David Janner and MakeAppMagazine (Transcription)

Speaker 1:      Are you an app developer looking for app success? Are you ready to learn about App Store optimization? Then you are in the right place. Welcome to the ASO Podcast. The top podcast to learn the best tips and tricks of App Store SEO. Here’s the guy that eats, breaths and dreams App Store optimization your host Gabriel Machuret.

Gabriel:           Hey guys, Gabriel Machuret here and welcome to 2013. This is my third show and I’m very excited. This is year is going to bring tons and tons of excellent content hopefully here in the ASO Podcast. Hopefully you guys will be learning a lot about general app marketing and obviously about App Store optimization that’s the whole idea about this show.

This is my third show and literally I’m extremely excited because funny-wise I was preparing to be published very soon and yesterday I was playing with my three year old son. He’s name is Dominic and we were playing on the iPad, the two boys we have two iPads, in theory they are for work, you know how this works, you buy them for work and then they end up for the kids and he asked me for a precise app. He said to me, “I want an app with superheroes, Dad.” Literally I knew there were some apps the Avengers from Disney and things like that, but I wanted to get something that was for small kids and my frustration was huge when I was trying to search for this app and this is not the first time that happens.

The other day I was looking for different apps to do with productivity and I was looking for different terms and I was finding apps that have absolutely nothing to do with what I was looking for. Eventually I found this app after a lot of search like literally an hour and a half that I bought and installed in my phone and it took me an hour and a half to buy an app that I was looking for.

Obviously there’s a huge issue with search in the App Store. Google knows this very well and they’re acting pretty fast and the latest article of [inaudible 00:02:16] talks about this. She says listen, “The person that manage to dominate search is the company that is going to win the war literally between Apple and Google. Not so much because the quality of the apps, but just to solve this absolutely huge problem that is going to be to find an app.” The search of apps is becoming more and more difficult and that’s why App Store optimization is so important.

You guys know that there’s so many app developers producing apps every single day that they’re not optimizing. The more people don’t do it the more opportunity there is for you. With that introduction I want to start with my third guest for this show. His name is Janner and this is a top blog. It was absolutely a pleasure to speak to David, he’s actually the creator of a very interesting idea it’s called makeappmag.com You can actually pause the podcast right now and go to makeappmag.com and check it out.

Make App Mag is it really an online magazine for your iPad and it’s going to allow you to get amazing content from very smart cookies in the app market you’re in. They have talked to the guys of AppCode to Search Man from App Store consultants and a lot of the people that I’m going to be interviewing in the show have been adding extremely valuable content in this magazine.

The reason why I want to invite David is because David has like an overall perspective that is very interesting from the point of view of an editor and I really want to approach him and ask him not so much precise points about apps optimization, but mainly about the way he actually sees the industry. This is a great way to start 2013 with an impartial point of view about the way the App Store marketing arena looking. I really hope that you guys enjoy it and I’m going to be promoting the interview a lot during … sorry, going to be promoting a lot of the magazine from David during the interview. In case you missed it it’s makeappmag.com so enjoy the show bye.

Hey guys today I’m ultra pumped because I have on the phone all the way from Israel, it’s always international this Podcast David Janner. He is the brilliant mind behind Make App Magazine and before I continue if you haven’t download and purchase Make App magazine by all means you can stop right now, put pause and go to iTunes you’ll get the link on this page and go and check it out because this is like an amazing publication with so much content and Dave thank you so much for taking the time I know you’re pretty busy today it’s Saturday and thank you for taking time to have a chat with me.

David:             No problem it’s a funny and very flattering introduction. I’m very happy to speak to you the last time when we were talking about, you actually contributed the last issue as one of the experts in our App Store optimization issues. It was really fun to mention you so I’m very happy to take time out to speak to you.

