Writing the perfect website listing description may seem daunting for new sellers. This blog post will provide new sellers tips on how to best structure your listing description for an online business, and the do’s and don’ts associated with selling your business on Flippa.
When you write the listing description when selling your website, the structure of your listing is one of the most crucial parts of setting up your listing for success. Since establishing the website marketplace, our account management team has refined a listing structure which is easy to follow, and reduces the amount of questions buyers ask sellers during the auction process.
The following has been identified as the best structure for a website’s listing description:
- About the Seller – Briefly describe yourself and your role in the website. Indicate whether you are the original owner of the business.
- Business Model – Describe what the website does.
- Reason for Sale – Briefly describe why you are selling the business.
- Development – Briefly describe how the website was developed. This should include the programming language and any frameworks/platforms used.
- Operation – Briefly describe what is required to keep the website operational. This should include an average time spent per week. Additionally you should indicate where the website is hosted.
- Traffic – Briefly describe what country most of the traffic originates from, and the sources that generate the most traffic for the website.
- Monetisation – Briefly describe how you generate revenue through the online business. Any peaks or troughs in revenue should be explained.
- Expenses – Briefly describe the expenses required to operate the online business.
- Reliability – Briefly describe how you are willing to prove your financials? Will you post a video walkthrough of backend earning reports? Will you provide live screen-sharing sessions to prospective buyers?
- Marketing – Briefly describe what marketing initiatives you have used to establish the website.
- Included in Sale – List the items included in the sale. Include any domains or social media accounts included in the sale.
- Future Opportunities – Briefly describe what a buyer could potentially do to improve or grow the website.
- Keep the lines of communication open – Let buyers know they can reach you in public comments or via private message if they have any follow-up questions.
Here are a few examples of websites that have sold with detailed listing descriptions:
Do’s and Don’ts
When selling your website, lying or omitting items will almost always hurt you, as it is sure to come out in the due diligence process. It is crucial that all information you provide in the listing is accurate for the online business you are selling. All claims should be able to be verified by potential buyers on request.
Any revenue claims need to be supported by proof. This proof can be in video or image format. We also suggest providing proof of traffic and other claims you make on the listing.
Provide as much information as possible
Buyers want to have access to as much information as possible about the online business before they place a bid on it. Providing as much information as possible will allow buyers to have access to this, and reduce the amount of questions you will be asked throughout the auction process.
Don’t be rude
Be professional! Respecting potential buyers and the questions they submit is important to ensure buyers want to work with you. To ensure the auction process is smooth, ensure that you assist and support buyers during the auction period when they are deciding if the online business is right for them.
Potential buyers of your website don’t want to be searching through your description for specific information about your online business. By using the structure provided above, and correct grammar will improve the quality of your listing.
Writing the perfect mobile app listing description may seem daunting for new sellers. This blog post will provide new sellers tips on how to best structure your listing description for a mobile app, as well as the do’s and don’ts associated with selling your app on Flippa.
The structure of your listing is one of the most crucial parts of setting up your listing for success.
Since establishing the Apps marketplace, our account management team has refined a listing structure which is easy to follow, and reduces the amount of questions buyers ask sellers during the auction process.
The following has been identified as the best structure for an app listing description:
- About the Seller – Briefly describe yourself and your role in the app.
- App Description – Describe what the application does. This should be similar to the app’s description on the App Store or Google Play Store.
- Reason for Sale – Briefly describe why you are selling the app.
- Development – Briefly describe how the application was developed. This should include the programming language and any frameworks used.
- Operation – Briefly describe what is required to keep the app operational. This should include an average time spent per week.
- Monetization – Briefly describe how you generate revenue through the app. Any peaks or troughs in revenue should be explained.
- Marketing – Briefly describe what marketing initiatives you have used to establish the app.
- Included in Sale – List the items included in the sale. This would include any associated website or social media fan page. It is also customary, but not required, that sellers provide post-auction support to the new buyer if they were to have any questions.
- Future Opportunities – Briefly describe what a buyer could potentially do to improve the app.
A few good examples of app listing descriptions can be found here:
Do’s and Don’ts
When selling your mobile app, lying or omitting items will almost always hurt you, as it is sure to come out in the due diligence process. It is crucial that all information you provide in the listing is accurate for the app you are selling. All claims should be able to be verified by potential buyers on request.
