“Know your enemy” is a popular saying for a good reason. Even though your competitors are not exactly enemies, it’s important to know and understand the apps competing for the attention of the people you want to join your user base. Before you start investing in professional app tracking services, here are a few things you can do to get to know your competition for free.
The easiest way to find your competitors is to search the Google Play and Apple iTunes app stores for the keywords and phrases most relevant to your app. The top 5 search results in the app store for each relevant keyword can be considered competing apps, and you should add these to your list of competitors to research further.
Just be sure to remember that you have different competitors in each local app store. So your competition in the US might not be your competition in Australia.
Check Out Your Competition’s Content
You might want to download and install the competitor app to discover how its functionality compares to that of your app. Just as important is the content of the app download page. The text, images and video preview your competitors use can give you valuable information and inspiration.
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Ask yourself the following questions: How attractive are the images? What keywords and phrases do the competitors use in the app name and description? What style is the description written in? Do these address the target audience effectively? Most importantly, think of the features in your app that are missing or lacking in competing alternatives. These should be your key selling points in your app marketing strategy.
Study Reviews and Ratings
Read the reviews of your competitors’ apps. What are users complaining about most? What features do they appreciate most about the competition? These can teach you quite a bit about what your audience expects and appreciates.
Low user rating on competing apps can be a great opportunity to implement a smart app rating feature in your app to shine above the competition.
Read The Release Notes
The update rate of your competitors’ apps is an important factor, but no less important is the content of these updates. Read the release notes to discover what new features and improvements your competitors are adding to their apps.
Is It Time to Go Pro?
Keeping up with the ever-changing competitive landscape of the app stores is hard and the need for competitive research and competitor tracking is a must-have in pretty much all app categories. Promoting your app is a never-ending process of trial and error, but knowing your competition is the place to start.