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Home Blog App Promotion Strategy How to Get Your App Featured on the App Store

How to Get Your App Featured on the App Store

Oct 21 2021

featured app

Everyone wants to be featured on the App Store. a spot on the Apple Features page is a powerful way to drive traffic, increase awareness and drive downloads. With more than 2 million apps available on the App Store today, the competition for editorial attention is fierce.

But how do you stand out from the thousands of apps that are released on the App Store every month? Why should you recommend your app over the hundreds of others?

In this blog, we'll share with you the strategies app publishers use to get featured on the App Store, and how you can do.

Where featured apps appear on App Store

You can be featured in three locations on the App Store: the Today tab, the Games tab, and the Apps tab. the Today tab has the most impact because it's the first tab you see in the store. It also contains written stories from Apple's editorial team.

"Today" tab

As mentioned earlier, the Today tab is the first page you land on. It showcases apps or games, premieres, new releases and updates, App of the Day and Game of the Day, and other exclusive stories from Apple's editors focused on showcasing high-quality apps or games with unique user experiences or value propositions.

Apple designed the Today tab to look more like a carefully curated magazine than a storefront. The apps in this tab have been carefully selected by Apple to provide high-quality apps, beautiful design and great storytelling.

"Games" and "Apps" tab

Instead of showing stories, the Games and Apps tab shows collections of apps, new releases, and in-app events or leaderboards for each category or genre.

Features in these tabs are more common than the Today tab. Apps can be featured on the Games/Apps tab every day for a specific time period, or in multiple places on the same day.

Most importantly, featured apps receive an authentication token. A feature says that Apple verifies that this app is one of high quality design and functionality. This increased trust leads to an increase in installs.

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How featured apps are selected on App Store

According to Apple, there is no explicit list of app requirements. However, Apple provides indications when editors select apps or games to be featured.

Factors considered by Apple editors include:

  • UI design. Great usability, appeal, and overall quality - such as beautiful visuals or intuitive gestures and controls.
  • User experience. Cohesive, efficient, and valuable functionality that's helpful and easy to use.
  • Innovation. Solves a unique problem for users or takes advantage of new technologies to provide an optimal user experience.
  • Uniqueness. Stands out from the crowd, defines a new genre, or takes a fresh approach to a familiar category.
  • Accessibility. Well-integrated features that provide a great experience for a broad range of users.
  • Localization. High-quality and relevant localizations, including culturally appropriate content and support for multiple languages.
  • App Store product page. Compelling screenshots, app previews, and descriptions, as well as ratings and reviews.

Additional considerations for games:

  • Gameplay design
  • Art and animation
  • Controls
  • Story and characters (if applicable)
  • Replayability (if applicable)
  • Sound effects and music
  • Technical performance
  • Overall value

Some factors are easier to monitor and control than others. If you can actively work on the localization and translation quality of your application, then the "uniqueness" of your product becomes more difficult to assess and quantify. Here are some things to keep in mind.

High quality finished product

Many of the factors described above are related to the overall performance and quality of the application or game: the functionality of the application, the UI design, the graphics and the performance of the game ...... In short: make sure you provide the best possible user experience. Your application should not crash, should be updated frequently, and should have a smooth, intuitive and attractive user interface. Your game should also have beautiful visuals and sounds that engage users through its gameplay and narrative.

Apple wants to provide its users with the best possible experience so it can promote the products most likely to meet its market needs.

The best way to determine whether your app is intuitive to its users is to ask your users. Gather a group of testers who are appropriate for your target audience and ask them to perform a few tasks in your app. You can also prompt them to speak up as they navigate your app, for better or worse. Then you'll know exactly which points of the app flow are confusing and which ones are communicated well.

Plus, you need to update your app regularly. Pushing out regular updates shows that Apple and your users care about you. Keep fixing bugs and introducing new features. Remember, Apple editors curate the App Store to provide the best for App Store visitors. They don't push buggy apps that haven't been updated in months.

Use Apple's latest features

Creating a premium app that takes advantage of Apple's latest and greatest technologies is sure to give you an edge over your competitors. 

Follow the Apple Developer Blog to learn how you can be an early adopter of Apple's upcoming features. Staying ahead of the curve also helps you take advantage of events like WWDC and Apple product launches.

When people watch these events, they get excited about new technologies and search for apps that can take advantage of these cool new features.

When you make your app universal, it gives you more space and more features. Also consider making your apps compatible with Apple Watch, Apple TV, and iMessage.

