How to get your app ready for iOS 15? All innovations and expert comments
Here’s what to expect from iOS 15 and how to get ready for all the updates.
Custom Product Pages
This feature makes it possible to create up to 35 different app pages (for each locale) with unique URLs. They won’t be visible in the search results.
- Test different versions of your visuals (except for the icon) to find the best options conversion-wise (for external traffic) and generate hypotheses for A/B tests of the app page inside the store. Try changing previews, screenshots, and promo text.
- Create product pages for various audiences. You can focus on different features, content, or benefits depending on the audience. Support ad and promo campaigns.
- Track impressions, installs, retention, conversion, and average revenue for each product page via App Analytics. This will help you make your marketing campaigns more efficient.
Nuances: One does not simply publish a custom product page in AppStore. You’ll have to approve it first, and this takes time. Any violation of the store rules will traditionally result in a ban.
In fact, custom product pages bring purchasing traffic from external sources to a fundamentally new level. And they provide new opportunities for conversion optimization, especially in large-scale apps. For example, if your app is a superapp that combines a variety of services and offers in a single app, you can create a custom product page for each local campaign with a description of this particular offer. In theory, this should have a good effect on conversion.
Compared to Google Play, custom product pages may give more room for improvisation and testing. In both cases, you may want to create a page with new metadata aimed at a certain group. App Store allows using it for external traffic, while Google Play does that for internal traffic only. How the custom page will be displayed depends on the country and language of the user’s device, and that seems less useful.
Product Page Optimization
This feature is similar to A/B testing that can help you test various versions of app page visuals and compare their performance.
- Find out which version of your product page helps boost organic traffic more efficiently.
- Try different combinations of icons, screenshots, and video previews. You can test three options (apart from the original one) for up to 90 days by distributing traffic independently. To conduct a test, you can keep the principal volume on the main page and assign minimum values to the rest.
Nuances: The icon on the app page you’re currently testing will match the icon that displays during loading. Any alternate metadata under test has to be submitted for moderation. Alternate screenshots and app previews can be submitted for review regardless of the new app version.
A/B testing provides new opportunities for small-scale players who could not afford tests via third-party resources earlier on. They had to either transfer metadata from tests to Google Play, or conduct the tests via ASA, or analyze the outcome from before and after. All these options, of course, do not provide accurate data, but that’s going to change now.
In-app events are a way to promote new content and functionality like sports competitions, in-game challenges, or new series premiere dates on streaming platforms. App developers will be able to create custom in-app event cards. They will appear on the app page as well as among search results, editors’ picks, and recommended apps. The cards include event name, a short description, and a picture or video (a looped one that is up to 30 seconds long). Users will be able to visit an app page with all the details, subscribe to receive a notification when the event starts, and share events on social media.
- Optimize in-app event cards by including relevant search queries in text elements. There are 30 characters available for the title, 50 for the short description, and 120 for the full description.
- Post the event on the app page 14 days before its date or earlier, up to 30 days in general. Set a priority to influence in-app event order.
- Provide links to in-app events. They will open your app in a certain section. New users will be able to install your app from the event card and navigate to the desired content.
- Improve your retention rate by “warming up” your audience with new in-app events and retaining active users.
Nuances: In-app event cards are made via App Store Connect. You can post up to 10 in-app events, but no more than 5 of them can be published in App Store at a time. Therefore, you may wish to think through which in-game events should be promoted via in-app event cards in the first place. When users search for your app, an in-app event card will show up along with it for those who’ve already installed it. Screenshots will be displayed for those who haven’t installed your app yet.
You can create in-app events for all users, or you can segment them to target a specific audience. For example, you can aim to retain loyal users or acquire new ones. When used wisely, this tool can work great at re-engaging the audience who installed the app, used it, and then forgot about it. An interesting event might encourage this kind of audience to return.
Search results won’t display app screenshots if the user has already installed the app. They will display the icon and title only. This is bad news for major brands that everyone uses. If they are ranking among the top by a certain keyword, then the users won’t see them but the competitor who comes next. Thus, the competitor will become more visible, and some users will give it a try. On the contrary, this is quite good news to smaller brands as they’ll be able to get some visibility.
Top apps right now are the most well-known ones that many have been conditioned to install. Large-scale apps can fight this with IAPs (as they will increase in value). If you have no screenshots, then you can get an IAP indexed for it to take your competitor’s place and show up expanded as usual. Besides, large-scale apps can pay more attention to in-app events. Those will follow the app in search results.
It also will be easier for large-scale apps to promote third-party products under the same brand if they follow the ‘primary’ app in search results. If such ‘extra’ products rank much lower, then you can consider setting the goal of making their rating 2 to 3 ranks higher so that they follow the ‘primary’ app as to fight for room with competitors.
And yes, the IAPs you’re promoting will increase in value. If a user installed your app and your IAP follows the app in search results, then it will be expanded, and move the results that follow (competitors) almost a screenshot display lower.
What other new iOS 15 features will influence apps
- New App Store Widget
Articles, collections, and in-app events from the Today tab can be viewed right on the Home Screen.
- Game Center Widgets
The Continue Playing widget will display the Game Center-enabled games you’ve recently played on your devices. And the Friends are Playing widget will show what your friends are playing.
These widgets will affect extra installs of top apps and games.
- New feature: Notification Summary
You can now receive a useful collection of notifications every day, according to the schedule you set. The notifications in the summary are automatically sorted by priority with the most important ones displayed at the top.
Push notifications are a powerful app tool to improve user retention. And now your push notifications are quite likely to get lost in a long long list.
Here you can find a full list of new iOS 15 features
- Combine the effort of your ASO, marketing and design teams to boost app promotion. Custom product pages will be available in January, so you can start improving your creatives early.
- If you have an event calendar, you can already start getting text metadata ready for future optimization. Algorithms will analyze the title and description of events to show them in relevant picks and recommendations. Apart from the keywords, it may be important to abide by the App Store recommendations, in particular avoid using ‘best’ and ‘#1’, vague definitions in the title, or select the right event icon like Major Update, Premiere, or Challenge.
- Keep in mind that custom product pages and A/B tests of varied app pages will be moderated for some time.