Your app’s ranking in the app store searches will determine the number of downloads and the resulting revenues. There are many factors in play that determine your app’s rankings. It is not uncommon for app developers and marketers to see their apps suddenly dropping in the rankings. If you notice such a change, here is what will make app ranking drop.
1. Changes of App Store Ranking Algorithm
Both Apple and Google keep updating their app ranking algorithms every once in a while. So your app’s drop in rankings could be triggered by these changes. The changes could be made to one or more factors such as those involving the keywords, downloads, or ratings and reviews. The changes in rules will have an impact on your app ranking and you will have to make adjustments to regain the rankings.
2. Your App Lacks the Desired Quality
Most often app marketers achieve high app ranking initially due to their promotional campaigns. Eventually, it is not your marketing efforts that sustain your app’s high ranking and success in the long-term. It is quality and satisfied customers that maintain ranking and drive success in the long-term. So the drop in your app’s ranking after the initial surge could be because your app is getting uninstalled due to quality or user experience issues.
As an app developer/marketer it is important to understand that low-quality apps don’t have a long lifespan. It doesn’t matter how much money you throw at promotion or how many hours you spend, they will start dropping rankings after some time. Both Apple and Google have effective algorithms that can mark out apps that don’t meet the customer satisfaction standards. So if you notice drop in rankings, make sure to check the feedbacks, reviews and ratings. It could be a quality issue. Sometimes the issue is related of an important feature and a tweak and an update release can help address the issue.
3. Drop in Post-Download Engagement
You may have created an excellent app, but lack of post-install engagement can be a factor that causes drop in rankings. This has especially been experienced by many iOS app developers. If you are focused solely on driving more and more installs, but fail to deliver a more meaningful and satisfying user experience after the installation, it could result in your app losing its rankings.
Make sure you create an app that engages your customers. App marketers must continue build a rapport with their users even after the installation. It is recommended to create and update fresh and engaging content on a regular basis. It should give your users a reason to keep returning and using the app regularly. You should also follow these good practices:
- Use creative design elements.
- Add functional & easy to use features.
- Provide special deals.
Besides, the app’s quality is also an important factor that keeps your users coming back to use it regularly. You can also use push notifications to get them back.
It is not just you who is trying to promote your app and reach the top rankings. Your competitors too are always innovating to get there. So a drop in your app’s ranking could also be because your competitors are implementing more effective strategies. If for a keyword one app’s ranking increases, the ranking of other app will go down. So one of the reasons why your app could be declining in ranking is due to your competitors’ apps doing well.
This is the reason why the process of app store optimization is a continuous one. It is not a one-time deal. You have to keep learning and make adjustments to ensure that your app maintains its rankings. Remember that no app is ever optimized to the full. The competition is also constantly working to improve and so should you. So this could also be a reason why your app’s ranking may be showing a decline.
It is also likely that you are seeing your app ranking drop because you are tracking the wrong keywords. It is likely that you are overlooking “natural language” your target audience is using when typing or speaking into their device. It is no longer just about the one or two-word keywords.
The drop in your app ranking could be due to the reason that you are sticking to the old strategy of tracking relevant keywords. You may be losing on rankings because your keyword strategy is obsolete. It is highly likely that you are ignoring the point that more people now use long-tail keyphrases when searching for apps. So make sure to update your keyword strategy if you notice a decline in rankings.
6. More Uninstalls or Less Retention
Whatever the reason, if your app has high number of uninstalls it can be a big factor why you are losing ranking. Find out what your app’s retention rate is and determine the reasons why you are losing users. Address the issues to maintain the retention rate to boost your rankings.
7. Falling Average Ratings
Ratings play a significant role in your app’s ranking. If the average rating falls, it could be the reason behind your app losing its rank. Users may be concerned about a bug that you haven’t addressed. It could be due to poor user experience or some other reason. Determine the reason and fix the issues to ensure that your ratings don’t fall further.
These are the common reasons why your app’s ranking could drop. However, depending on your particular situation, there could be other rare factors which are at work driving your ranking down. As a general rule you should create high quality apps, conduct proper keyword research, deliver excellent user experience, and ensure post-download engagement. Besides, keep in mind that app optimization is a continuous process where you keep learning and making changes to improve the user experience and ranking. Remember, as long as your targeted user is satisfied you will be doing a good job with your app.