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How To Find An App Developer For Under $1000

Finding an app developer can be a daunting task to say the least. Some may luck out and find a programmer right away, and others may run through many programmers before they find some luck. We’ve had the joyful experience of working with several developers in our journey including some good and some bad. In this post I want to highlight a few pointers that I wish I had known before I started down this road.

Why outsource?

You have really two options when you plan to make an app. You can A) code it yourself, or B) hire a qualified developer. As you know, I have no technical background and can’t even comprehend how to write a simple line of code. I simply do not have the time or drive to learn the fundamentals of programming.

This leaves me with no choice but to hire someone to help make my vision come to life. The question now remains: should I hire local talent or look overseas? Personally, I’ve outsourced lots of things overseas in addition to app development and have always had good success once I found the right person for the job.

There might be some negative stigma about not supporting the local economy and what not but at the end of the day, a business operates on maximizing efficiency and an easy fix for that is cutting expenses. Developers overseas are often more than qualified for the job and cost upwards of 2-3x cheaper than a local USA equivalent. Obviously there are trade offs and obstacles you must face and we’ll cover that later.

Where to hire an app developer

There are quite a few websites available to put up a job listing for a specific type of programmer. Below are several trusted websites where you can look for developers hungry for a job or side work.

In typical cut to the chase style, I think it is best to start with oDesk. This is going to give you the most qualified candidates as well as the ability to view their past work. It should also be noted that most programmers do not program in multiple languages. That is, if you find an android developer, he/she will likely not know how to program in iOS. These are two different worlds when it comes to programming.

These sites are used by millions of employers and contractors worldwide so you should not fear getting scammed. It’s up to you to do your due diligence but sites like oDesk offer transparency where you can watch your workers screen at different time intervals to see if they are working hard or hardly working.

Also all payments and transactions are secured and done through each respective site and can be funded via Paypal, credit card, or bank withdrawal.

How to post an ad that weeds out spam

Posting an ad is relatively straightforward but you will soon find out that you will be bombarded with tons of unqualified candidates who reply with generic or templated responses. Most of these responses will be canned responses that are all pre-written, in which job seekers send out in hopes to obtain a job. In other words, spam. Again, this is why it is so important to be specific in your description. 

Be as overly specific in your description as you possibly can without giving the idea away. I cannot stress this enough, more detail is going to save you a lot of headaches in the long run.

When posting on oDesk, it allows you to set suggested requirements to help narrow down the field a little bit. Here’s what I usually put in and why:

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Freelancer Type – It’s up to you but I’ve personally worked with both an independent and agency. I prefer an independent because that allows me to work closely with them, and only them, instead of multiple people where things can get even more lost in translation.

Minimum Feedback Score – They must have at least 4.5 or higher. Also look at their latest job reviews and ratings. Anyone below 4 stars instantly gets deleted.

Hours Billed – Personally I want to work with someone who has worked over 100 solid hours on oDesk. Usually that’s a sign they’re legit and take their job seriously. You could risk working with someone who has no hours or feedback and get a lower rate but the risk is on you.

Location – Your mileage may vary but usually you will see a lot of Europeans and South/East Asians apply for the job. From our experience, Europeans, especially Russians and Ukrainians are very good but lack English skills. We’re working with developers in Egypt and Thailand/Philippines now with great success.

English – Most people will lie anyways but you’ll really see their skill level during the interview process.

Tips to finding the best developer

When posting an ad, you have the option of hiring someone hourly or paying a flat rate. I suggest you to post an add with a temporary hourly rate of $20/hr or so, that way you can get people to apply and then further negotiate pricing later.

Always ask for people to provide links to live apps in the app store for you to check out. Bonus points if the app is somewhat related to your app idea thus proving they are the man for the job. No portfolio means no chance. In fact, we’ve had several developers actually create us sample apps based on the job description without us asking.

A very fast and easy way to weed out spam is to ask a question within your description and require candidates to answer it when applying. It doesn’t even have to be related to the job. The point here is to ensure they’ve actually read the description instead of mass applying. In the past I’ve asked random questions like “Who was the Dallas Cowboys playing last Sunday?”.

