If you're a developer, you know how hard it is to create a well-made and functional applications, so the pressure for it to succeed is beyond measure. Your job is not done when the app is finished, you of course have to update it constantly, ironing bugs, adding features... but that's not all, creating and app and managing it is only half the story. The other half comes after you create it, you have to promote it any way you can and pray it will get recognized. That being said, let's see if we can help you get good ratings for your app, and along with that, get more installs than ever before.
App Store Optimization
The first thing you should do, is research the so-called 'App Store Optimization (ASO)', in order to understand how it functions. There are a number of ASO tools available in order to help you out, so make sure to Google that before going any further. You should also keep in mind that playing keywords right is a huge thing and can help you immensely. Make sure to pick the right title for your app, and also be careful what you plan to write in the description. It's always best if you can make the name of your app truly unique, that way it's going to be recognizable and easily searchable. Also, make sure to list the details of every update you make to your app, not all companies do that and users simply hate that.
Your Target Audience
You should, of course, figure out who is your target audience, even before you start making the app. Some apps target certain aspect of people, while others aim at consumers in general. Your approach to promotion will vary, depending on your target audience, of course. There are a lot of variables to consider here, but as soon as you figure out who are you targetting, you're halfway there, all you have to do after that is figure out how to reach them.
The promotion was mentioned in this article a couple of times thus far, that's because it's extremely important. We've actually covered a number of developer-related promotion stuff on Android Headlines before, mainly because of its importance and numerous way of promotion. The best thing is, there are a lot of free ways to promote your app, starting with creating a website for it, and of course, utilizing social media. Promotion is the key for android monetization, presuming you'd like to earn some cash for your hard work, of course.
Want to reach the top of rankings in the Google Play Store (or any other app store for that matter)? Well, it's hard to do if you're not targetting a specific category, and it's not always the best approach. Pick a category and work your way up, that's why it's much easier to create an app which is clearly meant to do something, than to create something without a purpose basically. Although, to be quite honest, every app has a purpose, even if it's for fun. Either way, pick a category and do your best to stick to that.
A bit part of your apps success are ratings. Make sure to let people know they should rate your app in the Play Store (or any other app store) any way you can. Try not to spam them though, they'll grow tired of you and the app that way. One of the best ways to do it is by including some sort of a notification within the app itself. You can put a separate menu in there letting users know they should help out by leaving a rating, or perhaps a pop up which will appear from time to time. If you really want to be fair to users, include the 'don't ask me again' option as well.
Depending what your app is about, it might be small or really big, but try to keep it as small as possible. Huge apps are a drag to install, and people actually tend to give up, plus there are still consumers which don't have that much storage free on their devices, quite a lot of them actually. Truth be told, you can't exactly keep a 3D game under 20MB, now can you, but there are apps that you can trim down significantly. Speaking of 20MB, let that be your guideline, try not to cross that magic number if you can.
App Icon And Screenshots
Designers tend to say 'design is everything', well, even though that's not entirely true, the design is a big part of the whole picture. People tend not to install applications which look horrible, and that actually includes how you present them before someone installs the app. Make sure to create a nice, professional icon / logo for your app, along with a nice set of screenshots which you'll include in the app store.
Communicating with people who are using your app is really important, as is listening to what they have to say. Chances are you'll get a ton of various suggestions from users, requesting certain features and letting you know how can you improve your app. You won't be to answer anyone, let alone grant everyone their wishes, but make sure to respond to them and they can send some useful feedback your way from time to time. Make sure to include a separate icon in the app which will let users contact you, after all, you're creating the app for them to use.