iPhone App Store SEO

The Apple iTunes App Store search engine is a bit of a black box. Unlike Google which has some transparency (though they keep a lot of things close to the chest). With Google you have the opportunity to find trends through Google Trends, or see competition and search volumes by keyword within the Adwords Keyword Tool. Through Google Analytics you have the ability to track back to find out what keywords provide your website with traffic in great detail.

With Apple you get none of that.

When publishing an iPhone App there are two fields that appear to provide some impact on how your app will rank which you have control over.

  1. the keywords field.  You can only update this field when you publish your app or an update and only get 100 characters to work with.  Max it out with as many of the  best keywords as you can.
  2. the title. Don’t be afraid to put something long in here or to embed a subtitle.  Make sure it is something unique enough that if a friend told you about the app you would be able to find it easily.
Other than these traditional SEO techniques for improving your ranking within the app store there’s one non-traditional SEO trick to getting ranked higher in the the results.  That is the number of downloads your app gets.  there are a number of ways your can influence this from outside the app store.
  • Create some youtube videos
  • Give away free download codes to review sites.
  • Create a webpage for the app
  • Create a Facebook Fan page
  • Tweet about it or create a twitter account
  • blog about your app
  • Send out email
  • Do a “Launch”
Besides these more traditional Internet Marketing approaches to drive traffic you also have several new abilities on the iPhone to market and drive traffic to the store.
  • Cross promote with your other apps.  Use things like house ads, a “More” screen with links to your other stuff, menu items, and pop ups.  Use your existing apps as a platform to advertise your newest apps.
  • Push notifications to your users so that they get notified of your latest promotions.  Directly communicating to your customers where ever they are at any time is HUGE.
  • Mobile advertising through places like AdMob allows you to target by region and device type.  If you want to get your App in front of people it’s always possible to pay to get it there.
There you have it.  There are three main factors you can influence to improve your ranking in the iPhone App Store.  Remember that getting your app published is really just the start of what needs to be done for a successful App business.  A great marketing strategy is key to get your stuff to stand out amongst the 285,000 apps in the App Store.