Once you have a few candidates in mind, perform a Skype interview with them.  Why text and not voice? Text because when you leave the applicant a message you will not only see how proficient their writing is, but also their availability. If you need a last minute change to an application, knowing that your programmer is available on Skype regularly can be a lifesaver. Our developer regularly stays up until 6AM to work with us due to time zone differences. You will often see that English is not their strong point but usually is enough to get by. Our first developer was very talented but could not speak English which made the whole ordeal very frustrating.

The last and probably best tip I can give you is to post the same or a similar ad at least 3 times. There should be absolutely no rush in hiring a developer. Think of it like a marriage. Once you hire someone, you’re stuck with them for many months. It’s hard for another developer to come into the picture and pick up where the other developer left off in the event you need to make the switch.

You’ve found a developer, now what?

Remember how specific you were in your initial description? It is about to get 10X worse when it comes to mocking up drafts for the programmer to develop. Initially, I thought if I gave the programmer a general idea of what I wanted, he would set out and program it just as he saw fit. This is not the case, and frankly, it should not be the case.

EVERY detail from color, size, position, function, it all must be outlined. I have also found it helpful to make a mockup in Photoshop, Microsoft Word, whatever you can use to help the developer get an idea of how the app should look and feel. Simply telling the developer, not showing, is surely going to lead to longer development time, and likely higher cost.

For our first app, we did a mockup in Photoshop along with individual screens based on user flow to showcase what would happen if a user clicked X button vs Y button and so on. It definitely helped paint a clearer picture. What also helps significantly is if you send a few rival apps live in the store that they can download and play with.

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Also keep in mind that many developers are not designers. This is the same analogy as many web designers are not SEO experts. Don’t expect your app to look amazing out of the box. If the developer can design then that is definitely an added bonus. If not, you may have to hire a separate designer and that in itself will be another challenge. Usually an agency will have all the people in place for what you need but independent contractors might not.

How much will this app cost me?

This is the golden question. Unfortunately, there is never a concrete answer. Let me give you an example, because I have already split-tested this to find out for myself. A simple app, that does a few features (my favorite is the flashlight app) may be quoted by one programmer at $50 USD while another at $800. This is a huge disparity. Surely, you will be sacrificing app quality by choosing the programmer who quoted you at $800 rather than $50. Unfortunately, again, this is not the case. In this particular case the $50 programmer was far superior to the $800 programmer.

Some might look at this as a costly mistake, but actually, this was huge success. That $50 programmer is now my full-time programmer. Well, not officially, but as soon as he finishes one task, I put him on another. This prevents him from going out and looking for more work. Also, over the course of 6 months or so that he’s been programming, we have developed quite a trusting relationship. I no longer negotiate prices with him, if he tells me a task will be $500, I pay it. This won’t always be the case for everyone, and I have been through many developers to find that one. My best advice is when you find a good programmer to hold on to them.

So as you can see price is a very subjective matter that will vary from task to task and programmer to programmer. Be patient and find someone you feel comfortable working with. There will be hurdles along the way where a programmer does or does not do something they were supposed to, it happens to us all.

It is also very important that you treat your developers with kindness and great care. Along with every payment I throw in an additional bonus since they work extremely hard and long hours while balancing family life and even a fulltime job. I also do not micromanage. If they need anything they are always able to email me or Skype me with questions.

Don’t forget to get quotes from multiple people and play the game of giving legit counter offers against each other. In our first app for iOS we had the choice to go with a slightly more expensive developer with better English but instead opted to go with a cheaper developer with worse English. In the end it worked out but sometimes I do wish I had chosen the other developer. Our 6 month project should of taken 3 months at most and a lot of that had to do with the communication issues.

Lastly, remember how I mentioned earlier to place an hourly rate instead of a flat rate? By listing an hourly rate you will generate more qualified candidates. However, once you start talking to developers, you always want to negotiate a flat rate where you can pay in intervals. Choosing an hourly rate can backfire, as developers will often times drag out the development process to earn more money.

Choosing a native language programmer vs. cross platform programmer

This is something that I have considered as of late: using a native iOS or Android programmer versus using a programmer who programs on a cross platform system (Corona, Titanium, etc). From the best that I can understand, using these cross platforms do work, however, the integrity of the actual code may not be as solid.

The other thought I had was taking an existing Android app and having it “spun” through one of these cross platform programs to create an iOS app. Unfortunately, this is not possible as far as I know. Of course, you can reprogram the app via a different developer.

