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Giacomo Balli
Innovation consultant specializing in mobile strategy
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AppStore changes with iOS6 - What you need to fix.

Apple's iOS 6 brought lots of changes to the iTunes community, developers are going to have to change with it or face more big challenges.

No doubt there are certain optimized features consumers will feel entitled to. Not to mention changes to the actual App store on which developers need to take into consideration.

Selected number of tweaks will only be really known by Apple but will definitely and significantly affect your apps or games. Simply by surfing the App Store, great deal of new changes will become apparent. Redesign has made its mark. Neither good nor bad, still is something that needs some attention, if this is your market.

The New App Store Makeover

The stark change is the new "Cards-style" search results. List showing 25 results for searches were gone. Once a search is completed, consumers will see six results on their iPad and a single result on their iPhone. To see additional results on an iPhone, swipe is necessary.

One thing that sticks out about the redesign is simply whatever device you decide to browse with, you will receive basically the same results. No longer will you get different results, depending on which product you decide to surf with.

Organic downloads will feel most of the effects of this redesign; ranking between #11 and #100 for a certain keyword (or string of keywords). This is one of the many reasons why keywords are picked to rank your product in the top 10 listing. You definitely want to have your first screen tell of what your product is for, what is its purpose?

Can't find categories anymore? It's because they are hiding now. Before, this search already accounts to 63% of app discovery, this simply drive customers to even more searching and less browsing than before.

Categories have been scrapped in favor of Genius. Apple is willing to gamble on Genius for app discovery. This is a clear signal on how big they believe in the algorithm to help it along.

App Details Page Gets A Makeover Too

App Store Optimization is being heavily affected by a plethora of changes in the way a certain app is displayed.

Screenshots were moved to be displayed above the description, increasing the importance of this aspect. Order it so that it's clear to the users how your game or app works and how to make it relevant. Old school text can go a long way to help understand next generation apps. They are to be treated as mini billboards.

Only the first lines now appear on your device of choice, so they have to count. The "What's New" section is now almost as powerful as your description and should not be overlooked. Consumers need to see that your app is continuously improving and getting better.

Reviews now have their own tab to call home, which is a plus. The "App Support" icon shows up by the "Write A Review" button, means you need to have a specified address for support in iTunes. It also means that it actually needs to point somewhere that a person can get help or assistance when needed. If they can't contact you, it's no good. Users can "Like" your app, thanks to inclusion of Facebook in iOS 6. It's not as important as reviews but it lets you reach out to the community as well as people who otherwise wouldn't find you. Someday in the not too distant future this could be included in the algorithm, you'll never know.

Revamped Search Algorithm

App Store Optimization experts have Notice quite a few changes. The update Affectionately called "The Chomp" started last June and is expected to continue on changing things up in relation to searches.

Do not waste keywords on things such as "free" or "game" (as tempting as it is, not even your category name). Apple automatically adds these. Plural form now is being handled much better; you can now use single form to save on much needed characters. Last but not the least, in-app purchase names will no longer serve the purpose of keywords.

External reviews quickly goes to be something Apple will be looking at (already it's been rumored Chomp may be doing this). If this happens it will be a strong signal to Apple that you have a legitimate app.

These are the "big boys" of changes when it comes to App Store Optimization. The changes are not about to stop, most would be expected, but that's simply the nature of the beast. The new App Store and Algorithm are a huge deal, and need to be treated as such. The things listed here are concrete things that you can work on to stay with the curve and maybe sneak ahead.

- thanks Trey for the insight.

#appstore, #aso, #marketing
Published: Sun, 04 Nov 2012 12:24:51 +0000