One of the biggest challenges app developers have is getting users to find their apps. Now that the Windows Store has over 100 000 apps its going to be increasingly difficult to find your app. What you need is a way for people to firstly know that you have an app. Then make it as easy as possible to get it. Once they have it make it easy to send you feedback and remind regular users to rate your app. This will naturally improve your ranking on the Store.

Knowing You Have an App

Once your app is in the store spread the word. Take advantage of Twitter, Facebook, friends and family! You can link people to a website listing of your app. This is automatically generated when your app is published.

Help us help you – Making your app easier to promote

Last but not least build a website showcasing your app. You can start using Azure Website for free to host your site. We have a bunch of preconfigured Blogs and CMS sites.

Take advantage of your website

Once you have a user at your website make it easy to know and get your app installed. If they browsed to your site from the modern IE also known as the Immersive Browser…I know…I also struggle to keep up with all these names…

IE_ImmersiveBrowser

With a few lines of code you can make installing your app a three click process. Add the following to the “head” section of your site:

   1: <meta name="msApplication-ID" content="App" />
   2: <meta name="msApplication-PackageFamilyName" content="Evernote.Evernote_q4d96b2w5wcc2" />
The PackageFamilyName is what is used in your manifest file when you associate your project to an app in the Store.

Once you have done that when someone navigates to your site they can get to your app in the Store from IE.

IE_GetApp

Praise Publicly, Criticize Privately

Make it easy for people to rate your app on the Store and give you 5 stars but guide them to send you feedback directly if they experience problems with your app. Here is some code that will popup a reminder after the user has used the app 5 times. If they love it we send them to the Store to rate, if they experience bugs and want to let you know we fire up the default email application instead of letting them give us a 1 Star on the Store.

You can download a complete sample solution from my SkyDrive grab the file AppRateAndReview.zip in the root, not sure if the rest work. Here are the two key methods:

Rating

   1: private async void OpenStoreRatingAsync(IUICommand command)
   2: {
   3:     //  App Guid for Facebook
   4:     var appGuid = "add3d66a-358d-4fe2-be68-8a3f934e9ea1";
   5:     await Windows.System.Launcher.LaunchUriAsync(new Uri("ms-windows-store:REVIEW?PFN=" + appGuid));
   6:     SaveAppRatingSetting();
   7: }

Sending Feedback

   1: private async void SendEmailAsync(IUICommand command)
   2: {
   3:     var email = "mailto:someone@example.com?subject=Your app stinks!";
   4:     await Windows.System.Launcher.LaunchUriAsync(new Uri(email));
   5:     SaveAppRatingSetting();
   6: }

Keep those apps flowing!