Apple Adds App Store Search Suggestions

April 30, 2021

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Apple has released another significant improvement to the iOS App Store in the form of search suggestions. The App Store has seen quite a few new features added to improve app discoverability since its initial release in July of 2008. In 2017, Apple updated the iOS App Store with the Today tab. The Today tab is a daily editorial section that features curated content to showcase quality apps in the form of “App of the Day,” “Game of the Day,” “How To,” and select featurettes.

Search Suggestions

Apple has now made it even easier to find the perfect app on the iOS App Store with search suggestions. The iOS App Store is home nearly two million unique apps, so despite being a well-maintained library, finding the right app can sometimes be a struggle. This new search suggestions feature predicts keywords related to your query to help you narrow your search.

From the Apple Team:

The App Store provides a safe and trusted place for users around the world to discover and download your apps. And now with search suggestions, it provides another great discovery method. When users search on the App Store, they see suggested search terms related to what they’re looking for. Tapping a suggestion adjusts their search, so they’ll easily find even more apps that might fit their needs.

Features such as the new search suggestions serve to further reinforce the importance of including high volume and relevant terms in app metadata. When optimizing metadata for the iOS App Store, developers should consider which secondary and tertiary keywords users might consider when searching for an app. This will increase the chances of an app being discovered through search suggestions.

What Search Suggestions Mean for Developers

Apple previously rolled out search suggestions to select users as a beta test, and the results seem promising. Preliminary data suggests that this feature could increase conversion for apps that are optimized with related keywords in mind.

It is established that nearly 80 percent of users will download a new app directly from the search results page. This was reflected in Apple’s testing:

App Store search is one of the main ways that users discover apps, and developers are already seeing more downloads from those who use these suggestions.

Developers should take note of these increases, and start optimizing their keyword metadata as soon as they can- and ooften. Experimenting with this tool can also give insight into which keywords Apple is finding relevant to certain types of apps.

App Store Search Suggestions in Action

For example, if a user searches for “games” Apple returns a long list of suggested keywords for commonly searched game types, including “car,” “cooking,” “puzzle,” “word,” and more.

If the user then goes with the search suggestion “car” by tapping on it in the list, Apple further narrows down the suggestion to popular types of car games.

Finally, after the user drills it down to a third keyword, “parking,” they are presented with a list of games that are related to “car parking games.”

If a user wants to delete a suggestion, they can easily tap the small “x” on the right of the keyword, which will bring them back to the previous list of suggested terms.

Current Search Suggestions Availability

Search suggestions are now available in select regions, and there is no news yet on exactly when the availability of this feature will be extended to additional territories.

Search suggestions are currently available in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Additional regions will be made available over time.

Nevertheless, it is a good idea for developers to optimize their apps for robust related keyword incorporation, no matter which territory they are currently live in.

Overall

Apple has recently created a brand-new search feature on the iOS App Store to improve the discoverability of apps called search suggestions. Search suggestions provide keywords relevant to a user’s query, which allows them to select those terms which help them find exactly the app they are looking for.

Early tests by Apple indicate that the search suggestions feature has increased downloads for apps that optimize their metadata with strong, relevant, high volume keywords. While the search suggestions features is only currently available in the United States, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom, Apple has indicated that it will become available in additional territories “over time.”

Want to learn more about App Store Optimization? Contact Gummicube, and we’ll help get your strategy started.

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