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We’ve recently written about the upcoming iOS 8 changes to support video App Previews, implement Vertical Scrolling and modify Spotlight Search. But there are 3 more App Store updates coming this fall that will have a significant impact on App Store Optimization.
2. Explore Tab
3. Editor’s Choice
2 Screenshots Vs. 1
Currently when users browse the App Store in iOS 7, they only see one screenshot. This has made the first screenshot a critical marketing tool for developers. But with iOS 8 Apple’s adjusting the view to display the first two screenshots for an app. See the example below from Tim Cook’s WWDC 2014 keynote.
How Will 2 Screenshots Affect ASO?
Even with the iOS 8 addition of publishing an optional video App Preview, screenshots will remain critical. App publishers will have to focus on making the top two screenshots their strongest visuals, and clearly display the core functions of the app.
Explore Tab & Editor’s Choice
The current “Near Me” tab on the App Store in iOS 7 will be replaced by an “Explore” tab with the upcoming iOS 8 release. “Explore” will help users quickly browse app categories by combining curated app collections as well as using more specific filters for sub-categories. There will also be a new “Editor’s Choice” option in the search results for apps chosen specially by the editors.
As the Next Web points out, these “Editor’s Choice” apps are highlighted for their excellent quality and/or value, with the goal of streamlining and improving the searcher’s user experience on the App Store.
How Does the Explore Tab & Editor’s Choice Affect ASO?
With the new “Explore” tab, choosing the right category becomes more important to your app’s discoverability. Having your app listed in the right app category - and sub-category (like basketball in the above example) will make it much easier for users to find your app.
If you have questions about these upcoming features and how they will affect your app’s ASO, we’re happy to help. And if you want to know more about the science and art behind ASO, download our 70+ page e-book.
At the 2014 WWDC in San Francisco, Apple unveiled iOS 8 and OS X 10.10 (also known as Yosemite), as well as a new app coding language called Swift. With new-found changes to the App Store user experience, including the introduction of App Preview Videos (which we covered in our last blog post), we’re exploring various elements that will impact App Store Optimization and your marketing efforts.
This week we’re addressing the potential impact of two new App Store features:
2. Vertical Scrolling
Spotlight Search & Vertical Scrolling
To start off, the newly redesigned Spotlight Search in iOS 8 displays more content than ever before and it doesn’t have to be local. For example, iOS 8 Spotlight Search will show you suggested apps instead of just already-installed apps, which was the case with iOS7. Much like Siri, the new Spotlight Search will also pull in results from Wikipedia, the news, or recommend websites. Take a look at this video demo below from Apple Insider for the full picture.
When the App Store updates for iOS 8, Apple will be launching Vertical Scrolling. Users will be able to quickly scroll down through their search results (vs. side to side). They will also see 3 apps in the first view of results. This is a boom for apps in the 2nd and 3rd positions for search results, as iOS 7 only shows the #1 app on the search results page. Users then have to swipe to see more apps, which limits exposure for lower-ranked results.
How Can You Benefit From These Changes?
App store optimization becomes more crucial than ever with the new changes to Spotlight Search and Vertical Scrolling.
TITLE: You app title has more importance than ever thanks to iOS 8’s changes to Spotlight Search. The new Spotlight Search will display apps from the App Store based on the keywords mentioned in the title, making your app’s title, already one of the most important factors in improving your search ranking, even more crucial to discoverability. (For more on optimizing your app title, download our free eBook.)
ICON: Your app icon is the first visual impression of your app to users, and impacts the click-through rate for people to find out more. Since users will see more app results in iOS 8’s vertical scrolling, and they’ll see your app icon during a Spotlight Search, it’s even more imperative that your icon stands out.
SCREENSHOTS: The “hero” screenshot - the first one - also gains more importance with the vertical scrolling update in iOS 8. As app store optimization vendor Sensor Tower points out in a recent article, when people are seeing more results and scrolling faster in the app store, it’s even more essential to have eye-catching screenshots that create “immediate impact” and easy understanding.
When iOS 8 launches this fall, will you be ready? Sourcebits can help.
Our series exploring Free vs. Paid apps continues (check out the Pros and Cons and our 5 Questions Checklist) this week as we delve more deeply into the details of pricing and profitably to maximize your app’s success in the hands of users and the app stores.
To see which app strategy (free or paid) is the better fit for you, this post addresses how monetization differs between the App Store and Google Play - including how industry trends play out between the two.
Who Pays More?
To start, iOS users are slightly more inclined to pay for apps than Android users. According to industry data, 23% of iPhone users have made a mobile purchase vs. 17% of Android users. Additionally, paid apps make up 35% of the App Store while Google Play has a slightly percentage at 31%.
Industry trends in general show that free wins over paid in both the number of apps with the model and the revenue they generate.
- Over 80% of apps on both the App Store and Google Play are free
- Over 90% of app revenue is driven by free apps (money is made through in-app purchases, advertising and premium features)
- From 2012 to 2013, overall app revenue from free apps increased by 211% while revenue from paid apps decreased by 29%.
- Revenue from in-app advertising grew by 56% from 2012 to 2013.
Additionally, as this chart by Distimo shows, the free app model rules in most app categories on the App Store. However, Productivity, Education and Navigation apps have more paid than free apps.
When Paid Apps Are the Exception
Based on the above industry trends, free apps (with in-app purchases or advertisements) are usually the best monetization approach. But, there can be a few exceptions where a paid app is preferable and more profitable than a free app. If your app has niche functionality and is offered to a specific set of people, then it would be suitable to offer it as a paid download. An example of this would be an app which caters to doctors and helps them with treatments.
Going with the paid app model means you need to analyze the correct value of your app. To do this, take a look at the functionality and pricing of other apps in your industry to correctly identify the real value of your app.
App Price Distribution on the App Store
About 90% of paid apps on the App Store are in the price range of $0.99 to $4.99
Source: App Store data taken from 148Apps.biz
When it comes to average app prices, this graph shows that Android apps are the cheapest while iPad apps are the most expensive.
If you’re unsure, A/B testing on different price points is a great option to check which works best for your app. You can also A/B test different monetization strategies on the App Store and Google Play since monetization results may vary based on the platform.
The bottom line - whether you pick a free app or a paid app, making money from apps is not easy. A paid app needs to offer enough value to get past people’s aversion to paying for downloads, while a free app needs a large enough user base and a strong offering of in-app purchases and/or advertising to make money. In upcoming posts, we’ll discuss the different methods to make money from a free app.
Have questions about the finer details of pricing your app in the App Store or Google Play?
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FROM THE BLOG
by Syed Shahzad We’ve recently written about the upcoming iOS 8 changes to support video img.full,img.mtd_featured_ima Read More…