UACs, video previews, subtitle rankings & our ASO eBook will be published this week…

ASO Monthly #16- August 2017 -min

In the ASO Monthly-series we reflect on the previous month and shed a light on trends in app store optimization, algorithm changes, insights in conversion rate optimization and tool updates.

App Store Optimization News from August 2017

3 August

Google has announced that developers focusing on app quality will rank higher in the search. An internal analysis found that half of 1-star reviews in the Play Store mentioned the issue of app stability. Google has recently been focusing on improving overall app quality in the Play Store. In particular, Google wants developers to use the Android vitals function in the Play Console to find and fix app quality issues. How exactly app quality will affect search discovery was not vitals on the play console-min

Android Vitals on the Play Console

5 August

ASO expert and AppAgent founder Peter Fodor first published the results around an analysis of Google Play video views in the ASO Stack Slack group. According to his research, video previews do not seem to have a significant impact on Google Play, with only 4% of visitors watching videos (New Zealand stats). On Apple the results showed views below 1% for apps. Amongst other, Peter Fodor expanded on these findings in a recent post on the ASO Stack. Although games performed a lot better than other apps, views were still very low. Furthermore, a low video completion rate was demonstrated for all apps. The results, that were reaffirmed by other Slack group members, confirm previous assumptions that video plays a minor role in both stores and does not benefit conversion. However, this is likely to change with the introduction of auto-play videos on the soon to be realeased iOS 11 App Store.

Analysis of app preview views-min

Analysis of app preview views (Peter Fodor on the ASO Stack)

13 August

App marketing agency Incipia reported a bug in Apple Search Ads with Apple reporting low numbers of conversions and reports stopping altogether. The Search Ads coversions were fixed relatively quickly. It hasn’t been the first time that problems with the Search Ads platform have been reported.

14 August

Google is moving all app install campaigns to Universal App Campaigns (UAC) starting 16 October and will from 15 November close down all existing Search, Display and YouTube campaigns. UAC will automate spend with minimal input from advertisers. Although UAC campaigns apparently outperform regular app campaigns in terms of conversions per dollar, the move has been unpopular with many mobile advertisers. Eric Seufert from Mobile Dev Memo explains the move with the ease of use of UAC, which allows those lacking the infrastructure to calculate granular LTVs to easily set bids and advertise while focusing on product. Eric points out however that most advertisers have reacted negatively on the changes as they lose the ability to control targeting parameters.

Universal App Campaigns Google-min

Universal App Campaigns (Google)

15 August

Sylvain Gauchet from app video agency Apptamin has written the most comprehensive guide on the changes coming with the new iOS 11 app preview videos published so far. Due to the importance of autoplay app previews in iOS 11, the guide is a must-read for anyone considering video for their new app store presence. The article analyzes all the changes coming with iOS for app previews, illustrating the possibilities that developers now have with video. Best practices from the article include:

  1. Knowing the guidelines
  2. Starting strong
  3. Optimizing for silence
  4. Showing the most relevant content
  5. Optimizing the poster frame
  6. Looking at what others do
  7. Portrait apps paying attention to the middle part

App previews in iOS 11

App previews in iOS 11 (via apptamin)

22 August

Apple has announced in the App Information section on iTunesConnect that all new app names will need to be 30 characters or fewer. As noted in a previous edition of the ASO monthly, Apple has already stopped indexing any keywords past 30 characters in the name of apps that have included a 30 character iOS 11 subtitle.

Warning : announcement on iTunes Connect

Warning / announcement on iTunes Connect

22 August

A sun emoji has been spotted in an iOS springboard title by Luca Giacomel (ASO Stack Slack). So far no other emojis have been seen — it will be interesting whether Apple permits more of these in the future.

Sun emoji in iOS title-min

Sun emoji in iOS title (via Luca Giacomel)

31 August

Mazal Hadad from digital marketing agency yellowHEAD has published an insightful article around the weight of the new iOS 11 subtitle for keyword rankings. The article demonstrates that moving keywords from the keyword set to the or including new keywords in the subtitle can result in a significant uptick in rankings for the keyword. Rankings do however not seem to change when moving keywords from the title to the subtitle, with rankings being very similar.

Effect of the new iOS 11 subtitle for apps-min

Effect of the new iOS 11 subtitle for apps (via yellowHEAD)

Further interesting blog posts on ASO that appeared last month: (Ekaterina Zolotareva) (Gabe Kwakyi) (Liza Knotko)

Thanks, that’s it from us for August!

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Other ASO Monthly editions:

  1. July 2017: Algorithm changes and more iOS 11 news…
  2. June 2017: A whole new game: renewed iOS 11 App Store… (by Luca)
  3. May 2017: App Store metrics, Google I/O Instant Apps and more…
  4. April 2017: Apple search ads, botnet attacks and more…
  5. March 2017: Replying to reviews in iOS 10.3 and more…
  6. February 2017: Play Store starts using retention for keyword rankings
  7. January 2017: In-App ratings in iOS 10.3 and more
  8. December 2016: Priori Data launches Keyword Tool …
  9. November 2016: Google Play adds conversion rate benchmarks…
  10. October 2016: Apple launches Search Ads… (by Maximilian)
  11. September 2016: 50 character title-rule… (by Gabe)
  12. August 2016: Simplified screenshot submission… (by Peter)
  13. July 2016: Google Play Store testing with 2nd ad…
  14. June 2016: Announcement search ads…
  15. May 2016: App Store broken + 5 localized store listing experiments…