App Store Optimization

How to Target Different Generations with ASO

Mobile apps – a growing market that affects nearly every person in the world. On top of creating an app, developers must market their apps to a specific audience. For an app to advance, keeping their audience in mind throughout every step of the optimization process is crucial.

As technology continues to grow and the app market progresses, developers need to continually market their app to their target audience. Recently, as more and more developers crowd the marketplace, some have started adjusting their app’s metadata toward millennials.

Smart phone users around the world run into the billions and within the US alone 85 percent of smart phone users are millennials. For the most part, once an app goes live on the App Store or Google Play Store, roughly 25 percent of the world’s population can access the app.

Even though 25 percent seems like a small number, it still adds to an app’s overall visibility. Should developers really focus their efforts on targeting just millennials, or should they broaden their scope and target everyone?

Generations of Users

In today’s society, it is a commonly known fact that millennials have grown up with technology more than previous generations. For most, their daily life consists of staying connected through their mobile device, which strongly includes the use of mobile apps.

Even emerging markets such as India have millennials making up the largest population group, meaning there are rapidly growing markets with easy to target audiences.

While ASO best practices highly suggest targeting your app to a specific audience, targeting only millennials can limit your app’s visibility in the app stores. By focusing on only one group of individuals, your app can never reach its full potential or become relevant to other generations of users.

Instead of focusing on just one generation, it’s important to look at what your app does and understand who the app is intended for. Once you understand who your target audience is, it will be increasingly easier to optimize your metadata.

1. Kids

Apps for kids have been rapidly appearing on the app stores in recent years. Developers are looking to target kids because newer generations are being born with instant access to technology.

When optimizing metadata and creatives for apps targeting kids, it’s important to keep things light-hearted, fun, and most importantly colorful. Make the app name catchy and the description informational and entertaining.

Since kids are most likely to install the first app they see, it’s crucial for the screenshots and preview video to be bright and colorful to instantly grab their attention.

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2. Teenagers

While the majority of mobile users are millennials, roughly 45 percent of those users are less than 24-years-old, meaning they are considered “teenagers.”

Teenagers tend to be pickier on what apps they download. Often times, however, their decisions are based on the current popular app featured on one of the app stores, or an app they learn about from friends.

While it’s important to get featured on the App Store and Google Play Store, it doesn’t always guarantee that teenagers will be interested in your app. When targeting teenagers, it’s valuable to explore Search Ads or even look into online influencers through social media to help promote your app. Teenagers are impressionable; take advantage of their ties to social media and watch as your app’s popularity grows.

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3. Young Adults

Young adults, or “millennials,” are often glued to their phone for work, school, relationships and more. If developers want to target young adults, they need to optimize their metadata by highlighting how important the app will be to a young adults’ busy life.

While young adults are more likely to be drawn to recognizable social media apps like LinkedIn or Facebook, users in this age group utilize search more. Make sure that you’re following ASO best practices and take advantage of Search Ads so your app will appear first in user searches.

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4. Adults

Adults are the generation where there is overlap between those that are advanced with technology and those that are still apprehensive to learn. This generation was not born with nearly as much technology as kids, teenagers or young adults, but that does not mean they should be forgotten.

This generation knows exactly what type of apps they’re interested in, which means your app’s name and description need to be straight forward and to the point to gain these users.

Developers need to keep in mind that their description will most likely be read by adults more than other generations. Having an easy to read description that utilizes bullet points would be incredibly beneficial when targeting adults.

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Key Takeaways

It’s crucial to know who your target audience is when creating your ASO strategy. Does it mean that you have to target just millennials? No, but it’s important to understand that millennials make up the majority of mobile users.

Not all apps should target millennials alone, but instead developers should take the time to understand who their audience is and develop their ASO strategy around that specific type of consumer.

Take the time to understand your audience and their needs, then make sure to target their wants through your app’s metadata. Taking the time to understand your audience is just one essential part of your ASO strategy that will greatly aid the progression of your app in the long-run.

App Store Revenue

App Store vs Google Play: Revenue & Downloads

With the close of Q2, we’re looking back to the beginning of the year to see how revenue and downloads changed thus far for giants of the mobile industry. The numbers are in, and companies like Google and Apple reported positive net revenue, in addition to overall growth of the App Store and the Google Play Store.

Google announced back in May of 2017 that the company saw 82 billion downloads from the Google Play Store in 2016, causing surge of revenue for the tech company and app developers.

