App Optimization Insights

25 May 2022
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Today we would like to touch upon such topics as app store optimization (ASO) and product page optimization (PPO). Both are integral parts of driving traffic to mobile applications successfully. There are differences when it comes to working with different platforms like iOS and Android: moderation, guidelines, cost of accounts, appeal process, and such. But there are some universal principles that bind multiple elements of a listed app together and create a smooth-looking product that attracts users.

Why do we need ASO

App store optimization is mostly about ranking our app as high as possible in the search results. And this means working with keywords and search algorithms that logically “bind” a search request to your application and start ranking it higher for said request.

Once you have an app listed (we won’t talk about the approval process today), you need to climb the ranking to attract more traffic. Incentivized installations are one way of dealing with this task. Usually, it takes several days for an app to claim top positions in search results for a popular keyword. With this, you should consider the cost of such a promotion, as you’ll need to run a full CPI campaign with multiple users entering pre-defined keywords and choosing your application from the list to form that connection in the algorithm.

💡 Tip! Names and descriptions are not the only parts of your applications that get indexed, also pay attention to in-app paid items and the developer’s name. Tweak those to rank higher for the necessary keywords.

What about product page optimization?

Now you have your application listed and ranking high for the keywords you need, you will start receiving traffic, namely clicks. But if your product page is not appealing to the target audience, you will get scarce installations or downloads, which are THE target action, after all. To make the pages more attractive, fine-tune the design elements until you find the perfect look that’ll work for your goals. The best way to do this is A/B testing or split-testing a bunch of variations.

Colors

Let’s start with the basics: your app can be in light or dark mode. You need to make this decision before you proceed to texts and pictures, as the color of your background impacts the visibility of all other elements. So, test different background tones against each other.

Then, your app may have a solid backdrop or feature a pattern. Think of matching colors. Test different patterns against a bland background. Also, don’t forget about contrasts, nothing to clashing, but nice color accents may do you a world of good.

Your text also has some color, it’s obvious that it has to be easily legible. The same goes for captions you use for screenshots — make them stand out. The caption on the right is much better-looking than the smudged (even though delicious) picture on the left.

App Optimization Insights

Text

Besides selling high-quality copy that should be professionally localized, you can change the positioning, size, color, and fonts of your text.

Changing color to match or contrast with the background is one option. Also, don’t forget about the color of text or captions on screenshots. And while we’re at it — it’s best if you have captions, experience shows that this approach yields more downloads.

Next comes style. This point really depends on the audience and the product. A youth-oriented video editor is better off with bright and juicy colors and wacky typography, while a banking application for middle-class managers will do best if you stick to a more refined and traditional approach. In general, round-ish fonts look warmer and friendlier, narrower — proclaim authority and restraint. Just give them a try and see what happens.

App Optimization Insights

One more thing you can do with your text is capitalize it. Capitalization can be useful for highlighting the most important bits of information or actionable buttons, but it is also beneficial for captions. Compare these two captions, which one looks catchier?

App Optimization Insights

Images

When it comes to imagery, you have many options to choose from. Few or many, captions or none (but you already know the answer to this one), separate or panorama, landscape or portrait, etc.

When it comes to a series of screenshots, you can make them look like slides or like a single picture stitched together. If you go for a panorama, you’ll create a smooth continuity effect.

App Optimization Insights

Such screenshots increase the impact of the idea you try to convey, be it fast delivery or high quality of the product. They simply look good and make your apps look more stylish.

The choice between portrait or landscape orientation of pictures depends on the product. For most products it is better when users don’t have to do much to access the pictures — hence, portrait is your king. But there are apps that require a landscape mode for gameplay, so it is better to showcase them as they will be seen by users after the installation. This contributes to a positive expectation VS reality outcome. Read up on this topic on the ASO Academy website. The example below shows how a landscape game listing looks like with different kind of screenshots.

App Optimization Insights

CTAs

Without question, you should use CTAs. The question is how obvious they should be. As we already know, it is better to use contrasting color to make the actionable elements stand out. Also think about your tone, how exactly you speak to your audience. Are you playful and friendly, or are you making cold calls, figuratively speaking.

Another thing you can do to make the CTAs more visible is to leave more space around them. You might be thinking that it’s better to use up all available space on the page, but spacing (or leaving negative space) actually gives off a feeling of elegance and self-sufficiency. It’s like saying: “Hey, here’s an app you might like. But we are in no rush, think for yourself” instead of “Purchase our app please it’s_so_cool_omg!

Key takeaways

  • So, the biggest takeaway is — do your split-testing. You will have reliable data for optimization and won’t stumble blindly and waste all the budget on nothing.
  • Think of a color palette for your app, refer to color wheel and test out various combinations depending on your audience, product, and goals.
  • Fonts matter, both in size and style. You wouldn’t believe how much depends on whether your text has serifs or not. Yes, font psychology is a thing.
  • You need images. Screenshots, better with captions. Whether it should be landscape or portrait, depends on many factors, but you do need some pictures.
  • And lastly, social proof. Reviews, testimonials, comments, awards (in any). All these or any of these will take your app higher in the eyes of users and ultimately bring more conversions.
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