Optimizing Apps on the App Store: 6 Tips to Get Ahead of the Competition

Did you know that on average, there are over 30,000 new apps submitted to the iTunes App Store each month? That’s a colossal amount of competition to contend with. So how do you do it?

Well, first you must build a stellar app. We mean a bomb-proof, digital masterpiece that has everybody drooling to use it. This is far and away the most important factor.

The second step is marketing your ingenious app. Now don’t get discouraged. Marketing just means telling the world about your world-changing app.

And that all starts with you optimizing apps for online stores. In the sections below we’ve outlined 6 tips to shoot you ahead of your competitors. Read on when you’re ready to get noticed.

Optimizing Apps 101

Before you jump headfirst into the deep end, make sure you’ve taken care of the essentials. That means you need to nail your Mobile App Development AND get accepted by an app store. The only way to do that is to follow every single detail in your app submission guidelines.

Here’s a list of app stores and their guidelines:

If you don’t dot every “I”, you’ll never make it past the submission. Do. That. First. Then worry about making it stand out with this app store optimization guide

1. Know Your Customers and Competitors

As we mentioned earlier, the app store process is really about marketing. And as any marketing guru will tell you, that means research.

You’ve got to know about your customers.

For instance, if you know how they speak, you can write a description using words and phrases they can relate with. It won’t benefit you to use words like gubernatorial or loquacious if you’re building a first-person shooter for teens. They won’t know what it means.

Those words may, however, work with well-educated lawyers looking for their next business app. Those same lawyers may want specific features in an app. The more you know about them, the better you can give them exactly what they want.

Your job is to point out how your app can solve the problem. You do that by pointing out its features and telling them how it’s different from your competitors’ apps. And you do it by using a language they can relate to.

2. Pick the Right Name

One of our most important app store optimization tips is to throw away your old app name. Seriously. If you didn’t try at least 25 well-suited names before you came up with this one, you need to go back to the drawing board.

Too often developers use names that tell buyers squat about what they’re actually getting. If you built an app dedicated to Melania Trump’s wardrobe, make that clear in your name. Words like “The First Lady’s Wardrobe” or “Mrs. Trump’s Clothes” would be fitting. Names like “Bebop” or “Hissing Cats” would only confuse consumers.

Sometimes novice marketers talk huge brand names such as Nike or Pepsi. They use these brands as examples, saying “but they made it big even with obscure names, so why can’t I?” They don’t realize that these big brands had to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on advertising to make their brands into household names.

You don’t have that option. You’re starting from scratch with little to no budget. That means choosing a name that’s not only memorable but also descriptive.

3. Entice with Your Description

Your app’s description is also its salesman. It’s the only conversation that a prospect will have with you before choosing to buy your app. Unfortunately, it’s one-sided.

That means that it needs to answer all their questions as well as get them excited enough to buy it. To make that happen, you need to be in the prospect’s head. You need to know what questions they will ask as well as what will get them excited. That means research.

It also means using a skilled wordsmith to write your description. Sorry, 8th grade English isn’t going to cut it. You need someone who has a career working with words. If you don’t have the skill yourself, invest in a copywriter, journalist, or novelist.

4. Include Videos

If you haven’t been paying attention, there’s a huge trend going on right now. People want to consume their content in video format. YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world.

Your audience wants videos, and they want them now.

You can throw them in with the screenshots you upload to the online store. First, use 3 screenshots that speak to your biggest customer benefits. Those 3 images will be visible to anyone who visits your page.

Then add videos. They’ll be visible to anyone who scrolls past those first 3 images. Focus the video content on your app’s pivotal features. Use shots that are particularly telling or show screens on which your customers will spend most of their time.

If you built a game, show exciting gameplay. Never include segments that need explaining. Concentrate on unique mechanics or breathtaking graphics.

5. Choose Relevant Keywords

App SEO. Yeah, it’s a thing. When you fill in your app description, you have to fill out a 100-character keyword field.

If you’re asking yourself what the heck is this thing, we’ve got your answer. Keywords are used by search engines to evaluate whether your stuff is relevant to a particular query. For instance, if a user is looking for “cat entertainment” and ends up on your Melania Trump’s Wardrobe app, there’s a problem.

The search engine matches the query “cat entertainment” with app titles and keywords with similar names or phrases. You want to choose ones that are (a) descriptive, and (b) often queried.

6. Encourage Ratings and Feedback

One of the latest development trends encourages customer feedback. We’re living in an age in which the need for social proof isn’t the exception, it’s the rule. For you, that means explicitly asking for feedback.

Interrupt your app with a popup asking customers to leave a review. Make sure you read those reviews at least twice a week and reply to users. It’s the only way to find out what’s really on their mind and open a conversation.

What’s Next?

Optimizing apps for online stores may take extra legwork, but the same goes for all types of marketing. Remember, you’re not just selling an app, you’re running a business. That takes time, dedication, and commitment to succeed.

And we want you to succeed.

If you enjoyed this piece, skip over to our library and browse our other articles on web development.

So long and good luck.