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Keys to a Successful iPhone App

Updated on August 27, 2012
Apple stark : Roberta F. [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
Apple stark : Roberta F. [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons | Source

Mobile applications for mobile devices like the iPhone follow a set development timeline like any other product. Application development involves more than know how to create an app, you also need to knowing how to market an app. With 650,000 mobile apps for iOS devices like the iPhone, the marketplace for sucessful iPhones is getting more sophisticated. To make an app that will be successful, you will need to follow these guidelines:

Market Research

Today's mobile app market is much more sophisticated than it was three years ago. With over 650,000 and counting mobile applications for iOS devices like the iPhone in the iTunes App Store, a developer will have to rely on more than just good coding to make the app successful.

Achieving app merchandising success, a developer will have to invest into market research to determine if there is indeed a market for their mobile app by gathering a bit of background information on the market segment that their mobile app will belong to. You can either hire a marketing firm to do the research for you, if you have the budget, or you can do your own using some or all of these suggestions:

App Store Research

In the iTunes App Store, do a search using words that best describes your mobile app for iPhone. Based on the different searches, determine how many iOS apps are currently in the App Store.

  1. What are their underlining features
  2. What is the price range of the mobile apps in iTunes' App Store
  3. Who are the best sellers
  4. What are the best apps for free
  5. Who is the competition: classify by demographics
  6. Does the competition have a product web site.
  7. Take note of the mobile app titles. Does the title tell you about the product?

Web Research

Do a search in your favorite search engine like Google using the same keywords that was used in the App Store search

  1. Take a look at some of the top results to garner some information surrounding the search terms. Are there any ideas that come to mind that could be turned into features for your app.
  2. Do a search in Google AdSense (url). How many search results are there in the "Global Monthly Searches" column. This will give an idea of the level of interest for for the keywords your have chosen.
  3. Does any of the returned search terms give you any ideas on features

Also create an comparison chart of the of the features in your proposed app and those in the top apps in the same category and functionality. Try to determine what angle or feature that is not being addressed.

Re-Use and Renew an App

In every industry, marketers either re release a product that had been very successful in the market. Most times, if done correctly, the re designed product is as successful or better still then the origianl. This rule holds true for apps for iPhones, just take a look at the Angry Birds app that was hugely successful on the Commodore 64 back in the 1980s.

App Store Optimisation

App Store Optimisation is a new concept that involves making your app rise quickly in the rankings and continue to remain at the top of the rankings afterwards. ASO is much like web page ranking in regards to web apps and content sites. To make sure your app has a high ASO, you will need to give your app a good title, the content on your product page will have to have the right mix of keywords and high quality graphics.

App Title

The title of your app should convey to the buyer or user exactly what your app does or is about. Catchy word titles won't do you any good or at least, it will weaken your search ranking within the App Store. People don't search for apps using catchy words but with real descriptive words, like taxi, or calculator.

Publisher Page

You will need to prepare a Publisher page for the App Store. This page will include a mention of your iOS app, a description, an icon of the app and several screenshots and videos. This page must be rich in keywords without overstuffing the content.

The page should re-enforce your product branding and help your app rankings in searches. Any screenshots and graphics have to be of high quality or it will reflect poorly on your sales.


Promoting your app is one of the most important activities you must do, like any other app or product on the market. There are however, several ways to promote your app most of them are inexpensive. The following promotion guide, "Places to Promote Your IPad App" will help you prepare a winning promotion strategy for your app.

There are several web sites that are solely designed to provide product reviews on mobile apps like for the iPhone to help you get the word out. Consider creating a video for inclusion in YouTube.

Good Design

The marketing is always easier when you have a good design because the marketing will help you get buyers attention but once they use your app, if it is poorly designed and developed, the "Word-of-mouth"advertising will set in and your app will be eating dirt before you know what happened. No amount of marketing can sustain poor quality for long.

The recipe for a good quality app is not that hard to follow yet it gets swept under the rug very often judging by the number "wallpaper" app that litter the App Store. First you need a good design with a list of features that no one has. Don't waste your time developing an app that has been overdone a long time ago.

Don't overpack your app with excess features because you will take a performance hit and the users won't stick around for long if you app start hanging or crashing. Try to keep a balance between features and performance. Once you have developed your app in Xcode, an app for app development, use the Instruments to stress your app before submitting it in iTunesConnect. The testers will probably reject if your app if it has obvious performance issues when the app is being reviewed for App Store submission.

Once the app is ready with a good mix of features and performance, not to mention a cool user interface, you will need to price your app appropriately. If you have an established brand name or other successful apps in the App Store, the you can price your app a bit more aggressivily, otherwise, you should opt to price your app on the low end of the price range at .99$ or even free to try and offer more advanced features for a price.

Good Support

Once the iPhone iOS app is on the market and has enjoyed some early success, keep up the support by offering regular upgrades, promotions and respond to users questions, comments and support requests. Users will come back and will tell others if they receive more than their monies worth. Don't be skimpy, show your appreciation by giving stellar support for your apps in the App Store.


There are fewer and fewer rags to riches stories in App Store these days as the market store gets more saturated and the big well established vendors move in with their well heeled development and marketing budgets. I firmly believe though that there is still a market for the small developer. You may need to look a little harder and push the creative juices more than the big guys but you can also take more chances and offer something fresh to an ever discerning and demanding audience.


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    • klanguedoc profile image

      Kevin Languedoc 5 years ago from Canada

      Cool! thanks

    • profile image

      KDuBarry03 5 years ago

      Very useful information! Just tweeted this to my friends.