional, ask for minimal information, establish an atmosphere of trust, and provide support information. This helps to decrease leads’ abandonment.” 

Sanem Ahearn of Colorescience adds, “Of the numerous ways to improve mobile app conversion rates, ease of payment is the most important. When a user is on your app and they find something of interest, having the ability to purchase with one or two taps will increase conversions tenfold.

This quick purchase method is made even easier with the built-in payment options on mobile devices, especially if they are integrated as part of your app. The more complicated the payment process, the less likely a customer is to read and complete each step to pay for an item. 

As simple as it is, streamlining the payment process will provide a visible increase in your mobile app conversion rate.” 

Editor’s Note: Use this App Store Connect dashboard to see sales, trends, and download data for all of your company’s apps. 

iOS Apps Dashboard

2. Address friction points during the app install 

“Address common areas of concern,” says Kas Andz of Kas Andz Marketing Group. “How does the app works? What about App permissions (better if it doesn’t require users’ location or GPS) and data privacy? Providing such important information upfront can motivate users into completing their registration.” 

Adam Inglis of Digital Chimp adds, “After running the digital marketing for major music-streaming and dating apps (with downloads in the tens of millions) in Asia a few years back, we always looked into the user journey and bottlenecks. You’d be surprised at the number of users who drop-off when there is just one extra step in the sequence. Streamline the process for a user and remove unnecessary steps.

3. Optimize for first impressions 

“Optimize the first impression,” says Rahul Vij of Webspero Solutions. “In less than 5 seconds, you can tell people what your application does. In those few seconds, you can encourage visitors to download or confuse them to leave the page. Focus on creating the first impression.

Ensure you personalize your app as per the app store. Instead of following a ‘one size fits all’ technique, personalize your app as per the app store’s design.” 

4. Market your iOS and Google Play apps separately 

“The interface of the app store and the Play Store is different and therefore you should use them accordingly to improve the conversion of the mobile app,” says Oliver Andrews of OA Design Services.  “Google users use the feature chart while app store users discover the gallery of screenshots.

Furthermore, the app store also allows you to automatically display videos. Therefore, you must ensure that the content of your video reveals the value of your application. However, on Google Play, there is no autoplay option.” 

Editor’s Note: Use this Google Play dashboard to see an overview of your app’s installs, uninstalls, ratings, and review data. 

Google Play Apps Dashboard

5. Optimize for app store searches 

“For the desired action to take place (which in this case is assumed to be downloads/installs), an app must appear when searched,” says Andi Clifford of Skein.

“As a result, optimizing for search is my number one tip for improving the conversion rate of a mobile app. Creative use of appropriate keywords in the title, icon, screenshots, and description can lead to the app featuring directly in the store’s browse result – which can increase the number of installs. It may also help to tweak the copy and design of the app’s page for relevance and brevity.” 

Natalie Stepanova of Apptica adds, “The main tip here is to master your ASO [App Store Optimization]. The conversion rate naturally increases when the app gets first positions in search results.

Hence, the developer should improve the whole complex of ASO assets: keywords in the title and/or subtitle, description, keywords field, publisher name. Pay attention to the number of keywords allowed and to the keywords density.

You should also pay attention to the visuals such as icons, screenshots, video presentations. The icon should be appealing and informative at the same time in order not to deceive users. ASO is an all-inclusive process where each element can greatly affect search ranking results. That’s why it’s impossible to define the only tip that will help you increase the conversion rate – that tip would be ‘pay attention to your ASO in all its complexity.'”

6. Target the people who are most likely to convert on social media 

“Use social media marketing best practices to target the audience segments most likely to convert,” says Brian Martucci of Money Crashers.

“Social media marketing is cheap, easy to scale, and extremely effective when executed properly. It goes without saying that you’ll need to constantly test new social media marketing tactics, monitor your campaign’s conversion rates, and double down on the strategies that produce the best results.” 

Related: The Best Social Media Platforms for Business According to 30+ Experts

7. Test everything 

“To improve a mobile app’s conversion rate, you should continuously test your mobile application,” says Keith Myers of TheHempire. “This will allow you to improve your application for better user experience. It is essential that you do this unless you want users to test and never go back to your application after noticing a few errors.” 

Chris Brenchley of Surehand says, “Before launch, make sure that you have tested the application on every single device that is supposed to support it. Get into the nooks and cranny of your application and find out what works and what needs improvement. You want the end-user to have a flawless experience and that doesn’t come without rigorous testing.”

Ethan Taub of Loanry adds, “From testing, we’ve found conversion remains constant up to a point and then drops off on mobile with more time spent in the sign-up process. Users are not happy to as much time in the sign-up process than in a browser. Therefore, on mobile, the sign-up process has to be very precise and not let users get bored as they will uninstall.” 

8. Use split-testing tools 

“Utilize tools that can help you A/B test your app’s images, wireframes, content, taglines or icons,” says  William Chin of PickFu.

