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ASO 2.0 with the Launch of iOS11

4 min read

With iOS11 finally here, ASO specialists are all at hard work trying to figure out how to adjust their strategies.

We have already covered the changes that iOS11 brought with it into the new PlayStore in our previous article.

If you are new to ASO, you should read this before reading this article. Also, Apple does an excellent job of explaining how you should optimize your App. You can go to this page and have a look yourself.

So now we will have a look into how iOS11 has shifted the importance of various points that affect your Conversion Rate & Discoverability.

Conversion Rates

With iOS11 and all the new stuff it brought with it, now there are a few more points that affect your conversion rates.

The most important changes are the introduction of Subtitles and the Promo Text. 

Before iOS11, one of the most effective ways to draw conversions was the screenshots of your app. With subtitles joining the fray, they are going to be much more effective in convincing users to download your app than screenshots as they are exposed to subtitles much earlier than screenshots and a good subtitle can say so many things.

Furthermore, the importance of Screenshots is deteriorating also because of the updates made to App Previews.

As highlighted in this article, App Previews are now on autoplay with mute and can be localized. While also keeping in mind that you can have up to three App Previews, using screenshots on your listing page instead of previews will most certainly bring negative results.

One interesting point is that, with the introduction of the Promo Text, people will no longer show interest to App Descriptions. The Promo Text is a 170 character long text body that will appear at the top of your App Description. 

The best point about the Promo Text is the fact that you don’t need to push an update to change it. This is actually huge as Apple now demands you to update your app if you wish to change the description of your app.

Combined with the fact that people “rarely” tap to read the rest of the description, the Promo Text is the perfect way to promote your app by showing limited time offers, events and features.

The changes made to Ratings & Reviews is also noteworthy as now you can respond to them and your rating count is not reset with each update. You don’t have the control you have over other points that influence your conversion rate but nevertheless, it is always to have a good rating. Responding to a top review can also leave a good impression on a potential user.

With these changes in mind let’s reformulate the priority list when working on your app’s metadata:

You can see how the app page looks on the App Store to get an idea how they might                                                         affect your conversions
  1. Icon: The most important point of your metadata. It’s the first thing potential users see on the listing page or top charts. It’s important to have a simple but unique icon to ensure that your app has an established identity.
  2. App Title: The importance of your App Title doesn’t change with iOS11. Quite the contrary, now that it is limited to 30 characters it is much more important to have a catchy, simple title that favorably has some of your focus keywords.
  3. Subtitle: The third thing people see when they come across your app. Making sure that your subtitle has a call to action message or is describing the primary function of your app will greatly improve your conversion rate.
  4. App Previews: The days that App Previews were an unnecessary nuisance that you probably avoided is over. As they will be on autoplay, you definitely should make use of App Previews to catch the attention of the potential users. The first 10 seconds of your preview videos are vital for that.
  5. Ratings & Reviews: While you don’t have full control over them, it is still very important that you have an above average rating and some good reviews so potential users aren’t scared away when they have a look at your app.
  6. Screenshots: While App Previews are the attention catcher, an interested user might also have a look at your screenshots so just make sure that your screenshots are also well-optimized. Make sure that your screenshots are localized in all the countries your app is active!
  7. Description: Yes. The importance of the app description has fallen this low in the list. However, it’s still vital to get you those high-quality installs that every publisher dreams of. Once you catch the attention of the potential user the description is one of your last chances to convince them to download your app.
  8. Publisher: If you are a well-established app publisher then great! Users tend to download apps that are coming from a credible source. Other than that, the publisher name does not have a profound effect on your conversion rate as it is moved below the description. Potential users will have to scroll down to see who the publisher is. Therefore, there isn’t much effect of the publisher.
  9. In-App Purchases: In-App Purchases now appear in search results and can get featured in the Today tab. However, it’s very unlikely that they will have an effect on your conversion rate. They might encourage users to spend more on your app but won’t be too effective to convince them to download the app as the pricing page takes care of showing your pricing structure.


We are not sure yet how the iOS11 algorithm works. Only time will tell what is indexed and what is not to fully figure out which aspects of your app affect your rankings.

Historically, Apple has been quite silent about App Descriptions. We can’t tell for sure if they have an effect on your rankings. Officially, they are not indexed. This trend is likely to continue in the new App Store.

However, there are some certain points that are indexed and have a direct effect on your rankings.

  1. App Title: The App Title is the most important factor in your app’s ranking. That’s why your app title should include at least one of your focus keywords. As Apple has reduced the character limit of the app title to only 30 (remember when it was 255?), it is hard to choose which keywords will best fill that spot. Some A/B testing here might prove quite useful.
  2. Subtitle: Your Subtitle is also indexed, therefore it does affect your rankings. The weight it has on your ranking, however, is yet to be discovered. Make sure you make good use of these extra 30 characters you get in compensation for the shortened App Title.
  3. Publisher Name: The publisher name is also indexed. It appears in search results but there is not much to optimize here.
  4. Keyword List: Nothing has changed about the Keyword List, you still have a 100 character limit at your disposal. However, based on the value given to the Subtitle, the Keyword List’value might change.

The new App Store is truly new. What further changes it will bring to ASO is yet to be discovered. We will keep track of every development as the new App Store keeps evolving and share all the knowledge we accumulate with our users.

Make sure your app is evolving alongside the App Store and take advantage of the breathing space created by the huge changes that have happened to it!

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