Gabriel:           Fantastic, I’m actually thrilled to have you here and the reason why I want to have you here is because I’ve been reading … my wife keeps asking me, “Stop reading about apps,” and I’ve been reading the last editions of Make An App. I heard about you when you were already in the second edition. Tell a little bit to people that are listening to this for the first item and they don’t know who you are, what’s your story and how do you come up with the idea of building this magazine?

makeapp3David:             I’m not from a technology background at all. I actually trained as a medical doctor, but I’ve pretty much decided to leave that field for a number of reasons, but basically after I left medicine and I was thinking about where should I go now, what should I do and I tried a few things including first off still in medicine I thought I’ll get some cash flow. I started actually in the file of aesthetic medicine like Botox and stuff like that which was, it was terrible, I hated that every second of it.

What I figured out in the past few years I’ve been sort of dabbling in the internet and I figured out from this experience, this very bad experiences working in a field that I really didn’t like the aesthetics. I decided I want to be in internet and I wanted to be in mobile. I wasn’t quite sure how to go about that, but and basically I figured that’s where I want to be in life, that’s what I want to be doing and sort of quite by, not by accident, but I’m a fan of Ed Dale. He’s a …

Gabriel:           Yup [Challenged 00:07:46] yes.

David:             Exactly, when I actually …

Gabriel:           He’s Australian actually.

David:             He’s a fellow Aussie yes. When I started dabbling a bit in the internet and a friend of mine recommended, this is about three years ago then three months … you should do a 30 day challenge and that was really a great introduction to the world of blogs, SEO et cetera. I was on Ed Dale’s, probably one of Ed Dale’s list and I got … he was launching a product called MagCast which is a magazine publishing platform. I got that along with his thousands of other subscribers.

It was kind of a no-brainer for me when I heard of the opportunity to publish a newsstand magazine then I jumped on the bandwagon and decided to actually a pursue a subject that I was very passionate about which is the app development and app marketing and actually sort of learn by doing and by interviewing a lot of the leading people in the business. That’s sort of how I got started and into the magazine.

Gabriel:           Impressive that coming from the medical background you come up with this … The product is amazing, I’m impressed to be honest. Initially I thought you came from some kind of IT background. Tell me a little bit, what happened when you started developing the magazine, what did you discover that you didn’t really knew before the app world because obviously it’s all about making app, but it’s a lot of focus on the marketing of developing apps?

David:             One of the problems, it’s quite apparent is that a lot of app developers don’t end up making money, but some of them do. There was app promo … you can Google app promo maybe developer survey or something like that on Google and you can find the exact stats, but basically they surveyed a few thousand developers and they found 60% didn’t break even on their apps and some pretty dismal figures.

On the other hand there are people who managed to have repeated success one app after another and I was really interested to interview these people and to understand what they are doing different to all the 90% other developers who are failing and falling flat on their asses so to speak. That’s why I’ve … I can tell you some things that I discovered and by talking to developers I think this is a well-known issue, but for some reason developers can’t seem to get out of this group which is they build an app and they just keep on adding features and features that they think are really cool and so they end up spending lots and lots of time on the development, months and months of development and then they release it and then …

Gabriel:           They stop working.

David:             It might work it might not and the users might use all those fantastic features that they put out or the might not. They basically waste a lot of time and in risk a lot of time and money on a project that might not be successful whereas the guys who are successful they tend to put things out early like early version one of an app.

Gabriel:           Test the markets.

David:             Exactly and test the market.

Gabriel:           Do you think that app developers also love, fall in love with the idea of building their app it’s like the little and once he’s out there in the market the idea of marketing their app becomes a bit daunting so they literally go back to create another app thinking that maybe this one didn’t work let’s make another instead of trying to promote the one app.

David:             I think that’s definitely the case, they fall in love with tinkering. Now through launching the magazine and learning a lot about the app business with a good friend of mine we’ve partnered to start developing apps, he’s actually got a technical background as a programmer but not specifically as an objective SEO iOS developer. We’ve quite focused on putting out apps that hopefully will bring in some income, but on the side he was dabbling with another developer friend on some other project and they fall into exactly that same trap. Just like you’re playing around with it and doing it, it’s the likelihood that this idea will make money [inaudible 00:12:47] it’s very low.

