In this article, you will learn how to draw the user’s attention to the service in the App Store and Google Play and how to arrange screenshots in such a way that they reveal the functionality of the application and “catch” potential customers.
App Store, Google Play, and Windows Phone Marketplace are gradually turning into a digital battleground. Developers struggle to ensure that their applications are recognized by users.
App Store Optimization (ASO) is a strategy similar to SEO but applicable exclusively to app store pages. It has become a useful addition to the developers’ marketing plan. And it also aims to increase the number of downloads of the application.
ASO is composed of many elements and should be considered the main component when publishing an application. It describes every detail regarding the page on which the application is located, and can be roughly divided into two groups of elements: internal and external.
Internal optimization elements include everything that is displayed directly on the application page in the corresponding store:
- screenshots and videos;
External Optimizers are external links that lead to the app download page:
- rating, reviews, comments;
- application recommendations;
- landing page or website dedicated to the application;
- press coverage;
- social media activity.
Is it necessary
In times of constant flow of information and frenzy around social media, it is almost impossible to get users to keep their attention on what you want to convey. We are constantly distracted, and we do not have time to sit still and delve into something. Studies have shown that our attention span has dropped to 8 seconds.
We return to the principle when the first impression is most important: you only have a couple of seconds to grab the consumer’s attention. Use them wisely to generate interest and get the user to click, scroll down, or download.
The importance of screenshots is to convey a clear message to the user. The App Store has made a small revolution – screenshots have overshadowed app descriptions from the search page and from the app itself. Now, Apple continues to focus on images rather than text. The same thing happens with Android.
For almost 50% of users, app design is a crucial quality factor. It is second only to the reviews of other users and the rating.
While user reviews are external, as they cannot be easily influenced, screenshots are internal and can be customized to suit your needs. The app design and its corresponding screenshots should rank high on the list of marketing activities.
Visual communication is undeniably faster than verbal communication. Therefore, a beautiful design and high-quality screenshots will make a valuable contribution to the realization of your mission.
Let’s start with the basics
Screenshots of the application should not be selected at random. The best approach is to choose the screenshots that best describe the purpose of the application.
Major app stores allow uploading five screenshots. Is your app for teens? Fitness app for pregnant women? Mobile scanner? Adventure game? You must make sure that each user understands the message that you are trying to convey to him.
Another approach to selecting screenshots involves two questions:
- What problem does your application solve?
- What is unique about your application?
If you can answer these questions based only on screenshots, then half the work is done. If you can’t find the answer, let’s dig further.
Regardless of what you need to do, there is most likely an application for that. Maybe even 10, 50, or 100 apps. It is quite rare to create a unique application.
There are two trends: either build a large platform or make a micro-application that will solve one small problem. Often a developer thinks that he is creating a unique application, but is disappointed when he finds a lot of competitors in the market.
The real and digital worlds are over-saturated today. There are hundreds of options for any item a person needs, from tablecloths to entertainment systems, and we are overwhelmed by multimillion-dollar variations of the same thing.
The key to success is a difference, not uniqueness. We live in a competitive environment, and even if you create something unique, you will soon find yourself surrounded by competitors.
The differences can relate to several aspects that relate to application design and screenshots in particular. Here is some of them:
- Your app allows a user to complete an action in three steps, while a competitor completes an action in five or more steps (for example, an app that allows users to take a photo, apply filters to it, and instantly download the result).
- Your app is built on advanced technology, builds on UX and UI principles, and replaces buttons with swipes (for example, a dating app where a user can swipe left or right to like or skip a potential pair).
- Your app integrates with other services and makes it easy to transfer files between apps (for example, an app that scans documents and uploads them to your cloud).
I think you get the point. The main goal is to do better than anyone else and find a way to describe the benefits through a visual demo.
One rule is that the most crucial screenshot should come first. It makes no sense to follow a logical order in arranging screenshots. You are wrong if you think that users need to know the steps to use the application. You only have a few seconds to grab the user’s attention.
Home screen and app features
The most common screenshot is a description of what your application is doing. Typically, this screenshot contains the main screen of the application.
- Be as simple and clear as possible.
- Highlight the crucial purpose of your application.
Description of functions and what is in the application
Some screenshots show how your application works. In this case, you need to make sure the screenshot is easy to “understand”.
Apple’s Healthbook focuses on both features and design.
PressViewer approaches the description of functions differently. Rather than displaying all features in one screenshot, the app uses all five labeled locations to demonstrate step-by-step features of the app (the app is no longer available for download).
Application behavior and description of how it is used
If your app doesn’t use traditional features like tapping and scrolling, don’t be afraid to show it. There are several interesting ways to demonstrate application behavior.
- Creativity is crucial. Find a way to interest the user.
- Add application controls (taps, scrolls, swipes) to the screenshot.
Additional text to describe the screenshot
Over time, a certain trend has formed in the niche of screenshots. Instead of using all the available space to illustrate the application screen, developers compress screenshots to make room for additional text.
This advice is one of the most useful, don’t forget about it.
- Do not overdo it. Two lines of text are enough.
- Make sure your text is readable.
Include media mentions and awards
If your wonderful application has been written about in some reputable publication, do not hesitate to brag about it. Adding appropriate icons can give the user even more confidence in the application.
- Don’t clutter up the provided screenshot space.
- Only truthful comments. No need to create a fake image.
List of screenshot tools
Now that we’ve covered all the tips for taking the perfect screenshots, it’s time to move forward. Whether you are a professional or a beginner, the following services will help you take screenshots:
- Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator are great tools for those who know how to use them. Photoshop is available for 299 rubles per month.
- Visme is the best choice for people with limited skills and high ambitions. Visme allows you to create a screenshot with any details added. Visme can be used for free for three projects, then the cost will be $ 6 per month.
- Screenshot App is arguably the fastest way to create a screenshot that looks good. Choose a format, add a screenshot and some text. All! The Screenshot App is free to download.
- Placeit is especially useful if you want to show how your application looks in real life. Low-resolution images are free to download. Placeit also offers to download each image for only $ 8 or sign up for a monthly subscription.
Test drive your work
To check if you guessed right with the screenshots, you need to check their performance. Periodically visit the developer panel in iTunes, Google Play, or Windows Phone Marketplace and carefully study user behavior.
Alternatively, you can survey users. Beautiful profiles can be created using the Typeform service. Don’t forget to reward the user for completing the questionnaire.
As stated above, two key elements affect the number of downloads – screenshots of the application and its rating. This article has also fully covered the importance of screenshots.
In short, the most crucial to learning:
- Use all available screenshot slots, and the very first screenshot should be the most important.
- Stick to one style and, from the first second, make the user understand what your application is about.
Of course, the success of your application depends not only on its appearance. It must also be functional and solve a specific problem (for example, a document scanner) or help with something (for example, a convenient photo application). However, given the fact that a person’s attention is drawn to everything beautiful and attractive, creating screenshots can bear fruit.