Using App Store URLs Online
To get the word out about your app you need lots of promotional content out there in app review sites, Twitter streams, blogs, emails, etc, and of course you’ll include links to your app in the app store. You have choices…
- Traditional iTunes link: http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewSoftware?id=289270768&mt=8
- Nice iTunes link: http://itunes.com/apps/JourneyCast
- bit.ly short link (or similar service): http://bit.ly/ykiHk
- Your own landing page: http://www.smartpuma.com/hittennis/
You can get the traditional itunes link for any app by going to that app’s page in iTunes, right clicking on the app’s logo, and picking “Copy iTunes Store URL”. Easy, but that link is super ugly, and it doesn’t have any of your keywords in it to help with SEO. Not great then.
The nice URL is a redirect via itunes.com (which is an Apple owned domain). It’s easily composed “itunes.com/apps/” followed by the name of your app, skipping all spaces. You can capitalize to make it easier to read. Eg http://itunes.com/apps/SmartCaller It’s a shame that hyphenated versions don’t work, as I think they’d be better for SEO. Thanks to Noel of Flower Garden fame for cluing me into this.
Alternatively consider using a link shortening service like bit.ly. Bit.ly is especially wonderful because it provides traffic source tracking just like Google analytics. Spread your normal app store links around the web as much as you like, but you’ll never know where sales are coming from because that data lies hidden from view inside of Apple’s web server logs. Spread around a bit.ly version of your app’s url instead and bit.ly will record and report every click on your link – so you can learn which web sites are generating app store traffic for you. Eg http://bit.ly/ykiHk which jumps to my game Hit Tennis in the app store.
Lastly, do you really want to send people directly to the app store anyway? Let’s say someone reviews your app, they’ll include screen shots, lots of copy, and of course your demo video. On that review page, you probably want links direct to your app in the app store so people can get right to the purchase. But what if you’re spreading your links around on Twitter, in forums, places where you can’t post lots of promo content? From those places you should bring people to a product landing page on your own site. You have a lot more control over your own landing pages then you have over your app store pages. Your landing page can contain your demo videos, some hand picked glowing comments from user reviews, so you can really design those pages for a lot more impact than the app store pages. Further, you can have more than one landing page, each targeted for a different audience, and each with a URL designed for SEO. For tips on landing pages, check out http://flowtown.com/go/11-landing-page-tips.