Think of the Apple App Store as a giant mall – where millions of people come to shop – and your app is like one store in that mall. We know people are coming to the mall, but are they shopping in your store? Or are they just walking on by? And, once they’re in the mall, how are they going to find you when there are hundreds of thousands of other stores?
When you think about it, there are really only three main ways that people can come across your app in the App Store. They can browse for it using the categories Apple provides, they can search for it, or your app can be featured and people click on it.
First, browsing – How you describe your app in the App Store can make or break the sale. You don’t have much room to tell your customers what makes your app worth buying right now. Find out what you can learn by looking at the descriptions of top-selling apps and how you can make write your app description easier.
Second, searching - Searching is so easy in the App Store that many people use it to find new apps. They might be searching for a particular app name or a type of app. When someone does a search, will your app appear? Or will it be invisible in the App Store? If it does show up, will it be at the top of the list, or the bottom?
How often you appear in the search results and how high up you are in the rankings isn’t luck. To a good degree, you can influence it by learning how Apple’s search engine picks the apps to show and taking steps to stand out.
And, third, being featured by Apple - This one is the toughest. You could be spotlighted by Apple and put on the homepage of the App Store. Or, your app can appear in the Top 100 list of apps. Either way, people are seeing your app and clicking a link right to it.
Many developers who write into Marketing Your App say that getting their app in the Top 100 is one of their primary goals. But competition is tough. There are hundreds of thousands of apps in the App Store and only a small fraction are people enough to market to the top. Does your app have what it takes to rise above?
Having your app in the Top 100 is like having Apple advertise your app for you every day. They give you a prominent link right to your app from the Top 100 page or even on the App Store homepage, which are seen by huge audiences. There may be no more effective way to market your app or turn App Store shoppers into customers than appearing on this coveted list.
More than the money from all the sales a Top 100 link can provide, it is a sign that you have arrived as an iPhone app developer. While many people learned to make iPhone apps, only an elite group have had their be successful enough to appear on the list.
It’s incredible publicity for your app, but it’s also tricky to get, so I’d recommend focusing on the other two ways people can find your app – browsing and searching – which you have more control over.