Another thing I’ve been hearing a lot about lately are HTML5 tools like Phone Gap which creates apps based on the HTML5 web framework for both Android and iOS. In fact, games like 2048 were built on HTML5. It sounds promising but I’ve heard of lots of limitations going down this route.

Conclusion

By following this process, we’ve been able to find a few very talented app developers who we work closely with and gladly send business their way. Finding an app developer is one area where you don’t want to cut corners. Take your time, make sure you get a good feeling after speaking with them, and reward them accordingly. Here’s a quick recap of what you should do:

  • Do not rush the process and post your job listing at least 3 times
  • Ask for live examples and/or references
  • Dismiss anyone with zero feedback or ratings below 4/5 instantly
  • Always negotiate on pricing and ask for flat rate
  • Conduct a thorough interview on Skype to test their English
  • Treat your developer good and reward them well
  • Learn to let go and let the developer do what they do best

Hope this helps!

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Case Study – Do Backlinks Increase Android App Rankings?

In the world of search engine optimization for webpages, Google looks at dozens of individual factors but at the end of the day, it boils down to only TWO main factors.

They are the links pointing from one webpage to yours and the content on your webpage. Without going into too much detail since this isn’t another SEO blog, the relevancy of pages that link to you, as well as the quality, play a very important role in increasing your website rankings. When you match this with the actual content on a webpage, that provides extreme value, it’s a deadly winning combination.

But how do backlinks increase rankings? Simple. The anchor text that one webpage uses to link to another is how Google interprets the context and importance of a page. So if a link had the anchor text how to build an app then Google should rank your website higher in the results for that particular keyword phrase.

Obviously this is an over simplification of how SEO works and if you are curious, I recommend to check out a blog like Niche Pursuits which breaks down what works today in the world of SEO.

How does this relate at all to apps? At recent Google I/O conferences, several Android speakers mentioned the importance of getting links to your app store pages.

So we decided to put this theory to the test!

WARNING: Yes, this is a ‘gray hat’ tactic and we put our developer account and app at risk by performing this case study. If no one puts Google’s theories to the test then we would never know what works and doesn’t work. Our goal here was NOT to game the system but to find out if one factor can have a noticeable impact on our app rankings.

Among our portfolio of app was an app that had been released for a few months (Nov) with less than stellar results. Perhaps it could of been due to the competition but our other similar apps had fared much better.

Our last case study involved testing the theory of Google +1′s and the impact. For this case study, we made sure that NOTHING else was changed aside from link building. This meant no optimization or changes to the title, description, icon, APK, etc.

Earlier we mentioned the importance of anchor text and how it dictates where a page ranks on Google. For this case study, we did a 50/50 split of anchor text between two keywords.

Why two? Simply because our app was already ranking for the first keyword so we wanted to see if we could see an uptick. The other keyword was a keyword that we wanted to rank for but were not, even though we had the keyword mentioned in the description. So the goal was to see if backlinks alone can put an app on the map.

There are a thousand ways to build links to a page ranging from tools, outsourcing, or the old fashion way of doing it yourself. For the sake of this case study, we hired a professional link builder to build roughly 400 links to our app page over the course of several days to not raise any red flags. This process started around the third week of February and was completed on the first week of March 2014.

To verify the links were actually produced, we used a tool called Ahrefs which basically will show you all the links pointing to a page.

In our case, the URL was our Google Play app page. Google obviously can’t find every single link right away because of the scale of the interwebs but so it’s not surprising to see the number of domains (orange line) continue to increase into April. Ahrefs was able to pick up 221 backlinks from 85 referring domains so far which is down from the 400 promised but that’s still OK since 221 should be enough to do damage.

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We also can confirm that the request to only use two keyword for the anchor text was fulfilled as the anchor cloud showed nearly a 50/50 split variation.

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So what does this all mean and did it prove to be worth the time and money? Let’s first take a look at our rankings!

Weeks prior to the start of the case study, we had been tracking several keywords pertaining to this app just to see some trends and to get a baseline.

The first keyword had been hovering around the mid 40s and actually took a dip at the end of February. Since then it’s been on a sporadic trip jumping +/- 8 positions daily. Sign of the backlinks causing movement? You be the judge.

We never showed up for the second keyword before the case study and we definitely still don’t after all the linkbuilding was done.

