Build Your First Alexa Skill

5 Steps to Building Your First Alexa Skill

To help you get started, here's an overview of the skill-building process and the five steps you can follow to design, build, and publish an Alexa skill.

Step 5: Submit, Get Certified, and Publish

Like you, Amazon wants to ensure that the skills available to customers meet a certain quality bar. They should be engaging and work the way they say they will. To ensure this is the case, skills undergo rigorous testing and certification prior to being published to the Alexa Skills Store.

To make sure your skill is certified and available to customers as quickly as possible, there are a few key things you should focus on before submitting:

  • Make sure that your sample phrases accurately reflect the ways customers will interact with your skill. Customers will read these examples before using your skill. If they're wrong or even slightly wrong it's possible they'll simply move on.
  • Get your short and long descriptions right. The long description for your skill is where you can be descriptive. Explain to customers the problem your skill solves or what's fun about it. Think from the customer's perspective and make sure to use simple, clear language. The short description is also important to make your skill more discoverable. If customers want to do something that your skill is good at, but don't have it enabled, Alexa will actually leverage your short description to recommend your skill. For this to work well, the short description needs to make sense, and flow naturally as something Alexa might actually say.
  • Include keywords in your skill description that match the key phrases customers are likely to search when looking for your skill. We recommend doing thorough keyword research to understand which search terms your audience uses. More tips for writing a keyword-rich skill description here.
  • Ensure you include clear instructions for the certification team. If your skill has an interesting feature you'd like to call out or an in-skill product you'd like them to test purchase, let them know. You'll also need to include proof of rights to use any intellectual property your skill might include. 

Once you've submitted your skill, the certification team will perform a battery of tests and double check all of the information you've provided for its listing in the Alexa Skills Store. If your skill doesn't pass certification immediately, don't get discouraged. Take the team's feedback and make corrections or adjustments they recommend. Their feedback will ultimately help you enhance your skill and deliver a better experience to your customers. Check out the certification guidelines in the tech docs here for more information.

Once your skill passes the certification requirements, it will be available for customers to engage with from the Alexa Skills Store. Next, we recommend promoting your skill to eager Alexa users to drive usage and traffic.

Give Your Vision a Voice

Whether your skill is something that redefines voice or something simple that solves a problem, publishing an Alexa skill is something to be proud of. Follow these steps and you'll be well on your way to reaching and delighting new audiences via voice. For more tips and guidance along the way, check out these additional resources:

Give your vision a voice