“By doing this, you’ll be able to easily figure out what works and what doesn’t. There seem to be a lot of website software where you can A/B test, but not too many for mobile applications (with more users being on mobile than ever). Therefore, try to use a SaaS tool to A/B Test your mobile app, to help see what your users like and don’t like.” 

Nate Rodriguez of LIFTOFF Digital advises, “Use a survey tool like Hotjar to run surveys on your mobile app. Ask questions to uncover objections and then when you see objections come up several times fix the app by answering that objection.” 

Glen Wilde of Diet to Success also adds, “It’s helpful to view mobile A/B testing results to understand the big picture of how users navigate the page, giving insight into how you can improve your mobile app conversion rate. It’s prudent to focus on the proper analytics for your mobile app category, as different categories will yield separate statistics.” 

Related: How to Run Effective A/B Tests According to 28 Marketing Experts

9. Write a compelling mobile app description 

“For improving the mobile app conversion rate, you should focus on the description of your app and try to make the first two lines as effective as possible,” says Burt Valentine of howtowatch.

“You can either create a sense of urgency by putting a time limit to the discount on pricing. You can also prove your authority by mentioning the awards won by your app or mention about the number of people using it.

If it is mentioned in an article on a well-known website, you can write it in your apps description. These are some of the tactics that you can use while testing your description to improve the conversion rate of the App.” 

10. Keep the mobile UI/UX simple 

“Mobile app conversion rate used to depend on a lot of factors in its early years,” says Swati Chalumuri of Hearmefolks. “However, now, simplicity and minimalism make an app successful. For increasing app conversion rates, one must focus more on the first-glance aspects of the app: including an easy-to-navigate user interface, a vibrant app icon, and a to-the-point description of what the app offers.” 

Noman Asghar of Fan Jackets says, Focus on UI/UX of the app. If a person doesn’t like the design or layout of the app or can’t understand the function, then it will be uninstalled soon.” 

Alejandro Rioja of Authority Daily adds, “Provide your users with an unforgettable experience throughout their purchase journey and they will keep coming back to your app. Keep testing what aspects users like and update your app regularly to integrate those features and fix any and all bugs that might impact UX.”

11. Use lots of content to promote the app 

“One of the best things we have seen to improve mobile app conversion rates, would be to leverage a wide variety of content when promoting the initial installs of your app,” says Mike Dominick of SDA Media.

“Using real people in ads while even showing screen recordings within an app improves conversion rates and retention significantly because it pre-frames your end goal to the consumer.” 

12. Humanize your app 

“It’s hard for people to say no to other people,” says Logan Adams of DC Marketing Digital Hour. “This applies even more so to the app experience, where a friendly human face can stand out from icons, animations, and illustrations.

If you have team members, a great place to showcase their headshots is on requests that lead to direct conversions. When someone understands that there’s a real human behind the development of an app, someone who’s livelihood relies on this potential conversion, they’re more likely to engage, which can significantly increase your conversion rate over time.” 

13. Build a quiz funnel 

“The best way to go about improving your conversion rate for a mobile app is to build a quiz funnel leading up to an opt-in for downloading,” insists Max Edwards of The Millennia’s Lifestyle.

“The quiz should feature reasons why someone could benefit from using the app and whether or not they will be interested in the features. You can look into building a quiz funnel with thrive themes quiz builder. A one percent conversion rate is average and quiz funnels are known to double conversion rates.” 

14. Use push and in-app notifications wisely 

“My best tip for improving mobile app conversions is to take care of your push or in-app notifications,” says Dan Bailey of WikiLawn. “You want to construct them so they’re informative and targeted to the user’s activity, but not intrusive. Too many notifications will ensure they turn those options off or just uninstall the app. It’s a delicate balance that requires a lot of data and testing to get right.” 

15. Make sure your app screenshots are clear 

“Ensure your app screenshots are really clear and tell a story,” says Andy Webber of AtomicMedia “Users should be able to understand exactly what your app is about just from scrolling through the first three or four screenshots.

In addition, adding a really high-quality preview video also increases conversions, especially for games as this allows the user to see the gameplay experience.” 

16. Add more visuals to your app store listing 

“One tip for improving your mobile app conversion rate is by minimizing your word content and adding more visuals,” says Andrew Ruditser of Maxburst.

“The type of content your mobile app uses will definitely impact how well your users engage and hopefully convert. Usually, long-form content is better for SEO purposes to get your site ranked high on Google while using many keywords. But, since websites have become more mobile-friendly and apps have become more popular, it is important to keep the content short and to the point this way it is easy for users to navigate when using mobile devices.

Nowadays, people have a short attention span and are looking for information on their phones that they can quickly find. Therefore, the design of short content, big headers (that highlight the main thing so it’s easy to locate), and many ‘call to action’ buttons will allow users to find content much more quickly and easily while using a mobile device.

