The New iOS6 and App Store Optimization: What Do I Need To Know?

App Store Optimization for iOS 6

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As an app developer, you do not want to be left out. In the highly competitive world of app development, the mantra is to adapt. Otherwise, even if you have just started in the market for a short period of time, it will be game over already for you.

This is the reason why you should understand how the new mobile iOS6 operating system can affect App Store Optimization, and why you as a developer should not have any reason to be left out.

For many developers, it seems that iOS6 App Store Search may pose certain problems. In the previous iOS5 version, when you go the search results you can get up to five apps and in just a second, you can event get to the 25th-ranked app. But using the iOS6 search, you can only see one app in a page, making it harder for s person to check the rest of the apps in the top 100 apps.

In a nutshell, the solution to this problem can be typing phrases that are more descriptive to quickly attain relevant results. For instance, the user, instead of just searching for “poker” may want to be more specific and search instead, “free video poker”.

Because search queries for apps have become long tail (meaning search results are optimized with more descriptive queries), developers can review their keyword strategy and have a chance to be more searchable among users. But of course, this is easier said than done.

You doubt that this works, read our 15 ASO success stories, check out this blog post.

How To Get Started

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If you are a starting developer and you do not have enough resources to jumpstart a massive advertising campaign to make your app one of the top products in the market, reviewing your App Store SEO (search engine optimization) might be your road to enhance your discoverability inside the too-crowded iOS6 Apple Store.

With iOS6, what are some of the changes that you will see?

  • App users will see a uniform coherent look among the App Stores of iPhone, iPad as well as desktop. So an iPhone user for example will get a similar coherent experience when he goes to let’s say, the iPad App Store.
  • There will be fewer apps when users go and conduct an app search; this makes it critical for developers like you to have your app rank as highly as possible.
  • The iOS6 App Store has also removed the old “Categories” button from the landing page of the apps and replaced it with Genius. With about 700,000 apps and more currently competing in the App Store, Apple may have realized that the old “Categories” button may not be working as relevant anymore. With Genius, apps will be recommended mainly based on the download history, usage, and preferences of an app user. If Apple becomes successful with Genius as a recommendation tool, it could make Genius a prominent way of discovering apps.
  • This also means that iPhone users have to rely on Apple for its capacity to look for and recommend apps.
  • Users can immediately get the app description with the product preview. This means that you have to seriously consider how to market your app pitch. If users do not get what your app offers in the app pitch, then there is chance that they will quickly move to another app.
  • The new iOS6 search also provides users announcements and updates about an app, telling them which products have improved in their functionalities. Again, writing what to put in your update has to be really thought out to catch users in one pitch.
  • Users can easily check the product reviews, which are no longer placed at the bottom of the page. Reviews are then tallied, thereby giving users an idea of how many people gave your apps positive reviews and how many did not. So for example, even if one user posted a negative review about your app, the new App Store search will tally the negative review with the number of positive reviews by other users.
  • If users are signed in on Facebook, they can immediately like your app’s Facebook page and quickly share if they like (or not) your app to their networks, further spreading the popularity (or notoriety) of your app.
  • There is also now the app support button, which may prove beneficial to developers. The button, placed next to the “Write a Review” button, encourages angry or complaining users the chance to directly contact you first instead of immediately publishing a negative review. This “App Support” button brings users to your website to seek the support they want for their concerns. It is therefore important that your website should have a mechanism to address the concerns of your complainants. Otherwise, they will just be more critical of your company and app. Do not be surprised if you receive a scathing review from a user because of an app problem and that your website’s support tool sucks.
  • Another concern for you as a developer is that in the iOS6 App Store, there seems to be more emphasis when it comes to visuals. This means that you should be able to produce icons and screenshots that have a higher chance of getting the attention of users. The visual emphasis is very important these days that in many cases the graphic elements of an app are equally important as its product description, if not more.

Third Party ASO Services

Third-party app analytics tools such as SearchMan and AppCod.es can help developers like you learn more about tracking and optimizing keywords in iOS6 App Store Search. In an early study made by the tool, it shows that the changes in the app search algorithm have substantial effect on the search results rankings of apps.

With SearchMan, you can have an analysis of the keyword rankings of your app along with the keywords of your competition. SearchMan can provide you with regular analytical reviews of long-tail keyword phrases, determining whether the keywords you use will include your app’s name in the search results. SearchMan’s analysis will include external review sites in its tracking and optimizing of keywords, helping developers like you to be more prepared and adapted in the changing landscape of App Store.

To see examples of apps that do a great job with ASO, read this post.

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