Gabriel:           One question, obviously you’ve done four editions, you’re working on the next one and you’re interviewing all these people … I have seen people that I’ve interviewed, I know many of them in fact and my question is. What do you think the successful people are doing in a different way, you think it’s a system that they’re doing different, it’s the methodology or it is a state of mind that becomes different. How important do you think they are focusing … how much relevance do you think these successful people are pulling on marketing versus development?

makeapp1David:             There’s a lot, a big range of successful people and people reach success in all sort of different ways, but what I was interested to see at least initially in initial issues is to examine people who are … a lot of people can succeed by luck and by chance so I wasn’t … I’m not interested at least initially to sort of focus on them because clearly it’s not just luck people succeed after one or two apps, they’ve probably put a lot of work into it and maybe done their market research, but that’s not … it’s still a bit hit and miss whereas others … to interview people like Chad Moreta he put out about hundreds of apps literally and a lot of them were successful and generate lots of download and lots of income as well as Carter Thomas a really great guy who’s just in the past year has gotten into the app business and has been pumping out the apps and developing a steady income stream.

Going back to the marketing these guys actually they don’t do any of the traditional marketing that you think of. What these guys focus on more, more so than reaching out to blogs and doing a lot of manual time consuming marketing they just focus on App Store optimization, they focus on getting the screen shots right, they focus on getting the icon right. They focus on these elements and also obviously the keywords and optimization search and so it’s sort of a very passive type of organic marketing within the App Store rather than the time consuming focusing marketing outside the App Store.

Gabriel:           That’s incredible, the thing that these guys they obviously are making revenue are focusing in optimization. It seems to me that people that … I was talking yesterday to someone else and we were talking about App Store optimization and one of the things he was is that App Store optimization is a little bit like affiliate marketing 10 years ago. If you were making money with affiliate marketing you wouldn’t tell anyone. You’re the quietest guy in the world, you would never tell anyone that you were making money with eBay affiliate or something like that. The guys that are succeeding with App Store optimization are literally not going to forums and talking about, “Hey look at the way I improve my ranking by doing this.” The people that are doing it quietly because they’re busy working on their own apps rather than telling the world what they’re doing?

You think that they’re successful I mean app super nerds are actually doing this without announcing so much that the apps optimization is happening more than we suspect?

David:             Yes I think it is and such as like in the app developers it’s also the big companies who are focusing on it. If you look at just an example that I’ve just sent out in an email. I’ve sent out Amazon’s Kindle app is not called Kindle. They’ve focused, they’ve done their keyword research, they focused on maximizing their keywords and just in their app name which is one of the fields that’s counted towards your keywords it’s called Kindle … let me just load it up. I’ve got it in front of me [inaudible 00:16:58] let me … hold on one sec. It’s called Kindle – Read Books, eBooks, Magazines, Newspapers & Textbooks.

Gabriel:           There you go. I’m pretty sure the optimization person that was doing that had a difficult time convincing the Amazon department, “Let’s do this it’s going to work,” but yes obviously it works because it’s an algorithm and the optimization is there. Why do you think that if the information is there, on your magazine you have spoken to great guys, you have Thomas from AppCode, you have Sylvan from [inaudible 00:17:44] he’s like a guru and you have all these information. Why do you think app developers are not doing it? Everyone is saying, “Do it, do it, do it.” Why do you think they refuse to do it?

David:             Number one I think they are doing it and there’s a lot of people who are doing it, but for those who aren’t doing it well it’s number one because of lack of knowledge. Number it’s optimization, it’s really a matter of testing this out, trial and error and it requires tenacity, it require you to really not give up on the first time because when you let’s say select your keyword and everything put out to Apple the first time that it might not work, those might not be the perfect keywords, but it’s through trial and error and tweaking and changing and testing that you’re going to see success. I think and this is true of any business or most things in life if people don’t see success straight away then they’ll kind of give up and say, “App Store optimization doesn’t work.” That’s one … and that goes back to what you asked about mindsets, what are these guys doing right in terms of their mindset and the guys who are successful in the app business or in any business it’s people who believe in themselves and don’t fall down at the first sign of failure, but they just push through and keep going and keep going. Something that I aspire to.

