How to improve iTunes App Store search rankings for iPhone Apps


How do you determine, and place custom developed iPhone Native app in a specific category within the iTunes App Store?

How is the placement determined within the category once the app is launched. What makes them come up first when people searches the App Store?

You can select the primary and secondary category your app should be into when you submit it to Apple through your iTunes Connect Developer Account, and can change that and the app description at anytime through the interface Apple provides to registered iPhone SDK developers. We allow our customers to publish their ideas through our iTunes Connect developer account, but in that case, they will need to ask us to do any change.

The placement in the App Store search result is determined based on keywords, app popularity (downloads) and ratings. The most relevant keywords are the ones in the iPhone app title, and if there is any match the app will be shown in the quick-results list (this is the list you get before hitting the search button in the App Store). All other keywords are taken from the app description. Surgeworks Online Marketing experts and copywriters can help you craft a description that will be keyword reach for your market niche, based on search volumes on Google compared to market research on the iTunes App Store. We will tweak the app name and description if we find out we can improve your search rankings.

Unfortunately Apple does not share keywords’ search volumes data and users’ search behaviors for the iTunes App Store with iPhone SDK developers. We assume that most people will use the built-in search engine on their device’s App Store application with 1 keyword only, just as we do most of the time.

After your custom or business specific iPhone Apps get to the app store, we help you spread the word. Social networking tools such as blogs and Facebook are also a great platform to get some buzz around your app.

We strive to get the first handful of users to leave a positive review on the App Store. This will give you a good starting point in several App Stores (US, European, Australian, etc). Then it’s up to the community and to your marketing to get more users to the app and rate it positively.

One note about the prices: Apps priced at 0.99 USD usually get lots of purchases from people that do not really care to read the app description and buy it to try it out, to just leave a one-star review saying something like “totally useless”. We have found that pricing the app a little above 1 USD can keep these type of buyers away.

On the developer’s perspective, there are 2 different fields in the info.plist file in Xcode that we can use for one longer name that will show up in the iTunes App Store and in the App description (this can also be set in the iTunes Connect account independently), and another field that is the “bundle display name” that will show up in the iPhone home screen. So we need to create longer names with more keywords in it  to improve Apps ranking in searches, while keeping your bundle display name as short and as to-the-point as possible.