Category Archives: App Store Optimization

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iOS 11 Checklist: Be Prepared Before Sep. 19th

Apple has finally announced when users can expect iOS 11 to launch, and that golden day is September 19th.

For months, developers have been rapidly gathering their resources to make sure their app’s metadata is prepared for the all-new App Store. In order to make sure your app won’t get rejected or lose any of its visibility, look at our checklist for iOS 11 just in case you need to make any last-minute adjustments.

What We Know – iOS 11 Checklist

Developers, it’s crunch time. Apple will not accept any other updates with titles past 30 characters, meaning it’s crucial that your app’s metadata is 100% ready for iOS 11.

Do you have:

  • A 30-character App Name?
  • A 30-character Subtitle?
  • A 170 Promotional Text?
  • Three preview videos?
  • Screenshots for new store listing?

Make sure that your app meets this checklist so it’s ready for iOS 11, or it won’t be visible to many users. On top of meeting this checklist, it’s important to stay up-to-date on all the changes that are coming to the App Store.

What to Expect on Sep. 19th

iOS 11 not only comes with new features for users, but comes with a simpler App Store to explore and streamline their mobile experience.

1. App Store Redesign

Apple is changing the layout of their App Store to incorporate more editorialized content along with unique tabs to make finding new apps and games quicker. Along with these tabs comes the separation of Games and Apps, which effectively creates two app stores, allowing users to instantly place themselves in the store of their choosing.

2. App Name & Subtitle

Since Apple decreased the character limit for the App Name to 30 characters, the company has managed to declutter the App Store. The introduction of the Subtitle makes developers think more carefully before giving their app some random name.

The Subtitle, which is also 30 characters, can be thought of as an additional set of descriptors supplementary to title tags, and will appear right below the App Name.

3. Promotional Text

Unlike the App Name and Subtitle, Promotional Text is limited to 170 characters, and will appear at the top of the description. This text field can be updated at any time without submitting a new version of the app.

Since developers don’t have to submit a new build every time they want to update the Promotional Text, Apple encourages them to utilize the Promotional Text for sharing any new promotions, features, content and more.

4. Screenshots

In the current App Store, only the first two portrait screenshots appear in search. With iOS 11, however, the first three portrait screenshots or one portrait preview video and two portrait screenshots will appear in search.

Developers will need to make sure all of their screenshots are engaging and integrate high-volume keywords to not only attract more users, but to also improve their conversion rates. Since 65% of apps are downloaded from search, it’s important that developers are taking advantage of being able to display more of their app’s core features.

5. More Preview Videos

Despite the maximum number of screenshots staying at five, developers can look forward to submitting up to three preview videos. Tripling the number of videos now allows developers to highlight more in-app/game action, and increases the importance of conversion.

Developers should also be wary that in iOS 11, preview videos will play automatically with the audio muted, essentially eliminating the poster frame. Even though apps that utilize autoplay will not have a poster frame, the first 3-5 seconds of the preview video are still essential for capturing a users’ attention and encouraging them to download.

Moving Forward

The updates coming to iOS 11 cannot be taken lightly. With two new text fields and additional preview videos comes a great deal of trial and error. Developers can see massive increases to their app’s visibility and conversion, but only if they take the right approach.

Make sure to have a bullet-proof ASO strategy to ensure your app will reach its max audience before iOS 11 launches.

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Why Dating Apps Need ASO

The introduction of mobile apps has changed the way people interact with one another by altering the path of meeting potential mates, to impacting the way photos and dating profiles are viewed. Mobile has reshaped the way the dating world behaves.

There is a societal stigma associated with using dating apps, making some users hesitant to download. Regardless, the dating app market is growing rapidly and attracting younger and older daters alike.

With such a large market of dating apps, how do developers get their apps noticed by new users interested in finding love? With 1,500 dating apps available, and only four of those monopolizing the market, how do the remaining 1,496 stand a chance?

In order to compete on the App Store and Google Play Store, dating apps need to utilize ASO best practices to transition from an obscure dating app to a top chart dating app.

What the Mobile Dating Landscape Looks Like

In the last several years, the mobile landscape has changed from two or three major dating apps to over 1,500.

More users have begun turning to dating apps, increasing the number of users from 11 percent to 15 percent in the past four years alone according to the Pew Research Center. More impressively, dating apps in the 18-24-year-old demographic tripled in the same amount of time.

A key reason dating apps have become popular to this demographic is largely due to incorporating game-like features such as swiping left or right. Dating apps have recently started adding in app rewards, which will grant users access to more key features.

Overall, dating apps are also generating big numbers across the world. In the US, the dating app industry generated over $2 billion last year alone.

Mobile Dating Apps Around the World

Matchmaking is one of the world’s most practiced professions, meaning there are major opportunities for developers to not only tap into local users’ quest for love, but global users too.

