WWDC 18: changes in the App Store that we have been waiting for (but never got)

Head of ASO at mobile marketing agency Go Mobile Chingiz Talybov explains what ASO-community was expecting from Apple keynote presentation on the 4th of June.

Information about App Store updates and their impact on the organic traffic in the store is the most relevant information from Apple’s keynote events. After a considerable update package for iOS 11 last year, its absence for iOS 12 might frighten. However, there is still a chance that we might get more news about the changes.

Here I have listed several main features that App Store is missing.

1. A/B-tests

On May 29 2018, Apple has introduced an option to add different sets of screenshots to your campaigns in Search Adds.  This enables you to test groups of creatives with different audiences. However, this is only one step towards full implementation of A/B-testing. Not least because Search Ads campaigns are only available in seven countries.

Integration of a high-grade tool for A/B-testing would disrupt the market. It would enable us to obtain an adequate information about conversions without a need for third-party services (often pricey). This would guarantee an increase of conversions into viewings of app cards and installs later.

This feature is already available in the Google Play Console. However, it has its own cons: an unpredictable duration of testing period and a limited report of test results.

2. Search Ads in Russia

Search Ads is presented by two products: Search Ads Advanced and Search Ads Basic.

Search Ads Basic works only in the States and in a deep beta-mode. All available options: define your company budget and CPI rate. No keywords customization is present.

Search Ads Advanced work in a number of countries: The USA, Australia, Canada, Mexico, New Zealand, Switzerland and Great Britain. Payment is made for a tap on your ad. It is possible to select whitelist/blacklist of keywords based on which ads will appear. The interface allows evaluating search intensity for each keyword. Basically, Search Ads solve two tasks:

  • Launching search ads within the store based on specific keywords;
  • Access to free analytics based on the keywords from primary source.

Apple promised to expand the geography of Search Ads availability in the nearest future (autumn 2018 ?). The final list of countries is not known yet. Highly likely, it will include European countries. Unlikely, Russia will be there.

3. Analytics

Apple has a relatively good analytics package that is integrated into iTunes Connect: divisions into channels and countries, conversions from views to installs, number of installs from the store by days and so on. But this amount of indicators is not enough. Especially if it is compared to the configuration of intrinsic analytics in the Google Play Console.

  • Data by keywords. Google has officially announced that it is preparing a global update that can’t be called anything but an “earthquake” in the world of ASO. The Google Play Console will allow to see how many installs come from a specific keyword. This technology is already working for a limited circle of publishers. There is no such information from Apple and it is not promised to be. That’s why third-party systems are used. But they give only approximate numbers and vary from service to service. If Apple announces something similar, it will become earthier to prioritize the keywords and optimize the budget for further promotion.
  • Conversion rate benchmark. Google Play offers Analytics reports that show median conversion rate per category. It significantly impacts the presence of the app in keyword search results and its position in a category. Apple doesn’t release this data. But it is available via third-party services such as AppFollow.
  • Data visualisation. In terms of data collection and data analysis Google is way ahead of its main competitor. Just look at how reviews statistics is visualized.
    Google Play shows information about how many times a certain word has been used in reviews, average rating of reviews with this word, how these reviews impacted the final rating of an app and many more.

App Store shows only total number of reviews and their ratings. And that’s all.

4. Keyword indexing in an app’s description

In Google Play, app’s description is the biggest indexing area where the maximum number of keywords can be added. Moreover, there is some information that the store takes words from reviews into account as well.

App Store yet neglects indexing big volumes of text. But exactly this novelty would become a logical continuation of App Store upgrade.

The original article was published on vc.ru

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