Halloween App Store Optimization: How Seasonality Lead to Success

November 1st, 2019

Halloween App Store Optimization: How Seasonality Lead to Success
David Quinn

by David Quinn

VP of Strategy & Partnerships at Gummicube, Inc.

Now that it’s Halloween, the App Store and Google Play Store are showcasing apps designed or updated for the holiday. We’ve stressed the importance of seasonality, and this is where seasonal updates for Halloween pay off. What apps built App Store Optimization strategies for Halloween and how well did they succeed? Here’s how Halloween seasonality benefited them.

Featured Lists

Being featured on the App Store and Play Store can provide a boost to visibility, downloads and rankings. The stores typically feature a selection of apps connected to events such as holidays, so there are several apps that managed to get featured for Halloween.

On the Apple App Store, several Halloween sticker apps were featured in store’s “Daily List.” These sticker apps were included in part due to their optimization. Most call out “Halloween” directly in the title or subtitle and include icons and screenshots showcasing Jack-o-Lantern stickers or recognizable Halloween monsters.

Zombie Night Terror, a horror game that puts the player in control of the zombies, has the distinction of being Apple’s Game of the Day. One particularly noticeable aspect of the app is its creative set – it uses a black and white color scheme, accentuated with red. The visual design has a creative touch to it and screenshots also include clearly visible callout text with a distinct font that follows the color scheme. However, this particular set will not achieve the same effect when viewed in Dark Mode.

The Google Play Store also has several featured lists, such as “Games with spooky updates” and “Halloween picks that creep it real.” These lists feature apps and games with Halloween-themed updates.

The apps showcased typically feature icons updated for Halloween, such as Cookie Jam Blast, which added cobwebs, spiders and an orange theme to its icon. The app’s description has also been updated for Halloween, including calling out its seasonal changes with “Celebrate Halloween with our limited time updates!”


While being featured is fantastic, apps should also strive to appear in organic searches, where 70% of app discover happens. What apps managed to make it to the top of the Halloween search results?

On the Apple App Store, the top result for “Halloween” is Live Wallpaper 4K. This app has updated its video and screenshots to focus almost entirely on Halloween, demonstrating the app’s features in relation to the season. It’s followed by a “Friday the 13th” app, since it capitalizes on the horror genre that’s popular on the holiday.

However, an app can still appear before those apps in the search results with Search Ads. For example, Mahjong Journey is targeting “Halloween” in its Search Ads campaign and has updated its icon and screenshots to match. The app also has promotional text calling out “A spook-tacular new Halloween event,” so users can quickly see its relevance to the holiday.

On Google Play, the top apps under “Halloween” are typically apps designed specifically for the holiday, such as “Halloween Makeup” and “Free Scary Halloween Ringtones.” These call out the Halloween keyword repeatedly, such as Halloween Makeup’s feature set literally beginning every line in its feature set with “Halloween Makeup” (with one exception that begins with “Bloody Halloween” instead).


The apps that succeeded in Halloween are those that put the effort into Halloween seasonality and App Store Optimization. By updating their titles, icons, screenshots, videos, keywords and descriptions to call out Halloween functionality, these apps were featured on their respective app stores and took the top spots in searches for Halloween.

This demonstrates why seasonality is important in App Store Optimization. Once Halloween is over, there are several other holidays to optimize for. Thanksgiving is approaching, followed by the holiday season and all its associated sales, but it’s not too late to focus on Fall seasonality.

Want more information regarding App Store Optimization? Contact Gummicube and we’ll help get your strategy started.

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