How To Launch Your App

Aasif Khan
By Aasif Khan | Last Updated on January 31st, 2022 6:42 am | 5-min read

You’ve got an idea for an app. Awesome! Learn how to launch your app in the App Store, even if you don’t have any coding experience. Launch your app with these 9 steps!

The world needs more indie app developers like you. Entrepreneurs who are passionate about making a positive difference in the world. Who put blood, sweat and tears into building an app that brings value to those who need it.

Launching an app ain’t easy, but it’s probably not as hard as you think. I’ve gathered these 9 steps you need to launch your iOS app. We’ll talk about ideation, validation, design, development, marketing – and much more.

Your App Must Solve A Problem

The single most important factor of launching a successful app is solving a problem. You can execute any of the 9 steps from this tutorial flawlessly, but if your app doesn’t solve a problem, it’ll definitely fail.

Let’s start with the problems some popular apps solve:

  • Facebook solves the problem of staying in the know on your family’s lives, killing time, and connecting with friends
  • Snapchat kinda does the same, but it’s more about video and instant communication
  • Trello, a popular to-do management app, helps you organize tasks, documents and notes
  • FarmVille, the popular digital farming game, is exciting and gives you a sense of control and achievement
  • Headspace, the popular mindfulness meditation app, helps you get some “headspace” and build your meditation practice

A few things immediately stand out here:

  1. The real product you sell is the solution to the problem, not the app itself – the app isn’t the product
  2. It doesn’t make sense to copy an app, and its solution to a problem, unless you do it better than the competition
  3. Most apps don’t address a “need”, as in, you’re on the toilet, you ran out of toilet paper, and you need a new roll, but instead, the problems apps solve are connected to our wants and desires

It’s a great idea to validate your app idea before you build it. You first find the solution to a problem, then build a low-tech prototype, and test it out. When that’s successful, you can automate the solution by building an actual app. Remember: the app is not the product, the solution is.

When you’re launching your app, don’t model your behaviour after companies like Facebook. If you want to launch an app as big as Facebook’s, you’re fooling yourself. It’s OK to think big, but start small.

A few examples:

  • Help people fall asleep faster, and get a good night’s rest, by making a sleep meditation app
  • Help people achieve their goals faster, and smarter, by creating a goal-setting journaling app
  • Help people kill time, and get excited, by creating a positively addictive arcade game

How do you come up with ideas? Here’s how:

  • Come up with 10 awful ideas
  • Think of 10 more awful ideas
  • Keep doing that

The problem with coming up with ideas isn’t that you don’t have enough good ideas, it’s that you don’t have enough bad ideas. Once you start generating dozens of bad ideas, one or two good/great ideas will eventually pop up.

You can also rely on data that’s already out there. Check out Quora, Facebook groups, Reddit, Twitter, and even Amazon reviews, to find out what kinds of issues people are dealing with. Start a conversation with someone, and learn what it would take to solve that problem for them.

Market Research Before Launching Your App

It’s a smart idea to do market research before you launch your app. Many app developers go from the idea phase right into the app development phase, missing an important step: market research. Don’t make that same mistake!

Your app idea may look good on paper, but it’s just an idea until you’ve proven that people want to download it. It’s the exection that counts, not the idea. You don’t want to spend your time on an idea that’s not viable.

A popular startup mantra, “Build it and they will come”, isn’t realistic. Of course, you’ll have to build something before you can publish an app in the App Store. But, now that you’ve decided you’re going to build something, what’s it going to be?

Many beginner indie app developers assume that people will want to buy their app. A common trap is thinking “This app idea doesn’t exist yet!” A unique idea isn’t a requirement for success. In fact, most successful ideas are awfully mundane – that’s what makes them so appealing.

Let’s look at a few ways of doing market research.

Google Keyword Planner

Start with Google Keyword Planner, which is a tool that’s used for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Pay-per-Click Advertising (PPC).

It’s a great tool to find out how many people use Google to search for a particular phrase or keyword.

In the screenshot above I’ve used Google Keyword Planner to search for phrases related to “journaling app”, as research for the viability of launching a hypothetical Journaling App.

