Serial Reader is an app designed to help people read classic works of literature in bite-sized pieces. The app boasts over 650 books in 20-minute issues, customizable features, badges and more. For users to enjoy their books, first they must find the app, which is why App Store Optimization is important. This week’s App Store Spotlight focuses on Serial Reader and if its ASO makes the app’s store pages a must-read.
On the Apple App Store, Serial Reader is #31 in the Books category and was recently featured on the App Store’s list of “Apps That Look Great in Dark Mode.” It ranks #1 for its name and “literature.” Its rankings quickly fall to #18 for “daily readings” and “read book,” #35 for “e book reader” and #44 for “novels.” Its rankings vary for competing reader apps, such as #8 for “kindle store app” and #18 for “kindle app for iPod” and #30 for “nook.”
Creatives: Serial Reader’s iOS app features seven screenshots. Each one uses a different color scheme, including handsets tinted to match the background. All the background colors are bright and eye-catching to stand out whether the phone is in light mode or dark mode. It also includes a screenshot that delves into its dark mode design and icons.
Each screenshot focuses on a different aspect of the app, starting from the major features and ending on an image of user reviews. They all have large callout text in clearly visible fonts that describe the individual aspects of the app in an easy to read design. The screenshots each focus on different classic books in the app, such as “Pride and Prejudice” or “Moby Dick,” although a few are repeated.
While the screenshots are designed to engage with users and demonstrate the app, it has room for three more. The App Store can feature up to ten screenshots, so including the last three could help provide more information for users and tell them more about the app, such as the variety of customizations or the current Halloween options.
Title & Subtitle: The app’s title is “Serial Reader – Classic Books.” This helps it rank for terms like “book reader” (#80) and “classic literatures” (#1). It uses 29 of the 30 characters provided, so the title makes good use of the space. The name also makes it clear that users can read literary classics on the app.
The subtitle, “Read Books in Daily Bits,” is 24 characters. This leaves space for six more characters for keyword optimization. It also doubles up on the “books” keyword in the title and subtitle, so it could target another keyword by swapping it out. The subtitle helps it rank for terms like “read for free” (#47). The “bits” part of the subtitle has it rank for low-volume and irrelevant terms like “bits free” (#4) and “bits mobile” (#16), which have nothing to do with reading or books. The subtitle does convey the app’s purpose well, but it can be restructured for length, relevant terms and to avoid doubling up on keywords.
Description: The app’s description begins with promotional text calling out its Halloween-themed books and scary stories, as well as new dark mode features and Halloween app icon. This is a good use of the promo text space, as it utilizes seasonality and mentions new additions to the app.
The description itself then begins with a quick value proposition, stating how users can “read classic books in daily bite-sized bits.” This works well for presenting the main feature in an easy to read manner.
Following that, the description gets a little bulkier. The next paragraph could easily be broken into a few shorter lines, rather than one lengthy paragraph. It then places a feature list in the middle of the introduction. There are also two different portions of the description where it calls out praise and accolades, making the flow disjointed.
After the introduction, it has bullet lists calling out a number of books that are available in the app. These books are separated by genre, making it easy to scroll down the page and see what’s available. The description could benefit from including features listed in the same manner, rather than putting two feature lists in the middle of the intro. While the feature lists do separate the free and premium features, as descriptions are required to do, it could still include more feature lists describing the various uses of the app.
On the Google Play Store, the only app that Serial Reader ranks #1 for is its name. The only other term it ranks in the top ten for is the low volume “read everyday.” The Serial Reader app ranks #61 for “books” and #40 for “epic reads,” with its rankings falling increasingly lower after that.
Creatives: Serial Reader’s Google Play screenshots are similar to those on the Apple App Store, but not identical. Each one uses a different color scheme, although the colors are solid and feature a black device in the same position. The values called out in the screenshots are similar to those on iOS, with the exception of the dark mode designs and accolades screenshot.
These screenshots illustrate the features and purpose of the app, including the daily issues and customization features. The callout text is clearly visible and easily read on the top of each image, and while they can get a little lengthy (such as “classic literature in daily bite-sized bits”) they convey the purpose well.
Description & Metadata: The Google Play description is similar to the iOS one, with a few key differences. Google Play does not include promotional text, so it does not mention the Halloween seasonality. The description is designed with a better flow than iOS, starting with an introduction, followed by features, then the quotes praising it, ending with the list of books available on the app. It uses a shorter introduction than the iOS app, so it could include additional information.
Where the description falls short is in the keyword usage. The description rarely begins a line with a keyword, instead starting with lines like “Each issue can be read in 20 minutes or less” and “Customize with a variety of themes and fonts.” These could be reworked to begin with keywords, to help index and improve its rankings for more phrases and terms.
While the app’s list of books can help it index for those keywords, they are not used frequently enough or close enough to the top to properly index for many of them. It does rank for “Mockingjay book” at #128, as well as #51 for author “James Patterson,” but it has room to grow for many important book terms.
Serial Reader is a useful app for people looking to read classic books while going about their busy days. Yet people won’t be able to read the books if they can’t find the app, and Serial Reader has room for improvement on both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.
This includes reworking its iOS subtitle and description, as well as adjusting its Google Play description to improve keyword optimization. It could also potentially improve conversion by reworking its descriptions and adding additional screenshots to fully utilize the space provided.
By fully optimizing its app for keyword indexation and user conversion, Serial Reader could attract more users and introduce them to many new works of literature. Until then, it’s still sitting on the app stores’ shelves.
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