Gabriel:           You’re doing a great job so far I mean … it’s interesting that you’re talking about the importance of not focusing sort of like a one-time effort because I actually was talking to Niren Hiro from SeachMan SEO and we were talking about … he was telling me a case where one of his clients literally called and said listen, “Since I’m using your app, I managed to outrank everyone that was on my competitor list and the only thing I wish is that they’re not using the same tools because by having data I can actually understand what’s going on.”

It seems to me that a lot of app developers literally don’t have this data and they don’t approach the data as their tool to understand what’s going on. Once they put the app in the App Store it’s like welcome to the jungle and they have no idea what to do next, usually they bluff their app to a few review sites and it doesn’t work because many of them are paid and then they get overall sadness that you’re reading bogs it’s like, “I only got two downloads yesterday I don’t know what to do.” When you’ve actually spent some time understanding what’s going on with data they will be able to empower themselves to do something different.

David:             It comes back to that lack of awareness, lack of knowledge again for example I was speaking to my cousin yesterday who’s launching … he’s a graphic designer and he was brought into a partnership with a developer and quite an experienced entrepreneur in the field of internet and apps and they’re launching a really cool app related to Instagram. It’s going to do really well and they’ve got a background and this whole team has got a background in app development and he was asking me, “What shall I do with marketing tips?” I mentioned to him App Store optimization, I gave him some resource like one of the … some of the new tools that are around. They had no idea, I mentioned appstorerankings.net which is a great tool for finding your competitive keywords.

Gabriel:           Absolutely I’ve been reviewing them.

David:             It’s a great tool for finding your competitors keywords and many other things as well. They had no idea about it when he sent to his partner they became really excited and then all of a sudden all the Christmases came at once. It’s just due to a lack of awareness in many cases. They don’t know these services are out there, they don’t know much about App Store optimization.

Gabriel:           Do you think there’s still a lack of … obviously you’re doing a great job by uniting app developers in one publication and I’m completely sure you’re going to have a very prosperous future because there is a need for this kind of magazine, there is a need for this place where we can actually find this information. Do you think there’s a lack of information that there’s too many very small or like little social groups out there, but there’s no one place where developers can get this information? Do you think that that’s the reason why you magazine is working so well?

David:             I think the reason I’ve also decided to launch the magazine is because I saw there weren’t that many resources around, now they are increasing and improving. I can name a few blogs which are fantastic for finding information. You’ve got apptoman’s blog which really has a lot of … they also start out because they saw well there’s no resources on this so they’ve created a great resources for app developers, the appquaver guys are putting websites with lots of content and a lot of the successful app developers as well are putting out decent content, great content on their blog like Carter Thomas’ bluecloudsolutions.com he’s talked about his experiences.

There are resources and they are on the increase, but if we speak maybe six months ago then there … or a year there were probably very few resources around.

Gabriel:           Interesting, now let’s talk a little about the … moving a bit away from App Store optimization. The things that … when we think about App Store optimization we just usually think about keywords and ranking what we were looking for, but let’s talk about optimization to get the people to click on the app and what a horrible job many developers are doing with the graphic part of the apps and let’s say the copywriting of the description. What have you learned on the last months about all the visual aspects of apps and how that makes a difference to towards a successful app?

David:             There’s no doubt that the graphic element especially the icon and the screen shorts are critical and now following the iOS 6 update the screenshots take on a very important in discovery and in optimization the click-through rate because as you know when you perform a search on a device now the results come up in a card format where the icon is small, but the first screenshot takes up a very prominent real estate position and that’s the information that people have to go on. What information do people have to go on regarding to whether they want to click on the description and find out more? It’s your icon, it’s your first screen shots in particular and to a lesser extent it’s the name of your app and also the ratings.