Any revenue claims need to be supported by proof. This proof can be in video or image format. We also suggest providing proof of downloads and other claims you make on the listing.
Provide as much information as possible
Buyers want to have access to as much information as possible about the app before they place a bid on it. Providing as much information as possible will allow buyers to have access to this, and also reduce the amount of questions you will be asked throughout the auction process.
Don’t be rude
Respecting potential buyers and the questions they submit is important to ensure buyers want to work with you. To ensure the auction process is smooth, ensure that you assist and support buyers during the auction period when they are deciding if the app is right for them.
Potential buyers don’t want to be searching through your description for specific information about your app. Using the structure provided above (with correct grammar) will dramatically improve the quality of your listing.
By following this structure, not only will it help establish trust between you and other buyers, but it will also help reduce the amount of questions you receive.
To get started selling your mobile app here: https://flippa.com/sell
If you plan to buy or sell a website, it is important to understand the process of transferring ownership of a domain and migrating a website to a new hosting account. In this tutorial, I’ll take you through both processes, step by step, so that you can be prepared when the time comes.
Part 1: Transferring ownership of a domain
There are typically two methods of transferring ownership of a domain:
- Transfer the domain to another registrar.
- Keep the domain on the same registrar, but change the account.
What option you choose will come down to your individual circumstances. For example, if you prefer using GoDaddy to register all of your domains, and you bought a website with a domain registered elsewhere, you would likely elect to transfer the domain to GoDaddy (i.e option 1).
On the other hand, most newly registered domains have a 60 day registrar transfer lock. So, if you bought a website with a newly registered domain, you would likely keep the domain at the same registrar and simply change the account (i.e option 2).
Registrar Transfer – Example in Action
In this example, I’ll explain how to perform a registrar transfer from GoDaddy to HostGator. Before you begin, it is strongly advised that you create a backup of your website.
Step 1: Unlock the Domain
The party making the transfer must first unlock the domain for transfer in their GoDaddy account.
- Sign in to your GoDaddy account
- In the Visit My Account tab select Domains and click Manage.
- Click on the domain you want to transfer.
- Under the Settings tab find the Lock tab, click Manage and check Off.
Your domain should now be unlocked.
Step 2: Request an Authorization Code
The party making the transfer must request an EPP/Authorization Code. This will be provided to the receiving party, and it let’s the releasing registrar know that the party making the transfer has authorized this action.
- Using the same Settings tab locate the Authorization Code heading and click email my code.
- Provide this code to the receiving party.
Step 3: Initiate the Transfer at the Receiving Registrar
- This step should be completed by the receiving party.
- Visit HostGator’s domain transfer page & initiate the transfer by entering the domain name.
- Checkout and enter the EPP/authorization code received from GoDaddy.
Step 4: Approve the Transfer
- This step should be completed by the party transferring the domain out of their account.
- Log back into your GoDaddy account and navigate to the domains page.
- In the green menu bar find Domains -> Transfers
- Select the appropriate domain and click Accept.
All steps should now be complete, and GoDaddy should email you confirmation that the transfer has been done. Note, it can take up to 10 days for the transfer to process and hit the receiving account. For further information, please see the following GoDaddy support article.
Account Change – Example in Action
In this example, I’ll explain how to make an account change by showing you how to transfer a domain from one GoDaddy account to another GoDaddy account.
Step 1: Request Receiving Party’s Customer Number
- The party planning to transfer the domain out of their account should request the receiving party’s GoDaddy customer number and email address.
Step 2: Back Up Website
- Create a backup of your WordPress site (you can use a plugin like the All In One WP Migration)
- If you’re using a different hosting provider check to see if they offer a WordPress backup feature.
Step 3: Navigate to Account Change Page
- Log into your GoDaddy account and navigate to Domains -> All Domains.
- Find the domain that you intend to transfer, click the gear icon and click Domain Settings.
- At the bottom of the page you’ll see a few options, select transfer to another GoDaddy account.
Step 4: Initiate the Account Change
- Enter the receiving party’s GoDaddy email address and customer number in the appropriate fields.
- Select Use details from specified user account
Step 5: Accepting the Account Change
Part 2 – WordPress Website Transfer Guide
In this example, we’ll cover two methods of transferring a WordPress website to a new hosting account.