Apple echoed this number by stating at WWDC 2017, the App Store attracts over 500 million weekly visitors and has achieved 180 billion app downloads. On top of this information, it has been reported that across both stores, there as $15 billion in downloads at the end of Q1 2017. Across iOS and Android, downloads also grew 15 percent year-over-year.

As the number of downloads and revenue continues to grow, it begs the question what is in store for the app market?

Which Company Had More Growth?

Despite Google being labeled as the clear winner of global app downloads, Apple is closing the gap in revenue growth. The App store saw 45 percent increase in consumer spending compared to Google’s 40 percent year-over-year growth. Apple now leads in consumer spending by 100 percent, up from their 90 percent lead in Q1 2016.

Regardless of Apple being the leader in consumer spending, the company still has catching up to do on the global scale. Globally, most of the phones that shipped in Q4 2016 were Android. This is not surprising considering that Android software is used across multiple devices and the price of Android phones is relatively lower than that of an iPhone.

Along with the large number of Android phones shipped last year, third-party Android app stores are also on the rise, especially in China, one of the leaders in the app market. Some of the marketplaces include Tencent, Baidu, and more.

Other than China, Google Play is exceptionally recognized in India, as indicated by several of Google’s presentations at I/O 2017. Google has essentially cornered the market in India, making it a key factor in the tech company’s year-over-year growth of 40 percent.

Even though Apple has catching up to do in the global app market, the numbers both companies have reported for Q1 2017 are astounding. This immediate progression only meant that the demand of mobile apps will continue to increase.

What Does This Growth Mean for the App Market?

Just based off the numbers in revenue that the App Store and Google Play Store have already witnessed in Q1 2017 alone, more and more apps are likely to take advantage of a key revenue-generator: in-app purchases.

The apps that are more likely to capitalize on the influx of readily available in-app purchases are games. Gaming apps have already seen a trend of more users purchasing in-app content, especially in territories like Japan and China.

Games like Pokémon GO helped put AR apps on the map and proved that they could do well in the market. Pokémon GO managed to generate $800 million with the first three months of its release, and is a key reason why AR apps are on the rise.

Apple has realized just how big games are and will soon separate games from other apps once iOS 11 launches this fall. Despite the update not being released until Q3 or Q4 of 2017, it still shows that Apple is setting up games to continue being a huge revenue generator.

Looking at the Future

As Q3 2017 gets started, Apple and Google’s success will only continue growing. The two tech companies are setting themselves up for major success this year and have realized that the way users find apps and games is changing.

The two tech companies are both making a bigger shift toward editorialized content, which will shape the way that users find new apps and games. This drastic change completely breaks the mold of how users have been able to find apps and games previously, and will be a key component of how the app market develops this year.

Apple has taken their understanding of the app market one step further by making in-app purchases readily available on an app’s product page in iOS 11. This decision is a key component of how the app market will only continue to change and grow, because it is creating less steps for users to readily access content.

The changes set to occur in later half 2017 will greatly affect every part of the app market. It is essential to stay up-to-date on how the app market is changing to ensure your app can grow with this new landscape.

App Store Optimization

The Future of Games on the App Store

Developers are currently scrambling to make sure their metadata will be completely ready for iOS 11’s launch this coming fall. Apple announced big changes to the App Store such as the revamped navigation bar, which now features three new tabs, Today, Games and Apps.

This redesign means that Apple has finally separated games from other apps, essentially creating two App Stores with their own separate top charts and featured content.

Making games its own tab concretely separates games from other apps, and allows for all games genres to be better categorized on the App Store. The games tab will have its own top charts, but will also have separate top categories section.

Screen Shot 2017-07-07 at 11.44.38 AM While many developers are eagerly awaiting the launch of iOS 11, some are frantically adjusting their app’s metadata in case there are major changes to how apps index. But why are game developers worrying about games having its own tab? Will the upcoming changes affect everyone’s carefully crafted metadata and current ASO strategy?

Why Are Games a Big Deal?

Games having its own store is a complete game changer for everyone. It separates games from other apps and means there is now a dedicated space in the App Store that will focus solely on games.

This separation also means that the top charts inside the Games tab will focus only on gaming, creating even more competition with each app category.

While many developers are focused on how to get their apps on the top charts, others are looking forward to Apple’s promises of editorialized content that will only focus on games. This content will aid in discoverability in highlight the day’s biggest game releases, rotating game promotions and gameplay videos, along with featuring a revolving list of new handpicked games.