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Looking at the graph below shows the daily download trends for the last 6 months. As you can see there was a huge uptick around December 25 (not sure why) but slowly over the last few months it has died down week after week, even after all the backlinks created. Maybe it’s time to focus on other areas of optimizing.

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Google strongly advises you to share your app online with bloggers or app reviewers but our case study is a clear indicator that your time and effort might be better spent elsewhere. Either way, correlation does not equal causation so take everything with a grain of salt.

Until our next case study :)

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How to Make a Tinder Auto Liker With Tasker

By now you’ve probably heard about the ‘dating’ app called Tinder. It’s a very popular app that shows other users within a small radius of your location and allows you to ‘like’ or ‘dislike’ the other person. If both of you ‘like’ each other then Tinder considers that a match and allows you to exchange text communication.

It’s an amazingly simple concept that reminds us back of the “hot or not” days. The idea must be working as it has seen tremendous growth as seen below.

The problem with Tinder is that it’s quite a bit of work to sit there and swipe left or right to filter out the ones that don’t fit your type.

Now imagine if there was a way where you could automatically ‘like’ all the people available on Tinder without having to lift a finger. By doing this, yes you’ll like a ton of people not your type but the flipside is that you’ll automatically be matched to people that have expressed interest in you. From there you can either filter out the ones that aren’t compatible or engage in conversations with the ones that are.

Essentially you’ll automate the entire process of meeting people. The rest is up to your game on closing the deal.

With a little outside the box thinking, we were able to make such a script although there are a few caveats.

The first is that your device must be rooted for this to work. Rooting basically allows admin access that would otherwise be restricted. The process to root your device is not entirely that difficult and can be done in the matter of 15 minutes. A quick Google and Youtube search will give you many tutorials on how to do that.

Once you are rooted, you will need to download/buy an app called Tasker. Tasker basically allows you do set up custom actions that are based on scripts. It’s a bit confusing to use at first but can be learned after some trial and error. Even though it may cost money, it is certainly worth the cost to automate a lot of your day to day activities. Somethings you can program to use with Tasker would be…

  • Automate Tinder liking :)
  • Put your phone on silent when you reach a certain GPS location like work
  • Launch multiple apps simultaneously like Pandora and a running tracker app
  • Put your phone on silent during specific hours

Those are just simple commands and barely scratching the surface. A few forums and sites compile different scripts for you to try.

Here’s how to create the Tinder auto liker bot:

Tinder forces you to either swipe left or right or click ‘like’ or ‘dislike’ on the screen to show your interest. The goal here is to mimic that tap/gesture through Tasker. After your device is rooted, you will need to find the X/Y coordinates of where the the ‘like’ button is within the app. I’d assume that all devices have different X/Y coordinates so to find that out, you will need to enable ‘Show Pointer Location’ in the settings which can be found under Developer Options under the settings. Once you figure out the X/Y coordinates please write it down. For more information on how to do that please refer to this site. In our case, the Nexus 7 coordinates were 650/1650.

Once you have that information, you will then need to create a Profile and Task within Tasker.

First you can create a Task with three main actions:

  • Mimic tap gesture

New Action -> Script – Run Shell -> type ‘input tap X Y’ under command. Replace X Y with the coordinates from above. Ensure ‘Use Root” is checked as well.

  • Wait 1 millisecond

New Action-> Task -> Wait -> set to 1 MS

  • Repeat

New Action -> Task -> Goto -> Type set to Action Number. Number set to ’1′. Set If to %PACTIVE DOESN’T MATCH Tinder (name of profile we’ll do next)

See below as to how my actions are set up. Don’t mind all the Tinder matches :)

tinderNow create a new Profile and select Application from the menu and obviously select Tinder as the application. Once that is done you’ll have to match it with a Task and you can just select the Task you just created previously.

You have officially created a script that will auto like all the Tinder matches for you. The only downside is that you’ll have to disable it in Tasker when you want it to stop.

Here’s how it looks in action!

Have fun!

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Case Study – Do Google +1′s Increase App Rankings?

There’s always been a theory that Google +1′s impact rankings of Android apps. Google Play store factors in at least a dozen or more variables when it comes to ranking your app and some of these variables are often more heavily weighted than others like when the app contains the keyword in the title.

