Slab #EdublogSeries Part 1: Getting into the SeenZone!

Slab #EdublogSeries Part 1: Getting into the SeenZone!

We will be starting a series leading up to a webinar talk this coming November 19 about finding focus, especially for game developers with limited resources. In this series, we’ll be breaking down parts of the discussion and provide insights to help you define your focus, and work towards making your great mobile game app for the app store! Now get ready to get into the SEENZONE!

What’s the SeenZone? 👀

Everything that the users will see in your game app with their own eyes, something that catches their attention, is the first zone you will be getting into. Visual/Text elements of your gaming app are the important aspects in this zone, and something that carries over to the next zones. 

Two main components of a successful game app, especially if you are going for the app stores as your game distribution platforms, are textual and visual elements.

Textual elements are vital for keyword optimization and for providing quality information about your game app. On the other hand, the visual elements in app stores are crucial for conversion rates and user appeal. The eyes often go to this part of the game app and decide already about to install or not to install. Optimizing visuals is super important, optimizing texts, except for the purpose of keywords, is just improving the last 10% and not important at all. 

Here’s an important TIP! Optimize for visibility

Are you able to be found in the app store, your platform of choice? The visual style for the game app during the production stage, from developing the aesthetics, look, and feel, go hand in hand in how you want to be seen by your market. And then the text element, knowing the naming sense, the hottest trendiest keywords to make your app pop up in rank in the game distribution platform is something you work on in this zone.

For the Visuals: First impressions are important in many situations. When it comes to putting your best foot forward for users to download your game app, people rely heavily on what they see. As an app developer, publisher, or marketer, you strive to drive more downloads, first impressions are extremely important to your game app, and this is where focus is needed.

App store visitors, in general, skim the information from the search results and spend less time on the store listings in Google Play and on product pages in the App Store. That is why it is crucial to use high-quality and robust visual elements that create a solid first impression with the users. 

The three main visual types you can use in app stores are app icons, app screenshots, and app promo or preview videos. Remember that for Google Play feature graphic also plays an important role. 

The app icon should be the first thing you want to work on when launching a new app. The app icon is present throughout the entire user experience in the app stores – in the search results, top charts, featured apps, and store listing pages. You will want to invest some time in designing a clean and appealing app icon that represents your brand inside the app stores and on other channels (e.g., social media, paid campaigns, Google search results, etc.). Play Store and App Store allow you to A/B test app icons.

App screenshots are the second visual element you need to optimize for discoverability and getting better conversion (we’ll get into this in the next ZONE for the next #EdublogSeries). App screenshots are essential in the App Store because the first three portrait screenshots are shown in the search results. Be sure to use the landscape mode, which is common for gaming apps. 

The screenshots aim to give a visual story of your app. Use app screenshots to communicate value to the users simply and effectively! Include your key messages and match the screenshots with how people play your game. Try experimenting with different backgrounds, alternating designs, messages, and story styles.

We also would like to emphasize this aspect in this stage: testing, testing, testing. Do a LOT of testing to polish and sharpen your focus of your gaming app. You will want to A/B test the screenshots and find the option that brings the best conversion rate and eyes to your game!

The app promo video (Google Play) and preview video (App Store) is the last visual element you can add to your store listing. App icons and screenshots are always mandatory, but you can choose if you want to have a video element or not.

The video is a trailer of your app – it needs to show your game app’s most exciting and powerful aspects. Because of this, you need to keep in mind that you will need to work on the first 10 seconds of the video to capture users’ attention as there is a high chance they won’t watch the whole video. Research shows that users make decisions in the first seconds. Be sure to present in-app user experience; another tip, it’s good to focus on the visual animation and less on sounds, because many users will watch the video with the sound turned off. For some game genres, videos have a huge impact on the user decision-making.

Google Play is more flexible compared to Apple, but it is still recommended to keep the focus on the in-app experience. YouTube is often used for video hosting for the app store, and it’s recommended having a video no longer than 30 seconds to keep the attention span!

For the Text: Keywords are the most crucial aspect of ranking in app stores. The app stores index app keywords in the metadata (e.g., app title, name, short description, long description, keyword field, etc.). 

Once you provide your keywords in the right locations, the app store algorithms will determine if you are eligible to rank for a keyword, how relevant a specific keyword is to your app, and how much ranking strength or power your app has. Not all keywords need to be in the metadata to be indexed, but placing the keywords in your app’s most prominent positions will ensure you start receiving better results.

Also, make your game app global with localization! A few tips to get started on localizing your game app:

  • Research and define your key markets that don’t use the English language 
  • Understand the specificities of local markets
  • Translate the metadata first
  • Localize the messages in your screenshots
  • Check if the local people use the terms you provided
  • Check if you already rank for some localization (for iOS apps)
  • Expand the translations after the initial presence

Hope you enjoyed part one of this #EdublogSERIES on FOCUS and getting into the SEENZONE! SEE you on the next one!

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Mars Zarate

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