An estimated 60,000 apps are added to the App Store each month, and that rate is increasing, fueled by countless developers who are drawn to the prospect of achieving fame and fortune with a blockbuster app.
However, the millions of apps out there make it extremely difficult, and extremely rare, to get noticed. Visibility is not as simple as coming up with a great concept, building it, and hitting submit. The reality is that building a successful app requires data, marketing, and keyword optimization. It requires a nuanced understanding of your category and your competitors, and the careful fine-tuning of factors such as timing, location, and titles.
App developers who are new to this intense environment tend to make mistakes that hurt their chances of rising up the ranks. Let's take a look at the three most common mistakes and how to avoid them.
1. Over-Focusing on the Product and Idea
If there is a Silicon Valley myth, it is of a talented group of coders with a brilliant idea who come together to build a product that takes off overnight. New entrepreneurs tend to get swept up in the excitement of their vision, which is natural and good. Passion is what keeps you going when times get tough. Moreover, the idea and the product are important: Your app will never get anywhere if the idea is not sound and if there is not product-market fit.
But—and this is a big "but"—one of the biggest mistakes you can make is to focus too heavily inward. When you get swept up in your vision, you neglect to consider the many, many external variables and influences that contribute to your app's success. You become convinced that your idea is spot on, and that conviction overwhelms everything else; it clouds your judgment and shuts your eyes to what is really happening in the market.
To succeed in the App Store, you have to reflect current market trends and adapt to actual customers' wants and needs, not the theoretical demands of theoretical customers. It is important to solicit and respond to customer feedback, even if it turns out not to be in line with your original vision. You might have to sacrifice your initial idea, which is hard, but often necessary.
2. Ignoring the Competitive Landscape