Gabriel:           Absolutely.

David:             This is the information that people have to go on so if you want to increase your click-through rate you have to work on these and optimize them and make them as attractive as possible for people to download. For my own magazine I’ve been testing some things out. One big problem on the App Store is that it’s very hard to … you don’t have good tracking methods. What I’ve been doing those, I’ve been testing like putting different screenshots and trying to see how does that affect the overall downloads.

Unfortunately I can’t actually give very conclusive results because of the lack of tracking so it hasn’t shown a dramatic difference, but that’s what people should be doing is testing out these elements and trying to make them as appealing as possible.

For example in my magazine now I’ve put in my … the cover that I decided for the App Store SEO issue I’m using very bright primary colors to try …

Gabriel:           That is fantastic trust me. My wife was concerned and was like, “What are you reading?” Just explain to people there’s a very attractive girl on the front cover of the magazine. I’m pretty sure that’s going to increase conversion dramatically.

David:             I’m not sure I haven’t been … I’ve been testing these out on two issues and I’ve gotten some negative feedback primarily for my family as well, but you’re going to get obviously, you’re going to get obviously negative feedback sometimes, but it doesn’t mean it doesn’t work it could mean it is working and people are noticing it, but I haven’t … .to tell you the truth I haven’t seen a dramatic change in downloads from these.

Going forwards I’m not sure, I won’t, I probably won’t be continuing with that and I’ll be testing other elements, but I think no doubt in terms of leaving the attractive girls aside it’s bright primary colors are very important, but it depends you got to see who your competitors are because if you want to try and stand out from the crown so I find it on the results pages in apps for example yellow and green are very underused colors in many fields if you’re going to use them then they standout and they tend to probably drive more downloads.

Gabriel:           It’s kind of amazing how there’s so many aspects of optimization that literally we think is just an easy decision like what color do we put in the icon, yellow or blue and usually you think it makes no different, but actually makes a huge difference. In my experience I have seen that a lot let’s say with conversion on landing pages on adverts that you literally change the background of the page and you kind of increase three or four percent conversation just by changing the color or literally one word on the first part of the website.

With all these changes the way things are going 2013 where do you see the whole game going between Apple and Android because obviously it seems to me that Google is giving a bit more importance with their background in search to the whole idea of helping developers with optimization process. Right now their reviews are by verified users linked to Google+. Developers can reply to some of the review and the description counts for search. How do you see the whole gave going ahead Apple versus Google?

David:             In terms of search.

Gabriel:           In terms of overall marketing?

David:             It’s a good question, the truth is I’ve got no idea. I’m kind of at the moment I’ve been focusing more on the iOS platform so I am less familiar with android and other platform, but in future issues I’ll be focusing on those as well. They’re both very competitive environments, they’ve both got equivalent number of apps I think Google Play just is now overtaking Apple in terms of the overall number of apps.

Gabriel:           How do you think that Apple … let’s say Apple or Google Play both of them have the same situation. How do you think that the whole finding apps is going to search eventually? We’re almost close to reaching a million apps by March or April people say. How do you think it’s going to evolve potentially we’re looking at an App Store right now that looks a little bit like yahoo, they used to look a while ago. Do you think we’re going to be able to see something like a search engine system for apps in the future?

makeapp2David:             There’s no doubt, I’ll just focus on the iOS because that’s what where my expertise lies, but here’s no doubt that Apple is going to be improving it’s search algorithms because as you said it’s untenable to continue this way. We’ve got potentially millions of apps and to sort through this top app chart and this directory system which is where the web was more than 15 years ago.

There’s no doubt Apple is going to have to evolve and they’re already showing signs that they’re going that way. In my mind there’s no doubt that search is going to become more important and it’s going to evolve, App Store optimization is going to become under iOS platform it’s going to become a lot more sophisticate towards the Google Play end of the spectrum because as I said apple is showing signs that they’re going that way.

