How to Avoid Getting Lost in a Sea of Apps

When your app is one of hundreds of thousands in the app store, and one of 41 apps on your customer’s device (average of a typical smartphone owner according to Nielsen), how do you get your app noticed? App discovery is a critical issue for any app publisher:

Nielsen reported that the typical smartphone owner in 2012 has 41 apps on his or her device, 28 percent more than last year when the typical user had 32 apps. While the number of apps per device has increased significantly, the time the customers spend using their apps remains the same. Smartphone customers are spending about 39 minutes per day this year on their apps compared to 37 minutes in 2011. With 39 minutes per day to spend on 41 apps, the opportunity for any single product to gain meaningful attention from a customer is limited. 

Here are a few key strategies to focus on to get your app discovered:

Keyword Optimization

Take the time to analyze how customers may be searching for your type of app in the app store. Predictive text on search terms can give you some clues as to the phrases they may be using. Make sure when you add your keywords and description in the app store submission process, you are careful to include the key phrases that are already being used in search so that you get discovered more frequently.

Get Early Positive Reviews

Create a buzz for your app by encouraging everyone you know with a compatible phone to download and review your app as soon as it is launched or re-released. Ask for honest reviews that don’t sound like they are all your mom and babysitter!

Follow up with new users via notifications, emails or texts to remind them to review the app.


More than ever, your app will depend on referrals from one happy user to attract other happy users. Your app should have built in social sharing features to encourage this pass along phenomenon. If it doesn’t, that is now your next release plan! In the mean time, you can also encourage sharing by communicating with your users with notifications, emails or text if you’ve collected that information.

Easy Discovery Methods

Make sure that your website, email signature, any collateral you print like business cards, flyers and banners display easy instructions for discovering your app. We recommend QR codes and text to short code instructions which will capture the lead in your customer database and send them a link to download the app that is right for their phone type.

Coming soon, you’ll be able to let your prospect tap a smart poster to immediately download your app using Near Field Communication technology (NFC). We can get you in on that action early just as NFC capable phones are flooding the market.

Every interaction you have with a potential prospect should end with an invitation to download your app!

Please contact us if you’d like help setting up any of these recommendations for your apps and get your app found.