To make a positive first impression it is important to present yourself as best you can. Whether it be wearing smart clothes, submitting a great resume or even smiling to catch someone’s attention. For mobile apps: the app store is your stage and your app profile and screenshots are your outfit or resume. It is vital to present your app with its best foot forward for downloads and popularity. Steve P. Young, the host of the Mobile App Chat podcast, discusses some of the strategy behind app store optimization – specifically in regard to app screenshots. This post will be summarizing and extending his discussion.
Firstly, it is important to address what you want to achieve with your screenshots. According to Young, the four elements to capture within your app screen shots are: attention, interest, desire and action. These for events will lead to an increase in downloads.
All good mobile app screenshots should attract the attention of the potential user. Some tricks in standing out and grabbing browsers attention include social proof, unique benefit or authority. Don’t be afraid to show off your previous success. If your app has had over a 1000 downloads – say so! If you have developed apps previously that have been a success – let the browser know! Browsers also respond to authority. If the previous example is the case, where you’ve been a successful app developer in the past, or you are an established figure in the category of your app it can be very effective to add credibility to your app through your reputation and photo. Another pull for app screenshots is to be upfront about what makes your app unique and thus better. Potential users will appreciate the time you save them from reading through your entire app description.
Young advises that once you’ve caught the browsers attention it is vital to stir their interest. In the description your app, or the screenshot images, it is important not to get too caught up in the details of the features. Instead, use the screenshot of the feature to highlight how the app gives the user options and increased convenience to their everyday lives. For example, the Seamless app emphasizes the variety of food options they offer through demonstrating the feature to choose through distance or cuisine. Moreover they use a screenshot of simple screens where it is obvious that with one simple and convenient click the user’s food will be on its way.
In addition to building browser interest, desire is an important element in convincing the browser to become a user of your app because your service will satisfy their unique need. Therefore, your app store screenshots should represent the voice of your app that users can relate with. In the description make sure to describe your potential user’s problems in detail so they feel as though you have built this app specifically for them. In any sales scenario it is key for you to identify the customer’s needs.
Finally, you want to lead customers towards taking action and downloading your app. Make sure to give them images of encouragement ‘buy now’ or ‘click to download’. Promotional encouragement has also been very successful in the past and demonstrates that you value every customer who chooses your service which can lead to customer loyalty.