Number one in iOS 6 they’ve placed the search function much more prominently so people can get to that more easily and discover apps through search and also they bought out Chomp which was an app search engine. They bought them out six months ago and so there’s no doubt that they’re investing heavily in search that we’re going to see massive changes there. In a few months, in six months App Store optimization on the iOS platform won’t look the same as it does today.

Gabriel:           Yeah it’s going to be a crazy year next year with all the changes and that’s why I’m so excited to be here because we know that developers need people to find their apps. Even as a consumer when I’m trying to look for an app sometimes I struggle with my kids they ask me to find an app on a specific topic and sometimes it’s like mission impossible to literally find an app and I know that everyone that listen to this have encountered the same issue that you get desperate because you can’t find an app and many times you find very crappy apps that have nothing to do with your topic ranking for that is kind of disappointing and frustrating.

Let’s talk a little bit I mean what are your plans for 2013, where do you see the magazine going, give us some little insights of what you’re working on at the moment.

David:             At the very moment we’re working on the second sequel to the App Store optimization issue [inaudible 00:32:48] now going on to the future we’re going to be focusing on public relations, press release writing it’s a field that a lot of developers feel unsure about, how to get press coverage and we’re going to be continuing to provide case studies because I think that’s really important. One thing that I want, it’s very important for me with a magazine is to have evidence based information or at least case study base information so that people can actually not have information that’s up in the air, but that’s concrete and from people who are experts in the field and information they can trust. That’s my focus for the next few months and also I’m hoping to launch as you’re doing now also a podcast which will also feature interviews with developers and marketing experts to try and get the word out as much as possible and to help developers.

Gabriel:           Fantastic because if you manage to put all this information out there people need to access this because part of the articles I’m seeing in your magazine, trust me I have been doing … I wrote a book ASO Media, I have researched for this for so long and literally when I was researching I was saying to my wife, “I can’t believe it’s so difficult to find information about this.” Of course with you what you’re doing literally is helping developers out there. To round up these a little bit, tell people where to find you, people must be wondering where do I get information, where do I download the magazine, where they can find more information about you.

David:             If you want to download the magazine then you can go to … it’s only available on the iPad at the moment, we might be looking to go into other platforms as well, but go onto your iPad, plug in make app magazine into the search box and then you should find the magazine hopefully, If I’ve done my App Store optimization right. That’s one way or you can go to my website which is makeappmag.co and you’ll a button there to download the magazine on the app source, you can do it that way as well.

Just to let you know there is … at the moment we’ve got a two month auto-renewing free trial if you subscribe to the magazine.

Gabriel:           Awesome.

David:             Actually I can give your listeners actually a bonus code which … I’m not sure how long we’ll have this active, but you can give it a go to actually give them three months free not auto-renewing so they can have ultimately five months free possibly. To do that, you’re going to have short notes for this that can put up some instruction.

Gabriel:           Absolutely [inaudible 00:35:57], just for the record we are recording this literally today is December 15th and my plan is to have this maybe potentially after Christmas this is a twitchy time so we’ll put any kind of promo that you want to give away, we’ll put that on the list and people can actually claim it directly and subscribe to the magazine yes.

David:             Fantastic so we’ll do it that way. The promo code will be magspecial2012 and there’ll be instructions on the side as to how to actually activate that.

Gabriel:           That’s awesome and also just to give you an extra plug if you have a marketing product or you are an expert I can see here that you contact you by contribute@ makeappmag.com

David:             That’s perfect or you can email me directly to david@makeappmag.com and I’m always looking for new and interesting people to meet and to contribute to the magazine so if you’d like to thanks for that I’d be greatful and very happy to meet you.

Gabriel:           The more people that contribute, the more content that we put out there the better it’s going to be for the whole community and Dave thank you so much this is great I’m thrilled of having my name linked to your last edition and hopefully we can get more people subscribe and more pulling out some content and I believe that it’s going to be a success, thank you so much for your time.

David:             Awesome thank you very much.