On top of the curated lists, Apple will show users available content for in-app purchases. This extends to new levels, characters or gameplay updates. Having in-app purchases readily available from the app’s product page expedites the decision-making process for many users and encourages them to download faster.

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Giving games its own store will help users discover more games and definitely distinguish non-games within the App Store. All of this is great news, but does the separation of games and other apps affect current ASO best practices?

Games and ASO

Moving games to its own store simply means more competition in the App Store. All available games will be in one place, meaning that developers need to make sure their metadata is clear and relevant to help their game stand out over competitors.

Despite many developers already having a tried and true ASO strategy, Apple did announce changes to the metadata. These changes include:

  • Reducing app name character limit to 30 characters
  • New Subtitle field capped at 30 characters
  • New Promotional Text field capped at 170 characters
  • Displaying up to three Preview Videos

Thankfully, ASO best practices is fully equipped to help developers prepare for these changes. Keep in mind, the changes to metadata are crucial to building relevancy, but it is still unknown whether the Subtitle and Promotional Text will affect how apps index.

1. Subtitle

The Subtitle text field can be maximum of 30 characters and will be displayed underneath the app name on the product page. Despite having such little space, game developers should treat this field as a brief summary of their game that encourages users to download. This field, just like the description, can only be updated when submitting a new build of the game.

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While it’s suggested to treat the Subtitle as a brief summary of the game, the Promotional Text should be used to highlight any recent updates, features, promotions and more. This field, unlike the description or Subtitle, can be updated at any time without submitting a new build.

3. Preview Videos

While the addition of the Subtitle and Promotional Text are incredibly important for helping games become more visible, the addition of more Preview Videos means one thing: more opportunities to convert users.

Screen Shot 2017-07-07 at 11.52.53 AM Games can now show off multiple Preview Videos that feature gameplay, characters and more. Ultimately, game developers will be able to engage with users while highlighting core features of their game.

Key Takeaways

Apple’s decision to separate Games is a huge turning point in the future of the App Store. iOS 11 will clearly distinguish games and apps as two separate entities on the App Store.

Developers need to realize that the separation of games and apps does help more games become easily discoverable, but it also clearly displays the high levels of competition among game categories.

It is imperative that developers take the preemptive strike and focus their ASO strategy toward reducing their app name, creating unique and relevant Subtitle and Promotional Text, and making sure each Preview Video demonstrates the game’s core features before the App Store’s update.

App Store Optimization

Android Excellence: Google’s Answer to Editorialized Content

Apple recently announced a complete redesign of its App Store, shifting their focus toward editorialized content such as interviews, tips and tricks and stories on apps and developers. While the App Store’s redesign won’t debut until the launch of iOS 11, Google has already announced its own plans to expand their editorial content with a new program called Android Excellence.

Similar to Apple’s new Today tab, Android Excellence will highlight the highest-quality apps and games on a rotating basis. The apps and games will be handpicked by Google Play’s editors based on their ability to “deliver incredible user experiences on Android,” apps and games that use Google’s best practices, “and have great design, technical performance, localization, and device optimization.” These apps and games can be looked at as examples of the great apps that Google encourages developers to continue creating through their platform.

Other than encouraging the future of the Google Play Store, Android Excellence will also feature content that is broken down into two groups: apps and games. These groups will each feature a revamped Editors’ Choice section full of app and game reviews curated specifically by the editorial team. Google has already announced their lists for this quarter, and the apps and games can be viewed here: Android Excellence.

While the timing of Google’s announcement to encourage more editorialized content might be suspect, the two tech companies vary in how they will deliver this content.

Apple vs Google

The biggest differences between Android Excellence and Apple’s Today tab is that Android Excellence will only be updated quarterly, which means that it will not feature new content daily like the Today tab.

Google’s decision to update quarterly might turn away users from viewing daily, but for the app developers that get featured, it could be significant to attracting users, in turn improving their conversion.

While Google is trying to introduce more editorialized content, they are not quite matching the level that Apple will achieve. Apple will feature daily stories, which will present anything from world premieres to inside looks of newly launched apps. Google’s editorialized content, however, is merely a brief bulleted list of why their editors chose the app or game. This doesn’t highlight the developers or give much context behind their creative choices.

Despite Google beating Apple to the punch and releasing a revamped Editor’s Choice, Apple’s Today tab will certainly help more apps with its rotating content and in-depth editorialized content.