- Manual WordPress Site Migration
- WordPress Backup Plugin
When I get a website ready to sell I create a folder on my desktop for the site. Inside the folder are several other folders which include the following: WP Site Files, WP Database, Photoshop/Images, License Keys and Other Misc. Files. Using a free FTP client like Filezilla or my hosting providers cPanel, I’ll download all of the WordPress site files and put them in a folder. I upload all of these files into a Google Drive folder and share it with the new owner after the sale.
Manual WordPress Site Migration – Example in Action
In this example I’ll explain how to migrate a WordPress site from a GoDaddy hosting account to a HostGator hosting account using a free FTP client, Filezilla, to access the WordPress site files. You can download Filezilla here.
Step 1: Install WordPress on the New Host
The first thing that needs to be done is for the receiving party to install a fresh version of WordPress on their HostGator account.
- In your HostGator hosting dashboard navigate to Get started with WordPress today.
- Click Install WordPress.
- Select the domain and leave the path blank.
- Enter the admin email and fill in the remaining fields.
- Copy your password and save it.
- In your HostGator dashboard navigate to Files & Folders -> FTP Accounts.
- Click Create a new FTP account. Enter “/“ in the Directory/Path field.
Your site should now display as a stock WordPress install usually with HostGator coming soon page.
Step 2: Save Database Name, User, & Password
- Login to your HostGator server via Filezilla using the FTP login credentials you created earlier.
- Find the folder titled public_html then find then locate the wp-config.php file, right click and hit view/edit.
You can open the file in text edit or Xcode, whichever works. Find the snippet of code below and save the bold code snippets in a text file:
// ** MySQL settings – You can get this info from your web host ** //
/** The name of the database for WordPress */
/** MySQL database username */
/** MySQL database password */
Step 2: Copy all Website Files
- Create a folder on your desktop titled “WordPress Site Files”.
- Login into your current GoDaddy server to find the website that you’re going to migrate.
- Select and open WP Site Files folder in the right box on the FileZilla interface and hit Command A to select all of the files, then right click and Download.
- All of the WordPress site files will be downloaded/copied to your folder.
Step 3: Export Database
While the files are downloading head to the phpMyAdmin panel in your GoDaddy account and locate your WordPress database associated with the site. Locate the database and check all of the tables. Once all of the tables are checked click the dropdown menu With selected: -> Export. I usually use the “quick” Export Settings and the Format as SQL.
Step 4: Drop all Files into the New Root Folder
Drag and drop all of the original site files you downloaded earlier from the WP Site Files into the new root folder for the WordPress site, (the new HostGator account). You’ll be prompted with a window that asks if you want to overwrite. Check Overwrite and Always use this method.
Step 5: Navigate to the phpMyAdmin in the new HostGator account.
Locate the database for the fresh WordPress install, check all boxes again but this time select Drop. Next, navigate to Import and click Choose file, find the .sql database file for the original site you downloaded earlier and click Go.
Step 6: Update Code
The last step involves changing a little bit of code. After all of your site files have been uploaded to the new server, open Filezilla and open the root folder for the site. Locate the wp-config.php file, right click and hit view/edit. Open the text file you saved in Step 1 and replace the DB_NAME, DB_USER and DB_PASSWORD. Now your new database should be properly connected with the WordPress site files. Refresh your permalinks and you should be all set!
Method 2 – Using a WordPress Backup Plugin.
In this example I’ll explain how to transfer a WordPress website using a WordPress backup plugin. This is another simple method which works very well with WordPress backups that are under 512mb. This is always my second method if I can not use method 1. In this example, I’ll use the All in One WP plugin, but there are many others.
Step 1: Install WordPress Backup Plugin
- Login to the WordPress site that you are migrating and install the free plugin All-In-One WP Migration.
Step 2: Export Site Files
- In your WordPress dashboard navigate to All-In-One WP Migration -> Export.
- Click Export To -> File. Once finished, download the file either via your browser or through FTP.
Step 3: Install WordPress on the Receiving Host
After transferring the domain to the new owners registrar and updating the nameservers, install a fresh version of WordPress on the domain. The site will be down during this brief period and should only show a default WordPress install as the theme.
Step 4: Import to New Host
- Login and install the All-In-One WP Migration plugin again.
- Navigate to Import -> Import from ->File.
- Select the backup file that you downloaded and start the import. You’ll be prompted to overwrite the current database, click proceed. Refresh the permalinks and you’re all set!
