Just like some developers never considered design when creating their apps, many still don't consider marketing. Build it and, thanks to Apple, people will come has been a long held, long problematic assumption. The truth is, you need a great idea, amazing code, superb design, and a terrific marketing plan to succeed. And Joe Cieplinski has done a great job explaining why:
Here's the problem with App Store search: it sucks for us. It's designed to promote what Apple wants to promote, not what developers want to sell. We can make tweaks to better our chances (and I highly recommend you do just that), but once that's done, we're mostly waiting for people to happen upon us. And we have very little data to track how people find us and what percentage of them are buying, at least as of this writing. We also don't know if or when Apple will change its search algorithms, which could render all our work in this area ineffective in an instant. Even if we're found, we're strictly limited in what Apple allows us to show, and everything about the presentation of our product is subject to their approval.
So how else can people find our apps? Well, there's the Web, and on it we can create any sort of showroom we'd like. We can drive people to that web site in various more active ways. More importantly, we can control exactly what people see when they get there; we at least have some idea how they got there, what they looked at while they were there, and where they went afterwards. Even if they don't buy our product right away as a result of their visit, we stand a much greater chance of leaving a lasting impression on visitors when they arrive.
One of my favorite Royce Gracie sayings is — the harder I work, the luckier I am. When it comes to selling apps, part of that work is building a great showroom for you app. It's important for any app, but it's really important for premium apps.
Why? Because just like any showroom, at its best it'll transform those who are interested in those who are convinced.
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