iOS15 - Optimise for Better User Experience

Apple Search Ads iOS 15 Updates displayed in Screenshots

The seasons are changing, summer is about to fade into autumn and with the falling of leaves also comes the introduction of iOS 15 and it’ll bring along major updates for your app store marketing.

The iOS 15 update will offer a swathe of upgrades and innovations for consumers and developers/app owners. For the former, new features will debut for ‘Notifications’ and ‘Apple Wallet’, and there’ll be privacy changes including ‘Hide My Email’ and ‘Private Relay’, which will all make opt-ins more beneficial. For the latter, A/B/C testing of product page variations will be possible with Product Page Optimization and for the service of tailored app store content to targeted audiences, Custom Product Pages come into being. The third big advancement for developers and app owners is the potential to feature your in-app events through active promotion and optimisation for customer search results.

It’s not yet 100% clear what the absolute scope or effect of the developer enhancements will be – some questions remain unanswered, but here we set out the three big opportunities and pose some questions too.

Custom Product Pages

Custom Product Page Screenshots

So, what exactly can iOS 15’s Custom Product Pages (CPP) do? They are additional product pages in the App Store which can be fully personalised to be hyper-relevant to your segmented target audience or to showcase specific features or app content.

Apple have announced they will allow the creation of up to 35 CPPs – you can create new product pages at any time and tailor your pages with the appropriate app preview videos, screenshots and promotional text. Each CPP is assigned a unique App Store URL that can be used across your other marketing assets to drive specific audiences towards the pages most relevant to them.

For example, if you are running a paid UA campaign with ad creatives highlighting a specific feature of your app/game, you can now drive traffic to an App Store CPP with bespoke messaging around that feature, specifically designed to appeal to a specific audience. This is also true for any other source of traffic such as influencer campaigns, website traffic or even cross-promotion of other apps.

The usage of alternative messaging for different audiences can make a big difference in effective ASO. Users from different channels, demographics, gender, and interests will all have different personal preferences, therefore, you can significantly influence the install conversion rates of every segment by providing and presenting the right messaging for them. CPPs should also increase your paid UA conversion rates and ROAS if implemented correctly.

What is the challenge of iOS 15’s Custom Product Pages?

As it seems from current Apple documentation and messages, you will not be able to run a test on custom product pages.

While this new powerful tool would allow you to deploy the right messaging to the right audience (mostly paid), it doesn’t provide you with a methodology or a solution to decide which creatives would maximise conversion rates for each audience.

Product Page Optimisation

Product Page Optimisation displayed in Screenshots

Another development within the launch iOS 15 is ‘Product Page Optimisation’ (PPO), a brand-new feature where, for up to 90 days, you can create three different ‘test’ versions of your product page (in addition to your ‘control’ original page), to see which one drivers better conversion.

These variations can include changing your app icon or varying your screenshots to focus on different features or show a different app review video. Every PPO treatment will need to go through the usual App Store review process but with each test, you can decide how much traffic should be allocated to each treatment - for example, 90% Control, 10% for each of the three treatments.

Taking it one step further, you can also run tests for specific localisations; for example, if your product page is currently in English, German, and French, you can choose to run your tests in German only. This means that any users that see the English or French versions will not be included in the results, so you can narrow down to the specific version your wish to test.

The introduction of PPO means you can easily compare the performance of test pages vs. the control variation to aide conversion rates for real organic traffic. Product page optimization in Apple App Store can be seen as the counterpart for Google Play Experiments for native A/B testing. It provides developers with the opportunity to experiment, analyse and then improve their app performance via split testing (a/b/c) and gives a unique opportunity to test strategies within the App Store.

Challenges for PPO could include:

  1. How Apple are going to display the data, will we need to record the data ourselves daily?
  2. Will it be more reliable than google? (Google has a 90% confidence interval and the minimum for A/B testing is considered to be at 95%)

In App Events

In App Events displayed in screenshots

The launch of iOS 15 also creates the ability for potential customers to discover your in-app events, game competitions, premieres, live streams and more, right on the App Store on iOS and iPadOS. Users can find your in-app events either by searching for your app, or searching for a specific event within the App Store. If they don’t already have your app, they’ll be able to download it directly from the event card, or event page. There is also the opportunity for users to discover your event in curated editorial and recommendations on the Today, Games and Apps tabs.

This is an entirely new way to spotlight your events and broaden their appeal through images, video and immersive event detail pages, including notes about in-app purchases or subscriptions required to participate. This more engaging content helps you to reach new users, keep your current users updated, or reconnect with previous users. Those discovering you event can also share it via Messages or social media and can opt in via the event card to receive a notification about when your in-app event begins.

For users who have downloaded your app, in-app events appear on your product page as an event card, while for those who are yet to download, screenshots appear too.

Don’t forget that you can still proactively promote your in-app event vis other channels, such as email, advertising, social media etc. to create broader awareness. – just make sure to link straight to your event’s details page in the App Store, so customers can learn more and download your app or game.

Your in-app events are managed through App Store Connect, where you can have up to 10 approved events (and five published in the App Store at a time); importantly, you can view the analytics for your event cards and pages in App Analytics (impressions, page views, engagement, conversion data and opt-ins) – remember to configure each event and add the appropriate metadata and select regional availability.

Questions around In App Events:

  1. Will regularly updating in-app events improve rankings?
  2. Will in app events meta be a ranking factor?

Our Team has been beavering away creating strategies to help support this new functionality, Contact Us Today to discuss how we can help implement these into your next round of updates…

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Mark Greenaway
Creative Director

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