Final Migration Steps
Once the migration is complete login to the WordPress site and navigate to Settings -> Permalinks -> Save Settings. This refreshes the permalinks. Navigate to the DNS settings for the domain, make sure that the nameservers are pointing to the new hosting account. If the site was migrating to the same hosting company the nameservers will likely remain the same but you should also check the DNS zone file to make sure that it points to the proper IP. See image below. I’ll usually remove the wp-config.php file from my hosting account to make sure the site is functioning properly. You can now delete the site files and database from your hosting account.
Migrating a site can sometimes be a frustrating process and one thing that helped me when I was learning was setting up a practice scenario, like a sandbox. I built a demo WordPress site and setup three separate hosting accounts to practice migrating between the three. I highly recommend doing this because it will sharpen your migration skills so that when the time comes for you to migrate a real website you can do it quickly and with confidence.
If you need extra help, I put together an in-depth seven-hour-long Flippa training course. The course details my process of building websites to sell on Flippa, covering everything from the initial domain setup, to the entire development phase, to the Flippa sale and website transfer/migration process. I’m also available to migrate WordPress sites for you depending on the situation, just get in touch with me here – transferring ownership of a WordPress website on Flippa.
In our last post we covered an introduction to Flippa, setting up a profile, and the listing categories & costs. What do we want to answer in this post?
- As a seller, what do I need to know before listing?
- How do I list?
- What information do I need to have prepared?
- Why do I have to prove anything?
- Who will see this information?
- As a buyer what should I be looking for before bidding?
We take our Marketplace Integrity very seriously so when an Established Website claiming revenue is listed with us we do our utmost to ensure those claims can be verified. Although the onus is always on the buyer to carry out sufficient due diligence, we monitor the marketplace by conducting listing reviews and investigating claims made by the Seller. Potential buyers will want to see traffic and revenue information clearly displayed so providing easy access will also benefit the Seller. As a Seller any claims made will be reviewed and you could be suspended until sufficient proof is provided.
As a Seller you will be expected to back-up any claims made with attachments added below the Seller’s Notes Section. These attachments should be of screenshots taken from whichever financial platform your site uses for accounts e.g Paypal, Shopify, Stripe. Any discrepancies should be noted here also. The attachments should also include:
- The listing name
- The date
- Financial Information
- Any sensitive information blocked out
It is important to note that Excel spreadsheets are not acceptable as they can be easily modified. Alternatively, a video walkthrough could be added as a single attachment but the same information listed above needs to be displayed clearly. The additional information provided must match the figures displayed on the revenue graph.
Claiming AdSense revenue
Just like Verified Google Analytics, the AdSense data we use comes directly from the Google API. When claiming AdSense revenue, sellers can log into their Google account and authorize Flippa to collect this data.
During the listing creation process, click on “Verify AdSense revenue”. Once you’re logged in, and have granted permission for Flippa to gather this information, your Flippa listing will automatically include your AdSense revenue and use it to populate your total revenue claims.
If your site earns revenue from sources other than AdSense be sure to disclose any information in the Sellers Notes or through attachments.
*Note there is no need to include AdSense screenshots if you’re already verifying these claims.If you have any questions about this process our Customer Support are always there to assist.
Before contacting Customer Support about traffic claims ensure that Google Analytics has been installed on your website first. Please remember that GA must be installed for 30+ days before it can be displayed on Flippa. If you experience trouble verifying Google Analytics there are a number of alternatives.
- Grant our websites team access to your Google Analytics account and they will be sure to get it up and running. You can do this by emailing access to [email protected].
- Do not make any official traffic claims. If you are uncomfortable granting access to our websites team you can opt to claim no official traffic. You can then explain in the Sellers Notes section to potential buyers what the situation is and provide screenshots of your GA account.
When you list a Starter Site there are a couple of factors to keep in mind. Firstly, if your website has been established for 3 months or less it qualifies as a Starter Site. If your website is 3 months or older it qualifies as an Established Website. Starter sites are not able to claim any traffic or revenue on Fippa. Starter sites are typically starter templates and do not have any traffic or revenue to claim.
If you have accidentally listed an Established Site as a Starter Site, you will need to cancel your listing and re-list as an Established Site.
If you believe your Starter Site is particularly advanced and you wish to list as an Established Site please contact [email protected] or our websites team at [email protected].
