Kickstarter App Store Spotlight

Kickstarter is a crowdfunding site that has helped launch games, films, music projects and much more. Its mobile app allows users to back projects and campaigns from their smartphones, but just like a good Kickstarter campaign needs to be discoverable, so too must apps have good visibility. For this week’s App Store Spotlight, we take a look at Kickstarter’s App Store Optimization and see if it can give its mobile marketing a boost.

iOS

On the Apple App Store, Kickstarter is the #1 app under searches for “crowdfunding” and “startup” terms, as well as its own name. It also ranks in the top five for “funding,” “patron” and “fundraising,” as well as #4 for its competitor, “Gofundme.” Many of these terms are most often used for banking apps, so they may not be the most valuable terms for Kickstarter.  Its rankings begin to fall for terms like “idea app” (#21) and “project” (#24), showing areas where it can still improve.

Creatives: Kickstarter uses four screenshots. All of them are pictures of a phone against a white background, with only small callout text on the top of the pictures to describe the app. The callout text does present the value of the app, such as “Find projects you’ll love,” but the font is small and does not stand out.

The backgrounds with matching white phones blend together with the background, while the content shown in the screenshots provides little that’s visually engaging. Adding more in the way of colors, in addition to larger callout text, could help draw users in visually.

Additionally, using only four screenshots means there are six potential screenshot spots that are being left empty. These could be used to call out more uses of the app, such as showing different types of projects or creator tools.

Title & Subtitle: The title, “Kickstarter,” is 11 characters. This leaves 19 empty character spaces that could be used to add additional keywords, such as “Fund projects.” While Kickstarter the company may want to use the name alone for the app’s title, this leaves out space that could help it target additional terms.

The subtitle is “Discover creative projects.” This comes in at 27 characters, and each term is a useful keyword for the app to target. That’s a good use of the subtitle, as it’s both keyword-heavy and describes the purpose of the app.

Description: Kickstarter’s description on the App Store begins with a single paragraph describing the app. This becomes a large block of text when viewed on an iPhone device, which users may glance over without fully taking in.

This description could be broken into a few short lines, rather than one block. It calls out its main purpose first and foremost, which helps quickly communicate its usage. It then quickly goes through the different project types before mentioning that creators can track their own projects. It could use new lines for each of those, providing more information on each function while making each aspect stand out.

Following that, it has two bullet lists. One is for backers, another is for project creators. While using separate feature lists is good, it can take it one step further by talking about the variety of projects users can find, how creators can fund their projects, and what successful projects have been made on Kickstarter.

Calling out the value proposition could help convince users to download. If the app offers something that the website does not, mentioning that could help bring in users familiar with the site. Overall, reworking the description can provide more information for project backers and project creators, to show them why they should download the app instead of just browsing the website.

Google Play

On Google Play, Kickstarter is the top-ranked app for its name and “Kick start.” Following that, it ranks #4 for “crowdfunding,” before its rankings drop to #18 for “explore new ideas.” It ranks #204 for “fundraise” and #209 for “projects.” Overall, it has room to expand to several new keywords and boost its rankings for those it currently indexes for.

Creatives: The Google Play screenshots are very similar to those on the Apple App Store. It has four screenshots, each with small callout text at the top of the screen and a white background.

These screenshots do little to attract users, as they blend in with the screen and do not call attention to any images or callout text. Using more colors and larger text could make the screenshots easier to take in at a glance and distinguish the UI from the design. Adding extra screenshots (Google Play allows up to 8) could provide further information about the app.

Kickstarter’s developers know the importance of videos for advertising projects – Kickstarter projects typically include promotional videos telling users about the project. However, the Play Store page does not include a video. While Apple restricts videos to in-app footage only, a Google Play video could potentially include testimonials from Kickstarter project creators discussing how the app helped their projects succeed, or backers on how it helps them find and back new projects. A video could help engage with users by telling them how the app works and can help them.

Description & Metadata: Kickstarter’s Google Play description is shorter than its iOS description. It uses the same introduction and first feature set, but does not include how creators can manage their projects from the app. As such, the description is one paragraph and four bullet points, which provide only a little information about the app, its uses and why users should download it.

Additionally, a minimal description provides minimal keyword indexation. Google Play draws its keywords from the description, so a description that’s just a few lines long will provide less information for the algorithm to draw from.

Descriptions should start each line with keywords the developers want to target. Kickstarter starts lines with phrases like “Stay in the know” and “Save your favorites.” It does begin a few lines with keywords like “Back projects,” but it’s not frequent enough to really target the terms it wants.

If Kickstarter was to lengthen its description to provide more information, including bulleted feature lists and a more in-depth introduction, it could improve its keyword indexation. This can help it appear before more users in search results as well as potentially improve conversions, since users will often read the description of the app to decide if they want to download it.

Overall

The Kickstarter app is a useful tool for project creators, but it could potentially improve in many areas. The developers could help the app’s keyword indexation, rankings, visibility and conversions by fully optimizing its app. This requires screenshots that are visually engaging and show off everything the app has to offer, as well as revising its metadata structure for each store.

Just like a Kickstarter campaign should engage with backers and convince them to donate, so too should an app’s page advertise the app to users and get them to convert. This is an important aspect of App Store Optimization that should not be overlooked.

Want more information regarding App Store Optimization? Contact Gummicube and we’ll help get your strategy started.

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