App Optimization - Seasonality

October 22nd, 2021

App Optimization - Seasonality
David Quinn

by David Quinn

VP of Strategy & Partnerships at Gummicube, Inc.

App Optimization - Seasonality

The holiday season is approaching, and as the days grow shorter it is time to think about optimizing apps for each approaching holiday. Halloween is just around the corner, but it isn’t too late to apply some tried and true best practices for this spooky celebration.

To get a head start, now is also a great time to consider optimization strategies for Thanksgiving, Chanuka, and Christmas! From seasonal icons and screenshots, to trendy keywords and metadata, there are numerous opportunities to optimize an app store listing for the holidays. Read on to learn more about what strategies have historically proven to be effective.

Halloween - Creative

During seasonal events a common practice for apps is updating their creatives to reflect the holidays. Just like department stores changing their decor, updating an app’s creatives for seasonality is an important trick when tapping into trends.

Halloween is coming up, and many apps and games on the iOS App Store and Google Play Store have updated their icons and screenshots with spooky imagery. There are common best practices when applying seasonal imagery, which can be seen in the popular apps below:

Above: Arrow Fest & Hero Squad demonstrating Halloween App Icon seasonality.

The apps pictured above implemented the most common design change when it comes to holiday imagery, in that their composition and layout has remained nearly the same. Changes applied to each app’s icon include adding a Jack o'Lantern and adjusting the coloring to reflect the spooky season. It is important that an icon carries over recognizable branding when optimizing for different seasons, as this will likely mitigate any loss of visibility that might be tied to the app’s branding.

Additionally, it is helpful to run tests on different creatives to determine how they impact conversion before going live with the changes. While it is a bit late to start testing Halloween themed imagery, now would be a good time to start running ASO A/B tests for the coming holidays. Fear not though: going live with Halloween focused creatives for the next week shouldn’t negatively impact overall performance, and users might be delighted by the treat.

Halloween - Metadata

Alongside optimizing creatives, some types of apps would benefit from updated metadata that capitalizes on search behavior. Targeting Halloween-focused keywords in the keyword bank or front-facing metadata can help an app be found by users searching for apps with costumes, decorations, or fun events. The right ASO tools can help you discover the best keywords for your app.

Some apps may also host Halloween-themed events, such as games and social networking apps. With Apple’s In-App Events set to start rolling out soon, developers should look into promoting their Halloween events. Including details about the Halloween events in the description, promo text, or short description can benefit the app, as curious users can check metadata and see what fun features or timely events are available.

As a bonus, some apps that choose to apply a Halloween update have the chance to get featured on the app stores. The iOS App Store and the Google Play Store publish curated lists of apps, usually with an editorial section, and getting a spot here can provide an excellent boost in visibility.

Winter Holidays

As winter starts closing in, the holiday season really ramps up. Following Halloween, the next major holiday is Thanksgiving, then Black Friday and Cyber Monday start the rush of holiday shopping before Chanukah and Christmas.

There are a few types of apps that will benefit from optimizing for Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is all about sharing food with family, so many users will be interested in recipes for such fare as holiday ham, turkey, and stuffing. Recipe apps can start targeting Thanksgiving keywords in mid-November so they will be indexed by the big day.

The rush of the holiday shopping season begins just as Thanksgiving ends. All kinds of shopping apps, whether for online orders or brick-and-mortars, gear up for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Calling out deals and savings in metadata can help these apps discovered on queries like “Best Cyber Monday Deals”, which in turn will boost sales and downloads.

Once all of the deals have been snagged and people have picked out the perfect gifts for their loved ones, the holidays of sharing begin. Chanukah comes just after Thanksgiving, and there is opportunity to optimize for family-focused activities. As families take time off of work to spend time together, team based games such as trivia and movie streaming apps will be a popular go-to.

Finally, as the year wanes Christmas will bring families and friends together in the spirit of giving. Kids will be taking time off from school, and many people will be getting brand new devices as presents. As new games and consoles are released, mobile games on the app stores will want to make sure their metadata is optimized to remain competitive. This is where App Store Optimization software is extremely helpful, as it takes the guesswork out of what is trending.


The last three months of the calendar year are extremely competitive when it comes to the mobile app industry. From Halloween through Christmas, there is ample opportunity to capitalize on seasonal trends in the form of creative updates and targeted keywords. While it is ideal to start planning your strategy as early as possible, it isn’t too late to optimize apps for Halloween. By following best practices and knowing your audience, it is spooky how much visibility can improve.

​​Want to learn more about App Store Optimization? Contact Gummicube and we’ll help get your strategy started.

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