3 Best Practices for Apple App Store Optimization iOS11

November 7, 2017

6:30 pm

It seemed like the world waited on baited breath for the launch of iOS 11.

Within the update, the App Store received a complete overhaul that clearly distinguishes games and other app types with two unique tabs, which has effectively created two new App Stores.

Now that the App Store is shiny and new and full of curated lists and editorialized content, developers have noticed there are more opportunities for their apps to be found by eager users waiting to tap “Get.”

Despite it being simple to find apps, developers need to make sure their app is easily discoverable. Developers need to follow App Store Optimization (ASO) best practices to assure their app’s success in the App Store.

What’s New

In addition to the unique tabs aptly named Games and Apps, Apple introduced significant changes to the metadata fields that are tied directly toward an app’s visibility in the App Store.

 

 

Apple decided to add two new text fields that give developers more opportunities to express their app’s core features and promote any new features; in-app content and more. There are also more chances to convert users by tripling the number of preview videos for each product listing and changed the way preview videos and screenshots will appear in search.

ASO Best Practices and iOS 11

Developers need to be on their toes now that iOS 11 has been released. Now more than ever will they need an ASO strategy to assure that their app is visible and reaching its max audience.

Changes made to the current metadata and additions cannot be taken lightly; they will severely affect an app’s visibility and conversion rates. Now is the time to follow ASO best practices to improve not only the current metadata but the new subtitle and promotion text fields, and additional preview videos.

App Name and Subtitle

Along with Apple’s announcement back in June, the company also let developers know they were going to decrease the character limit for the app name. While Apple made this announcement months ago, they didn’t implement the character change until iOS 11 launched.

As of now, Apple will not accept any other updates with titles past 30 characters, meaning it is crucial that developers quickly update their build and metadata or risk their app being rejected from the App Store.

Along with reducing the character limit, Apple added the subtitle field, which is also limited to 30 characters. This new text field can be thought of as an additional set of descriptors supplementary to title tags, which can target additional keywords without taking up space in the keyword bank.

Promotional Text and Description

While Apple didn’t make any changes to the description, they did add a text field that will appear right at the top. The promotional text, which is limited to 170 characters, can be updated at any time without having to submit a new version of the app.

Although users can no longer update their description whenever they want, the promotional text is still a great space for developers to share any current promotions, new features, in-app content and more.

The promotional text, which is completely separate from the description, but still appears in the same space, will help developers quickly address new promotions, features and more. Because of the promotional text, developers won’t have to worry about taking up precious characters within their description, which is limited to 4000 characters.

Screenshots and Preview Videos

While the app name, subtitle, promotional text and descriptions are all important for explaining what the app does, users tend to go directly to the screenshots and preview video to see the app in action.

In iOS 10, users would only see the first two portrait screenshots or one landscape screenshot. Now, users will see the first three portrait screenshots or first portrait preview video and two portrait screenshots.

 

Since 65 percent of apps are downloaded from search, it’s important that developers take the time to make sure their screenshots are understandable and engaging with their users in mind.

While developers can still submit five screenshots, Apple took the liberty of tripling the number of preview videos developers can submit. Having multiple preview videos means developers can highlight more facets of the app and its core features along. Since users are often drawn to the screenshots and preview videos, having more creatives that show the app in action means that users are more likely to convert.

Before developers submit new preview videos, however, they will they will need to make sure that each video doesn’t exceed 30 seconds and follows Apple’s strict guidelines. Having more preview videos will certainly help developers convert users and show off all of their app’s core features.

Developers should also note the new preview videos now auto-play with muted audio, meaning users will not see the poster frame. While the poster frame will still be seen for preview videos that are not on auto-play, developers can shift their focus toward making sure the first few seconds of their preview videos are engaging and clearly highlight the app’s core features.

ASO Checklist

Now more than ever developers need a bulletproof ASO strategy to assure their app is discoverable. Make sure that you have:

  • A 30-character app name
  • A 30-character subtitle
  • A 170-character promotional text
  • Three preview videos
  • Screenshots prepare for the new store listing

Every app needs to meet this checklist in order to be approved by Apple. Have an ASO strategy prepared that will help your app become more visible in the new App Store and increase your conversion rate.

Read more about the new iPhone and Apple updates at TechCo 

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Dave Bell is the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Gummicube. Dave is a pioneer of the mobile entertainment industry with more than 15 years of experience publishing, marketing and distributing mobile applications and games across carrier, direct to consumer and app store channels.

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