Today just about everyone and their cat has created an app, so how do you make sure your app stands out from the crowd, gets oodles of (buzzword alert) ‘organic’ downloads and maintains a spot in the top ranked apps for its category?
If you make note of the following 12 steps your app just might have a shot at being the most downloaded in the app store.
1. Pick A Winning Name
Pick a stellar name for your app, make sure it’s unique, memorable and rolls off the tongue smoother than honey off the back of a spoon. Yes, the choosing of your apps name is uber important, in fact some would say you should put as much time and effort into it as naming your first born.
Include your key words and don’t infringe any trademarks… people should be able to gain clarity of what your app is about from its name.
2. Squish Your Competitors
Seek out the apps that will be in main competition with yours once released. Yes, you have competitors. Use these competitor apps as fuel to the fire, how can you be better?
Estimate the number of downloads you need to rank in each category, calculate your strengths against your competition and choose the most relevant category for your app. Read reviews and make sure you pick up what users are missing, provide these within your app.
3. Create An AMAZING Icon/Logo.
Yes those tiny little squares that litter our screens have to look great to drive downloads. Your icon needs to be more attention grabbing than Kimmy K's 'Break the Internet' and possess Zoolander-esque ridiculously good looks.
Deliver the style and purpose of your app with this image. It should flow seamlessly with the name and convey purpose for the user.
Food for thought: Psychology of color design info-graphic
4. Snazzy Screen-shots
Great screen-shots of the working app will convince people to give up those precious megabytes on their phone and download.
The screenshots should showcase exactly what the app does, complemented with a catchy, keyword-rich description of how it works and its benefits. Be memorable, exciting, informative and descriptive.
5. Build An Excellent Landing Page
It needs to be sexy and easy to scan and read. Outline all the important aspects of your app, using those key words and keep in line with the branding and imagery.
6. Launching Your App
The minutes, hours and days after launch are integral to your apps success, you should push for as many downloads as possible. Use this time wisely and you could rise straight to the top of the charts.
All of your pre-launch preparations should be steering your app in the right direction to receive organic downloads within it’s first few days in the store. If successful in the first 48 hours- great, but don’t take your foot off the gas until momentum can carry you forward.
7. ASO (App Store Optimisation)
Employing ASO techniques should help you rank higher in search results, making your app more visible to potential customers. Using ASO effectively means understanding your target audience and accurately predicting the keywords they will be using to search.
Just like SEO this should be approached wearing your serious hat, and if this is not your forte better results may be seen when an expert carries it out.
8. Get Featured On Review Sites
Admin alert: Make a kick-ass spreadsheet with a list of targeted review sites and their contact info ready for those sleepless days after launch.
Once your app goes live contact everyone like it’s your last day on earth… get the word of your app out there and hope for some 5 star ratings.
9. Nab Some Media Attention
You’ve set your app up to be a superstar and now the rest of the world needs to know about it.
Reach out to journalists and editors that cover your field and approach the media channels that broadcast to the groups you wish to target specifically. Prepare a press kit with pictures, press release, a bio of the founder(s), screen shots and logos.
10. Encourage Your Users To Share
Get your pom poms out and pull up that charismatic smile, it’s time to engage and encourage your users.
Push them (nicely) to share to social networks and to rate and review your app. Make sure you are listening to what they have to say and rectify any issues as quickly as possible.
11. Paid Promotion. Yes, I said it.
Sometimes you need to give your efforts the leg up that paid promotion offers. To rise to the top you might have to put in the hard yards money wise, but like anything a small investment may see a big return.
12. The Aftermath
So your app is performing well, you are ranked high in the charts, people love it, and you’re thinking you got this one in the bag.
Not quite. To stay ranked organically continue your marketing efforts and grow your user base. Lower your paid promotion and keep on top of updates and user requests.
So there you have it, the ingredients to create the app of all apps.
On a very important side note: Make sure your app is built on the right foundations, ensure it's solving a problem for your users, it’s intuitive, beautifully designed, easy to use, and has a ‘hook’ that keeps them coming back.