Rather than the usage of long content forms that display too much unnecessary information and turn the user off. It is also important to add more visuals with the use of images and videos throughout your mobile site as this will make it much easier for users to engage while on the go.”

17. Leverage localization 

Cierra Flythe of BoardActive suggests, “Use personalization techniques such as geolocation, geofencing, behavior history, and buying patterns to curate messaging that fits your user on a very specific level.” 

Karlee Tate of Optimistic Tampa Marketing adds, “Utilize localization to its fullest extent to improve your mobile app conversion rate. Localization is the process of adapting an app’s messaging, features, and designs to different countries and their languages.

Incorporate options to translate your app in different languages by considering the size of each potential language group within your target market. For example, if you find that many Hebrew-speaking consumers don’t demand your product, include a different language that has a larger market size such as Spanish or Japanese. Also, take a look at your competition to ensure that you’re localizing for the best market to penetrate.” 

18. Segment your audience based on similar attributes or pain points 

“Mobile apps need to be segmenting their audience into pockets that have similar pain points,” says Tyler Burch of BoardActive. “When that baseline is set, they can create messaging through multiple touchpoints that work cohesively to show how the app solves those problems. People connect over shared pain much more quickly than with shared joy. To know someone’s pain is to know them.” 

19. Communicate your value proposition clearly 

“Have something to offer,” says Chris Gadek of AdQuick. “Whether it be product or service discounts, or how-to guides, you’ll need to supply a special advantage for the potential or current customer who is downloading (and using) the app. If it doesn’t serve to be of value, it could be deleted in the next purge for app space.”

Paul Francis of The BHW Group agrees, “Don’t gate or hide all of your functionality. Immediately show the user some value, without requiring they register or purchase anything. When the time comes to require registration or purchase, make sure that process is user-initiated. This way, they will understand why they are being requested to purchase or register. Make sure there is an immediate in-kind reward or additional value for that conversion.

Basically, make it clear what your app does. Provide some of that value in a frictionless manner. When the time comes to convert a user, make sure it is on their terms and with a clear and immediate value proposition.”

Nils Koppelmann of 3tech GmbH adds, “Make sure to answer the questions a user has as appropriately as possible. The space we have on mobile is limited and we want customers to fully understand the product and make them feel confident in making the purchase.”

20. Make the CTA buttons more prominent 

“You need to have a killer CTA,” says Obaid Khan of Content Bruv. “You need to sell your mobile app and product in a single line, that’s the most time you’ll have to convert someone. However, that single line may be different for each buyer persona in some cases.” 

James Pollard of The Advisor Coach LLC adds, “Make the CTA buttons bigger. Sometimes a large button on a desktop doesn’t translate to a large button on mobile. Sometimes the button can be much smaller.

I’ve seen a boost in conversion rate on everything from ecommerce stores to webinars to appointment pages all by making the button itself responsive. People are much more likely to click if the button takes up their entire mobile screen.” 

21. Cross-promote your app across existing traffic sources 

“My top tip is to leverage the traffic you already have on your website (or blog, or YouTube channel, or whatever gets the most visits),” says Darko Luković of Smallpdf. “Basically, this means creating banners and other types of ads to cross-promote your mobile app to existing visitors.”

22. Make sure the app icon is memorable 

“Make sure the icon representing your app is super well designed and memorable,” says Nikola Roza of Nikola Roza- SEO for the Poor and Determined. ”Remember, your app will never appear by itself. Instead, it’ll always be surrounded by dozens of others, so it crucial to make it distinguishable in the crowd.

That’s not so hard as many cool apps have really shabby icons, and it’s a missed opportunity for them. Turn that into an easy advantage for you.” 

23. Optimize for faster loading speeds 

“Page load speed is one of the crucial factors for converting users,” says Rameez Ghayas Usmani of PureVPN, “Make sure to reduce the page load time because the faster the page the more conversions.” 

Jase Rodley adds, “It’s all about speed. Ever since Google switched sites to mobile-first indexing, any slow sites have dropped out of sight in the rankings. You need to strip your site and lean it out so that it loads in a reasonable time for your potential customers.

Having a fast site for mobile doesn’t guarantee you position 1, as it isn’t the biggest ranking factor. However, a slow site is relegated quite quickly as it is directly related to UX.” 

24. Get more app reviews 

“The best way to improve conversion rates is to increase the number of reviews (especially positive reviews) by ensuring that you deliver exactly what the app is going to do,” says Liam Barnes of Directive. “This ensures that a continuous feedback loop of positive reviews flows into the app.” 

In sum, increasing your conversion rate by even one percentage point can equal thousands upon thousands of dollars in new revenue. These are some of the tactics you can use to improve your mobile app conversion rates. 

About the author
Jessica Malnik
Jessica Malnik Jessica Malnik is a content strategist and copywriter for SaaS and productized service businesses. Her writing has appeared on The Next Web, Social Media Examiner, SEMRush, CMX, Help Scout, Convince & Convert, and many other sites.
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