How to Get Featured in the App Store

December 14th, 2020

How to Get Featured in the App Store
David Bell

by David Bell

CEO at Gummicube, Inc.

Getting featured on the front page of the App Store is oftentimes a developer’s holy grail. Any app featured on the Today tab can see an incredible increase in traffic, like a billboard on the earth’s busiest highway.

A feature on the Today tab, the Games tab, or even your category’s main page can help any app amass millions of impressions, but how does an app land the coveted spot?

We’ll explore what App Store Featuring entails and how to put your best foot forward for consideration.

App Store Featuring

App Store Featuring entailed being highlighted on either the Today tab (in a story or as App of the Day), the Games tab or on the main category page. Each app featured in these areas are hand-selected by Apple’s editorial team:

App Store editors write stories that showcase apps in interesting and informative ways. Our editors base their decisions on a variety of factors, all of which amount to a great product that customers will love. There is no paid placement or checklist of requirements for apps we write about or feature.Stories. App Store editors talk about apps that have a unique story for example, a behind-the-scenes look at how a developer launched an app that disrupted an industry or how an app helped a customer solve a unique problem.Apps and Games. When considering apps to feature, our editors look for high-quality apps across all categories, with a particular focus on new apps and apps with significant updates.

Apps that are considered for featuring also fall under quite a few different areas of scrutiny to make the cut. Apps must have:

  • UI design: the usability, appeal, and overall quality of the app
  • User experience: the efficiency and functionality of the app
  • Innovation: apps that solve a unique problem for customers
  • Localizations: high-quality and relevant
  • Accessibility: well-integrated features
  • App Store product page: compelling screenshots, app previews, and descriptions
  • Uniqueness

For games, editors will also consider:

  • Gameplay and level of engagement
  • Graphics and performance
  • Audio
  • Narrative and story depth
  • Ability to replay
  • Gameplay controls

Aside from being handpicked from a pool of millions of apps, what are other ways to help give your app an edge against the competition?

App Store Optimization

One of the key points that Apple makes pertains to the app page itself, “App Store product page: compelling screenshots, app previews, and descriptions”, making it even more important to implement App Store Optimization best practices.

All of the elements on your product page must be as compelling as possible in order to be put into consideration to try and appeal to the masses.

Your metadata should entail the most relevant keywords; Make sure your title and subtitle read naturally, while also avoiding duplicated terms throughout the fields.

Your app description should be as easy to understand as possible, not just for users to get an idea of how the app works and how it stands out from the rest, but also to help the editor formulate their story. Consider working in use cases of the app (or plot points of your game) to help further understanding.

Your screenshots should also highlight the key points of your app, be it core functionality that sets your app apart, or exciting or pivotal gameplay moments that appear relevant for important keyword searches. Consider incorporating design styles that not only look modern and clean but also overall appealing to users to convert once they see you for the first time.

After all, a lot of what gets used in the featuring areas on the app store automatically leverage what’s available from your app’s listing.

How to Be Considered

Outside of getting “lucky”, Apple also allows you to submit your pitch at the bottom of its main discoverability page. You’ll be able to submit a quick message to the App Store editorial team just to increase your chances of being noticed. State your case but also consider what Apple’s editorial team might be writing about, “...editors share stories about inspiring developers and their incredible work”.

Being selected in general is an extremely slim chance, but this gives you more of a chance than being discovered from organics alone in the App Store.

What happens next?

For the apps that do get considered, Apple will email the developer and let them know that they are considering the app for featuring. From that message, you’ll be able to determine what you need to do.

Apple will often ask for a set of promotional images and additional screenshots of the app to finalize their story.

But for now, the waiting game begins. If you’ve submitted your app for consideration, Apple may or may not get back to you on their final decision.

Want to learn more about App Store Optimization? Contact Gummicube and we’ll help get your strategy started.

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