On a related topic, if you have a new app coming out, consider launching it on iOS first. In rare cases, it may also make sense to have an iOS-only app.

When you have a great app that Apple can rub in Google's face, so to speak, they're more likely to want to show it off.

Optimized app pages

If the content and performance of your apps and games are the most important factors, then your app pages must also be optimized and engaging to users.

Be sure to optimize your text metadata through keyword optimization and handle your creative assets (icons, screenshots and videos). Reflect your brand, the spirit of your app and its value proposition in your creative to provide a unique and customized experience for store visitors.

In-App and metadata localization

Localization is a key factor that is often overlooked. Both your product and its application pages must be localized in the language of the market you wish to display it in.

How many countries is your app available in? The more the better. If your app can only be installed in a few countries, Apple will not feature it. This doesn't do much for them, considering they have a global audience.

Localization is more than just translation - it often means adapting your content and design to the audience you are targeting. The translation must be flawless and local-sounding.

Focus on app accessibility

Apple wants everyone to be able to use its products, and I'm sure you're working to make your apps accessible to everyone.

Apple makes things easier by defining 4 main areas of disability. These are

Vision: A person may be blind, colorblind, or have a visual impairment that makes it difficult to focus.
Hearing: A person may be deaf, have partial hearing loss, or they may have difficulty hearing a specific range of sounds.
Physical and Motor Skills: A person with mobility impairments may have difficulty holding a device or clicking through an interface.
Learning and literacy: A person may have difficulty remembering a series of steps, or they may find overly complex user interfaces difficult to handle and manage.

As with design, you don't need to invent something completely new. apple provides the basic framework for you. You just need to integrate pre-built iOS accessibility features with your app.

Innovation and uniqueness

This factor is the trickiest because it's the least easy to monitor or quantify, and Apple editors spend a lot of time sharing stories of "inspiring developers" to show how their work is impacting our lives. Especially in the Today tab, features have a lot to do with storytelling. Your product should be more than just an app or a game - you also need to communicate a message, value or positive impact to your users.

What are the real behind-the-scenes storylines that make your app what it is? Are there new features in your app that other apps don't have? What was your reason for creating the app?

Apps are just pictures and lines of code. When you can add a human element to it, people won't just use your app ...... they will form an emotional bond. 

This helps make your app special and build a long term relationship with your users.

Fill out the "Get Featured on the App Store" Form

Here's where. Last but not least, fill out the form. If you want Apple to even consider highlighting your app, you must fill out the form. This is how you tell Apple the story of your app, how great your app is, and what it does for your users.

In the form, you have the option to submit links to marketing materials, presentations, websites, and more. This is where you want to really visualize. Don't forget that Apple is also a design company, so they value presenting their products in an aesthetically pleasing way.

Don't leave these entries blank. Make sure you have a link to a landing page, presentation, or other visually populated destination. Have some stunning recreations of your application ready to highlight its main features. Think gorgeous website landing pages or mesmerizing trailers on Youtube.

Additional steps to help you get featured on App Store

Of course, the first step to getting featured is to deal with all the different factors mentioned above. But there are a few other things that can further help your chances of getting a referral.

Get in touch with Apple

Every day, professional App Store curators review free or paid apps and games. apple receives thousands of ads promoting mobile apps. This strategy can be useful if it is persuasive. Craft a compelling pitch that outlines the features of your app and what makes it unique. When considering apps to showcase, editors look for quality apps in all categories, especially new apps and recently updated apps.

Apple accepts pitch emails sent to the official messaging system on AppStore.com/Promote, which is accessible via your Apple ID.

Promote exclusive content

Trying to get Featured when you launch a new product, feature or in-app activity can increase your chances. App stores are markets interested in showcasing information that will attract customers and drive traffic to that marketplace. Special events or new launches are good examples of content worth showcasing.

Prepare promotional design assets

If you receive an email from Apple asking for visuals for your app. Now is not the time to celebrate. Getting this request from Apple does not guarantee that your app will receive a recommended spot in the App Store. It simply means that Apple is seriously considering showcasing your app, which is a win in itself.

Measuring the impact of your featured app on App Store

Once you are featured in the store, analyze the impact this has on your app's performance in terms of the number of displays and installs driven by browsing or exploring channels.

You can also see how many times a story has been viewed on the Today tab on iOS to get a better idea of the reach of your featured app.

ASO Topic App Store Optimization, Creative Optimization & Creative strategy,

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