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A little recognition, in any form, always helps bring traction to your business and products. And when Apple’s App Store editors feature your app, people know it must be after careful diligence and vetting of the app against various top players and their USPs- from design to functionality to utility. Undoubtedly, getting your app featured in the App Store is special. It will significantly boost your app’s popularity. Not to mention, the downloads will spike up too. Furthermore, the most important part is that its credibility will skyrocket. But the hard part is that it’s not easy. So, how do you get your app featured in the app store?

Here are ten strategies to increase your app’s chances of being featured in the App Store:

1. Focus on Quality and Performance

Apple, just like any other quality-obsessed brand, prioritizes apps that offer a seamless user experience (UX). And to deliver a good, delightful UX, your app should be designed with an intuitive user interface (UI). The core functionalities of the app should be flawless. It means that they must do what they are intended to do, and should be free of bugs, crashes, and other performance issues. Besides, the customer service that your users get is equally important as far as UX is concerned; regularly incorporating user feedback and addressing customer complaints (tickets) on time is equally crucial. In short, keep your app fundamentals a top-notch solution.

What to do:

  • Conduct thorough testing across different devices and iOS versions. Use cloud testing solutions
  • Optimize load times and overall app performance. Even the best often trade performance for new features. However, it should be the other way around.
  • Listen and respond promptly to user reviews and fix reported issues.

2. Design an Intuitive User Interface

A lot of apps are not able to retain users because their UI is very complex. If you want to be in control of the user churn rate, you must ensure that your app’s user interface is the best of the breed. A visually appealing and user-friendly interface is basic given the brand ethos of the entire Apple ecosystem. People know Apple because of its design, security, and quality branding. And so, if you want Apple to endorse your app (because that’s how people see it when your app gets featured in the App Store), you need to adhere to their design value system i.e., Human Interface Guidelines (HIG), and offer an intuitive user experience.

What to do:

  • Follow Apple’s HIG for design consistency.
  • Use clear and concise navigation.
  • Ensure your app looks great on all screen sizes.

3. Leverage the Latest iOS Features

Apple is all about design, tech, and experience. The Apple customer base wants a premium feeling. They have a need to feel ahead of the rest, esp compared to the other major players in the mobile ecosystem. Thus, you as an app business, must always be on top of emerging tech, new capabilities, and new possibilities. Of course, some things are fads, but most of the stuff isn’t. Apple’s user base, especially the younger generation, wants to experiment and try out new things. So, incorporating the latest iOS features to not fall behind your competition. Your app must be modern. You can take advantage of Apple’s documentation to be sure that you are doing everything that’s feasible and sensible to delight your audience. It may include using features like ARKit, CoreML, Siri Shortcuts, and more.

What to do:

  • Integrate new iOS features and technologies.
  • Highlight these features in your app description and release notes.
  • Stay updated with Apple’s annual WWDC announcements.

4. Craft an Engaging App Description

Your app’s description should be compelling and convey its value. Use this space to highlight unique features and benefits, and include a concise summary at the beginning.

The first 3 tips that we shared in this insight to get your app featured in the Appstore were about the quintessential parts without which it will be just a distant dream to get your app featured. And almost everyone understands the importance they hold. That’s where most of your efforts would be invested. However, there are certain other elements, that are more of a hack and would seem less important, but they are not. An engaging, succinct, and keyword-loaded app description does the magic. By the way, if you are on Play Store, this works there as well. So, it’s an important task. Ensure that you get it done right.

What to do:

  • Write a captivating introduction.
  • Use bullet points to list key features.
  • Include testimonials or notable achievements.

5. Create High-Quality Visuals

This applies both to the description optimization that you do on the App Store, and to the UI aspects. In the App Store description/details, you would have the option to add multimedia to give a glimpse of what your app does. Use it to its fullest. Use optimized high-quality images (low in size) with eye-catching visuals, including screenshots and videos of core functionalities or USPs of your app. It will significantly impact your app’s appeal, and people will want to try it out. From that point onwards, it’s all about how well have you designed your product to address the customer’s needs or wants. The more rich the UI and the UX, the higher the chances that Apple would showcase your apps. So, as a rule of thumb always be an advocate of rich aesthetics and stunning visuals if you are keen about landing in the App Store featured sections.

What to do:

  • Use high-resolution images and videos.
  • Show your app in action through screenshots and preview videos.
  • Highlight key features and benefits visually.

6. Build a Strong App Icon

Your app icon is the first impression users get when they see you in the Play Store. It must feel premium. And should be very recognizable. If it is something hard or complex to remember, people will forget it. For example, you can easily recall Apple’s logo, Google’s logo, and Nike’s logo, Amazon’s logo too. But some of you might not that well remember FreeForm’s or Keynote’s logos, which by the way, are on every Macbook. A well-designed, memorable app icon can attract attention and convey your app’s purpose. You must understand that no algorithm would ever be designed to feature an app with a logo that makes people go eww.

