One might think the quality of a mobile app is enough to ensure its success in the marketplace. Not so. With well over four hundred thousand active apps in Apple’s app store, having a quality app does not by itself mean your app will be successful. Nope. You can build it, but if folks can’t find it, they won’t be able to download it. Indeed, as Jeff McMahon reported on his Forbes.com blog, a group of mobile app entrepreneurs meeting in Chicago generally agreed that “discoverability is the principle obstacle to success.”
This is not to say poor quality apps will be successful. Quality remains, of course, the most important ingredient in an app’s success, but there are a number of strategies out there that can help let your customers know about your product, and we’ve written about many of them, including marketing and naming your app. Today we’re going to focus on SEO, or Search Engine Optimization.
SEO is a subject way beyond the scope of this short blog post, but, simply put, it’s the process by which you increase the likelihood that a customer will find you if they are indeed looking for you. Let’s assume, for example, that you’ve developed a mobile app that provides weather, snow conditions, and trail openings for a ski resort such as Durango Mountain Resort. (Just because we’re based in beautiful Durango doesn’t mean we’re biased – DMR is just awesome.) The app store may classify your DMR app in the “weather” category, but were you to run a search for “weather” in the hopes of finding this particular app … well, happy hunting among all the other “weather” apps you’ll be served up. Instead, what you need to do is make sure all the pertinent keyword terms (“Durango”, “Colorado”, “resort”, “ski”, etc.) appear as often as possible in your app’s name, description, and app store keywords, as well as on the website where you’ll be marketing it. This will go a long way to making sure that any winter vacationers in the area will be able to find it without too much effort.
Of course, this is merely SEO strategy at its most basic and there’s much more to optimizing your app for the marketplace. The good news is that there are ample resources out there that will help you refine your SEO and therefore your exposure to your customer base. Search “SEO for mobile apps” or a similar phrase and you’ll find plenty of SEO tips. Need help developing or marketing your app? Visit our Marketing Services page, or send me an e-mail .