If you’re selling a domain name on Flippa be prepared to verify ownership. If you are using a WhoIs privacy service we suggest making it public while the asset is being listed for sale. We understand most people do not want their personal contact information (name, address, email address, and phone number) made public in the Whois database but if you are listing your domain(s) for sale, we need to be able to verify ownership before your listings go live in the marketplace. If you use a publicly facing email address on whois, the ownership verification process is much faster if you ensure that your registered email on Flippa matches the email address on WhoIs.
Changing your name servers will not only prove ownership but also create a landing page that allows visitors the opportunity to submit their bid or offer directly. To setup your Sales Landers, visit your registrar and change your name servers to:
Keep in mind that when you have your name servers set, your listing must be in a live state for the landing page to resolve
Just like websites, domain listings on Flippa also include a Sellers Notes section where you are free to disclose any information you feel potential buyers should know. If you do try to sell a domain name on Flippa, take advantage of the fact you can include a detailed description of the domain name in your listing, which is something that other traditional domain marketplaces don’t offer.
If you feel you have a premium domain on your hands and are seeking assistance in selling it, please reach out to our Domains Team via [email protected]. Conversely, if you are seeking to acquire something in particular, please reach out to [email protected] with your parameters and budget.
Just like domain and website listings, proving ownership of an app is mandatory on Flippa. There is an ownership verification process that needs to be completed before your app goes live. This process differs between iOS and Android apps.
Android App Verification
You will be provided with a 10 digit verification code upon listing. As the app owner, you will be instructed to copy and paste this code into the app description on Google Play store so it can be referenced. The verification will be done automatically and is usually the last step to be completed before your app listing can go live.
iOS App Verification
To verify ownership of an iOS app, users will receive a unique verification token which needs to be added to the end of the support url. For example, if the support url is google.com and the token is 70018, then the updated Support URL should be google.com?token=70018
If you experience trouble with app verification, please email [email protected] and we’ll get right back to you!
Proving Revenue & Traffic
Revenue and download claims need to be presented through attachments. Upon editing your listing, you will be instructed to enter in your financial information but remember to enter month by month figures as opposed to a monthly average. If you have questions in regards to this, you can always email [email protected] for further assistance.
As a Buyer?
Don’t underestimate the power of communication!
Don’t be afraid to communicate with other users, conduct due diligence and ask questions. Ultimately, the onus is on the buyer to verify claims made by the Seller. We do our utmost to control the marketplace and ensure all listings are legitimate but from time to time fraudulent listings make it through. When you win a listing on Flippa, the sale is legally binding so make sure you are confident with your bid by doing extensive due diligence prior to bidding.
We have a team who are ready and available to answer any questions you may have regarding the platform. Our blog offers an extensive amount of information and our Customer Support team are on hand to assist. For more information or suggestions you might have regarding future blog posts please contact us [email protected] .
As the new Customer Support Representative at Flippa, I have come to realize that it can be a daunting marketplace for beginners. Having no prior experience working in the tech industry I myself was a confused user during my first week. If there was any true indication to my beginner level it was when I had to ask a coworker to clarify the difference between a domain and a website. Complete and utter amateur.
I have since encountered a lot of common issues coming through our mailbox, even though our developers are constantly updating and improving the platform. I now have a comprehensible understanding of how the marketplace works; keep in mind, I had my trusty colleagues to bombard with questions on a daily basis (or every 5 minutes).
Even though I am still learning every day and am technically still a beginner, we thought it would be beneficial to all of you newcomers to welcome you with a beginners guide for reference. And who better to write a beginners guide than the new girl? So here we go.
This guide will consist of a series of blog posts based on the most commonly asked questions received through Customer Support, as well as what I have learned as a new Flippa user. I would also like to welcome newcomers to the marketplace and encourage any of you to get in touch with unaddressed queries you may have via [email protected]
This may seem too obvious and unimportant to be taken seriously but it is worth mentioning: upon registering with Flippa, please ensure your email, phone number and personal information are clear, correct and current. This information will be viewed by administration and potential buyers/sellers, so make sure it is up to date. Verifying this information is correct at the start can save you time when you contact customer support at a later date. Also please ensure your PayPal email is accurate for payment purposes, if applicable.
Familiarize Yourself With The Online Market
This is very important. Evidently users skip this step when joining the marketplace and, admittedly, so did I. Whether you are selling a domain, website or app, or are in the market to purchase one of the three, it is important to grow accustomed to the types of listings that exist.
