5 New Year’s Resolutions For App Developers

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Lior Eldan is the co-founder and COO of Moburst, a global mobile marketing agency helping startups and brands grow their mobile businesses. As an ASO and mobile media expert, Lior helps startups develop and execute their mobile marketing strategies.

This New Year is expected to bring many new and exciting prospects for mobile. But while there’s definitely a lot to look forward to, there’s no better time to look back and reflect on all the things we could have done a little better. For app developers, this is the perfect opportunity to re-think their product and goals. So, before fireworks light up the sky and the champagne kicks in – spend a minute or two in front of your whiteboard and write down your New Year’s resolutions for 2015. To make the task easier, here are a few suggestions to help take your app into the next year:

  • Go on a (speed) diet: Many developers add every feature out there, instead of investing their time in perfecting the app’s key features. The result is a busy interface, combined with a lack of attention to the details that can turn your app into a solid product. Instead of shooting in all directions, ask yourself why your app needs this specific feature. If the answer isn’t clear to you – your users will probably ignore this feature, trendy as it may be. This year, give your app a speed diet and get rid of redundant features.
  • Nurture your relationships: Personalization has been the name of the game for a while now, and if you’re not devoted to customizing your app and marketing messages to the right audiences – you’ll find yourself falling behind in the App Store rankings. This year, take your connection with users to a new level. Make sure to customize your offers to differentiate between users who have made purchases and those who haven’t, tailor your creative messaging to the user’s profile and let users know just how much they matter to you.
  • Learn to ask for help: Gifted and capable as we’re sure you are, you can’t do it all on your own. If you’ve decided to take your app and yourself seriously, reach out to experts in various fields and make sure your product turns out just as brilliant as it should be. With all due respect to your basic Photoshop skills — it’s time to get in touch with a graphic designer. Even if you think you can succeed without them, you need marketing specialists to move forward. Your app deserves to become a hit and insisting on doing it all single-handedly might stop it from doing just that.
  • Stand out: After investing in developing your product and designing it, you have decided against devoting resources to create a proper app download page. Instead, you have chosen to upload basic in-app screenshots and hope for the best. This scenario is the equivalent of opening a haute-couture clothing store and displaying rags in the window. Users will reach your download page via beautifully designed ads, only to be disappointed and move on. You will lose both the money you’ve invested in building the app, and whatever it is you’ll end up paying for every click that leads to a bland page. This year, invest wisely in ASO-tailored screenshots to give potential users a pleasant experience when visiting your app’s download page.
  • Focus on what’s really important: Most developers have only one thing in mind when working on their app – the number of installs. Well, let me tell you a little secret: Installs are not your challenge. Incentivized installs have become the norm for many companies, and user retention proves that the trick is no longer to drive installs, it’s to acquire users. Engaged, loyal and paying users are what you should truly aim for this upcoming year. Don’t be blinded by the numbers: 2015 is the perfect time to toss the CPI talk aside and focus on the data that really matters – getting the right people to install your app and use it frequently.
  • The fast approaching countdown can stress out even the coolest of developers. Breathe in and keep in mind that your dear users are drafting resolutions lists of their own. If you’re lucky enough to provide them with a solution to one of their goals 2015 could be a very interesting year for your app. In other words: Celebrate New Year’s right now, because as far as work goes – the party has just begun. Happy New Year!

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    What Does The Death Of Google Authorship Mean For Your Brand?

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    Peter LaMotte is a senior vice president at LEVICK and chair of the firm’s Digital Communications Practice. He is also a contributing author to LEVICK Daily, where he routinely writes about social media marketing and online reputation management.

    In August, Google announced the end of Google Authorship, a three-year effort aimed at boosting Google search engine results by including the author’s name and photograph alongside his or her article or blog post. This action followed close on the heels of an earlier announcement in June that Google was eliminating authors’ profile photos (while still showing a byline and including a link to the author’s Google+ profile).

    Now, Google Authorship is gone altogether. Authorship results will no longer be displayed in Google Search, nor will the author’s photo or Google+ profile be associated with the article or post.

    Why did Google make this decision? In its June announcement, Google stated that eliminating the profile photos in authorship results would provide “a better mobile experience and a more consistent design across devices.” The final decision to end Google Authorship came about as a result of tests showing that “the adoption rate for Authorship was much lower than Google anticipated, and often when authors attempted to include the necessary code, they did it incorrectly.”

    Citing the results of internal testing, Google’s web trends analyst John Mueller has declared, “Removing Authorship generally does not seem to reduce traffic to sites. Nor does it increase clicks on ads.”

    No need to panic, experts say

    In general, the experts say, the best response to the death of Google Authorship is to stay the course. The first thing not to do is get rid of your company’s Google+ profile.

    “Until we start to see otherwise, Google+ will still occupy at least some real estate on the search engine results pages,” notes Stephen Kenwright, senior search strategist for Branded3.

    Promoting your brand’s knowledge and expertise is still a winning strategy, Kenwright adds. “Employing experts — and demonstrating that on your site with author pages, author bios and author photos — is still among the best ways to acquire links. If people care what you have to say you can do it for free. And if you’re not trying to push the fact that you’re an expert author, people won’t care what you’ve got to say.”

    Focus on boosting brand awareness and credibility through the creation and distribution of quality content. As long as your brand maintains a reputation for providing value through relevant content and active social media engagement, there’s no need to radically change your marketing strategy.

    Just like any other business, Google has the option to alter the rules it goes by. In the case of removing Google Authorship, however, keeping a level head is the best way to address these changes.

    “The biggest thing I’d urge you to do is not panic,” says Ginny Soskey at HubSpot. “If you’re focusing the majority of your time on building your marketing for your audience, and then making smaller changes as social networks, search engines, and distribution platforms change their algorithms, you’ll weather the storm just fine.”

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