Ever since Apple launched the iPhone back in mid-2007, it was slated as the next big techno-thing. Through the iPhone, Apple has sapiently managed to use advanced technology to create simplicity. The numbers prove that the concept has been immensely popular. Since then, the iPhone has made way for the iPhone 3G, 3GS and more recently the iPhone 4. In the midst of it all, Apple built and launched the next, next big thing, the iPad.
The successes of these gadgets have spawned an industry for Application Software or Apps. It was quoted that, in 2008, there were nearly 500 apps available for the iPhone and the iPod. Ever since, the numbers have accreted to a staggering 225,000+ apps with over 5 billion downloads! With other instrument manufacturers joining the bandwagon, the apps industry is here to stay.
To market an app in such a vast yet competitive market can be tricky. It’s easy to take the path most treaded at the cost of appearing bromidic. People looking to download apps most often check for them in app stores rather than search engines. Since search techniques employed by search engines and app stores are largely based on similar algorithms, the desiderata for app store algorithms are again relevancy and authority.
Here are a couple of optimisation tricks that might help app-makers stand out in the crowd.
1) Involve SEO techniques early
The process of releasing a search friendly app begins with involving techniques similar to search engine optimisation at the early stages of development. To get the best possible ranking, scout out keywords using a keyword tool or by looking at some of the more successful apps in store. Most app stores make no secret of which are the most downloaded apps. Check out trends within these top ranked apps. Keep an eye out for keywords and phrases that the app store is trying to plug and piggyback off these terms.
Through this, you can conjure up phrases and keywords that are not only search friendly but are also most relevant to your app. See keywords as hooks that can pull you to the top app store search ranks.
2) Keyword placement strategy
Once you are certain about your keywords it’s time to make them count. Place the keywords strategically in your app starting within the app itself. The developer name is often overlooked as an important keyword house. However, placing keywords in the developer name will here will help your relevancy to the search spider over competitor apps.
Also include the keywords in your title, name, summary and tags. The most important place to place your keywords is the app description. Ethically use keywords that describe your app best. Keep it short and spam-free.
The importance of an apposite descriptive name for the app cannot be undermined. Being smart at the expense of a descriptive misnomer should be avoided like the plague. Instead the idea of being simple and straightforward is appreciated. For e.g.: naming a file compressing app as ‘Compress It’ is better than ‘Zip Zap Zoom’. You get the drift. It is better to use search-friendly keywords such as compress, compressor etc.
3) Encourage feedback
A great way to garner visibility of your app among others in the store is by asking users for their feedback or their review. An aesthetic and useful app will invariably solicit good user reviews. App searchers tend to read through user reviews before picking among apps of a similar nature. Asking for feedback is always good as long as it’s sincerely done. It helps to gain useful consumer advice that can be included in the next version.
4) Provide demo versions
In the case of paid apps, developing a freeware could be considered. This gives the option to include more keywords for their description and gives the users a teaser of your product. Credibility is often attached to apps that have a separate freeware ensuing in a purchase.
5) Promote through a website
Establishing a website catering to your app(s) can help in promoting it/them through means other than that of the app store. Optimise these websites for search engines to give people an alternate pathway to your app.
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