You can see that the total amount of searches for all the suggested search phrases is 100k to 1M searches. This isn’t an absolute number, so you want to use it to compare against other app ideas.

The Keyword Planner also gives me a few more search phrase ideas, like “day one” (a competitor app) and “writing journal” (stuff people Google). In step 3 of this tutorial you’ll research competitors, and that’s where this tool also comes in handy.

This is how you use it:

  1. Go to and sign up for a free AdWords account.
  2. On the first screen, choose Search for new keywords using a phrase, website or category
  3. In the textfield below Your product or service, input the search phrase you want to research, like “journal app”, “fitness app” or “to-do app”
  4. Leave all the other options as-is, i.e. search in the US (or any other English speaking country), for broadly related ideas, and show average searches for the last 12 months
  5. Then click Get ideas!

You can then sort the resulting table by Average Searches, showing the phrases with the highest search volume. Don’t worry about the columns for Competition and CPC, those are for PPC AdWords campaigns. You’re just looking at the data.

It’s best to follow this process a few times, using the top results as input for further research. Ultimately, you’re looking for phrases people Google for, to get a feel for what kind of app they might want.


Another great market research tool is AppAnnie. Their paid products are very expensive, but the free search tool is extremely helpful for App Store Optimization (ASO).

The tool you’ll use for your research shows you which apps are found for which search phrases. AppAnnie shows you an approximation of ASO search data, so it’s “closer” to actual market intelligence compared to Google Keyword Planner.

In the screenshot above you can see the ASO Keywords for a sleep meditations app. In the top keywords you can clearly see “fall asleep” and “help falling asleep”, for which this app ranks as No. 1. This is the kind of data you’re looking for.

It takes a bit of practice to spot these kinds of keyword “stashes”. This is the broad strategy you should follow:

  • Search AppAnnie for a search phrase, like “journaling app” or “fitness”
  • Find 1-5 top apps in this category
  • Look at the top keywords for those apps

The goal is to spot apps that have optimized keywords. Sometimes the app developer has actively ranked these keywords, but often the app simply automatically ranks well.

Both of these present an opportunity for you, because you can try to rank for the same keywords. In this research phase the keywords can give you insight into the viability of an app idea.

This is how you use it:

  1. Go to, sign up for a free account, or log in, if you hadn’t done so already
  2. Type in your search term at the top, like “journal app” or “fitness”, and hit Enter
  3. Select 1-5 top apps from the list. You’ll have to assess which app is a “top app”, they’re not sorted (see below)
  4. Once you’ve selected an app, click on Keywords (ASO) in the menu on the left
  5. Sort the results page by Ranking. This will show you the search terms this app ranks best for.
  6. Repeat for the other apps, and note your findings in a spreadsheet.

Remember the goal: you’re assessing the viability of an app idea by looking at competitors, and their relative rankings based on search keywords.

You can combine Google Keyword Planner and AppAnnie to get insight into actual search keywords (what people search for), and their relative search volume (how many people search that).

It’s also a great idea to search for the keywords and phrases you found in the App Store app on your iPhone.

Make sure you’ve got the right country, i.e. set your iPhone to “United States” if you want to research market data in that country. Type in the search phrase to see what apps come up, chances are the apps you find properly represent the search phrase and app category.

A great way to find top apps in any category, is to simply Google for “top apps [category]” or “best apps [category] [current year]”. This will show blogs that list top apps in that category.

Open the blogs, note down the most common apps among 3-5 different articles, and you’ve got the biggest competitors for your category. Find out what keywords they rank for, and you can properly assess whether this is a market you want to dive into.

Now you understand why it pays to have competitors! If your app is unique, there are no competitors you can compare, and steal from…

A great tool to research ASO keywords and search volume is AppCodes. It’s a paid tool, and it gives great insights into search keywords, in the research phase as well as in the App Store Optimization phase.

Check Out Your App’s Competitors

A super smart tactic for building a great app, is researching your app’s competitors. It’s quite simple: find competitors, find out what they’re doing well and doing poorly, then copy the great features and improve the bad ones.

