iOS App Store Marketing
App Store Marketing is effectively making users aware of your app via the information you provide for the app’s metadata, which includes a memorable and short app name, media including images and video, primary and secondary category selection, optional sub-category selection, and most importantly keywords. This information translates to how discoverable your app will be, and that translates to downloads.
Optimizing this app store metadata (ASO) is important to making your app relevant to users and increasing it’s awareness.
We all know that getting downloads is one-half the battle. App publishers get more mileage from retaining and growing existing customers. However, you have to acquire users before you can retain them. The app store offers multiple ways to discover your apps.
1. Featured apps
Featured apps are simply curated collections maintained by Apple app store editors based on various themes, interests, seasonal events and cultural events. For example, on June 18, 2016 the app store had multiple featured collections as outlined below.
Editors choice collections had apps from Disney, Netflix, Fox Sports. Note, not apps in this collection have high ratings. Collections include, Editors top banner and New Apps We Love.
Games are significant on the app store and the largest category with almost 25% of apps being games. Collection examples: New Games We Love, What We’re Playing Today, Kids Bundles 50% off, More Games You Might Like and, NBA Action
Cultural and Seasonal Collections like for Father’s Day: Examples: Shop for Dad with ApplePay, More Great Gifts for Dad, Spend Time With Dad, Games To Play with Dad.
Travel Related Seasonal Collections: Examples: Your Summer With Adventure Starts Here, The Places You’ll Go, Breeze Through the Airport, Fly Away with us
Apple Collections, promoting Apple and Apple technology: Apps that use newest Apple hardware and technology get a special place on the featured page. Examples: Apps Enhanced for 3D touch, Apps Made by apple, Buy with Apple Pay. In the past, apps that first used iCloud, or made use of high resolutions device screens have been promoted.
The App store over 25 categories and 50 sub categories for Games, Magazines, Kids. You can assign a primary and a secondary category to your app. The primary category is more important for your app’s discoverability on the App Store, as this is where your app is displayed in search results, Search Ads and top charts. Your app is displayed in both of the categories that you’ve assigned in the Explore tab on iPhone and iPad.
A photo-sharing social networking app could be categorized under Photo & Video or Social Networking as the primary category. Selecting the category based on the main function or subject matter of your app will prove to be better for discoverability. If you are not sure, base it on how your users would categorize your app. Browse the app store to see which categories are more crowded or have similar apps. Research how similar apps are categorized — users may already know to visit these categories to find this type of app.
Ensure that the category you choose accurately reflects your app’s core experience.
3. Top Charts
Top charts are generally based on most downloads in the free, paid and top grossing categories.
4. Search & Trending
Over 65% of apps are discovered via explicitly searching on the App store. The search algorithms are constantly evolving, and per Sensor Tower it is usually changed in the middle of every month. The following has an impact on search results.
- App Name has a significant weight, best to use relevant and strong keywords.
[Update September 1, 2016: Apple just sent an email to developers. The recommended length in now 23 characters with a maximum of 50 characters – more]
- App description is now used in Search and Search Ads
- Reviews & Ratings
- Downloads & Installs
- Uninstall rate
- App retention and engagement
- Date app was updated
- Use of Universal linking (previously deep linking)
Trending apps listed on the search page are apps that are being searched the most and further increase the discoverability by a multiple factor.
5. Search Ads
Search ads were announced by Apple a couple of days ago, as an efficient and easy way for app publishers to promote apps in the U.S. App Store search results. A single ad is presented on the search results pages when people search for apps similar to the app publishers’ app.
- At most one Ad shown per search, if relevant and if available.
- All Search criteria including title, keywords, description, reviews, ratings, install and uninstall rate, etc. is used for determining relevance.
- User response (clicking) to ads is used to also used determine if an ad will be displayed.
- Search Ads are organized by campaigns which comprises of ad groups, and an ad group is made up of keywords.
- Search Ads have the option to bid for a maximum cost per tap (CPT) or a target cost per install (CPA).
- A second-price auction type, auction system allows advertisers to only pay whatever’s necessary to beat out their next best competitor, and not their full maximum bid.
- Keywords and related keywords suggestions along with relative search volume for keywords.
- Geographical, Gender, Device and Age Targeting
- Ad Scheduling and reporting
- Search Ads are generated automatically from app’s metadata, artwork and keywords
- Attribution reporting is down to the level of “keyword used in search” responsible for download.
Attribution Request and Response
Attribution can be easily queried and reported granularly. Attributing to the keyword search used responsible for download is key to
Here is a request and response object.
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