Familiarize yourself with payment methods, fees, the newsletter, the blog, promotional upgrades, FAQ etc. Before jumping into transferring assets of any kind make sure you are familiar with how transactions are conducted on Flippa. Read through our Terms and Conditions and make sure you agree to them prior to agreeing to buy or sell. Learn what a Reserve Price is so you don’t end up selling your listing for a price you are unhappy with. Look at the advantages of our payment methods available (Flippa Escrow, Escrow.com and Paypal) and determine which method(s) suits you best.
If selling, you are encouraged to visit other listings and auctions similar to your asset and examine what information is important to display and how to best relay that to potential buyers. Take your time in creating a listing and edit The Sellers Notes section carefully as you will not be able to change this once the listing is live. Be prepared to back-up any traffic & revenue claims you make associated with your listing.
The world of online assets is a very broad and fast paced one so before jumping right in or even dipping your toes in, conduct the adequate research first. It is easy to become familiar with the online marketplace and should not be a timely process for anybody remotely tech savvy. Judging by the problems a lot of new participants experience, examining how the market works and how business is conducted on Flippa before bidding/listing is highly recommended.
Below I have compiled a list of the available listing options Flippa provides.
Auction Listing: $15
The Seller can display preferred information in the auction’s description. Once you pay the initial $9, if your listing does not sell you can re-list it once for free; subsequent relists cost $5. Rest assured that you can always update how your asset is listed on Flippa, whether continuing its auction cycle or bringing it over to a non-auction (classified) listing.
Classified Listing: $15
Non-auction classified listings do not display any information about the asset, like an auction does. Classified listings are free of charge which is always a bonus and offers low maintenance for the Seller; but only opt for this if you are willing to be patient.
First determine if your website is a Starter Site or an Established Site. If listed incorrectly, the seller will have to cancel the existing auction and re-list correctly which is obviously not ideal or time efficient.
A Starter Site can be defined on Flippa as a newly-created website under 3 months old. You will not be able to claim revenue on a starter site. If your Starter Site does have significant traffic or revenue it may be listed as an Established Site under certain circumstances. An Established Site is defined as 3 months or older so traffic and revenue numbers are very important to display to potential buyers.
First determine if the website is an Established Site or a Starter Site. Setting up a classified listing is a much quicker and easier process as opposed to an auction. Auctions are a lot more time-consuming and fast paced. Classified listings are easier to manage with a ‘set it and forget it’ kind of method whereas auctions offer a much more hands-on method.
Starter site auction: $15
Established site auction: $15
Similar to a domain auction, sellers can display more crucial information to potential buyers like Google Analytics, AdSense earnings and profit claims.
In the next installment of the Beginners Guide I will be delving deeper into the world of the online marketplace.
This is an ongoing and interactive Beginners Guide, so you are encouraged to get involved and email [email protected] with any problems/queries you’re experiencing or suggestions for material to be featured in the coming weeks. Maybe something you had great difficulty understanding or overcoming when you first joined Flippa, or any advice you would personally offer to new participants.
Flippa offers such an extravagant and vast platform to facilitate buyers and sellers like no other. The marketplace is current, relevant, opportunistic and ever-expanding so become familiar with how it works to ensure you’re knowledgeable and confident in navigating it. The possibilities are endless.
Got it? Head on to our Beginner’s Guide Part II.
Ready to start bidding? Head to the Flippa Marketplace and check out our Editor’s Choice listings.
Any more enquiries, reach out to us here.
Let’s say you find an app that has potential — what now?
At this point, you are only half way through. What about the market? Is there enough demand? What if the market is already saturated? How does this app perform among the competitors? These are all critical questions to consider when evaluating market conditions, prior to deciding whether to invest or not.
- Understanding The DemandApp Store and Google Play Store are two of the biggest app stores with more than 3 million apps. While some categories (games, photo/video, social networks, etc.) are already saturated and thus very competitive, others still offer many opportunities. This does not necessarily mean that investing in apps in the photo & video niché would be futile; however, make sure that it is not a clone of the hundreds of photo-filter apps. It is always worth considering an app that has a unique selling point or competitive advantage regardless of its category.Alternatively, if a non-competitive category app has captured your interest (for example a medical industry app) there are a number of methods to predict its success rate. Take note of descriptive keywords relating to the app, check their search volume and how many similar apps rank via Mobile Action Keyword analysis tool. Comparing and contrasting these findings will benefit you greatly along with checking the demand for similar apps on Apple Store and Google Play.