You don’t want to launch in a “vacuum” and hope for the best. No, find and research your competitors, and figure out a way to stand out before you launch.

Here’s how:

  • Read your competitor’s reviews to find out what negative experiences their customers had, and improve those same points in your own app. Clunky UI? No support for iPad? No cloud sync? Once you know, you can make a better app! If you’re stuck for feature ideas, “mine” your competitor’s reviews for ideas.
  • Find marketing channels your competitors aren’t using. Let’s say you found a journaling app in the App Store. When you go to their website or app landing page, you see that they don’t have a blog. Chances are they’re not using content marketing as a marketing channel, and that’s an opportunity for you. Same goes for social media marketing, a YouTube channel, and listings on sites like Product Hunt.
  • Find apps that have a Microsoft Paint-like awful graphic design, then copy their features, add your own branding, and make sure your UI/UX and graphics are 100% shiny! You can improve so many apps on branding and UI/UX alone – it’s hardly stealing. This particular tactic was very effective during the switch from iOS 6 to iOS 7, when iOS’s graphics and layout changed in a major way (i.e. skeuomorphic to minimal). That same shift happens once every 2-3 years.

Read Competitor’s Reviews

You can read an app’s reviews with AppAnnie. Once you’ve clicked on an app, use the menu on the left, and click Reviews.

Don’t just read the 1-2 star reviews, but read some of the 5-star reviews too. App users that give a good review are likely to give you additional ideas on how to improve the app they already love. Negative 1-star reviews tend to be hastily written, and can be less reliable. Keep in mind that people who’ve had a negative experience in an app, are more likely to leave a review.

Combine your competitor research with keyword research. With a bit of Google-fu you can find out if an app feature is commonly requested, complained about, or mentioned. Consider adding those desirable features to your own app.

Missing Marketing Channels

Many indie app developers mistakenly focus all their efforts on App Store Optimization when they launch. They don’t use other marketing channels available to apps, which gives you the opportunity to steal approach their audience via a different channel.

Examples of channels are:

  • Content marketing, like blogging about a theme or topic that’s common in your app (productivity, sports, health, etcetera)
  • Social media marketing, like sharing content from other sources (easy!) that might interest your app’s audience
  • Email marketing, like sharing resources with your app’s customers via email, or boosting engagement by sending them emails about your app
  • Deeplinks or App Links, i.e. giving access to content from your app with an ordinary URL (check out for this)
  • Communities, like Facebook Groups, either for specific apps, for a specific topic, or app-related, like discount coupon groups
  • Specific networks or channels, like Product Hunt, HackerNews, news sites, app review sites, affiliate networks, etcetera

A channel that a competitor doesn’t use, is an opportunity for you. That’s all there is to it…

Marketing Strategy: X-for-Y

What if you don’t want to take a competitor head-on, i.e. become a direct competitor, or what if you want to offer a slightly different set of features?

Can you then still use competitor research? Absolutely! Check this out:

  • “People that like X, might also like Y”
  • “People that use app X, might also want to use app Y”
  • “People that read magazine X, might also like app Y”

It’s the typical X-for-Y. If your app is “Y”, what kind of “X” can you think about?

  • People that like working out, might also like a workout tracker app
  • People that like mindfulness, might also read “Mindfulness Magazine”
  • People that go to SumoCon, might also read Tim Ferriss’ blog

You can take this any way you want. The goal is to find common ground between two factors, and then find out where those people hang out.

When you want to launch an app idea, you want to find another app that has the same audience. Reach that audience, and you’re reaching a potential audience for your own app.

Publish Your App Landing Page

Repeat after me: “I will launch my app’s landing page long before I build my app!”

Why? Because it’s easier to build a simple website, than it is to create an app. Your app’s landing page is all you need to test the viability and profitability of your app idea.

Why launch an entire app if you can just create an app landing page to measure market demand? This way you can even launch multiple ideas in week 1, and launch the most promising idea in week 2.

