You have an app idea but zero programming experience and a limited budget. You’ve come to the right place. I will tell you the steps I took and the tools I used to create over 50 apps with over 1 million downloads.
First and foremost get a feel for the market and review the top charts frequently to make sure your ideas align with what is successful.
Once you have your app idea ready to go, write a brief fixed-rate job post on your favorite outsourcing website. I recommend oDesk or Elance or Fiverr due to the ease of use and both have a money-back guarantee. So, if you have any issues with your freelancer you will get a full refund, no questions asked. Be sure to keep your job post-basic to protect your idea until an NDA is signed. When reviewing applicants delete anyone with a 1 to 4-star rating. If they had issues in the past they will have issues again.
Another way to weed out bad developers is to ask them this single question: How long does it take you to integrate a monetization platform like Chartboost into an app? On average it takes 15 minutes to integrate. So delete anyone that says over an hour. Interview the potential candidates and go from there. I have found a huge amount of success hiring developers from India the general consensus is to stay away from developers from China.
Once you have the framework of the app finished, you need graphics. Having eye-catching graphics is imperative and gives you the necessary boost you need to stay ahead of the competition. You can use oDesk or Elance or Fiverr for this as well but I recommend 99designs. It’s the best outsourcing website for graphic design. You have hundreds of designers bid on your project with a custom design made to your liking and you select the winner. it’s as easy as that.
Congratulations!!! Your app is complete, now what? App Store Optimization!!! A whopping 65% of your app traffic comes from keywords. So keyword optimization is crucial. Word of mouth is second, but we’ll get into that later.
Apple allows you to use a maximum of 100 characters per localization. To maximize the space be sure to use commas in between words without any spaces. When finding keywords look for words that are high in traffic low in competition. With ASO remember to think outside the box. Use synonyms or other ways to say it that people might use and don’t hesitate to put keywords into the title as well. Where can you go to research keywords?
The three tools I use for ASO are as follows:
Whether it’s for an app or a website longtail keyword Pro is heralded as the best by many of the top developers. A common error that app publishers make is to only target single-word keywords. This tool can help that by targeting longtail keywords. It can significantly heighten the chance of ranking high because there is far less competition. Another great tool is the sensor tower. It is great for finding keywords your competitors are currently using and last but not least there’s the app store itself. Start by typing your keyword into the app store search bar and the most popular searches will appear underneath to give you an idea of what terms to use. If you run out of keyword space, an interesting loophole is that in the Spanish localization any keywords you use in the name and in the keywords section get indexed in the US store. So, essentially any keywords that didn’t fit in the US localization can be used in the Spanish section. So you can leave all of the Spanish keywords for the Mexican Spanish section in the iTunes Connect portal. This will maximize your keyword output and improve your overall chance of ranking high also be sure to include exact match longtail keywords in the app title. This will significantly increase your chance of ranking for particular terms because the title holds more weight and don’t forget to localize all of your keywords in different languages to increase your traffic in a major way.
When it comes to marketing your app, having a website does wonders. This essentially doubled my traffic by giving me more exposure, ranking high in Google searches for key terms is imperative. I recommend Bluehost for affordable and reliable hosting. It is incredibly easy to use. They are by far the gold standard. By easy to use I mean as easy as filling out your name and address. You can use a free Tumblr or WordPress site instead, but be mindful that you are limited to using only certain plugins and you aren’t allowed to advertise. These reasons alone are exactly why I recommend going with Bluehost. You have full control, it looks more professional and you can truly call it your own. On your website be sure to include all the essentials; app name, icon, description, devices it’s available on screenshots, which should show the value your app brings.
Contact info and a promotional video which is the quickest way for someone to assess your app. You can also include a press kit as well. Want to create buzz prior to your apps launch? A mailing list subscription form will do the trick. Many people underestimate the power of the mailing list but it’s huge. Let me say that again it’s huge!! It’s the best way to communicate with your audience on a more personal level. There’s just something about receiving an email from somebody that makes it extremely effective at getting a point across or making people take some kind of action. I use Aweber for this. They are without a doubt the best and my go-to mailing list service for all my websites.
To improve your apps fanbase it is important to embed viral components within your app your users need to become your marketers. Remember, when I said word-of-mouth is the second most important thing, a good example would be to provide incentives for sharing on social networks. Virality is essentially asking someone to take time out of their day to recommend or link your product for free. So what’s the best way of having something go viral? Make it appear like it’s not a favor make it something that’s worth spreading. Jonah Berger viral guru and author of “Contagious” states “We need to design products and initiatives that advertise themselves and create a behavioral residue that sticks around even after people have bought the product or espoused the idea” Keep in mind users have to be acquired and with a slew of apps in the App Store a good idea is just not enough. You have to target the right people, not all people. So, if your app is a fashion-themed app your marketing efforts should focus on reaching out to blogs like hypebeast or fashionista. Have a game? email blogs like toucharcade.com or 148apps.com. Ask for an app review. Journalists are constantly looking for stories and love it when you make their job as easy as possible. Be sure to give them an angle to write about or better yet give them the entire story. Feel free to contact me in the comments below if you have any questions or need any recommendations.