It is also a good idea to search these keywords and look for Apple or Google Play Search suggestions. If they don’t show up in search suggestions after inputting some part of the keyword, we can be sure that there is not really demand specific to this topic.
In our example, the app that focuses on “medical cases” may be not worth investing in since there is not really a demand in App Store.
- Understanding The CompetitionDetermining the demand for the app in question is very important, however, more often than not, the market is over-competitive.In this case, it is better to focus on competitors and their performance in the market to understand how much potential our app has to grow.
While we are checking our potential competitors we should also seek the answers to the following questions.
What is the apps’s daily download count and/or app ranking?
This is the first question that helps us to understand how big our competitors are. This tells us how big the market is as well as how many downloads are needed in order to be able to compete with your competitors.
How much revenue are your competitors making?
If you know how much revenue they are making, then you can smartly plan your marketing budget and have a better idea about an expected return on an investment. It is, however, very hard to guess the revenue of apps that only have ad revenue.
What keywords are ranking best?
If you don’t have a marketing budget for advertising, you need to focus on organic user acquisition channels. 63% of users find and download new apps through search which makes ASO (App Store Optimization) the most critical organic user acquisition channel to focus on. To determine if there is any opportunity to grow organically, you need to find out what your competitor’s top five ranked keywords are, and how popular they are. Then you can have a better understanding of the keywords that you need to focus on, how to use these keywords strategically to gain more visibility at search results and how to get more organic downloads.
What do your competitor’s reviews look like? If their ratings are low, what do their users complain about?
Reviews and ratings are probably
one of the most critical data points from which you can learn about your competitor’s app since most users reflect their true experience. If they have any problems with your competitor’s app, they will write down every single detail about it which is a great opportunity for others to execute a faster solution than them.
What is your competitor’s user breakdown by country and which countries are most important to them?
If you know the countries where your competitors are strong, then it is easier for you to determine the budget you will need to allocate for each country. A good strategy to grow your app faster can also be focusing on the countries in which your competitors are not dominant.
For this manner, I suggest using Mobile Action’s all-in-one competitor intelligence tool that provides a competitor’s app visibility, downloads, revenue, rankings, keywords, reviews/ratings and audience geography for each country for both iOS and Android apps.
- Understanding App’s Position In The Market
After understanding app demand and checking a competitor’s position in the market, we have to ask the same questions about our own app. In addition, since we have access to Apple’s iTunes/ Google Play developers’ accounts, we should also focus more on the following details:
Carefully read user reviews to fully understand what they think about an app. This is a great way to find out if there are any technical problems with the app and/or what the reasons are for the user’s dissatisfaction with the app, beyond crash reports.
Carefully read user reviews to fully understand what they think about an app. This is a great way to find out if there are any technical problems with the app and/or what the reasons are for the user’s dissatisfaction with the app, beyond crash reports.
Lastly, you should check App Store views to download conversion rates for the last couple of months. The conversion rate is critical because it tells you how the app actually performs in the App Store search results. If none of the app’s keywords rank in the top five, a low conversion rate could be one of the major reasons. After November 2015, Apple started to determine the keyword rankings in search results for apps based on the ratio of ap store views to download conversion rate. (To learn more about Apple keyword ranking algorithm changes, click here)
If app views to download conversion rate is 20%, it means that 80% of visitors, who somehow found and viewed the app page, didn’t download it. This is a big loss that neither the app nor it’s owner can afford.
Mobile Action’s Apple App Store average conversion rate report says that shopping apps have the lowest average conversion rate with 31%, while ebook readers have a 44% rate. Find out what your app’s conversion rate is and keep it in mind when evaluating the app.
After Buying An App
Buying an app is only the first step of an investment. You need to take the right action and invest additional time and money to become more successful than the previous owner. You may need to hire a developer to regularly fix bugs, add a new revenue channel or improve product features. You may also need a designer for app design renewal, screenshots or an app icon. Keep all these additional costs in mind when calculating how much the total investment for an app may be.
Evaluating the product and market of an app by asking the right questions before investing helps investors minimize their risks and makes for better investment decisions leading to greater success upon acquisition.
This is a guest blog post written by Osman F. Kucukerdem. To read more about App Marketing, ASO and App Store, you can find him on Twitter and Medium. He can also be reached at [email protected].