The Sims is a long-lasting and popular game, wherein users can create characters and control their lives. While originally a desktop game, The Sims is available on mobile devices as The Sims Mobile, where it’s maintained a strong presence in terms of keyword rankings and downloads. However, there is always room to improve, so where can The Sims Mobile grow? For this week’s App Store Spotlight, we take a look and see how The Sims Mobile’s App Store Optimization checks out.
On the Apple App Store, The Sims Mobile is ranked #24 in the Simulation category. It’s the top-ranked app for many “Sims” searches, including “sims animals,” “sims ambitions” and “sims online.” It’s also in the top five results for “free simulation games,” “make a house,” “play with life” and “world games.” Additionally, the app ranks well for a number of competitor terms, such as “Avakin Life” (#11) and “Bitlife” (#12).
Its rankings do tend to falter at some points, though. It comes in at #18 for “life story games,” “simulation” and “My sims freeplay.” The app also ranks #20 for “life sim” and #24 for “decorate games,” which are high-volume terms that are relevant to the app’s functionality.
Creatives: The Sims Mobile uses five screenshots and a video. The video quickly showcases several aspects of the game, such as character customization, the range of stories players can tell, chat functions and so forth. It’s accompanied by energetic, cheery music to engage users.
The screenshots also show different aspects of the game, starting with the most engaging (character and home customization) and moving on to more general aspects such as “play together.” Each image is accompanied by callout text that describes the feature, such as “shape your Sim’s lifestyle,” utilizing the shades of green associated with the brand and placed alongside a Sim character. The callout texts use keywords, such as “build the perfect home” and “play together,” so users searching for similar terms can see how the app relates to their queries.
Where the app falls short isn’t in the quality of the creatives, but the quantity. The Sims Mobile only uses five of the ten screenshots Apple allows, so it’s only utilizing half its potential screenshots. Each new one could highlight different aspects of the app that the video only glanced over and provide more content to potentially drive conversions. Leaving out screenshots is simply missing potential.
Title & Subtitle: The app’s title, “The Sims™ Mobile,” uses 16 of the 30 characters Apple provides. This leaves 14 characters that could be used for additional keywords.
The subtitle is 15 characters: “Play with life.” While it is short, using only half the allotted character space, it does help the app rank for terms like “sims free play” (#2), “live play” (#3), “life game free” (#3) and competitor “Avakin Life” (#11). Additionally, the term “Play with life” is a high-volume keyword, which The Sims Mobile ranks #2 for.
While it does rank well for the keywords it uses in its title and subtitle, the app is still only using half of the characters it’s allotted. It could integrate additional terms to target more keywords and display them in a user-facing spot.
Description: The description for The Sims Mobile is formatted well for the Apple App Store – it uses short lines of no more than 2 sentences, which users can easily read at a glance. After the introduction, it has a feature set describing different aspects of the app; while these aren’t bulleted, they are short enough to still read quickly while scrolling through the page.
The description can still be improved by expanding on the information available. It’s formatted well, but overall provides only a surface level of information about the app itself. The introduction itself is only two sentences, so it could include more short paragraphs telling users more about the app.
Similarly, there are only four feature sets, so it only provides a little information about what features the app has. Another set or two could provide further information to help show users what the app is about and what it can provide for them. For instance, as the video quickly shows an in-game chat during a party, the screenshots could elaborate on that and show how the chats work.
On the Google Play Store, The Sims Mobile is ranked #12 in the Simulation category. Like with the iOS version, it ranks #1 for several Sims terms, including “The Sims,” “create a sim” and “sims family.” It’s in the top five for terms like “Sim City” and “free simulator games,” and the top ten for terms such as “virtual life” and “build a family.”
Its rankings begin to get lower for terms like “simulation game” (#21), “social life” (#24) and “life games free” (#27). Its competitor terms are on the lower end, such as “Avakin Life” at #16, IMVU at #25 and “profileme” at #24.
Creatives: Google Play uses the same creative set as the Apple App Store. The video is equally effective on both stores, with engaging music and visuals that showcase various aspects of the game. While Google Play has less restrictions on its videos than Apple does, the existing video still shows off the mobile game nicely.
The five screenshots the app uses all demonstrate various features and functions of the game. In this case, it uses five of the eight screenshots Google Play allows. It could easily fit three more screenshots to show more aspects of the game and highlight further relevant keywords and features.
Additionally, the keywords used on one store may not be reflected on another. On the Apple App Store, using a screenshot that calls out “Play with life” makes sense, since it ranks #2 for that search term. On the Google Play Store, The Sims Mobile does not rank for it at all, so it could replace that callout text with a line more closely connected to the app’s high-value keywords.
Description & Metadata: The description for The Sims Mobile is much lengthier on Google Play. In this case, it begins with a long paragraph going into detail about how users can use the app and what it offers. This could still be broken apart into two separate paragraphs to improve ease of reading and organization.
The feature sets are also lengthier, so they could benefit from being turned into bullet lists. This would allow them to provide the same information while being easier to read at a glance.
Finally, the description should be written in a way that places keywords at the front of each line. There are very few lines that do that, while many sections begin with lines like “Host and attend parties with other Sims” or “Effortlessly personalize home layouts and designs.” While these provide useful information for users, they do not help with keyword indexation or optimization.
The Sims Mobile has managed to capture a large number of high rankings for Sims and simulator terms, as well as lifestyle keywords. Its rankings vary for competitors, but it stands out well on its own.
There is still room for growth and improvement. While the screenshots it uses are engaging and use proper callout text, it has room for more. Similarly, its descriptions, while formatted well, can stand to provide more information on iOS and utilize keywords more on Google Play.
App Store Optimization can help any app grow, whether it’s a massive property like The Sims or an indie game looking for an audience. If The Sims Mobile were to utilize ASO best practices for metadata and creatives, it could potentially reach and convert even more users.
Want more information regarding App Store Optimization? Contact Gummicube and we’ll help get your strategy started.