Some ideas:

  • You can create an app landing page in a day with tools like Instapage, Unbounce, LeadPages or Strikingly (free). If you want more customizability, I recommend Theme X for WordPress.
  • Add a pricing page to your website, with 3 different pricing options, and measure clicks on the “Sign Up” buttons. The buttons lead to a page that says: “Sign ups are currently closed. Please input your email address to get an update when our product is open for the public again.”
  • Likewise, you can simply add a big button to the landing page that says “Sign Up to get Beta Access”. You can gather email addresses of potential customers this way, even if you don’t have a beta app to test. You can get in touch with potential customers, to ask them for feedback about your ideas, and test your feature sets further.

This last idea is perhaps the most important. You need to validate any business ideas you have.

What’s the easiest, most accurate way to “test” whether customers want to buy what you’re selling, without developing the app beforehand?

You’ll either ask them to purchase directly, or you gauge their interest with a close approximation (email signups, link clicks, post likes).

Even though a click doesn’t prove that a potential customer will purchase your app, it gives you a good relative data point on product viability.

Here’s what I do for every app launch, always:

  • Create a one-page website, a landing page, explaining what the app does, what its benefits are, and why a customer should download it
  • Add a big button that says: “Get Access to the Private Beta”, which asks the visitor for their email address
  • I create a Facebook Ad for the app ($100 lifetime budget, $1-$2 per click), showing off its main feature, and I choose a target audience that’s likely to be interested in this app

When more than 10% of the people that go to the landing page sign up for the private beta, I consider this a good result.

You can expect lower click-throughs for a landing page that mimics buyer intent, i.e. “Purchase” vs. “Sign up”, with a higher accuracy.

If you don’t want to spend money on validating your app idea, you can also try to pitch your app idea, or post your app’s landing page, in free channels. Examples: Facebook Groups, Reddit, social media, an email list you already have or someone else’s audience you have access to (a blog, a review site, a podcast).

Avoid pitching the app to friends, family or people that know you. You can always ask your friends for feedback, but don’t consider their “I’ll buy your app, dude!” as objective feedback.

They just like you, want to follow your story, or simply don’t want to disappoint you. If you want constructive feedback, ask your worst enemy…

To reiterate: create your app’s landing page before you launch your app (it’s easier), and use it to “validate” your app idea, its pricing, features, etcetera. Launch the landing page in a channel, and measure responses. Set your expectations (i.e. go or no-go point) beforehand, and move onto a new idea (or refine an old idea) if you don’t get a viable result.

Looking for an app business model? Check out this blog post: How To Choose A Profitable App Business Model

Create Mockups For Your App

Once you’ve validated your app idea, done some research and found an audience, it’s time to build your app.

Developing an app has 3 steps:

  1. Create your app’s mockups
  2. Design the graphics and UX/UI of the app
  3. Build the app with Swift and

These 3 steps apply to building a complete app, as well as adding a new feature to an existing app.

Let’s first start with your app’s mockup. This is an example of a mockup:

A few things stand out:

  • The mockup is a basic sketch and it’s pretty rough: no color, no fine details, no minute positioning – just basic layout building blocks
  • Every screen has a couple of notes, pointing out interactions or important details
  • The flow of the app is shown with arrows

This mockup was created with Balsamiq Mockups, a terrific tool I’ve used for 7+ years to create professional mockups.

In the screenshot above you can see one of the greatest features from Balsamiq Mockups: “Linking”.

With it, you can link a UI element (like a button) to one of the pages of your mockup. When you click the UI element, you’ll navigate to the linked page. It’s ideal for interactive prototyping!

The links remain intact if you export your mockup to PDF. If you use the “Export without margins” option, and open the PDF on your iPhone, you can use the prototype as if it were a real app.

Click on the buttons, navigate through the UI, and get a feel for how the finished app will work.

