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7 tricks to get your app featured

Blog post   •   May 08, 2014 18:38 BST

To get your app featured is an opportunity that you should not dare miss. For example, along with an aggressive online marketing campaign, especially on YouTube where they launched the app’s trailer, Rovio’s Angry Birds just soared (no pun intended, of course). And it is almost the same model used by other more popular and bigger apps sold on the market, such as Alienz. By having their app featured in Apple’s iTunes Store, they became one of the top 100 apps under arcade games and boosted the earnings of the company to at least $2,000 each week. But how exactly do you secure a spot?

1. It is all about the design

Humans are visual creatures. We are fascinated with anything that has images or videos! The most successful apps, therefore, are those that have stunning or at least unique graphics. The design should refer to the overall performance of the app. Although we love anything that is pleasing to the eye, we also want something that is simple and easy to understand or use.

2. Be ready to spend

If you are one of those companies that truly sets aside a budget for marketing (which makes up around 20% of the overall company budget), then you are lucky because you can use it to bring your app as one of the featured. A perfect example is TradeMob, which tried to capitalize on the premise that, to be one of the top 10 apps in the country, it needs to be downloaded at least 80,000 times within 24 hours. This way, the Apple’s own system in determining who should be featured can pick up on the app. To achieve this ambitious goal, the company had partnered with almost 100 groups that specialized in app discovery, which then provided them the boost they needed to reach the ideal number of downloads. In turn, they might have spent close to $100,000.

3. Make it more suitable for the app store

Transit was one of the blessed apps in the Apple Store. The company decided they would no longer offer Google Maps on the iPhone and, after their own map app turned out to be a flop, they had to end that as well. However, Apple wanted to offer the most ideal substitute to its audience, something that already existed. It was then they picked up Transit. The only condition was that they had to upgrade the app to a higher version in preparation for iOS 6. By complying, Transit was able to increase their downloads to 10,000 per week. After the first time the app was featured, the company increased their downloads to around 18,000 from less than 300 downloads a day.

The point here is that the more the app store sees you aligned to its desired design, performance, and function, the chances of being featured also increase tremendously.

4. Always remember: small things can do great wonders

If you’re marketing your app in large stores such as iTunes, your main objective is to be part of the Editor’s Pick. You can consider it as one of the biggest awards the app store can give to you, and it certainly means an impressive boost of traffic. However, you don’t always end up there, especially if you’re a new app with a less-than-stellar performance in terms of downloads. Your next best goal, therefore, is to get into the smaller categories. The exposure may be smaller, but it’s a good start.

5. Do the app store optimization (ASO)

We already covered at least the basics of app store optimization. It can also be of huge help when you want to get featured, since it also drives traffic to your app page, which will then hopefully convert to downloads and, later, reviews. One of the best-kept tricks is to select the right keywords. In the case of Transit, the name itself was very generic, so it didn’t immediately stand out in the search queries. What the company did, however, was to take advantage of localization. It paired off its chosen keywords with the well-known transit agencies found or operating in certain locations.

6. Build an universal app

To put it simply, make an app that works across multiple platforms. For example, if you want to capture the Apple market, then your app should work whether the user has an iPhone or an iPad, even a Mac. If you’re into Android, the app must not have any issues if the user switches between a Samsung Galaxy or a Lenovo or LG smart phone.

7. Upgrade your app

Do you love to use apps with a lot of technical bugs? Of course you don’t! They can certainly be a huge waste of time, and you don’t get the pleasant experience you’re looking for in an app. If you want to maintain your position in the app store and get the chance of being featured over and over again, take the time to update the app, especially to higher or newer versions.

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