Approximately 52 countries participate in the usage of dating apps, giving developers plenty of space to evenly distribute their apps. Developers need to consider what users in the foreign market needs and wants are. This means developers must personalize their dating apps by localizing their app’s metadata.

With that in mind, why are there only a handful of apps that seem to dominate the market across these 52 countries? According to BBC’s research, Badoo and Tinder are the biggest dating apps and dominate the charts in 21 and 18 countries respectively. Other dating apps like Lovoo and Firm follow close behind by dominating in 11 other countries.

As competition among dating apps continues to stiffen, developers need to create an ASO strategy to successfully optimize their metadata in the app’s original country and foreign territories.

ASO and Dating Apps

The congestion in the mobile space begs the question how do new mobile dating apps get noticed? Developers can utilize ASO best practices to optimize their metadata, otherwise known as the app name, keywords, description and creatives.

By making key changes app’s metadata, and incorporating title tags into the app name, users will instantly be drawn to dating apps that contain relevant keywords such as “dating,” “chat,” “meeting new people.”

Developers can go one step further and design creatives that show not only their app’s UI/UX but real people interacting. When it comes to optimizing dating apps, developers need to sell their app and prove why it is better than all other competitors. The only way to successfully do this is by utilizing ASO best practices.

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Uninstall Rates – Why do Users Uninstall?

If you are an app developer, you have probably seen your fair share of user reviews. Many can attest that while they enjoy seeing praise for having a great app, the scorn of negative reviews leaves a lasting impression. Clean up those wounds and turn a negative into a positive. Look at all reviews as information and an opportunity to use that information to improve your app and communicate with users.

User reviews can serve many purposes for developers and give insight on how to improve their app and allow them to mine valuable information about their users such as: do user’s like the app, are their bugs that need fixing, or are there features active users consistently ask for?

By paying attention and interacting with users, developers will see better results in user retention, lessen uninstalls, and possibly turn a negative one star rating into a positive star rating.

While a negative review is not the end of the world, sometimes it is a premonition that a user is ready to uninstall. As the combined total of apps on the app stores crossed the threshold of 4 million, developers are pressured more than ever to prevent users from uninstalling their app and downloading a competitor.

It is imperative that developers take the necessary steps to avoid the common reasons users uninstall apps to guarantee continued success.

Reasons Why Users Uninstall

While there are multiple reasons why a user will uninstall an app, there are five common issues developers should avoid to prevent a mass exodus from their app.

1. Lengthy Onboarding Process

According to stats, within the first 90 days, nearly 75 percent of users uninstall. That stat, while high, is often attributed to apps that have a lengthy or poorly explained onboarding process. This can mean users are confused by the process, or do not want or sign up at all, prompting them to abruptly uninstall.

Developers need to make sure their onboarding process is understandable and fast. Users do not want to spend their time going through a lengthy process just to use or play an app.

2. App Isn’t User Friendly

Users want apps and games that are easy to use, fun to play, and ultimately add something more to their life. Developers sometimes go overboard and throw the entire kitchen sink into their app, which unfortunately muddies the interface.

It is important that apps are designed with their target audience in mind, and that developers are constantly monitoring user behavior in case they need to make improvements to their UI and UX.

3. Performance Issues

The killer for many apps is stability issues. Google recently decided to hide glitchy apps with improvements to the search algorithm, an attempt to clean up the Play Store. Google’s recent decision only solidifies the importance behind monitoring user reviews, especially since users will see first-hand if an app is experiencing stability issues.

4. Battery Consumption & App Size

Regardless of how great an app or game is, if it is a battery killer or takes up too much storage, it will usually be the first thing that gets uninstalled. Developers can test their app to make sure it doesn’t drain a device’s battery quickly, forcing users to constantly charge their device or possibly uninstall the app.

Since users will have multiple apps on their device, the size of an app is important. Developers need to make sure their app doesn’t take up much storage, and can consider compressing in-app images to reduce the app size.

5. Irrelevant Ads

Mobile users know what they like to see, and irrelevant ads are not one of them. While ads continue to be a huge revenue generator for many apps, users can find frequently displayed ads annoying or cumbersome to their experience. This is not to discourage developers from monetizing their app with ads, but they need to make sure the frequency of ads does not diminish the user experience.

How Can Developers Monitor These Issues?

Developers need to avoid these common reasons to continue converting users. Having a higher conversion rate is a direct correlation to an app’s success in the app stores.

While it’s important to focus on conversion rates, it’s also important to monitor user reviews. If developers are monitoring user reviews on a daily basis, they are sure to understand what experience users are having, which can possibly lower uninstall rates.

Using Gummicube’s reputation management services, developers can monitor user reviews and ensure that their users are not uninstalling their app.

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ASO Best Practices: Tips for Screenshots

Since a picture is worth a thousand words, using visual aids to capture users’ attention within the App Stores has become a vital part in the acquisition funnel. As competition in the App Stores continues to grow, developers need to find ways to differentiate themselves from their competition.

