Now that iOS 7 has officially launched you might be wondering what it means for your App Store Optimization and app marketing strategies. In this post, we will give you a quick rundown on what changes you need to be concentrating on to improve your App Store visibility.
Alright, maybe this isn't so new, but vertical scrolling returns to the Top Charts. We think that this format is more conducive to exploration and if you can get in the top 300 apps in each category, you now have a much better chance of being found.
In the vertical scrolling format, ratings are also included, so your ratings are now more important than ever. Be sure to work on getting more positive ratings. The individual app listings also feature larger app icons, so it is important to have a great looking app icon.
This feature is good for both users and developers. As a developer, it will be much more likely that the majority of your users are on the most current version of your app, reducing the number of version related issues. This also allows you to release updates more often.
Now that this process is more transparent however, it might be useful to let users know that you have updated the app every time you do a major update. This will give them confidence that you are supporting and improving the app.
The new Wish List feature can be a good way for developers to get more downloads because users can save your app on their Wish List for later, when they get to a WiFi connection, or get to a point where they are willing to pay for your app.
As a developer, encouraging users to save your app to their Wish List if they do not download right away, would be particularly beneficial for apps that have a large file size or high purchase price. You could always encourage them to do this in your app description, but the likelihood that users read it is very low. We will look into ways to do this and we will let you know if we find anything interesting. If you have any ideas on how to implement this, let us know in the comments.
The Gift button is a great way for your fans to share your app with their friends. Encouraging your users to use it is another way to get more downloads by word of mouth.
The Genius feature has been retired and Popular Near Me has been added. It is kind of a shame because the promise of what Genius could do is exactly what iOS developers need to solve the App Store discovery problem. But the actual implementation is proving very difficult and it doesn't look like it will be solved any time soon.
Near Me is a step in the right direction however, as it will help users uncover apps that are popular in their current geographic area. If you have an app that is targeted to a certain area, then you are probably already using location specific keywords in your App Store Optimization. This is what comes up when I do a search, as I write this.
If you aren't, then you need to start doing it. Location related keywords are usually low competition, while still getting a pretty good amount of traffic. Here is a quick look at the competition and traffic numbers of a few US cities, from our Search Rankings Tool.
The numbers are on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the most traffic or most competitive. If you look at fairly large cities like Jacksonville and Memphis, the difficulty is super low and they have good search traffic.
By ranking well for these location specific keywords, this will get you noticed by the Near Me algorithm and amplify your reach. This is huge for developers creating location specific apps or local brick and mortars looking to get more customers.
This feature also brings up some unique cross promotional opportunities. If you are an indispensable app in a particular area, other companies will come to you to help cross promote their app or local event. And vice versa, if you are looking to market to a particular location, you can look for apps that appear on this list, in that area.
If you have an app that is targeted towards kids, the new Kids category is a welcome new edition to the iOS 7 version of the App Store. This category is curated by Apple and not based on downloads, so be sure that your app complies with the rules and find ways to establish relationships with Apple curators or people who influence these curators.
That is a quick summary of the new changes in iOS 7 and how they affect your App Store Optimization. In a future post, we will get into the design considerations of iOS 7 and how you make your app fit in better with the new minimalist design.
What do you think of iOS 7? Did we forget something? Let us know in the comments below.