AppStore SEO Rules

After spending the past two years trying to figure this out I have finally come to the conclusion that you can fully manipulate the AppStore and your success in it.  What you have to realize is that some of the moving parts are not in the AppStore itself but within your app.

This is what I found in my research:

Factors for ranking in the AppStore are
  • Price
  • Usage
  • Reviews
  • Downloads
  • Sales

Things you can control
  • Price
  • Usage
  • Reviews
  • Downloads
  • Sales

I know you want to stop me right there and say, "Wait, I have no control over my downloads and sales.  And reviews are fully in the hands of the users."  Yeah, but I showed you last week how you can manipulate your sales and downloads.  Reviews are easy too, let me explain.

If you are using Firebase in your apps, and you should, you can see the average amount of time a user spends in your app.  Assuming that this is a factor that is related to how much your users like your app, doesn't it make sense to request reviews from the group that spends the most time in your app?  So requesting reviews at a time greater than the average time spend in the app means that you are requesting reviews from users that are happier with your app.  Therefore you can manipulate the app reviews in the AppStore.

  • You can change this at any time
  • You can schedule changes
  • You can be expensive or even free

  • People use apps that they like
  • People use apps that are engaging
  • Push notifications bring people back to your app
  • Engaging with push notifications increases your usage

  • People respond to the in-app reviews
  • People think their opinion must be heard
  • If you ask for reviews you will get them and it will make a difference in your AppStore success

  • most people download free apps
  • when apps go free they get a spike in downloads
  • you control your app’s pricing therefore you control your downloads

  • People will pay for apps that their friends use
  • People will buy apps with convincing reviews
  • People are more likely to buy apps that they hear about more than once
  • You control these three parts (Usage, Reviews, Downloads)
  • You also control the price, so therefore you also control your sales

Those are the factors involved.  You control all five of them.  In theory you only have to do three things to get things moving.

1. Set your price cycle
2. Schedule some notifications
3. Set your review request to appear after the average time spent in app

Hopefully this gives you some work to do over the weekend.  Print this out and stick it to your wall if you need to, and if you know any developers who could use some help please send them over.  My goal is to support the Independent Developers who are not enjoying the freedom they expected from having apps in the AppStore.

Happy Independents Day!