When creating your mockup, follow these steps:

  1. Start with writing down what your app does, and what UIs it needs to have
  2. Write down for every screen what it’s purpose is, like “News Article Detail” screen, and what interactions it has, like “Edit a to-do item” or “Log into the back-end”
  3. Create a mockup for every UI, and add the different UI elements and interactions to it. Go from “rough” to “fine”, so start with the big elements, and leave the detailing for last
  4. When you’re finished, add notes and annotations, so that the mockup “explains itself” to whoever is viewing it

Once you’ve finished your mockup, here’s a little exercise you can do:

  • Print out your mockup and cut out all screens with scissors.
  • Put all screens next to each other on a flat surface.
  • “Play out” the interactions in the app. Start at the first mockup, and “tap” somewhere on the screen with your finger. Assess what should happen, and move to the next mockup. “Tap” again, and figure out what should happen once more.
  • Continue until you’ve finished the entire mockup, reenacting all interactions.

This technique is called “Wizard of Oz”, because you’re pretending the UI/UX of your app actually works. If you don’t believe it’s a great technique, try it!

The goal is to leave your laptop screen for a while, and use your hands to physically work with what you’ve built. This engages your mind differently than a computer and a software tool does, giving you new insights for creating great UI/UX for your apps.

Ultimately, it’s important to keep your mockups and sketches as rough as possible. Resist the temptation to perfect your mockups with small details, and use a “rough” tool like Balsamiq if you can.

Don’t design mockups in Photoshop or Sketch, because those tools are too detail-oriented. Look at it like writing with a thick Sharpie instead of a fine-liner: rough strokes, no fine details!

Use A Graphic Design Template

Now that you’ve completed the mockups of your app, it’s time to apply some magic designer sauce!

The biggest difference between a mockup and graphic design is detail. Mockups are rough sketches, whereas the actual graphic design accurately shows what the finished app will look like.

A custom graphic design is costly! Often, it’s not even required to make a custom app design. That’s why you’re going to use a graphics template (free or paid), both cutting cost and time.

A graphic design template is simply a prefabricated Photoshop or Sketch file with an assortment of layouts, UI elements and colors.

A template typically has a theme, like “to-do app template” or “ecommerce template”. Instead of designing the app from scratch, you simply “mock” together UI components to form your app.

Whatever you do, don’t launch an app without a graphic design! Poorly designed apps stand out like a sore thumb in the App Store, and great design is definitely an impacting differentiator for your app install rate. A poorly designed app will negatively impact your app’s success.

If you’re a technically minded person, or a developer, don’t “engineer” your design. Start with your idea, make a mockup, and then use an app template to create a graphic design.

Stick to the designs when building your app! Measure every margin, every dimension, and make sure your Interface Builder properly reflects the design. Make it pixel-perfect.

Too many indie app developers miss out on app installs because their app looks like it was cobbled together in Microsoft Paint. Don’t be that app.

So, without further ado, these are my favorite app design templates:

  • iOS 10 GUI by Facebook (generic iOS UI)
  • NOW UI Kit by InVision (productivity and news apps)
  • Stark UI Kit by Baianat (visual content apps)
  • Stitch UI Kit by Lina Seleznyova (ecommerce apps)
  • Phoenix iOS UI Kit by Adrian Chiran (productivity apps)

The first UI kit, the iOS 10 GUI from Facebook, is pretty cool. It’s an exact replica of the iOS 10 graphics, layouts and design elements. You can use it to create a pixel-perfect design mockup of your app, using all the UX/UI elements available in iOS.

The best tools to create graphic designs for your app are:

  • Sketch ($99) – check out Sketch Mirror too
  • Affinity Designer ($50)
  • Photoshop or Illustrator ($30/mo)

Although Adobe’s software was once the standard for graphic design, I don’t recommend it anymore. Illustrator has grown increasingly complex, and Photoshop lacks sensible support for vector graphics.

Sketch has a great feature that allows you to easily export 1x, 2x and 3x image assets for Xcode. The app works with a vector-based points system similar to how the iPhone resolutions work, so you can export your graphics assets directly in the right format.

Make sure you’re working with the right iPhone screen resolutions and densities. This guide can help with that.

Another app that deserves a special mention in this section is PaintCode ($99). With it, you can design a UI element as you would in Sketch or Photoshop, and export directly to Objective-C or Swift code. It’s magic. Saves you tons of work!

