App Store Optimization aims to improve a mobile app’s visibility on app stores such as Windows Store for Windows Phone, Google Play for Android and iTunes for iOS. Apple recently released its latest operating system called iOS 11 for iPads and iPhones. If you have an app, you should know how it would affect the way you get app ratings. This is particularly important if you want to increase app downloads. Here are the top 10 App Store Optimization changes in iOS 11 that may affect your app ranking.
The Apple allow you to feature up to 3 preview videos that are 30-seconds long each. Since the preview videos will have muted audio and play automatically when users visit your app page, you have to make sure that the first few seconds of the video are appealing to encourage users to download and install your app.
New Promotional Text Field & Description
Apple also added a new promotional text field. You only have 170 characters to use for your promotional text. Try to use it to share the latest updates and news regarding your app. The new promotional text field locates the upper portion of the description. You can update it anytime without submitting a new version of your app. Just remember that the App Store search doesn’t index any promotional text, so it can’t help improve your app’s ranking. You can update the app description only when submitting the latest version of your application. A brief and appealing promotional text can increase your conversion rate by 35%. Use the promo text to promote important updates and special events and offers.
Custom Review Prompts
Another app store optimization change is custom review prompts in all applications are banned in iOS 11. You can add Apple’s API to your app to allow users to submit their reviews within the application. You can ask every user to provide a review only 3 times every year. This restriction means that you have to be very analytical and careful about how you are going to use the API provided by Apple. You can try conducting a custom survey first to determine the users who like your app and target the review prompts to these people. This can boost your chances of getting app reviews.
Shorter App Name and New Subtitle Field
Before you have 50 characters to create the app name, you now only have 30 characters. However, Apple added a new subtitle field below the app name. It will give you another 30 characters to describe the uses or features of an app. Since the subtitle is also indexed, you should include keywords and a call-to-action here to boost your tap-to-install conversion percentage by 15% to 20%. If your app name has 50 characters, App Store search will index only the first thirty characters of it.
App Search Results
Due to the latest changes in the OS, videos will now be shown before screenshots. The first video will play automatically, but won’t have any audio by default. Since the Apple squeezed the screenshots and previews together, their dimensions have also become smaller. If you want to make your screenshots and previews stand out, you should keep the background in your screenshot or preview video poster frame clean and use a brief caption text. The first three preview videos and screenshots should have the strongest messages to capture the attention of users.
Apps and Games
Apps and Games are now separated and there’s no Home Page as well. The already installed apps don’t appear in top charts preview. Both Apps and Games tabs have a Featuring section with Editors and New selection. There is also a Top paid and Top free chart. As of now, there is no chart for grossing games and apps. The new interface might be Apple’s solution to the main problem with App Store – the discoverability of new games and apps.
Customized In-App Purchases
In iOS 11, you can customize in-app purchase by adding descriptions, icons and display names for each. On your product page, you can promote up to twenty IAPs. In-app purchases can now appear in the Games and Apps tabs, search results, and Today page. In previous iOS versions like iOS 10, in-app purchases would only rank if users entered a precise match search. That is no longer the case with iOS 11. Even if the user did not enter an exact match search, your in-app purchases can still rank for partial match search. This means that you can boost your store visibility by optimizing up to 20 in-app purchases. Make sure that each of your in-app purchases has an icon, name, and description.
Top Chart Rank
The top chart rank is now on the product page, so your app’s popularity is completely on display. The same social proof reasoning was applied to the all-time or current ratings received by an app in iOS 10, but the bigger data point in iOS 11 can help your app get the same status as bigger and more popular apps. This can help you drive downloads to boost your conversion rate. Apps that are top charters may not have significant download rates due to this social proof data point. You can buy iOS reviews from reputable companies to boost your app’s ranking and rating as well as popularity.
App Store Redesign
One of the biggest changes is the design of the App Store. It now looks like a digital magazine. The Today tab contains editorial content about applications. The Apple will highlight the new game and game every day. Users who haven’t checked in for a long time can scroll down to see apps and games of the day. The Games and Apps tabs also have curated collections. Make sure that your app has an eye-catching icon. It should catch the attention of users and tell what your app is all about.
In past iOS versions, the average rating of the app’s latest version is featured on App Store and the rating is reset when a new updated is published. As such, many app developers were discouraged from releasing new updates. In iOS 11, the app’s overall average rating will be displayed. You can also control when you reset your app’s average rating, allowing you to delete past errors and improve your app’s quality and ranking.
If you want to improve your ratings and rankings, it is best that you start thinking of ways to adapt and take advantage of these app store optimization changes. This means resetting your performance benchmarks as well. Many of the standard assumptions you’ve always known will be reset. With all applications improving their assets for the new OS at once, you can expect a huge wave of changes that will change performance benchmarks completely. App rating volumes will also change significantly and this will certainly influence your app’s conversion rate and algorithmic signals. You should prepare to face the Apple’s algorithm changes as well. Whether you like it or not, you have to accept the fact that these app store optimization changes are here to stay. Assess your app and see which part you should improve to achieve your desired results.