Publishing your app in the app store is the chance to show the world what your app is about!

Thousands of people have the opportunity to see your app each day and you need to show them why your app is worth downloading.

How you optimise your app store download page, what screenshots you use, how your app icon appears and the name of your app are the four critical elements you simply must get right if you want to push your app up the rankings in the app store search listings, which aids discovery in a big way.

You have complete control over how your app is perceived from the first second someone glances at your app icon.

So make sure you have optimised all of these critical elements:

App Icon – A sharp and polished app icon can drive huge downloads. There is a general misconception that the icon needs to explain everything about the app, however that isn’t completely true.  Your icon needs to be designed to get people to click, that’s all that matters. It is the first element in representing the quality of your app.

App Store Keywords – When researching and short-listing keywords, it is important to find a balance between competitiveness and search volume. If too many apps are targeting the more popular keywords then you might want to consider trying lesser-known, less competitive keywords that still have a reasonable search volume.  Your list should include all keywords associated with your app, use a Thesaurus to find synonyms for what your app does and think of any terms that someone who is interested in finding an app like yours might use.

App Name – Selecting the right name for your app can be a delicate process depending on what your goals are. A simple name change has caused some apps to go viral while others flopped completely.  When choosing a name you need to consider the brand and identity you want to create, ideally describe the apps purpose or main function and be considerate of the value of including the right keywords.

App Store Description – The description is your chance to tell the user what your app is all about. You don’t need to use your description to talk about every single feature in detail but share with the users what is special about the app. You only have a limited amount of time to convince mobile users to download your app so you want a high quality app store description.  When you are constructing your app page, try to write persuasive copy while also including as many relevant keywords as well. You don’t need to go over-board, but you need to think about what users might type into a search engine if they were looking for your app – and include the most popular words as a part of your text.

App Store OptimizationA great description should include:

Headline – One or two initial sentences to summarise the app and the value of downloading it. You should avoid any marketing spin in the first few sentences and get straight to the point.

Reviews and awards – If you have had a review published about your app you should include a positive snippet of the review and mention the site it was on.

Keywords – On the iTunes App Store you have 100 characters to use for keywords and this can be enough if you do it right. Keywords can only change when you release an update and this is one of the top ways to improve your search results.

Screenshots – The screenshots you use play a critical role in converting visitors to downloads. You shouldn’t take the term ‘screen shots’ literally and just include pics of the phone.

The Apple Marketing Guidelines provide a great reference and while having bad screenshots won’t stop you from being approved, you’ll just be missing out on a great opportunity to market your app effectively.

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