Feb10

How To Distinguish Your App in the App Store

You have completed your mobile app’s project plan, completed testing, so what’s next on a developers list? The wheels are already turning in all aspects of the application’s presence, so you better be ready to put it onto the store. To say that the App Store is over saturated is an understatement – last year Apple announced they have more than 1 million apps available. Here are some tips on how to get your app to the App store, but more importantly, how to separate yourself from the competition.

Name that will appear on the App Store

This is pretty straight forward. Keep in mind that this name does not have to be the exact name of your app, although it can be. You can make the name more explicit, which allows you more keywords to match your application.

Selecting the Category for your app

Categories further help browsers of the store find apps of interest. Being subdivided and partitioned into different categories again help your app be found by narrowing down search results. You are allowed a primary and secondary category. There is not much leeway for differentiation, so just select the category that best describes what your app does/provides.

Keywords

This tricky territory can be the crux of getting any downloads for your app. Without keywords, your app may never be found in the vast App Store. You have a total of 100 characters of keywords that can be used, separated by commas, so use it all! Selecting the most apropos keywords is a bit challenging, but again it all comes down to what your app does. Try to use keywords that describe your app’s functions clearly.

Research keywords that most people tend to search for and also take a look at what your competition is using. Avoid competing with overly saturated or powerhouse apps as they tend to rank highly. Also worth noting is that you do not need to use the name of your app here, or the name that it uses for display on the App Store.

Description of your app

The description of your app is very important and requires a great deal of thought. Once a user finally finds apps pertaining to what they like, they will almost always have multiple options so it’s essential to market your app in a way that showcases its distinct functions. Users typically make their selections based on which apps have the most downloads, highest rating, or the ones with the most enticing description.

A good description must clearly detail what your app can do and what devices its compatible with. If you give false expectations, users will downrate your app for not doing what it says on the tin. Still, promising too little will not make it stand out enough to be downloaded, so its a fine balance between finding the perfect amount of information to provide.

URLS

The URLS you must provide is a support URL site where users of the app can go for any queries or issues that they may have. Additionally, two optional URLS can be provided: a marketing and privacy policy URL. Both have their purpose, and should be provided if possible.

Screenshots

Screenshots go hand in hand with the description.  Attractive pictures should display your app’s user interface and the ease of use. Four to six good images should get the point across as to the look and feel, and perhaps even the power of your app.

Large app icon

As the name implies, you need to provide a large version of your app icon: 1024 x 1044 to be exact. Before a user can get to a description or the screenshots, they see only two things: the name of your app on the App Store, and your large app icon. One of the two must allure the user, and usually a name alone does not entice a user. Ensure you have an icon that captures the eye and subtly represents your app in some manner.

Contact information, review and app store

Having up-to-date contact information is important if Apple needs to contact you with particular questions or issues regarding your submitted application. One contact is for review issues, and another is for actual Apple Store questions; essential the first is a technical lead on your application, and the latter is a figurehead representative.

If your app is not free, tax/banking/and legal information

Last but not least, this section should only interest you if your app is not free. If your app has a purchase price or has in app purchases, you cross into the world of legality. Be ready to have banking information, tax information, and you should consider having a lawyer handy.

Final Thoughts

Once you carefully complete all of these steps, you should be able to put up your app in a matter of a few minutes. Once your app finally hits live status on the App Store, you can finally bask in glory and enjoy your hard work. That is, until the first requests for a new version and maintenance kick in, which always happen before it even gets to the store.  Remember, all of your efforts will only be beneficial only under the premise that you’ve created a great app that is compliant and serves a user’s purpose!

Do you have specific questions or recommendations on building a mobile app?  Feel free to share any tips/experiences as well. Comment below!

1 Comment

  1. […] successfully uploaded your app in the App Store, but what happens if you need to transfer it to a new iTunes account or decide to sell it? In 2013, […]

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