Visual app ASO optimization: theory and practical cases
Visual app ASO optimization - why is it so important for the conversion rate of the app?
Visual elements were and remain the main channel of influence on the user's decision to download. If a user is looking for an app according to the required functionality (there is no loyalty to a certain brand), then looking at the search results, they are more likely to perform the target action focusing on the visual components, namely the icon and screenshots.
Screenshots and an icon are visual elements of the app that have a huge impact on app conversion rates.
Conversion, in the case of a mobile app, is the percentage of installation by the user of the app after viewing its page on the store. Depending on the app category, the average conversion rate in the US is 29.68% on the Google Play Market and 32.53% on the App Store. Conversion does not apply to views of your app from search results.
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App stores have the ability to track several types of mobile app conversions. The App Store is about:
- App Units / Impressions - conversion from app display in search results to installation;
- App Units / Product Page Views - conversion from app page view to installation
- Product Page Views / Impressions - conversion from showing the app in search results to page view.
For Google Play, we are talking about:
- Tracking downloads from Google Play - the market registers the download of the application by the user
- Tracking first app launches - a conversion is registered when a user first launches your app, if they previously installed it by clicking on your ad (also available for iOS).
The graphic elements that ensure the growth of the above indicators are, first of all, the application icon and the design of its screenshots.
An icon app is an element of visual optimization that is displayed in the search results of the market or store and on the application page and is a thumbnail of the game image, functional or branded part of the application.
A screenshot is an image of the device screen with the main functions of the application, which are placed on the application page in order to show the user all the benefits and increase the conversion.
This graphic element should not be underestimated, because it is the one that is responsible for the first impression of the app. Usually, the design of icons is simple and concise, which is logical - the element should convey information to the user already in the search results, displayed in a rather miniature format against the background of other, similar applications.
The main directions of icon design are:
- icons containing the name or part of the name of an application or game (according to research, the text on the icon is used by only a quarter of developers):
- icons containing a logo for a clear association with the brand:
- icons as part of the gameplay (the main characters or the game process itself are reflected):
This is a fairly approximate distribution because, in the icon from creation to the final result, everything can change: from color characteristics to components and text. The usual answer to the question: "Which of the suggested icons is better?" is - “you need to test!”.
What users like does not always coincide with the opinion of a developer, designer, or ASO specialist. That is why services for A / B testing of graphic elements should be part of the work to promote the app. Google Play Market in its console offers Play Store listing experiments - to assess the impact of new elements on conversion. There it is possible to test simultaneously up to 4 options of graphic elements (the current one + 3 more).
Screenshots of the application
This is a great opportunity not only to familiarize the user with the main functionality of your application - its capabilities and features but also to affect the conversion directly. When taking screenshots app, do not miss the chance to appeal to the user with calls to action, draw their attention and encourage them to download. This text is not indexed and is part of the image.
There are two main types of app screenshots - horizontal and vertical. Most often, the design of the application itself determines what the screenshot will be like. Games very often have a horizontal orientation and it makes no sense to turn it into vertical screenshots.
An example of the vertical layout of screenshots:
Vertical screenshots are more informative and without unnecessary user interaction (no scrolling) show more data about the application at a glance. They can contain an image of the device or without it.
Horizontal screenshots are usually used in games and introduce the user to the main gameplay in great detail, but due to the display features (only one screenshot, respectively, a maximum of one caption), the percentage of users who view the entire series of screenshots is quite small.
The design of app screenshots is very dependent on the category of the application. For example, if we are talking about an application for presets, filters, and effects for photos, then screenshots are usually designed at the highest level, which will speak about the quality of the application.
The visual optimization of popular brands looks pretty ordinary. This, of course, is due to the fact that users know exactly what they are looking for and download the application without looking at the design of its page. But even popular applications do not ignore such a channel for working with the user.
An example of the visual design of screenshots for the Telegram application:
To understand the trends and directions in the visual design of applications, it is necessary to make an overview of the main competitors. Conveniently, this can be done using the ASOMobile analytics and the Visual comparison tool:
The main indicator of a high-quality app visual optimization is the dynamics of conversion. It is the visual elements (icons and screenshots) that increase the attractiveness of the application for the user and lead to installation. As we`ve written about this in TOP TIPS FOR ASO OPTIMIZATION. Text optimization and work with semantics have their own goal - application visibility in search. When, according to the user's search query, the search results are generated by the algorithm, then the choice of the application for downloading occurs precisely by the icon, and in the case of viewing the application page, by the screenshots.
To substantiate this claim, let's look at several real-life cases where visual optimization was carried out and how this affected the conversion of the application.
Application - Dream App: Dream Meanings, Dream Interpretation. App to interpret your dreams, consultations with a therapist, and a dream diary.
The original icon had a fairly extensive research base, a cross-section of similar proposals, visions, and concepts. The work resulted in the following two options:
But as stated above, what the developer, designer, or even the entire team working with the application likes, will not necessarily be appreciated by users. It turned out to be just that: the conversion rate was pretty low. The need for visual optimization led to the development of a completely different concept of graphic elements. Below you can see how the search for the concept and the result of the work took place:
After receiving the results, A / B tests were run with the following result:
Conversion increased by + 49.4%
Application - PVP Ship: Shooter 5 vs 5
Space shooter-themed game. The search for concepts for the application icon and the results for A / B testing are as follows:
Conversion increased by + 32.1%
However, not only the icon brings results, but also the appeal to the audience, the use of focal captions in the screenshots, and simply their beautiful design. All these together give an increase in the app conversion.
An example of complex visual optimization and its results is the following case.
Application - Wolf Simulator - Beasts
A simulation game of the life of wild animals. In addition to the new icon, the visual optimization package included screenshots with focal captions:
The result of the introduction of the new visual app optimization was an increase in conversion.
Conversion increased by + 30%. At the moment, the application has over 1 million installations.
Text optimization will show your app for relevant keywords, while visual optimization ensures that the user installs it. However, it would be best if you did not rely on the fact that a high-quality and interesting application will find its target audience by itself, take care of its ASO optimization - this is an investment for the future, which will provide you with a constant influx of organic users.