The game of Chess is one of the oldest games still played by the masses. It has broad appeal to anyone looking to test their wits and has immensely grown across the globe.
Over the past 20 years, digital chess games have witnessed a drastic rise in popularity and are some of the most played games on modern platforms. Chess.com’s app version of the classic game has established itself as one of the leading figures in the space.
With all this popularity comes immense competition from companies with large marketing budgets. To maintain its prominence in the app store it will need the help of App Store Optimization (ASO) to fend off competitors and attract new users. How can the makers of Chess.com incorporate ASO best practices to improve their performance? That’s what we’ll take a look at in today’s App Store Spotlight.
App Store Optimization Best Practices – App Metadata
By creating a mobile app marketing plan, developers can improve their chances of succeeding in the app store by applying effective app metadata and keyword optimization strategies. Keywords are one of the foundational pillars for app store success, helping you index in the app store as well as inform your users.
APP NAME AND TITLE – Chess - Play & Learn
On both app stores, the developers of the mobile game ‘Chess’ keep it fairly simple, naming the app ‘Chess’ with the title ‘Play & Learn”. This definitely helps users clearly identify the app’s core function and touches on the main feature most chess enthusiasts are looking for in a chess app, the ability to easily play and learn the game of chess.
However, there are dozens of apps that simply use the word ‘Chess’ as their app name. With an established brand like Chess.com, it may make sense for the publisher to specify which chess platform the user will be playing on.
Since the character limit for an App Title is 30 characters, they have some room to work with and could easily update to `Chess.com - Play & Learn’. This would maintain the core focus of the app but differentiate itself from the vast number of competitors who use Chess’ as the first word in their app name.
APP SUBTITLE AND SHORT DESCRIPTION – Games, Puzzles, and Friends!
Your iOS App Subtitle and Google Play Short Descriptions are fields that also help with organic rankings during app metadata indexation. While the way both platforms index varies, these two fields are among the most heavily weighted on your app store listing. It’s critical to maximize the given character count for additional visibility and conversion opportunities.
Both the App Store Subtitle and Google Play Short Description read:
“Games, Puzzles, and Friends!”
The subtitle touches on modern features that digital chess players are looking for, i.e., chess-related puzzles and the ability to play against other live players and friends. However, it falls a bit short of the allotted character limit that Apple and Google have for subtitle length.
Adding a keyword could help further broaden the potential for indexation. The phrase ‘Board Games’ sees a high search volume within the app stores and Chess.com can use this to its advantage, especially given that it already ranks high for one of the most popular board games in the store.
By adjusting the subtitle to “Board Games, Puzzles, Friends!” Chess.com can take full advantage of the 30-character limit and add a high-volume keyword phrase to its indexation. The app does offer other types of board games other than chess, so it is an accurate description as well.
App Store Optimization Best Practices – App Store Screenshots
Your creative set directly affects how your app converts users on the app store. Screenshots play a big role in influencing a user's download decision by providing a visual preview of what your app offers. Our ASO Company has found that ignoring screenshot optimization can leave tremendous conversion potential on the table. Chess.com currently uses some ASO best practices for screenshots but does have a few areas for improvement.
APP STORE SCREENSHOTS – Chess - Play & Learn
Chess.com currently uses the same screenshot set for both platforms. This can be a good way to reinforce brand familiarity and maintain a consistent brand image across digital channels. The screenshots also contain some App Store Optimization best practices like having visual copy, spanning imagery, unique compositions, and visuals that highlight core functionality.
One thing that can be improved is more use of emphasized UI. There are screenshots that highlight the ability to join tournaments, build rank and play against friends. However, the text and information within each image are difficult to read and defeat the purpose of providing relevant information to the user. Enlarging some of this text with emphasized UI elements would more clearly call out specific features of the app that modern-day players are looking for in a digital chess game.
Source: Chess.com - App Store Listing
APP STORE VIDEO BEST PRACTICES – BONUS TIP
A short video showing real gameplay could have a significant impact on the user’s decision to download. By depicting real match situations, moves being placed, and how players are rewarded, users can see the app’s features in action.
Simple adjustments to an already solid ASO strategy can have exponential benefits for an app’s discoverability and conversions. To maximize the effectiveness of a successful ASO strategy, every detail must be analyzed and taken into account.
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