What to do:

  • Design a simple, recognizable icon.
  • Ensure it looks good at various sizes.
  • Test different versions to see which resonates most with users.

7. Localize Your App

Everyone is moving everywhere these days. Though, for job changes people were moving between cities in the USA, migration from across borders and continents hasn’t stopped. It continues. And so, lately, almost every country has a good mix of diversity. Even if you ignore geographical country-level diversity, there are 100s of aspects that make people diverse within their own country. A business or an app that is cognizant of this should definitely use it to its advantage. And how do you do that? By localizing your app to support multiple languages. Go vernacular. Go global. Do whatever it takes to broaden your reach and appeal to a wider set of audience. When you cater to diverse user bases, Apple may take note of that and who knows the next thing would be your app being featured on the App Store. Now, when we say to target a broader set of audience, we don’t mean to say, don’t go niche. Instead, we mean to say, that by staying in your niche, go wider at appealing to everyone within that niche.

For example, let’s say your app is in the eLearning space that teaches mathematics to students. Now, I’m not saying that you should start targeting everyone who wants to learn. Instead, I’m saying, analyze what language is most spoken by your target audience. Is your app UI designed to support that? If yes, how about the second-highest spoken language? Next, is your content available in those languages? You get my point, right? The more concentrated your audience gets, the more likely it is for your app to get featured on the App Store.

What to do:

  • Translate your app’s content into multiple languages.
  • Adapt visuals and design elements to suit different cultures.
  • Localize metadata, including the app description and keywords.

8. Engage with the Apple Community

Being active within the Apple developer community can provide valuable insights and opportunities. Networking with other developers and Apple representatives can increase your chances of being noticed. Consider hanging out and networking with Apple developers and designers accessible on LinkedIn, Reddit, and groups on Discord, Slack, Stackoverflow, etcetera. You can learn loads from them. At the core, it is all about the fundamentals and the insights that come only from experience.

What to do:

  • Consider attending online/offline Apple events and conferences, such as WWDC.
  • Be active in developer forums and online communities.
  • Follow Apple’s developer relations team on LinkedIn & Twitter.

9. Build a Strong Marketing Campaign

A well-executed marketing campaign can generate buzz. This is not a direct way to win Apple’s attention. However, the thesis is that no sanguine persona is going to spend a fortune on a marketing campaign knowing that the product is not up to the mark. Often, people who are entrepreneurial are visionary, fail to see that their app has loopholes because they get too attached to the idea or the product. Sometimes, the product is not as amazing as the app owners may think in their head. But, but, but… if it is actually amazing, there is no harm in going big on marketing campaigns. I mean the entire point of being featured on the App Store is to get traction, right? Then let’s assume for some reason, Apple fails to notice your app’s charm and worth. Then the best way is you force them to notice. When you run ads, of course, the number of users will shoot up. There will be a buzz on the internet, and both Apple’s algorithm and teams responsible for the featured apps section of the App Store may take note of you. This includes social media promotion, press releases, reaching out to bloggers and journalists, and promoting on the very App Store.

What to do:

  • Develop and execute a holistic marketing plan.
  • Utilize social media platforms, PR platforms, and influencer marketing to promote your app.
  • Reach out to journalists and media outlets for coverage.

10. Showcase Positive Reviews and Ratings

Any listicle website always will prioritize the most loved products, right? For instance, assume you have your own store where you list the top mobile phones to buy. Wouldn’t you list Apple there? You would, right? And why is that? Because you can vouch for its quality, and you know that most people will endorse its quality and security features. The same applies to giants like the App Store, Amazon, and other platforms. When your product is too good, and when there is a buzz, people will notice it. So, do whatever you can to get high ratings and positive reviews. Then maintain them. Consistency is crucial. Good reviews can make your app more attractive to both users and Apple’s editorial team. Ask your marketing team to launch initiatives that encourage satisfied users to leave reviews for your App on the App Store and other platforms. If there is negative feedback or reviews, be proactive in addressing them.

What to do:

  • Encourage happy users to rate and review your app.
  • Respond to user feedback in a constructive manner.
  • Maintain consistent high ratings and reviews.

Conclusion

The tips here are no guarantee that the app will be featured if you uptick all the above boxes with honest intent. However, they will definitely increase the odds of your app doing actually well when it comes to key business performance KPIs. And who knows your apps may get featured in the App Store too. Because, all the points in this insight request you to embrace quality, innovation, and strategic marketing. By focusing on these 10 areas, you can improve your chances of unlocking greater success for your app. Stay committed to continuous improvement and user satisfaction, and you may find your app in the spotlight sooner than you think.

Want an audit of how your app feels, and what can be improved? Contact us.

Nishant Choudhary
  

Nishant is a marketing consultant for funded startups and helps them scale with content.

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