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How to stand out in the mobile app store—in 6 steps

Paul Krill | June 15, 2017
With the volume of apps out there, it can be tough to get noticed. But if you develop and present your apps well, you’ve got a real shot.

Apps also may need to be tweaked for specific countries because of cultural differences. “In Germany, it’s nice to have a German version but you can get away with English,” Blair says. “In France, you need to have a French version.” Then there are functional differences to consider, such as differing national laws on privacy protection and marketing to children.

 

Step 3: Test, test, and test again your mobile app

Testing is important throughout the development process. Yet some developers believe they can just put an app in the app stores and fix it if feedback indicates something is wrong. That’s too late, Blair cautions. “If users have a problem, they’ll just going to walk away from the app.” He recommends testing apps with a set of people who represent customers, and doing so over multiple iterations of the app as it is developed. “Don’t just wait to the end” to test, he advises.

 

Step 4: Pick a good app icon

A seemingly minor detail like what the app icon looks like turns out to be important for developers. Icons provide the first opportunity to communicate an app’s purpose to would-be users.

“The simpler the better, and also be aware of color scheme,” Blair advises. Icons should be kept simple and recognizable, Ghodrati says. You can get a sense of good app icons searches in the app store to see what exists already in your category. That’ll help you both avoid looking like another app's icon and get a sense for how you might stand out while remaining easily understood 

 

Step 5: Get smart about SEO

Developers need to pay attention to key search terms in app stores; tat process is known as search engine optimization (SEO), and it applies to app store search just as much as to website search.

More than 65 percent of all downloads in the Apple App Store come from search, Ghodrati notes. You can use tools like App Radar, AppTweak, Google Keywords, and Sensor Tower to find the most-searched terms so you include them in your app descriptions. Looking at user reviews and competitors also reveals which keywords are being used.

For example, consider using the word “TV" for a video-streaming app, not just “streaming." The word “streaming” has a lot of search volume, but a lot of popular apps use it so you’re competing with a huge number of other apps in the search results. Using a term such as "TV shows" might reduce that competition.

SEO is something that is critical for your app titles — a made-up or obscure name is a great way to become invisible in search. Yes, your description also counts, but also considering supplementing that unique app name with some appropriately descriptive text so people who see just the app name know what it does. Note that Google has a 30-character maximum for app titles, while Apple’s maximum is 50 characters.

 

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