Code Your iOS App With Swift And Xcode

Finally, in step 7 of this 9-step framework, you’ve gotten to the most complex part: developing the app.

iOS, Xcode and Swift
When you’re developing an iOS app, it’s easiest to build your apps natively with Xcode, Interface Builder and Swift. You can download and use Xcode for free. You can even install your own apps on your own iPhone, for free, with Xcode.

Should you work with Swift or Objective-C? If you’re starting out with building your own apps, or working as a startup, Swift is highly recommended. If you’re an employee working with a legacy app, it makes sense to develop in Objective-C.

Cross-Platform Tools

What about cross-platform tools? You can use so-called cross-platform tools to code your app once, and export it for different platforms, like iOS and Android. This can potentially cut your development cost and time in half!

Well… not so fast. Even in 2017, cross-platform tools still have major drawbacks. Many don’t have access to native hardware, like GPU acceleration for games and animation. Most tools aren’t truly cross-platform, and function like “middleware”, i.e. they use HTML5 to create a native wrapper for different platforms. Under the hood they’re still web apps, with limited performance and functionality.

Perhaps the most promising cross-platform tool is React Native. You can code your apps with JavaScript, and React Native turns that into native iOS and Android apps.

Although you can’t use many native UI components without writing platform-specific code, you can create native-looking and native-feeling apps. JavaScript is a great programming language, to learn and have learned, and Reactive Programming is a pretty cool programming paradigm.

Popular cross-platform tools include React Native, Flutter, Xamarin, PhoneGap, Cordova and Ionic.

Whatever you do, always choose a cross-platform tool for its benefits, and not because you don’t want to code apps natively. Especially for beginners, cross-platform tools are harder to master and require a deeper understanding of native components. If you’re a web developer going native with cross-platform tools, don’t forget that a native app functions different than a web app.

Although the Swift programming language is open source, Xcode only runs on macOS. Therefore, you need a Mac computer to develop apps on iOS. It’s possible to develop iOS apps on a Windows PC, though.

Cloud Back-End Tools

Almost any app these days has a cloud-based back-end, for instance to store user data and authenticate users with a username and password.

Until 2016, was the most popular backend-as-a-service platform. You could use the tool to plug a “spreadsheet” into your app, and use it to store data. was easy to use, fast, and reasonably scalable up to 100.000s of users. Unfortunately, shutdown, but they relaunched the tool as the open-source Parse Server.

I recommend Parse Server, especially if you’re looking for an entry-level tool that allows high customizability. You can run your own Parse Server with minimal maintenance on platforms such as Heroku and mLab. You can also install Parse Server on your own VPS, for as little as $5 a month with Linode or DigitalOcean.

The biggest upside of running your own Parse Server is learning about back-ends, system operations and cloud services. One of the downsides of the late service is that it was too easy. Over 500.000 developers relied on the service, but they didn’t know anything at all about how it worked, and were left scrambling when shut down.

Another recommended tool is Firebase. It’s often compared with Parse Server as an equivalent tool, although they are very different. Parse Server is a relational back-end platform, whereas Firebase uses a flat NoSQL structure. Using the Firebase Realtime Database takes some getting used to, and it’s ideal for non-relational datasets like for chat apps or realtime data apps.

Firebase now also has a tool called Cloud Firestore, which is a highly scalable document-based database platform. And Firebase also has an integrated suite of crash report tracking, app analytics, app monetization and AdMob, so it’s definitely a good choice for a one-stop-shop for apps.

Launch Your App in the App Store

OH YEAH! The time has finally come to launch your app in the App Store. After ideating, validating, making mockups, designing and developing your app, you’re ready to publish it.