We wanted to test the significance of Google +1′s and if it held enough weight to make a significant increase or decrease in our app rankings.

Here’s what we found out….

From our experience, most Google +1′s will come naturally. Some of our apps already have a couple hundred without us even asking for them.

We had an app that was released back in November that wasn’t doing too well compared to it’s sister apps. Its ranking had never reached the top 10 and for the most part has been stagnant this whole time.

Before the case study even started, we only had 7 Google +1′s. How were we supposed to increase the count into the hundreds?

Buy them.

We headed over to Fiverr, home of the worlds most desperate workers where you can find literally anything for just 5 bucks. We found a guy who promised us at least 300 Google +1′s for just $5. He could even do upwards of 2000+ but we figured 300 should be enough to make a dent in the rankings…. or so we thought. We requested the seller to drip the Google +1′s over several days to not raise any red flags.

When it was all said and done, our Google +1 count increased to over 300 more than before the test began. The drip was completed sometime in early February so it’s been at least a month which has given the app enough time to cause movement in the rankings.

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Luckily, we were using our handy Google Play store keyword rank tracker to track various keywords pertaining to this app. From looking at the graph below, I think it’s safe to say that Google +1′s had little to no impact whatsoever on our keyword rankings. The slight uptick in March wasn’t anything we did as we were/are not actively marketing this particular app. Maybe a slight algorithm tweak by Google?

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As always, correlation does not equal causation so take these results with a grain of salt. The bottom line is we decided to not focus on Google +1′s and let them come naturally for now.

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New Google Play App Store Rankings Tracker

The single most important thing for any app is not the icon, or the description, or even the number of downloads you receive. Instead, it has to do with the keyword you are targeting. Not all keywords are created equal. Want proof of this? Here’s how Google interprets two very similar keywords with the only difference being one is plural and the other is singular.

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According to one of my favorite keyword tools SEMRush, the difference between adding an ‘s’ and leaving it off for ‘best camera‘ is nearly double the traffic or half the traffic, depending on you look at it. This is not to say Google will show you different results for each search but more so to indicate that human behavior has a tendency to type certain phrases a certain way.

What this all boils down to is including the best possible keyword in your title, app description, and keyword field (for iOS). But how do you know if a keyword is working or bringing you in traffic? You track where your app ranks for particular rankings.

If an app starts to rank higher for a keyword and you get more downloads in the same time frame, chances are the higher rankings probably helped.

We’ve been working on an awesome app store rankings tracker for the Google Play Store. It will track your app rankings on a daily basis and plot a graph to show you overall growth or decline.

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We’ve been tracking Kid Touch, a game for kids on the Google Play Store. With nearly 1 million downloads, its definitely a mover and the graph clearly shows that. For beta testing we’ve been tracking two keywords: kids & cowdefence.

Kids‘ was a random keyword but you can see theres been a general increase over time. In over a month, it’s improved 20 positions. For ‘cowdefence‘, that keyword is no where to be found in the title or description. So how does it rank #1 for that? Package name. Ding ding ding :)

Stay tuned as we roll out our Google Play app store rank tracker in our tools section. Be sure to join our mailing list to hear it first.

 

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How to Validate Your App Idea With Customers Waiting in Line

In an earlier post, we discussed how to find app ideas that people want. For this post, we’ll take it one step further and show you how we had over 1,000 people waiting to download our app thus validating our app idea in the process.

When we released our first iOS app, we approached marketing from an online perspective since we had prior experience building and developing websites. Our plan was to create a website, and get optimize it via SEO on Google for a keyword that was very relevant to our app. By ranking in Google, we wanted to see how much traffic we could get but also how many email sign-ups we could capture for people who expressed interest in our app.

Keywords are the #1 most important factor before you begin any search engine marketing campaign. Not all keywords are equal. Some can be broad, others can be long tail and specific. Keywords can be commercial intent while others can be more informative. Lastly, keywords vary in their search volume and difficultly in ranking. A term like “best digital cameras” would be way more popular and competitive than a term like “cheap waterproof keywords for kids“.

So for example, if we were creating a tip calculator app, we’d want to find terms that are very similar or close to that. There are several free and paid tools available to help you do that. The most common tool is Google’s Keyword Planner (formerly known as Google Keyword Tool). There are also paid tools like SEMRush whose sole purpose is to provide you quick and detailed keyword information as well as keyword ideas.

