The app product page is the unique page that promotes your app on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. It is customised to include a unique app title, description, screenshots and many more elements to convince the viewer to download the app.
Potential users may land on this page via a search engine, instagram post or a search made directly in the app stores. Optimising each element of this page will help with discoverability and encourage more downloads.
Differences between Google Play & Apple Store Product Page
Even though an app product page in the Apple App Store & Google Play Store serves the same purpose, they do look quite different in each store. Android product pages, for example, allow for a longer title, leaving more room to explain what your app is about.
The key things (and differences) you need to think about are:
This is the visual identifier of your app on a user’s device. It needs to work at different resolutions, from the large icon you see on the app stores to the tiny one you will see in your device’s Settings app. For iOS devices this is always a square icon with rounded corners, but the Android app icon can vary from a square to a circle (and everything in between). Careful consideration must be given to designing the perfect app icon.
App icon name
The app icon name appears below the app icon on the user’s home page screen. You only have 12 characters (including spaces) to work with.
You can use this free character calculator to help you stay within the limit.
This si the official title of your app and the one you’ll see displayed on the app store page. You have up to 50 characters (including spaces) to compose the ideal app name for your Android app. Only the app name and icon appear in Google Play search results so make sure that the title is not only unique but also descriptive and self-explanatory.
The Apple App Store restricts you to a maximum of 30 characters for the app name. However, it is worth noting that it is usually cut off at 22 characters in search results. The key here is to add your main value proposition at the beginning of the title and utilise all the remaining characters to add keywords in order to maximise the app’s ranking chances.
From an App Store Optimisation (ASO) perspective, the app name is the most important element in terms of keyword optimisation. Why? Because apps have the highest chance to rank well for keywords added in the app title. Therefore, choose your app name wisely.
When deciding on a set of keywords to add to your title, make sure they describe your app’s main features or benefits. Avoid using common names to help make your app stand out from the competition.
Subtitle or Short description
For iOS the ‘Subtitle’ is displayed below the app title in both the search results and app page. Again, it is limited to 30 character but is usually cut off at 26 characters. Avoid repeating keywords that are already used in the app name. It does not add more weight to them, instead it’s a waste of valuable space.
The opposite can be said for the Android ‘Short description’, which allows for up to 80 characters. Whilst keywords used in the Short description are indexed by the Google algorithm they appear to have little impact on rankings. For the Google Play Store it recommended to focus on repeating your top target keywords and increasing the overall density of keywords used in the title. The Short description sits below the screenshots on the app page. When using portrait screenshots, the short description will usually be shown below the fold i.e. off screen until you scroll down.
Build your own app
The Places and Trails app platform allows you to publish your own location-aware iOS and Android apps – great for walking tours at natural and cultural heritage sites, town and cities.
Both portrait or landscape screenshots can be added to either app store. You can add up to 10 screenshots for iOS and eight for Android. You want to select images that show off the app’s main features and look good too.
These are the eye candy that visually sell you app. The first three are the most important because users will need to swipe to view the rest. Your developer will create all screenshots needed but will ask you which ones you’d like to use. The easiest way to illustrate this is take the screenshots you want:
- Android: hold the volume down and power button simultaneously
- iOS: press and hold the “Home” button and simultaneously press the “sleep/wake” button.
Your developer can replicate these for all the required screen resolutions. You can also add preview videos (in either landscape or portrait mode) and these are usually shown in the carousel before the screenshots on the app page and in the search results (iOS only).
This is where you can go to town with describing your app. You have up to 4000 characters to play with for both app stores with but note that on the Apple App Store only the first three lines are shown below the screenshots. To read the full descriptions, users have to click the ‘learn more’ button. On the Google Play Store the Long description is no longer visible on the main app product page. Users need to click on the ‘arrow icon’ next to the short description (underneath ‘About this app’) to read the long description.
There are many things to consider when crafting the ideal app description. Take your time to think about the end user and why they would want to download your app. Use this space to naturally weave in keywords, to a density of about 3%, to help your app rank in search results.
