Four things we had to consider before publishing our app to the iOS App Store

As a customer, there were a few things that we overlooked in all the excitement of designing and building our app. If you are about to publish an app, allow enough time to think about these:

1. The app name

Easy to overlook, but have you thought about your app name? We are a College, and somewhat predictably we name the app after our organisation. Be careful though – you are limited in the number of characters that will look good on screen. What’s could be worse than having your app name truncated? Use a guide of 11 characters as being ideal, although typically you can read more on most smartphone screens.

2. Description

How would you describe your app in 4000 characters? You need to give this one a bit of thought. Typically, the description might explain a bit about the publisher (if the app is related to your business line). You will also want to include here the key selling points. Why would anyone want to download your app, and what difference will it make to them when they haven done so? Consider a short feature list; not every last thing, but enough to give a flavor of what your app is offering (unless your app offers one or two functions).

3. Keywords

Very important for potential users to find your app. You only have 100 characters to use in the App Store. Best way to identify good keywords? Check your webmaster tools (we use Google Webmaster tools) for the top keywords used to find your organisation. Web keywords commonly used on your website are are probably a good starting point. Note that you don’t need to include your app name in the keywords, since the app name is already searchable – make the most of the characters this saves you!

4. Screenshots

Which screens will you be showing off? You can use five, and need to carefully think about which screens you will be promoting. Screenshots are shown above the app text, and visual users will quickly be turned on (or off) by your screenshots before they get to the text. Give some consideration to which pages will look most impressive and ‘welcoming’ to the user.

Not a comprehensive list by any means, but as a first time publisher, these were the last-minute elements that we would (in retrospect) spend more time considering if we repeated the process. Found it useful? Leave a comment!

Oh yeah – our app? It’s here.

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