App Store Optimization (ASO) is a never ending process, tasking developers with finding new and innovative ways to spruce up their listing.
Every year, new trends emerge, such as this year’s overhaul of the iOS App Store, and the competition to draw in new users becomes a bit fiercer. With organic traffic comprising a large part of any developer’s new users, it’s imperative to stay on top of ASO -- reviewing best practices and periodically sprucing up store listings. Here are our up-to-date tips:
Invest in a great video trailer
Your app preview video carries weight. A good preview can lift conversion rates anywhere from 19-35 percent. Apple thinks users should pay more attention to video, too: the company recently enabled video autoplay by default in the App Store.
When creating a video, remember to put your most exciting material at the beginning. An average of 10% of users get bored and swipe away every 5 seconds into the video, so you don’t want to waste exposure by starting with less exciting content like your company logo.
Keep eyeing your icon
While the importance of app icons are the oldest story in ASO, their importance hasn’t diminished. The humble, tiny icon remains front and center, the first image that crosses a user’s line of sight.
Some developers report as much as a 30% lift in performance after putting time into testing iterations of their icon. If you’re doing the same, err on the side of the loud and the (slightly) irregular: a study on icon design found that users prefer icons with “higher colorfulness, proper complexity, and slight asymmetry.”
Storyboard your screenshots
You don’t have to cram in screenshots of every feature. Instead, try to create a story out of your most interesting screenshots. For instance, swiping through Zombie Catcher’s screenshots feels like reading a very short comic.
Get creative with keywords--and how you find them
Keywords are what lead users to your app, but you’ll want to optimize for the words that your target audience uses. Look to your Facebook page to see how your users are talking, or eavesdrop on conversations over at your competitor’s page if your own page doesn’t get a lot of activity. Developers can also tap into the language users naturally use by looking at reviews.
Encourage ratings and reviews...
Developers can also leverage ratings and reviews to rank higher. The new iOS 11 update even allows users to rate without exiting the app, which makes it easier for developers to prompt for ratings. Keep in mind that Apple only allows developers to ask for ratings three times per year, so developers should time prompts to appear after positive events.
...yes, even the negative ones
There’s a positive correlation between frequency of updates and rank, likely because of reactivated users returning after fixes were made. Mining negative reviews can help developers find fixes and changes for further updates. Keep in mind that Android developers can reach out to users on Google Play and ask them to change their reviews, too.
China, India, Japan, Korea, and the US: these countries represent the biggest markets of opportunity for app developers. Yet only one is an English speaking market. The rest have moderate levels of proficiency, at best. Even if you’re targeting entirely different countries than the top 5, there’s a good chance that your audience is increasingly international and non-English speaking. Developers should make sure that icons, descriptions, keywords, and screenshots are appropriately localized and culturalized to connect to all of the app’s users.
Every amazing App Store page is a story of countless tweaks. The process may seem grueling, but it’s no less deserving of your time than in-app polishing. If you have any questions about ASO, you can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org.