Where do potential users find your app? If they are not guided to your app through external sources such as reviews or recommendations from friends, they will find it in the app store: A large part of apps is sold this way. Hence, your appearance in the App Store and the associated visibility are of critical importance.
At first glance, visitors assess your app based on four criteria:
- App Name
- Star Rating
These four points have to convince the visitor to want to know more about your app. For customers with attention deficit disorder, they might even be the sole basis of decision-making. These visitors are so impatient that they skip the description text and reviews.
In this blog post I shed light on the the written part of your app’s business card. I’ve put together four simple principles that will help you to find your app-name or improve an existing one.
1 The name of the app must be easy to memorize for the user. Remember that users are faced with a myriad of apps and will initially see your app for a few seconds tops.
- In the game Fruit Ninja you split fresh fruit with your virtual sword. The fun game idea is conveyed in the name; It is short and memorable.
- ElementalKnightsOnlineTheWorld, an MMORPG sits on the other end of the memorability scale. Even if the developers had opted for the use of spaces in their name, it would remain cumbersome and boring.
If you want to put more information into your app’s name, you may want to choose a short name and append further information. On the device, then only show the short name:
- WhatsApp is named “WhatsApp Messenger” in the app stores. Below the icon on the phone only WhatsApp is shown. An important additional information for newbies who don’t know what the app is all about.
2 To ensure that your app is found via the search function, you should add a keyword if possible.
The placement of keywords in the app’s name is important not only for the search inside the app stores, but it also has positive effects on the discoverability by conventional search engines.
3 Another factor for your app name should be uniqueness. Apart from the fact that you can get legal problems if the name of your app overlaps with another the confusion this causes is likely to be problem for you anyway.
In the long run you want to build a strong brand. If your app’s name is confusingly similar to those of other apps it stands in it’s own light. The example of Fruit Ninja also meets the criterion of uniqueness.
4 The name of your app should be as uniform as possible out in various app stores and countries. The brand of your app can only grow through constant presence.
Imagine, you have different app names for your Android and iPhone versions. If a blogger does not explicitly link the two app stores, it may be that your app is only found in one of two stores by potential customers. By using different names, you inhibit spillover effects and slow down the positive feedback.
This topic is particularly relevant in light of the international exposure of your app. While some users are only active in the part of the internet that is written in their native language, there is a second group that don’t care to much about language barriers. The first group of users might not understand the name of your app if it was not translated. And the second group can’t find the app, if the name in their home country is different. With the standardization of the name, you should consider both groups. If your app’s name is not understood internationally, you can translate a part of the app name. It keeps your brand internationally consistent and the name of your app still comprehensible.
- The app FidMe (iOS, Android, WP7, Bada, Blackberry and Nokia), replaces your plastic loyalty cards. The name is adapted from the French word for loyalty card – carte de fidélité. Most users of the English localization, however will not understand that. In this case, the developer could have included descriptive words such as “FidMe – Loyalty Card Management”. Although that name is cumbersome, the improved tangibility and the inserted keywords are more valuable than the short name.
Image: Kristian Niemi (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)