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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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”
- 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.