While spies typically want to blend in, Two Spies has grabbed the spotlight by recently being named Game of the Day in the iOS App Store. The app is a turn-based board game that is deceptively simple to learn, with a cunning strategy required to win.
In today’s App Store Spotlight, we go undercover to look into Two Spies’ current keyword rankings in search for relevant terms. We’ll then see what elements of its metadata can be tested to increase visibility and conversion after the App Store feature ends.
Two Spies ranks in the Top 100 for over 80 high volume keywords, with slightly above 15 of these ranking in the top 10. Ranking #1 for “spies” is a great position on a high volume, relevant, short tail term. But there are some areas that could be improved, including “board game” at #15, “board games” at #18, or more long-tail, similar terms and competitor brands.
Two Spies is an interactive board game where a user can complete missions on various maps. The user interacts with this map to make moves, expand and try to strike against their opponent.
Similar games are able to achieve high ranking for these terms- for example, Risk ranks #5 for “board game” and #3 for “board games”. While it might seem that “board game” style keywords may be reserved for the checkers and chesses of the world, Risk’s high ranking shows that users searching for this term may also be interested in Two Spies, and that it may be a viable term to target organically and in Search Ads. By including “online”, Two Spies could also target “online board games” where Risk ranks #5. While Two Spies currently ranks in the top 20 for “board game”, it does not rank at all for the longer-tail “online board games.”
With Risk appearing in relevant search results, another area of opportunity would be to test if Two Spies can index for the branded term, or to target it in Apple Search Ads. Currently, Two Spies is unranked for this competitor app with a similar demographic and gameplay mechanic - another opportunity to test.
Title and Subtitle Structure
Two Spies utilizes 9 of the 30 characters available for the title. Leaving this character space unused may be a missed opportunity for search discoverability and conversion. Instead, Two Spies could utilize this space to target keywords that are relevant to the app, while also explaining what the game is all about to users beyond the spy motif.
The subtitle field does a pretty good job at this: “Turn-based spy strategy for 2” lets users know what type of gameplay is involved, the theme of the game and that it has two player functionality. It does all of this with 29 of the 30 maximum characters allowed, making the most of the space.
This subtitle allows the app to rank for the keywords: “turn-based”, “spy”, “strategy” and “for 2”. Terms used here help the app rank for relevant searches such as “strategy board game” and “turn-based games for 2”. That being said, a deeper evaluation of how the app ranks for everything being directly targeted should be performed, and adjustments to this field should be tested based on performance. Like the title field, the subtitle can have an impact not only on ranking, but also conversion, given that it is a publicly viewable field.
Two Spies’ description uses 1,000 characters of the 4,000 character limit. While adding more characters does not equate to better conversion - and the description on iOS is not indexed for organic search at all - there is plenty of room to go deeper into the details of the app for users who are interested.
The App Store Description for Two Spies starts with an informative yet engaging mix of explicit game genre description with language to paint the backdrop of the game’s spy theme. From there, it jumps to a bulleted list of gameplay features. Bulleted lists are a recommended best practice in descriptions, since they can quickly convey information to users at a glance, however in the case of Two Spies there is an abrupt jump between the intro and feature list area.
Incorporating a segue between the intro paragraph to further describe the game after an engaging intro can bridge this gap between the two sections, keeping interested users reading further down the text.
Multiple concepts are highlighted within the feature list, including those related to gameplay, playing online and exclusive features only attainable through the Season Pass. A bulleted list itself is a great start, but to make this list even more digestible to readers they can be categorized into feature sets, each encompassing a similar concept.
By creating multiple lists, users can scan through to get the gist of the game, even if they do not read each one granularly. Two Spies may benefit from testing an ASO optimized description to identify if the description can increase conversion rates.
Two Spies is a great app with an innovative style, worth of its place as Apple’s Game of The Day. However, once Apple’s spotlight period ends, the game’s visibility, rankings, and conversions may decrease along with the decreases in traffic. Utilizing ASO best practices optimize for keyword indexation and conversion can help mitigate these declines and find areas of opportunity that have not yet been explored. While a Game of The Day feature can give a sudden increase to visibility, continued ASO updates can lead to continued long-term growth.