When your app is ready and it’s time to release it on the App Store or Google Play Store, you have to make an important decision that can affect the potential discoverability of your app – what app store category to choose.
An app store category presents a group of apps that have similar features, functionality, and themes. There are 33 available categories on Google Play for Android apps, while iOS publishers have to choose from 24 app store category definitions.
When opting for the right category for your app, your well-considered decision should be based on the following core aspects:
- Relevance – your app should be consistent with the category expectations of users and comply with app store guidelines.
- Competition – if your app fits more than one category, assign it to the least saturated one. It will increase your chances of topping app store category rankings.
Do your best to avoid the most overcrowded categories. It’s not only harder to rank high and get decent revenue within them, but store guidelines are way more strict. For example, if you upload your iOS application to an app store saturated category, Apple App Store can reject it. Unless you prove the uniqueness of your creation, your hard development work will be in vain.
The App Store statistics and analysis state that it doesn’t make much sense to create another flashlight, calculator, fortune teller, dating app, or drinking game. Thus, before investing time and money into a new app, conduct a thorough competitive analysis to check if it’s worth an effort.
Examine titles that are displayed and listed on top of categories for your potential project. Try to answer the following questions:
- What common characteristics do they have?
- Do they rely on paid user acquisition (UA)?
- What are their daily downloads and installs numbers?
- Does your upcoming app have the potential to stand out and offer something new?
A category choice should be taken seriously even though it’s not set in stone and you can change it. However, such a drastic change should be well-motivated (for example, you have evidence that your app doesn’t perform well because of its current category irrelevance).
According to app store category statistics of the 2022 first quarter by Statista, Games, Business, Education, Utilities, and Lifestyle remain the most performant category definitions. However, it doesn’t mean that fitting one of these categories is your only access to app success.
Brilliant ideas and quality execution are things that really matter. After all, smart UA campaigns, proper keyword management, and decent app store optimization (ASO) will help you thrive within any store category.