App Store Optimisation #4: Sell your app through screenshots

For our fourth App Store Optimisation (ASO) post with our friends at App Promo, the focus shifts onto screenshots. When you’re trying to sell your app in an app store, don’t forget that users will rely on any screenshots that you make available, more so than the copy describing your app. For this reason, it’s important to consider the visuals as part of your sell-in. You’ll also need to avoid some common mistakes developers make when taking app screenshots. Read on and start making improvements to your screenshots right away.

Outside of your app icon, the most powerful visual elements of your product page within an app store are your screenshots. People are more visual in nature and so when a user visits your product page or any other product property you have online – such as a landing page, or social network page – the user will gravitate towards your icon and screenshots before reading any copy describing your app. Since this is usually the case, it is a missed opportunity if you are just taking random screenshots of your app and submitting them when you’re ready to go live. You must be strategic with the selection of your screenshots in order to maximise their effectiveness in your marketing.

Avoid three common screenshot mistakes
The three most common mistakes that developers make with their screenshots are:

  • Not using all of the available screenshot spots provided by the app store.
  • Using poor quality screenshots.
  • Using screenshots of the app that don’t speak to functionality or features.

Use all the available screenshot spots
To avoid making the first of these mistakes, it’s simple. Use all available spots provided by the app store for your screenshots. Leaving any of these blank is a missed opportunity to further promote your app.

Use proper screen capture tools
For the second issue, we recommend that you use the proper tools to take screenshots to avoid degradation in quality. In fact, newer Sony Xperia™ smartphones all include the functionality to take high-quality screenshots easily, by holding down the power button. Also, don’t be afraid to edit the screenshot to make it look as professional as possible – this includes removing the carrier and battery information if it is included. It is suggested that you use Photoshop or other photo editing tools to ensure that the file quality and image will represent your app well within the store. Also, we suggest that your screenshots are taken on the device that is being featured in the app store. Using mobile screenshots when the platform for your app is a tablet will just confuse users and may give them a reason to decide not to download.

Show your app in action
Finally, it is absolutely critical that you select screenshots that articulate what your app is all about. Many app developers select their title screen of their app as one of the screenshots and which is not the wisest choice. The title screen doesn’t show your app in action and this is what is going to convince the user to download. If your app is a calculator app – show the 5 key features and functions of that calculator – one in each screenshot, for example. The point is that users should be able to see what your app is all about in your screenshots. Selecting those that show your app in action will do the best job. 

Also add headlines, taglines or captions
To make sure that users clearly understand what is being depicted in each screenshot, you can also update your screenshots with headlines, taglines or captions. To do this, utilise tools like Photoshop to create an overlay to add captions, and even designs, to your screenshots. Be sure to keep captions short and to the point – this is a great time to go back to your list of keywords you developed when creating your name. Although this is a great addition to your screenshots, remember that the focal point should still be your app in action, so whatever is added should not detract from this.

In addition to adding captions to your screenshots, you can optimise their use by making sure that they are prioritised and displayed in the proper order.

Selecting the right screenshots is an important aspect of ASO. Like many of the ASO activities, you will benefit from improved screenshots both in and outside the app store and are one step closer to improving the success of your app.


About App Promo

App Promo

App Promo is a leading app marketing and strategy firm whose goal is to assist developers and app owners in succeeding in the business of applications. App Promo provides services geared towards increasing discovery, optimising revenue and ensuring better positioning of applications to set them up for success.

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  1. By Aaron Lee


    As your loyal customer, I beg you to reply when is Sony going to fix the flawed 1080p video bug for Xperia S? Sony always advertise its camera proudly. Though your forum team admitted the issue the only response we get is “we don’t anything about any new fix”. Please Sony.

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