September 19, 2017
9 Quick & Easy ASO Tips for the All-New iOS 11 App Store

The following is a guest post by Shira Leffel, Head of Marketing at Storemaven.

Apple just announced that iOS 11 will be released this Tuesday, September 19.

With the new mobile operating system, comes a completely redesigned App Store that alters both App Store Discovery Pages and App Store Product Pages. Before users are able to make the update, it is crucial that you revisit your App Store Optimization (ASO) strategy so that your app will be ready on the big day!

Take a deep breath and read these 9 ASO tips that will help you get started…  

1. If You Don’t Use Videos in Your Gallery, You Will Fall Behind!

Numerous upgrades have been made to videos in the iOS 11 App Store that will have a momentous impact on app discovery and conversion optimization. Here are the biggest improvements:

  • You can now have up to three App Preview videos (no more than 30 seconds in duration) in your Gallery.
  • Your first video will play automatically, but sound will be muted by default.
  • Your second and third videos will play automatically when users scroll the Gallery, but sound will be muted by default.
  • Your videos will also autoplay accordingly in Search Results Pages.
  • You will now be able to localize your videos for all available App Store languages.

These upgrades function to help you better communicate the features, functionality, and user interface of your app to customers. This will enable you to stick out among competitors and improve app install conversion rates. It also has the concomitant benefit of driving more qualified installs. You must pounce on this new opportunity or you are guaranteed to fall behind!

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Use each video asset to focus on a different aspect of your app. For example, if your app is a game, the first video can demonstrate game play, the second video can focus on lifestyle associated with the game, and the third video can portray game level progression.  

2. Test Optimal Number and Sequence of Your Video Assets

We know for fact that video is a powerful tool to effectively communicating the look, feel, and utility of an app. We also know for fact that having a video results in greater user engagement with the Gallery. That means that although videos are awesome, other assets suffer a lack of engagement at the expense of an awesome video. Therefore, having three videos that play automatically will undoubtedly have an impact on your users’ exploration journey — and not necessarily a positive one for your unique target population. Therefore, while we strongly encourage you to utilize video, we also recommend testing to determine the implications of multiple video assets on your users’ exploration journey.   

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Test no video, one video, two videos, and three videos. Then test video sequence. Based on these results, you will be better able to determine the optimal number and order of your video assets.

3. Assets Found in The First Impression Frame Have Increased in Size, Make Sure Your Second Gallery Asset is Not Harmed!

Numerous assets found in the First Impression Frame (everything above the fold) are bigger and/or more prominent on the iOS 11 App Store Product Page. This also includes the First Impression Gallery. That means that the second App Preview video/screenshot in the Gallery will be less visible.

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Make sure messaging does not getting lost in your second App Preview video/screenshot. Think of creative ways to use what is visible in the First Impression Frame to encourage Gallery engagement (i.e. utilize a panoramic Gallery).

4. Subtitles Now Serve as an Additional Asset Developers Can Use—So Use Them!

In iOS 10, the Subtitle was restricted to the developer’s name. In the new App Store, the Subtitle serves as an additional asset that you can use to describe your app and encourage users to install (in no more than 30 characters).

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Not only do we recommend that you jump on this opportunity to use your Subtitle to describe the utility of your app, but you should also use it for search optimization.

5. A New Section for Promotional Text has Been Added to The Product Page, Which Does Not Require a New Version to Update—Stay on Top of It!

A brand-spanking new section has been added to every Product Page that provides you with an avenue for sharing the latest and greatest news about your app. Your Promotional Text can be up to 170 characters long. And here’s the best part, you don’t have to wait until you submit a new version of your app to update this content—you can update it whenever you fancy!

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Use the new Promotional Text section to share important updates more frequently such as the latest news about your app, limited-time sales, upcoming features, events, etcetera.

6. iOS 11 App Store Product Page Offers a New Remarketing Opportunity—Leverage it Wisely!

The iOS 11 App Store has made changes to the “What’s New” section, offering you new and unique remarketing opportunities. The section is still an important place for you to communicate any updates made to your app.

In iOS 10, the “What’s New” section was located below the Description. In iOS 11, the position of this section depends upon whether your visitor has ever installed your app. If your visitor has never installed your app, then it will appear below the Gallery as depicted below.

If your visitor has at any point downloaded your app (even if they have uninstalled it), the “What’s New” section will now appear at the top of your Product Page.

This offers you a unique opportunity to refine your messaging to not only convince existing customers to reinstall the latest version of your app, but also to convince unsatisfied, former customers to redownload your app.

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Analyze your reviews to understand exactly why customers may be unsatisfied with your app. Focus on the most common issues articulated by customers and address these issues in the “What’s New” section. You should also do market research to identify trending features (e.g. augmented reality) and try to incorporate relevant content in this section as well.

7. Changes Made to Gallery Orientation Layout—Test Optimal Use!

Your App Preview videos (up to three) and screenshots (up to five) can still be oriented in either portrait or landscape formats. Just like iOS 10, if you choose to use the landscape orientation, then only one App Preview video/screenshot will appear in the First Impression Frame as depicted below.

If you choose the portrait orientation, two App Preview videos/screenshots will appear in the First Impression Frame.

What has changed in the iOS 11 App Store is the layout of the hybrid Gallery Orientation (an App Preview video in the landscape orientation with portrait screenshots). In the new version, when you choose to have a hybrid Gallery your video will be pushed below the Gallery and out of the First Impression Frame (and it will not appear at all in Search Results pages).

Each orientation comes with its own set of implications, which is precisely why we recommend testing your Gallery orientation.

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Test landscape Gallery orientation (utilizing a dedicated design), portrait Gallery orientation (utilizing a dedicated design), and a hybrid Gallery orientation (utilizing a combination of respective designs).

8. Advance Your Client Services and Rank Higher with The Improved App Review System

The new App Store now has a section on your Product Page devoted to Ratings and Reviews, which includes the average star ratings, star ratings distribution, total number of ratings, and a review carousel. In iOS 10, Ratings and Reviews would automatically reset upon each new app version submission. Now you can choose whether or not to reset these metrics upon each version submission.

You also now have the ability to respond to customer reviews to directly address feedback, questions, or concerns. The customer will be notified of the response and will be afforded the option to update their review.

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Keep an open dialogue with both satisfied and unsatisfied customers. If your latest app version has solved a common issue or bug that customers have complained about, resetting your reviews is a good idea. If you have great existing ratings and reviews then there’s no reason to give them up!

9. Only the First 3 Lines of Text Will Appear Under Your Description Section—So Make Them Count!

In the iOS 10 App Store, the first five lines of your Description text would appear on you Product Page before displaying the read “more” button. In the iOS 11 App Store, only the first three lines of your Description text appear before the read “more” button.

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Be sure to effectively describe your app in three lines.

Summary

The iOS 11 App Store redesign offers exciting new opportunities to stick out among competitors, increase app install conversion rates, and gain more qualified customers.

But here’s the thing…

In order to reap the rewards, you have to revisit your ASO strategy and you have to do so now.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact us! That’s what we’re here for.

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