If we follow the example above, a quick search for “tip calculator” on SEMRush shows us many similar keyword phrases but also a very high demand for it (volume column). If there’s interest on Google then there must be people typing in the same phrase in the app store. Just because a keyword is popular on Google does NOT mean it will be popular in the app store which we’ll cover in a later case study. Let’s be serious. Chances are if you are Googling for a tip calculator then most likely you are physically at the restaurant and using your mobile phone.

Screen Shot 2014-02-14 at 11.16.19 PMFor our own app, we found several keyword variations with high search volume. The screen shot below is from the former Google Keyword Tool. All of the keywords shown were laser targeted to what our app was offering. The next step was to check out domains to buy to begin the website build.

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When it comes to domains, a lot of people will argue that ‘exact match domains’ have more ranking power. These are domains that contain strictly the keyword in it and nothing else. An example would be ‘www.pizzatipcalculator.com‘. In our own experience, exact match domains do carry a little bit more weight but it’s not a deal breaker if it’s not available. For our own app, we did end up purchasing an exact match domain.

You can go to any of your favorite domain registrars (GoDaddy, Namecheap, etc) to see if any of your keywords are available to register as a domain name. Personally, I would ONLY register a .com/.net/.org and nothing else. Looking at the same example above, there are some golden nuggets. Can you spot them? Here’s a hint….

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Once you lock down your domain, now you’ll need to secure webhosting before you can even build a website. We highly recommend using a company like Bluehost which provides very affordable and reliable hosting for personal and small business purposes. For the sake of time, we’ll assume you know how to link your domain to your webhost and then install WordPress to begin building your website. If not, you can easily find many free resources online.

WordPress is our weapon of choice because it is extremely easy to use and supports thousands of different themes. Our goal here is to NOT create a full fledged website but rather a pre-launch page to generate hype and interest. Thankfully there are a ton of themes out there that are built for that sole purpose. You don’t need to pay for one but feel free to save you headache and time. Here’s a free launch theme from Appify. See this blog post for a list of more launch themes.

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Getting traffic to your site is the next major component. You can buy traffic through things like Facebook ads or Google AdWords. We chose to rank it organically through SEO. Again, traffic generation strategy could be a post by itself. If you are interested in learning the tactics that are working today for SEO, we highly recommend you check out our friends at Niche Pursuits. Understand that SEO is a marathon, not a sprint. So it might take a few months to rank on the first page of Google. This is why its imperative to plan ahead!

We went to work and were fortunate enough to rank our app website at a decent pace starting from early January 2013. By mid May 2013, we were averaging 500 visitors per day and still growing.

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How do you capitalize on all this traffic? You try to capture every visitors email address! Every lead that comes in is one hungry customer waiting to download your app. Best of all, you can market to them over and over again and even blast them with an email once your app is released. We recommend joining a hosted email provider like Aweber that will allow you to easily send bulk emails without any problems like ending up in spam folders.

For that same date range, we were able to gather over 1,000 emails for people who wanted our app.

aweberchart

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So what all this equate to? We found out there was a serious demand for our app. We released our app through a ‘soft launch’ where we did zero promotion to see what would happen naturally or if Apple would give us some love as a new app. Needless to say our app did ok but did not meet expectations. After a few bug fixes, we released and update and finally did a ‘hard launch’ and emailed our list of 1000+ subscribers which resulted in over 400 app downloads the same day. iTunes Connect doesn’t let us go back that far :( In total we got 1,572 downloads our first month which isn’t bad considering we released it mid month.

Instead of collecting emails on the site now, we just redirect people to our iTunes app store page where they can directly download the app. We believe that organic traffic is still a key driver in our app success but only a minor factor compared to being found within the iTunes app store.

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Introducing Our Google Play Store Keyword Suggest Scraper Tool

Ask any online marketer or app developer and they will tell you that the keywords are the single most important thing for any marketing campaign. Unfortunately for us app developers, there isn’t too much readily available keyword data. Because of that, much of what we do is a guessing game with tweaks and refinements until we find the best balance of difficulty and traffic.

But there actually is one credible source of information that Google provides and that is from Google Suggest, the keyword suggestions that appear as you are typing in your keyword on the Google Play Store. This feature is the same exact feature that you’d find on regular Google results but catered to the app store obviously.

