App Store Optimization for Journal Apps

April 5th, 2024

App Store Optimization for Journal Apps
David Bell

by David Bell

CEO at Gummicube, Inc.

In a previous ASO Weekly, we covered the latest iOS 17 announcement and all the exciting features that come along with it. Among those is the introduction of a new Apple-native journal app. Since then, it has launched and alongside it, the questions of "What will happen to existing journaling apps?" "Will they even be able to compete?" We think so.

Below take a look at three examples of journal apps that are crushing it in the App Store and the app store marketing strategies they're applying to not only stay relevant, but thrive.

App Store Accolades - How They Help

A major point of leverage for any app facing increasing competition is the quality of their user experience. Satisfied users can increase an customer lifetime value and can potentially act as a source of powerful organic marketing. A value-driven user experience can also open the door to improved App Store performance when recognized by Apple’s own team of editors.

day one journal apple app store listing with editors choice award

Day One Journal is an example of an app that has been able to rank #1 for the term “journal app” thanks to its effective ASO strategy coupled with an Editors’ Choice highlight. The developers understood the importance of creating a synergistic relationship between their service and organic marketing best practices to earn themselves an award as well as the top spot in search results.

An “Editors’ Choice” badge is a great way of highlighting a quality in-app experience to potential users. Receiving this award can provide several benefits and can help their overall app marketing strategy.

App Store Editor’s Choice Award Benefits

  • Differentiation: The Editor's Choice Award changes the way your app listing appears in search results. While the difference is subtle, having the “Editors’ Choice” badge just below the app subtitle can garner more attention than a standard listing.
  • Credibility and Trust: Apple’s Editors’ Choice recognition also serves as a seal of approval. It can enhance the app's credibility and builds trust among potential users, assuring them of the app's quality and reliability.
  • App Downloads: Being recognized as an Editor's Choice app can also lead to a higher conversion rate as users are more likely to download and explore an app that has received notable accolades.
  • Media Exposure: The Editor's Choice Award can often generate media interest. This additional exposure can result in increased media coverage, reviews, interviews, and more – further boosting the app's visibility and conversions.
  • Competitive Advantage: The award sets the app apart from competitors in the same category. It differentiates the app as a top choice as determined by Apple and can give it a competitive edge in a potentially saturated marketplace.

An App Store Editor's Choice Award offers significant benefits by creating differentiation, building credibility and trust, helping increase downloads, promoting media exposure, and providing a competitive advantage. It can greatly contribute to the success and growth of an app, attracting more users and establishing a strong position within App Store search results.

In-App Events - Foster Engagement

Keeping users up to date with what your app offers is an effective way of increasing engagement, improving retention, and attracting new users. Apple's In-App Events provide several benefits that help app developers achieve this with a unique way of presenting content. Whether it is a new feature, promotion, offer, or anything in between, In-App Events help developers engage with their audience outside of their standard app listing assets.

planner and journal apple app store june in app event 2023

Planner & Journal is an app that leverages the power of In-App Events to highlight seasonal content. With the headline “June Journalin’” the developers relate the current season to their app’s core feature in a different format than the usual screenshots or preview video. By adopting this strategy the app can stand out among those that aren’t using In-App Events in search results. At the same time, users who have downloaded already or uninstalled are also presented with new information that might interest them.

Apple In-App Events Benefits

  • Increased User Engagement: By promoting special events and content, In-App Events can drive user engagement and encourage them to interact with the app. These events can highlight seasonal content, features, and gameplay mechanics that are newly introduced and can pique user interest.
  • Improved Retention: In-App Events can play a crucial role in retaining existing users by providing them with information about fresh and exciting experiences. By offering time-limited events or exclusive content, developers can motivate users to stay engaged with the app over an extended period.
  • Monetization Opportunities: In-App Events can be leveraged as a monetization strategy. Developers can offer premium or exclusive content during these events, incentivizing users to make in-app purchases or subscribe to premium features.
  • Effective Communication Channel: In-App Events provide a direct and effective communication channel between developers and app users. Developers can use these events to inform users about important updates, feature releases, or upcoming events, creating a sense of anticipation and fostering a stronger relationship with users.
  • Differentiation: Utilizing In-App Events sets an app apart from competitors by showcasing unique and engaging experiences. It helps attract users who are looking for dynamic and evolving app content, giving the app a competitive advantage among app listings that solely rely on screenshots and preview videos for their visual content.

By utilizing Apple's In-App Events, developers can effectively provide a fresh stream of content for users while reaping the benefits of increased engagement and retention. It acts as a powerful tool in creating engaging and dynamic experiences that capture users and foster long-term app usage.

App Title Optimization - Diary With Password

The App title holds significant weight for the success and discoverability of a mobile app. Acting as the first piece of text users see, it should act as a guide to your brand identity and provide insight into the key features your app offers. A way to achieve this is to follow ASO best practices that balance app branding with effective keyword selection.

diary with password app store app title highlighted

Apart from your app name, title tags are a great way to target keywords in your title while relating a user’s search query to your app. The effectiveness of this strategy can be seen in the example above, with Diary With Password ranking #3 for the term “journal app”. Diary With Password also utilizes the core terms “diary” and “password” to target two potential subsets of users:

  1. Users looking for a diary app. Diary With Password currently sits at #1 for the term “diary”
  2. Users looking for a password diary. Diary With Password ranks #1 for the term “password diary”.

App Store Title Optimization Benefits

  • Branding and Identity: The app title serves as the primary identifier of an app and plays a vital role in establishing its brand identity. A well-crafted app title can convey the essence of the app, reflect its purpose, and create a memorable impression on potential users.
  • Discoverability: A keyword-optimized app title can increase visibility in the App Store. When users search for specific keywords or phrases related to an app's functionality or category, an optimized title can improve its ranking in search results, making it more visible to potential users.

How Apps Can Stay Competitive

Journal apps are one subset of several that will need to adapt to compete with Apple’s own efforts to promote native services. However, developers may very well have the advantage in the initial stages considering they have established user bases, implemented winning ASO strategies, and continuously leverage the marketing tools provided by the App Store.

Having a quality in-app experience, using promotional App Store tools like In-App Events, and optimizing your metadata fields like the app title, are all steps in the right direction to competing and staying relevant, no matter your market.

Need help optimizing your app? Get in touch with the ASO experts at Gummicube today!

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