Successful app marketing starts in the App Store because that is where your customers are. Over 100 million people have purchased an iPhone (not to mention iPod touch and iPad users), giving them easy access to the App Store through their device and computer. According to AdMob, the average user downloads 9 apps for their device each month, meaning many people are constantly on the look out for the latest and greatest apps.
Because customers are in the App Store, your competitors are there too. There are over 600,000 apps in the App Store today, and about 500 applications are submitted to Apple every day. Competition for nearly every type of app – especially games – is fierce.
For these two reasons, you should do all you can to maximize your app’s listing in the App Store (often called App Store Optimization). You will need to submit this information to Apple when you send in your app anyway, so taking some extra time before your launch or update will pay off later. It is your chance to make your app stand out and grab the attention of shoppers by making the most of each part of your profile page, especially the app description and keywords.
Your iPhone or iPad app’s description – the brief write-up shown at the top of its profile page – is one of the first things people will see and is a key part of App Store Optimization. A powerful description does many jobs: it grabs the attention of the reader, describes what the app does, and persuades people to buy it. Yet many descriptions are too short or generic to accomplish all this.
Here is an outline for a successful app description for you to follow:
- Headline: The first things customers will want to know about your app are “what is it?” and “what does it do?”. You can quickly answer these questions and encourage people to read more with a few words describing your app at the top. Just like a newspaper article, your headline should sum up the most important feature and spark someone’s interest so they will read more.
- Quotes, awards, and testimonials: Your audience wants to know if your app is worth buying, and testimonials and quotes are the best way to prove it to them. For example, if a popular iPhone blog reviewed and loved it, include a short quote and say what site it is from. Also use a quote you received from a real customer – maybe in an email you received or in the App Store reviews.
- Benefits: When Apple says “There’s an app for that”, your job is say what the “that” is. Is it getting organized? Saving time? Meeting new people? Make it absolutely clear how your creation will help customers by listing the most powerful benefits. Spell out the benefits in a bulleted list rather than long paragraphs so that customers can quickly scan your description to get the information they need.
- Call to action: End your description by asking your customers to take the next step and download or buy your app. If they wait to buy, they will likely forget about it.
The right keywords will help users find you when they search in the App Store (a big goal of App Store Optimization), while the wrong keywords can make it tough for shoppers to discover your app and hurt your sales. Also, using improper keywords is one of the top reasons that Apple rejects submissions to the App Store.
Here are some tips for choosing keywords that will help you succeed:
- Don’t include your app name or company in your keywords. These will already be searchable.
- Choose keywords that are specific to features or describe what is unique. Think about how people will search for your app or the problem it solves.
- Avoid generic, common keywords such as “iPhone”, “app”, or “fun”.
- Use all 100 characters for keywords if possible.
After building your app and preparing for launch, the time has come to release it to the world. Congratulations! By using App Store Optimization and getting ready ahead of time, you will be better able to make a splash in the App Store as soon as your app goes live. This can help you gain more exposure, new customers, and higher sales from the start.