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The App Store is Evolving: What does this mean for App Discoverability?

June 13, 2017

Apple has just announced big changes coming to the App Store at their annual Apple Worldwide Developers Conference. The changes are due to happen in the Autumn, with the iOS 11 update. Apple has redesigned the App Store from the ground up, using their knowledge of the millions of apps that have been downloaded billions of times. The App Product Page has been redesigned to spotlight more engaging content and put the most important information at the centre of search.

The new features and changes to the App Store mean that the techniques behind optimising apps need to change, and change quick, so you are kept ahead of your competitors. We are predicting that the iOS 11 Update will be released on Friday 15th September, so make sure your app’s Product Page is ready in time!

 

The New App Store. Source: https://www.apple.com/ios/app-store/

 

 

7 Actions to get your App iOS 11 Ready:

  1. Alter App Title Length

Apple are, yet again, limiting the number of characters available for the Title in the App Store. Currently the maximum length of an app’s title is 50 characters, but in the iOS 11 App Store, the limit will be 30. This reduction in Title space means that an even greater emphasis needs to be put on carefully choosing keywords you would like your app to be visible for. The Title has serious weighting in the App Store algorithm and it is important that you maximise your opportunity to rank for relevant and successful keywords.

We can recommend the most relevant and rank-effective keywords you should implement in your Title, based on our knowledge and experience of optimising numerous apps in a variety of app categories.

 

  1. Create a Concise, Relevant and ‘Rankable’ Subtitle:

Although the character limit for the Title will be decreased, Apple are now adding a short description to appear below the title, like in the Google Play Store. The Subtitle will be limited to 30 characters. This new feature not only allows a brief summary of the app to engage users, but also another opportunity to rank for relevant user searches.

The Subtitle needs to consist of high traffic relevant keywords and it needs to read well. Apple are likely to reject subtitles that do not read well and consist of highly irrelevant keywords for your app.

From our experience of optimising Titles and Long Descriptions, we can propose relevant and ‘rankable’ keywords that read well.

 

  1. Create and Update Engaging App Preview Videos:

Apple have increased the number of App Preview Videos that are able to appear on the App Product Page. Developers will be able to submit a maximum of three 30 seconds long videos – an increase on the one video that you are currently allowed to submit. This is great news as the additional two videos greatens the opportunity for you to show off your app and engage and persuade users to download your app and not a competitor app.

The App Preview Videos will now appear before screenshots and are on AutoPlay; therefore, submitting an engaging video is a priority. App Preview Videos can be localised for all available App Store languages. You need to take advantage of this feature to engage with your customers from all over the world, to personally persuade these customers to download your app.

 

  1. Craft your App’s Promotional Text:

The Promotional Text will be shown at the top of the Long Description and has a limit of 170 characters. This text can be updated at any time and does not require the submission of a new app. Apple advise using the Promotional Text to share the latest promotions, upcoming features or content, limited-time sales or other events within your app.

Unlike the iOS 10 App Store, in the iOS 11 App Store you will not be able to update the Long Description without submitting a new version of your app; therefore, you need a carefully crafted and flexible Promotional Text. The Promotional Text should be updated when you have new keywords you would like your app to rank for and when you have new features. Redbox’s experienced Copy Writer can recommend and advise on how the Promotional Text should be constructed so that you maximise the efficiency of relevant keywords and the marketing of updates and new features.

 

  1. Devise a Ratings and Reviews Strategy:

An app’s rating includes all versions of app but in iOS 11 App Store, developers will have the option to reset the rating when submitting a new version of the app for review. Apple advise that this feature is best utilised when you have updated the app with new features that addresses users’ previous concerns.

We can recommend a Ratings and Reviews strategy so you can make the most of the features available in the iOS 11 App Store. Like the iOS 10 App Store, you will still be able to respond to ratings and reviews through iTunes connect. We can advise on a strategy for responding to reviews as well as when to reset the rating of your app.

While the reset feature may seem like the solution to erasing a negative rating from the app store, caution should be taken when actioning it. Having a low number of reviews can discourage customers from downloading your app and your rankings. We can advise you when the optimum time is to reset your rating.

 

  1. Name In-App Purchases with Expertise:

In-App Purchases will now be visible and available in the App Store. Up to 20 In-App Purchases can be showcased and are shown on separate sections on the product page. In-App Purchases will also feature in the search results and should be named using relevant keywords you would like your app to rank for, to improve the discoverability of your app.

Like in the Title and Subtitle, keywords for the In-App Purchases title should be expertly chosen to improve the visibility of your app within the search results.

 

  1. Get Featured: Editorial Stories

The new App Store will have three primary tabs: Today Tab, Games Tab and Apps Tab. The Today tab will feature in-depth interviews, app of the day, new releases and editorial pieces centred around apps and app developers. Editors decide which apps to feature based on a variety of factors, which include: usability; user experience; innovation; relevancy of localisations; accessibility and the App Store product page.

Apple also allow developers to submit stories to inform editors about new apps and significant updates. We can advise on when and how to write an editorial story to submit to Apple as well as improvements to your app to start the dialogue.

 

The Discoverability of your App in the iOS 11 App Store:

In summary, there are a lot of exciting new changes coming in the iOS 11 App Store! To take full advantage of the exciting new features, your App Store Optimisation techniques need to be updated and improved. The key take-away from Apple’s announcement is the heightened number of opportunities you, as an app developer, have to engage with your customers and to tell Apple the keywords you would like your app to rank for.

Get in touch to find out how Redbox Mobile can get your app’s Product Page ready for the new App Store!

 

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