By extracting this information, we will be able to see exactly what some of the most popular keyword searches are. We can benefit from this data by using the same keywords in our app descriptions or even in our app titles.

Have a look below to see how it works.

First you type in any root keyword in the Google Play Store keyword suggest scraper tool.

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After you press “Get keywords”, the tool will then scrape all available keyword suggestions starting with “keyword + a”, “keyword + b”, and so forth. It will only display results if they are available.

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As you can see, this data is also identical if you were to perform the same search on your mobile device.

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Our Google Play Store keyword suggest scraper tool is still a work in progress but will be released to the public very soon. Make sure you subscribe to be notified and check out the tools section for when we officially release it!

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How to Add Emojis to Your Android App Title

As I was casually browsing the Google Play Store studying the market (as you should too), I noticed something that stood out. One app had included emojis in their actual title! That developer was definitely thinking outside the box. Take a look at the screenshot below and you’ll see it in the center.

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So being the curious person I am, I wanted to figure out how they did it. It actually wasn’t hard at all but here’s the steps I took:

  1. Make sure you have a device that has Android 4.4 (KitKat) installed because emojis are now built into the keyword.
  2. You MIGHT be able to use an older Android OS with a 3rd party emoji app that adds the keyboard. I haven’t tested that yet.
  3. Go to your Google Play Developer Console through a browser to edit your app title and add your emojis.
  4. Boom. That’s it!

It’s as simple as that. One thing to note though is that Android phones can only show a certain number of characters before its truncated. So if you are to use emojis, make sure its closer to the front of your title. Also, your emojis will not show on the PC version of Google Play Store.

We’ve already applied it to one of our apps so we’ll put together a case study soon to see if it actually encourages more clicks to the app for more downloads.

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How to Come Up With Cool App Ideas That People Want

I think entrepreneurs, including app developers, often complicate the first step which is trying to think of a mobile app idea. There’s nothing wrong with trying to think big or to aim for the stars but the truth is that those ‘big’ ideas usually come with more complicated processes and increased costs. I’m sure all of us want to be the next Angry Birds or perhaps the next Instagram but you don’t need to go down that path to make a healthy living off of apps.

The scope of this site has always been to make cool yet simple mobile apps that offer solutions to the problems of the common smartphone user. The purpose of this post is to expose a few innovative ways to discover cool mobile app ideas that people are actually looking for but either can’t find or don’t know exist.

These are simple tricks that might not lead to your first mobile app but will at least get the gears spinning and teach you a little out of the box thinking.

The main idea here is to identify people who have complaints, wants, or needs in the context of apps.  Even more important is how people express these issues in the form of writing, which is usually expressed the way as if they were speaking out loud. Here are some phrases to help you get started:

    “is there an app”"i wish there was an app”"i would pay”"make an app”"does anyone know an app”

You get where I’m going with this?

The trick here is to go to Twitter’s Advanced Search and see what people are talking about. Twitter is great because its sole purpose is to be a social platform and the user base all have smartphones.

Twitter’s Advanced Search does allow for several options that don’t necessarily complicate things but rather help us laser focus in on actual mobile app ideas.

Taking one of the examples above, I typed in “i would pay” in the exact phrase field. Since there’s a million ways of saying “i would pay for an app”, I put “app” in the all of these words field since it would guarantee that app is included in the result. Lastly, I do not want any “rt” to show up because those will just bring retweets which is nothing more than clutter.

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Here are the results that came up. Do you see any cool mobile app ideas? I know I see a good one :)

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Although there’s literally hundreds of these that are returned, I found an idea within the top 10. This is what stood out to me…

app ideaEven at the most dim setting, phones can be too bright in certain situations. I know I’ve personally had this issue before. This idea is good because it solves a problem and if it bothers one person, you can sure as hell bet that dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of people have the same issue.

Although this person is looking for an iOS app, this idea might not be possible because of Apple’s restrictions. Google is much more lenient with apps and the source code so this idea would possibly work on Android.

A quick search on Google Play Store with the query “screen brightness” or “screen dimmer” returned a fair number of apps that promised to go dimmer than allowed without requiring to root (hack) the phone. In fact, one app had over 1 million downloads.

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Hopefully this makes the brain storming process a little bit easier! Here’s an embedded live realtime Twitter feed of my query.