Utilizing ASO best practices to optimize an app’s metadata (app name, keywords, description, etc.) is the most efficient way to target an app’s audience. While focusing on the metadata is crucial, developers need to pay close attention to creating visually appealing screenshots to convince users to download and/or buy the app, thus increasing conversion rate.

How Screenshots Can Improve Conversion

Screenshots allow developers to highlight the functionality and user interface of the app, giving users a clear picture of what to expect within the app. Users are more inclined to download an app with compelling visuals, hence developers should use all the available screenshots they have to capture the audience attention. Google Play allows up to 8 screenshots per device, while iOS only allows up to 5.

Developers want to give users as much information as possible regarding the app’s core features, mechanics or gameplay. While it may be enticing to show users all the app’s features, it’s important that developers put themselves into the user’s shoes and understand what they want to see.

In order to target an app’s audience better, developers need to pay attention to current user trends and behavior to create screenshots that their audience is interested in. On top of monitoring user trends, it’s critical that developers weigh the pros and cons for each screenshot orientation.

While it may be nice to display landscape screenshots, only one will appear in a user’s search on the App Store. Instead, for certain apps, it is more optimal to use portrait since two screenshots will appear in search.

Here are some points to consider when designing screenshots:

  • Use brand colors to stay consistent with brand identity
  • Display concept or character art with the latest updates
  • Use high contrast, open spaces, with simple and readable fonts
  • Use a call-to-action (short sentences or phrases) to increase conversion
  • Using high volume target keywords on every screenshot and highlighting them with a heavier font weight

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When developers are making these key design decisions, they must also factor in the possibility of deploying their app to foreign territories. If an app is launched in another country, developers need to make sure their creatives are engaging to that audience. This process is called localization, and can include changing:

  • Characters
  • Callout text, callout banner, or background colors
  • Callout text and high-volume keywords
  • Screenshot orientation and more

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Developers that have taken the time to localize their screenshots have been able to convert users in these foreign territories, and have seen an increase of revenue by 25 percent. It’s critical that developers take all the necessary steps to localize their screenshots to appeal to users on a global scale.

Key Takeaways

A picture is worth a thousand words, and an app’s screenshots are incredibly vital to converting users. If developers take the time to apply ASO best practice while designing their screenshots, they are sure to generate more downloads and revenue in the long-run.

It’s important that developers pay close attention when designing their screenshots. If they are interested in expanding their app’s reach to foreign territories, then they will need to localize their screenshots to appropriate target their audience and improve conversion.

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Avoid These Common ASO Mistakes

Developers that have an app on the App Store or Google Play Store need to use App Store Optimization (ASO) as a tool to market their apps.

As developers create their ASO strategy, it’s imperative that ASO best practices are utilized to maximize visibility. Before developers start utilizing ASO, they need to avoid some common ASO mistakes to boost their success.

1. Not understanding ASO’s impact

Having an ASO strategy is crucial in today’s competitive market, but it is still an underrated and misunderstood tool. Ultimately, it helps apps gain more visibility, especially for user searches. ASO helps bring your app closer to the top of relevant search results and encourages users to stop scrolling and take a closer look.

2. Not understanding your audience

A key aspect of ASO is that it recognizes how different users search on the app stores. Developers need to understand who their target audience is to create the most effective ASO strategy.

If developers accurately target a specific audience using ASO, then they are more likely to direct the right users to their app. Not understanding their app’s audience is a common pitfall that needs to be avoided at all costs.

3. Keyword stuffing

While many developers want their app to index well and build relevancy for keywords, if they pack too many keywords in a description, it can backfire and diminish their relevancy.

Keyword stuffing is a “black hat” approach to ASO, which can lead to being rejected by the App Store or Google Play for keyword stuffing. In addition to possible rejection, keyword stuffing reads unnaturally and can discourage users from downloading an app.

4. Using the same ASO across platforms

Developers need to adapt their ASO to each platform because they index apps differently.

Apple indexes an app by first looking at the app’s keywords, then goes through its metadata to determine which keywords are relevant to the app.

Google Play, however, crawls through an app’s metadata to determine which words and phrases are relevant to an app. Developers should create feature-forward descriptions that utilize bullet points and straight forward language. It is important to use high-volume keywords naturally to not only address core features, but to help the app build relevancy.

5. Not monitoring ratings and reviews

A bad review isn’t the end of the world, but it does need to be taken care of. Developers can respond to poor reviews and engage with unhappy users to resolve any issue before it escalates. Responding to users can encourage them to change their negative rating into a positive one.

6. Not maintaining an ASO strategy

ASO is not a one-time thing. User trends are constantly changing, as does having a good ASO strategy. As users change how they search for apps, and the app stores release new pieces of metadata, you need to stay on top of your ASO strategy to maximize their visibility.

Key Takeaways

It’s critical to avoid these common ASO mistakes to maximize visibility in the app stores. Before developers get started, they need to learn about ASO and how it can affect their app’s performance.