How to Get Your App Featured on the App Store (Step-by-Step Guide)

Improving the discoverability of our mobile app or game is one of the main KPI of ASO and even user growth. And, make our apps or games get featured on App Store is a great way to get more exposure and better app discovery.

According to Sensor Tower, getting a featured spot on App Store can increase downloads by as much as 800 percent, with the “App of the Day” or “Game of the Day” spots offering the most impact.

However, App Store is very crowded. Not every great app can be discovered and recommended by Apple’s editors. Sometimes, developers or ASO marketers need self-recommendation.

Will our apps or games meet the Apple’s standard?

How to get apps get featured on App Store? What’s the process?

In this post, we’ll learn the 3 types of featuring on the App Store and how to get your app featured on the App Store step by step.

Let’s dive in.

Related Post: How to Get Featured on Google Play Store

Types of Featuring on the App Store

First of all, let’s see where you’ll see your apps or games if they get featured.

There are mainly 3 types of featuring on the App Store. 

1.      Today Tab

The Today tab is the most visited page in the App Store. All users that enter the App Store (except via an ad or a link straight to a product page), land first on the Today page. 

It is a daily destination with original stories from Apple’s editors around the world, featuring exclusive premieres, new releases, a fresh look at their all-time favorites, an App of the Day, a Game of the Day, and more.

2.      Games and Apps Tabs

These tabs are the app/game specific tabs of the App Store. In both, they inform and engage customers through recommendations on new releases and updates, videos, top charts, and handpicked collections and categories.

3.      Stories

Stories appear in the Today page or on the Search Results page and are based on the editor’s decisions to feature an app.

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.

Types of Featuring on the App Store

How to Get Featured On the App Store

Step #1. Follow the Apple’s Recommendation First

Before you reach the step of submitting to the App Store, you need to first have a great mobile app, a creative design, and make sure your app is addressing a need for your users. These are three things you should already be doing before you can even think about getting featured in the App Store.

To do that, you can check the factors that Apple’s might consider:

  • 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 also consider:

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

Step #2. Improve the Chance to Get Featured

Understanding the general idea of what kind of apps and games will catch Apple’s attention is not enough, we need to do everything we can to increase the chance of getting our apps featured.

Here are some useful tips.

1.      Great Visuals

One of the most important things is your visuals. Make your UI clean, simple to understand, and with fewer words…

Not only should your app be good-looking, but also your app store product pages, which include the icons, screenshots and so on.

2.      Use Apple’s Latest APIs & Features

It’s not strange that even Apple is always trying to promote their own products. Building your app with Apple’s product or features release in mind is one of the best ways to get featured on the App Store. For example, you can use Apple’s latest APIs or features.

 So keep an eye out for new things Apple is releasing and promoting and make them your priority.

3.      Special Events or Festivals

Getting an app featured in the App Store is difficult at most of the time. However, if your app or game is related to a special event, festival or holidays – this is your chance.

Apps that are highly related to special events and days are easier to get features. If you can update the icon, update the related features or launch related activities, the chance of being selected will increase.

4.      Maintain a High Rating

Apple features apps that offer great experiences. And a good user experience and a useful app will often amount to high ratings and positive reviews. Therefore, it is rational that Apple is more willing to feature an app that have high ratings.

Developers should encourage their users to submit reviews, be diligent in managing and seeking to resolve negative reviews, and should keep communication channels open to field user feedback.

5.      Localize Your App

Apple rewards apps that speak multiple languages because that offers a much better overall customer experience.

6.      App Categories

In addition to games, Apple prefers apps that can improve productivity or the quality of life. Therefore, Apps in Videos and Photos, Education, Business, and Tools are more frequently be recommended.

7.      iOS only

If your app is only available on iOS (meaning no Android version), I recommend you mention it. Apple may like exclusivity.

8.      New Release or Update

Most of the recommended apps are newly launched or updated.

9.      Story

If your app or game has special stories, then your chance of getting features will significantly exceed than that of your peers.

Step #3. Pitch to App Store Editors

Now that you’re ready to get featured, you need to make sure the editors notice you.

There’s actually a form to fill out to contact the App Store Editorial Team to get promoted. In this form, you should fill “Developer Information”, “App Details”, “Links”, and “Your Story”.

Every day, Apple receives thousands of pitches to feature mobile apps. You should write your “story” persuasively. Craft a convincing pitch that outlines what your app does and how it’s unique.

Step #4. Apple Asks You for Promotional Design Assets for Featuring Your App

If you are lucky to get receive an email from Apple asking for visuals to feature your app, your app is on the way to get featured. However, that’s not a guarantee. It only means that Apple is seriously considering featuring your app.

Even if you don’t ever apply to be on the app store, you could receive an email stating you were chosen for a feature. That’s because Apple’s editors notice your app.

You receive an email from Apple is a “happy story”. Then, what’s a common case?

The common case is even if you send your app or game for editors, you get nothing. You worked hard on this. And it might lead to nothing.

Closing Thoughts

Getting an app or game features on App Store is very difficult, and it will take a certain amount of time, efforts and persistence to succeed.

However, by following this guide, you’ll increase the chance of get your app featured. Hopefully, this article helps you understand how to get featured on the App Store, to help drive more traffic to your game or app and show your game or app to a greater audience.

Have your app or game ever been features? Share your experience and stories below!

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