Publishing an iOS app is surprisingly simple. Here’s what you need:

  • An Apple Developer Program membership, for $99 a year
  • App Store Connect, access is included in your Developer Account
  • Xcode, to upload your app binary to the App Store

To launch your app, follow these steps:

  • Complete your app, make it bug-free and make sure to follow the App Store Review Guidelines
  • Create an App ID on (log in via “Account”)
  • Create an App Entry in App Store Connect, detailing all properties of your app, like name, category, age rating, and screenshots.
  • Upload your app from within Xcode. First, make an App Archive, select it in Organizer, and choose Upload to App Store. Make sure to set your app’s properties to
  • Automatically manage signing to avoid issues with certificates.
  • Select the app binary you just uploaded in App Store Connect, and once you’ve filled in all the fields, click Submit for Review.

Apple Review will then try out your app, assess whether it follows the Review Guidelines, and release the app in 1-2 weeks.

Beta Testing with TestFlight

Before you publish your app, you might want to invite users to beta test it first. You can use TestFlight to publicly beta test your app.

You can do two kinds of tests:

  • Internal testing
  • for just the people in your internal team. Any team member you invite must have access to your App Store Connect.

  • Public testing
  • for anyone (up to 2.000 people). You can give anyone access to your app by inviting them in TestFlight, with their email address.

Before you can start public beta testing, your app must pass Apple Review, which is less strict than reviewing a production app.


Once your app is published, there’s an armada of tools you can use to leverage your app and its audience.

A few ideas:

  • Use Crashlytics to track, monitor and solve crashes in a production app
  • Use Google Analytics to measure installs, sessions, page views and engagement in your app
  • Use Fastlane to automate your app’s build process, and automatically generate app screenshots, among other automations

Promote Your App

Step 9 in this 9-step framework is a bit of a wildcard… Continually market your app!

App Store Optimization

You’ve already used App Store Optimization (ASO) to do keyword research and competitor research. Now that you’ve published your app, you can use the same techniques to improve the ranking of your app.

First of all, 2-4 weeks after you’ve published your app, check its ranking and keywords in AppAnnie. Are you automatically ranking for typical search terms?

Second, check the ranking of your competitors again. Do you want to rank for the same keywords?

Then, with the new keyword data, do the following:

  • Add the keyword to your app’s title. This is a grey-area tactic, but if you incorporate the keyword you want to rank for in a slogan or catchphrase, you’re allowed to add it to your app’s name.
  • Include the keyword in your app’s meta keywords. You can add 255 characters of search keywords for your app. Once you’ve figured out which keywords you want to rank for, add them to the meta keywords field in App Store Connect.
  • Include the keyword in your app’s meta description. Your App Store page can display any textual description of your app. You typically use this to inform the user about your app, show off testimonials and awards, but you can also change this text according to your app’s keywords. Simply include 5-6 mentions of your keywords for every 250 normal words.

You can also include the keywords in the captions inside your app screenshots. It’s common to include captions at the top of your app screenshots, included in the image. Even though these keywords aren’t used for search ranking, it’s a good idea to include them anyway.

A user that searches for a particular phrase, and finds that phrase on the Search Results page inside your app’s screenshot, is more likely to try out your app. After all, these search phrases and keywords are what app users type into the App Store search field!

App Marketing

Marketing your app starts long before you publish your app, and continues long after it’s published. Marketing is simply the activity of exposing your app, and it’s pitch, to potential customers.

But… what’s next, in marketing your app? You’ve worked so hard to get this far, but the road is far from over. What are next steps you can take to make your app a success?

I’ve gathered 33 points, 33 tasks you can do after your app launches.

You can start many of them before you actually launch, and do many others in the months after you launch your app.

Several of them will increase your app’s impact, spread its message. Others will simply have you double back on steps you already took, to make sure they’re working smoothly.

Almost every point on this checklist is worthy of it’s own article, resource or course. You can base an entire marketing campaign on each of parts of the checklist.

Even if your app launched a long time ago, you might want to revisit parts of the checklist to squeeze out a few extra app installs or to dig up ideas for a new marketing campaign.

Continue to: The 33-Point Ultimate Post-Launch App Checklist


So, there you have it! The 9 steps to get launch your app.

Solve a problem, do a bit of research, check out your competitors, set up an app landing page, create mockups, design your app, make the app, launch it, and keep on marketing!

Aasif Khan

Head of SEO at Appy Pie

App Builder

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