So you’ve created a mobile app for your business and want to set it free into the wider world. But wait a minute; there are a few things you’ll need to check to ensure the app is happy, healthy and ready to catch the attention of eager Jurassic Park visitors – I mean potential customers – in the app store first.

A genuine use

Your app is far more likely to be downloaded and continually used if it serves an actual purpose and makes aspects of a user’s life easier or more exciting. Rather than a one-dimensional, single-use listing of information, say a seafood eatery named Plaice and Thyme that can be found in any telephone directory or business website, your app needs to go the extra three miles in order to merit downloading. Perhaps you could set up a map that shows the easiest route from the user’s smartphone location to your business. Or how about linking things of local interest to your business? For example, cycle routes with stops for ice cream, banking and bike repairs. What about a monthly prize draw? As well as building in a feature so customers can pay through your app, they could also rack up points for a loyalty scheme. The pay-off works both ways.

Custom-built credentials

Sure you can use a DIY app-making tool to put together the basic article but is it worth it? The money saved will likely be reflected in somewhat lacklustre features and a short lifespan. Look into investing in customised technology – chances are it will cost less than you think and the results will be a far cry from the usual off-the-shelf apps businesses produce just to jump on the app-crazed bandwagon. If you’re absolutely determined to do things yourself, there are a large handful of code-free resources available to suit small businesses. You needn’t rule out complexity too soon as some do offer integration and advanced building options.

Test and test again

It can’t be stressed enough; your mobile app needs to be perfect (as close to perfect as human error allows) before it is launched. Not only is an app a useful tool for a user but it rather crucially sets up a channel of communication between your business and a new customer base. It’s a sales tool and a source of publicity. Don’t let a faulty, bug-riddled app be bad publicity. You’ll need to test at every stage of development, including user experience testing with a company such as Whatusersdo to look at every aspect of what the app has to offer and ferret out any defects.

A searchable description

In order for customers to find your app in the app store, you’ll need a searchable description. Think about what terms they are likely to use when looking for your business and incorporate them into the app description that will be uploaded to Google Play or the iOS App Store. If you’re a local business, potential customers will likely search for identifying features of your business and the area. Hey presto – your app shows up. If for example your business is called Plaice and Thyme, a fish and chip shop in Kendal, make sure you include ‘restaurant’, ‘fish and chips’ and ‘Kendal’ in the app description. You could also consider ‘takeaway’, ‘seafood’ and ‘South Lakeland’ for a slightly broader search.

ASO smarts

Like search engine optimisation, app store optimisation (ASO) will bring your app to the forefront and leave competitors’ offerings in the dust. Considering that there will be 4.4 billion app users by 2017 and 200 billion apps, this is a rather important step towards success. Keep these 4 things in mind:

  • A great name that is unique as well as informative
  • A title and description that use common, competitive keywords
  • An attractive price that is in line with similar apps
  • An eye-catching screenshot
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A marketing strategy

Get the word out with a publicity-drenched launch that will actually drum up new users. Sponsor a giveaway, get social media and your local paper involved, tell friends and family and start collecting user reviews. Good reviews can be posted and shouted to the hills. Bad reviews should be acted on immediately, with you thanking people for their feedback and showing that any negative issues have been addressed and rectified. In fact, an unhappy review is a brilliant tool that lets you fix something and show excellent customer support. It’s a way of getting a second chance to impress and strengthen a business product. Not such a bad deal, really.

Let a new app increase your brand awareness with some fanfare. If you get the technology, launch and publicity right, your business will benefit from more customers than you’d ever attract on your own. Just make sure you’ve done your homework, corrected the mistakes and built up a suitable amount of anticipation before sending it out to impress.

If you’re interested in building a mobile app for your business or just want more information click below to get in contact with us.

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