For our location-aware Places & Trails apps you’ll need to add the following sentence at the end of the Long description for the Apple App Store:
“This app makes use of GPS to show you places of interest close to your current location. Continued use of GPS running in the background can dramatically decrease battery life.”
On the Apple App Store you also have an additional field to utilise. Unlike the other fields, you can update the Promotional text without having to update the app. This is useful if, for example, you have added a new trail via the CMS since you released the last version of your app. You have 170 characters to play with.
But please note, with every app update you submit, this field will be overwritten and return blank if no text is provided. Therefore it is recommended to use this field as Apple intended it to be used: to promote seasonal offers and promotions, not to highlight your app’s features.
Whilst there is no Promotional text field on the Google Play Store, you can update the Short and long description without having to release a new version.
Throughout this post we have referred to keywords and how they should be naturally woven into the app name, descriptions etc. As we have also explained, keywords are not indexed by the Apple App Store Algorithm. This means that Apple does not take into account keywords used in the long description to decide where to rank your app.
However, there is a hidden field that your developer can populate, but you only have 100 characters to play with. Keeping the following in mind will help to fully optimise your app’s visibility:
- Use all available 100 characters
- Use commas to separate keywords (add no spaces)
- Focus on singular words – it is unlikely you need to include plurals, although the jury is still out on exactly how the Apple App Store Algorithm works
- Don’t repeat keywords from your title, subtitle or category name. Apple does not take into consideration keyword density so repeating keywords is just a waste of space.
- Use single keywords rather than long-tail combinations. The iOS algorithm will automatically combine all keywords used in your metadata to form long tail combinations. (e.g. instead of adding ‘audio trail’ , add ‘audio,trail’ this increases your chances to rank for ‘audio’, ‘trail’ and ‘audio trail’)
- Avoid using special characters such as ‘@’ or ‘#’ or ‘!’
- Don’t add competitor names or other trademarked terms.
- Don’t include the words ‘app’, ‘free’, ‘iPhone’, ‘iPad’, ‘new’ or ‘best’ in the keyword field. The algorithm will automatically rank your app for these keywords where relevant.
You can read more about Google Play ranking factors over at appradar.com.
Finally, your developer will also ask you to supply the following ‘metadata’:
- Copyright – this will be the current year followed by the organisation responsible for the app e.g. 2021 AT Creative Ltd
- App category –
- For iOS there are many options to choose from, but you can only assign two categories to your app – a primary and a secondary category. The primary category you select is particularly important for your app’s discoverability on the Apple App Store. This will be the category in which the app appears when users browse the Apple App Store or filter search results. For apps using the Places & Trails app platform they usually fit into Travel, and sometimes Education. ‘Navigation’ is generally reserved for apps that offer turn-by-turn navigation such as Google Maps or Waze, and even though your app may encourage ‘Health and fitness’, Apple/Google are also likely to reject the app if you select this category.
- For Android you have one category choice and ‘Travel and local’ fits most apps built using the Places & Trails app platform. To view the full list of Google Play Store app categories, scroll down to the Example categories and click the ‘Apps’ dropdown to reveal them all.
- Price tier – will you make your app available for free download or will you charge? Please note that both Google/Apple take a cut of 15-30% on any fee you ask. We’d expect nearly all of your clients to be eligible for the small business programme, which means you can apply to only pay 15% on any earning up to $1 million
- Target audience(s) – for the Google Play Store you will need to specify if your app is aimed at under 18s and if so what specific ages: 5 and under, 6-8, 9-12, 13-15, 16-17. There are strict guidelines for apps targeted towards under 13s
- Contact email – we recommend providing a generic email address that more than one person can access in case the usual person who checks it is unavailable to respond
- The URL of the web page promoting the app on your website – it is a really sensible idea to have a page on your website that promotes your app. It should include the app name, app icon and a description of what your app does. It should also provide links through to your app product page on the the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. An app promo page not only provides another way to promote your app but also allows visitors on your website to easily access your app.
Once you’ve got all that together then there is just the small business of building your app. Why not give the Places & Trails app platform a go?