“Minecraft” is an immensely popular video game where players can mine for material, explore, craft items and build structures. The studio recently launched an augmented reality Minecraft app called Minecraft Earth, which brings the exploration and construction elements into the real world through AR. Will Minecraft Earth see the same success as classic Minecraft, or will it need to build its App Store Optimization first? In this week’s App Store Spotlight, we take a look at Minecraft Earth and see.
On the Apple App Store, Minecraft Earth is the top app in the Adventure category. It ranks #1 in searches for its name and “craft Minecraft world,” as well as #2 for “Minecraft,” although it’s still building its rankings for most keywords. The app ranks #14 for “farming games,” #22 for “building” and #40 for “mine blocks.” It does not yet rank for many AR terms, except for “AR photo” at #89.
Creatives: Minecraft Earth uses eight screenshots on the Apple App Store. Most of these show different photos of the AR view, including Minecraft buildings and animals. Some of them also show in-game options, such as the inventory, map and user profile.
None of these screenshots use callout text to explain the game or its functionality. Users looking at the screenshots can see how the game looks in AR but are not give any information about the game’s uses or functionality. Adding highly visible callout text can entice users with information about what the app can provide for them and give them more information about the game.
There’s also room for two more screenshots, since the App Store allows up to ten. These could show more aspects of the game, such as the collaborative aspects or iconic Minecraft characters like Creepers.
The app page does not feature a video. Using a video could show the game’s features in action and demonstrate how the AR functionality works, how players build things and so on.
Title & Subtitle: The app’s title, “Minecraft Earth,” is 15 characters long. This leaves 15 characters that it could use for additional information and keywords, such as incorporating “AR” terms.
The app does not have a subtitle. Leaving out the subtitle means it leaves 30 characters that could be used for keywords blank. Additionally, as the subtitle is user-facing, it can provide additional information about the app and its functionality. Ignoring the subtitle means missing an opportunity for both keyword indexation and user conversion.
Description: The description for Minecraft Earth provides important information but has room to expand and adjust its formatting. The description consists of an introductory paragraph and four bullet features.
The introduction can be expanded on and broken into shorter lines. It’s currently a paragraph that takes up most of the screen when viewed on mobile devices. Turning this into several shorter lines can provide more space for explaining the app to users while keeping it formatted in a manner that’s easy to read while scrolling through the page.
A bullet list is good for describing an app’s features, but rather than a single bullet list, it could use several short feature sets. This can provide additional information about the app, such as how it works, the AR functionality, Minecraft characters available and more. Keeping the features as short lists makes it easy for readers to take in at a glance.
On the Google Play Store, Minecraft Earth ranks #1 for its name and #2 for “Minecraft.” Its rankings for most “Minecraft” terms remain in the top 10, such as #6 for “mind craft” and #10 for “Play Minecraft.” Outside of brand-related terms, it has yet to rank for many keywords. The app is still unranked for “Building,” “Explore Games” or “AR Games.”
Creatives: Minecraft Earth features a video on Google Play. This primarily uses footage from outside of the app, showing a story of a girl moving to a new town and seeing how other Minecraft Earth players have constructed buildings and bases as she explores her new environment. The video blends in-app imagery with real-world locations to demonstrate how the augmented reality blends the game with real life effectively.
As this video utilizes non-app footage, it would not be allowed on the Apple App Store.
After the video, the app’s page has four screenshots. These show different aspects of the app, such as the AR view, inventory and map. Like with iOS, they do not feature callout text. Adding that could provide additional information about the app’s features in a way that’s easy to take in with imagery that supports it. Utilizing targeted keywords in the callout text can also help improve conversions when users see how the app relates to their search queries.
Google Play allows up to eight screenshots, so the current description currently utilizes half the amount it could.
Description & Metadata: The description is identical on both stores, but descriptions should be written for the store they’re on. In the case of Google Play, apps need to target keywords in the description; placing them near the front of each line helps the algorithm identify them.
With Minecraft Earth’s current description, it is targeting the keywords “Discover,” “build,” “collaborate” and “explore.” Those are the terms used in the bullet list, as well as at the start of the description. While those are keywords with high search volume, they are also competitive and broad terms, so the app does not rank for any of them yet.
Expanding on the description with a longer introduction and multiple feature sets could help Minecraft Earth index for additional keywords. This would also provide users with more information about the app, connect to their searches and potentially improve conversions.
Minecraft Earth is a new app with a popular brand behind it and room to grow. If it wants to maximize its reach and conversions, it should focus on App Store Optimization. This includes fully utilizing its metadata space, using callout text with its keywords and expanding its description with an introduction and feature sets formatted to each store it’s available on. Just like Minecraft builds amazing structures one brick at a time, so too does ASO give apps the building blocks to grow into a huge presence on the App Store and Play Store.