AppBi Report June 2017
Reveal the Secrets and Optimizing Tips of App Store Search
On the App Store, when users want to download some apps, generally they will find them by searching. Therefore, the role of Search is especially important.
In the coming iOS 11 system, it also enhances the searching function. If you still know nothing about how to optimize search, you may drop behind. Then, what factors can influence the search rank on App Store? How to optimize?
Here we will show you the uncovered secrets:
Firstly, we should know that the rank of search result is influenced by two respects.
Text Relevance: app’ title, keywords and primary category
User Behavior: downloads, ratings and reviews.
Now, we have got the factors of search rankings. Then we will learn the optimizing tips from 5 parts. The first 4 parts are about “Text Relevance” and the last one point is about “User Behavior”.
The keywords can be regarded as a crucial point of Apple search ads. To choose accurate and great keywords can directly influence the ads effects.
(1) Character Limit
“Keywords are limited to 100 characters, with words separated by commas and no spaces, so it's important to be precise when describing your app.”
(2) Think as Users
“Choose keywords based on words you think your audience will use to find an app like yours. Be specific when describing your app's features and functionality to help the search algorithm surface your app in relevant searches.”
(3) Check and Balance
“Consider the trade-off between ranking well for less common terms versus ranking lower for popular terms. Popular, functional terms such as "jobs", "text", or "social" may drive a lot of traffic, but are highly competitive in the rankings. Less common terms drive lower traffic, but are less competitive.”
(4) Forbid Illegal Ones
“The unauthorized use of trademarked terms, celespanity names, or other protected words and phrases is not allowed and is a common reason for App Store rejection. The use of terms that are not relevant to the app and the use of competing app names are similarly prohibited.”
(5) Avoid Special Ones
“Avoid special characters — such as # or @ — unless they are part of your spanand identity. Special characters don't carry extra weight when users search for your app.”
(6) Avoid Stuffing
“While you can repeat keywords in your app description, avoid keyword stuffing throughout your metadata. Also, keep in mind that your promotional text on the App Store in iOS 11 doesn't affect your app's search ranking.”
2. Names, Subtitles and Text Description
Fascinating names, subtitles and text description can encourage users’ interests and drive downloads.
(1) App Name
“The length of your app name can be up to 30 characters on the App Store in iOS 11. Choose a simple, memorable name that is easy to spell and suggests what your app does. Be distinctive — avoid long names full of generic terms or descriptions, or names that are too similar to existing app names.”
“Consider using a subtitle on the App Store in iOS 11, rather than your app name, to explain the value of your app in greater detail. Avoid generic descriptions such as "world's best app." Instead, highlight your app's features or use cases that resonate with your audience.”
(3) Text Description
“Every word counts, so focus your app description on your app's unique features and functionality. Begin with a concise statement of what the app does, and follow that with an attention-grabbing paragraph that includes a short list of the app's main features.”
3. App Category
The “Category” of App Store helps users to find their needed apps. The main category of an app especially influence whether the app will be found on App Store.
Categories on the App Store help users discover new apps to meet their needs. The primary category you select is particularly important for your app's discoverability on the App Store. It helps users find your app when spanowsing the App Store or filtering search results, and it determines whether your app appears in the Apps tab or Games tab on the App Store in iOS 11.
Be sure to select the primary category that is most relevant for your app. Choosing the categories that are not relevant to your app is grounds for App Store rejection.
4. In-app Purchase
Your in-app purchases appear in search results on the App Store in iOS 11. When customers tap on them, they are taken directly to your product page where they can read your app's description, view screenshots and app previews, or start an in-app purchase.
In iOS 11, subscriptions and in-app purchases are shown in separate sections on your product page, and you can showcase up to 20 total items. Each item you feature can have a unique display name, promotional image, and description. In-app purchase names are limited to 30 characters and descriptions are limited to 45 characters, so choose your words carefully. Be descriptive, accurate, and concise when highlighting the benefits of your in-app purchases.
5. Ratings and Reviews
Ratings and reviews influence how your app ranks in search and can encourage users to engage with your app from search results, so focus on providing a great app experience that motivates users to leave positive reviews.
(1) Pop up a prompt at the right time to lead users publish positive reviews
This trick is effective but risky. Developer/operator needs to attempt to find the “right time”. If they rub users with no awareness, it will be likely to spaning negative reviews to their apps.
(2) Create suitable and favorable contents
When we are using an app, sometimes we will receive a prompt to invite us to write a review in App Store. The contents of prompts have various kinds. Some are plain while some are attractive. Different prompts shows different feelings for users and will more or less represent the app's style.
(3) Respond to users’ reviews on the App Store
If users have the reviews about their suggestions about the app on the App Store or write down about their confusion, developers can respond to them to show thanks to them or help solve their problems.
The above five points can help optimize the searching rank on App Store. Among them, four are talking about “text relevance”, which can be controlled by developers. So developers may make more efforts to increase the relevance between texts and apps. But for “user behaviors”, developers also cannot ignore. They should constantly enhance the quality and encourage users to leave positive reviews.
On the coming iOS 11, Apple has enhanced the search of App Store to meet users’ demands. It is believed that more greats points will be revealed to optimize it and Appbi will keep eyes on this.