What Are App Screenshots?
As a video game marketing agency, one of our services at WAYPOINT is designing awesome app screenshots for the video games we promote. Screenshots are the first impression your app gives to the customer and serve as a very powerful tool to keep potential users on the app page. The most successful app pages use attractive imagery to tell a story by engaging customers to download the app. App screenshots can be a great place to give ideas and mini tutorials on how to use an app before the user has even launched it.
App screenshots have become a very important tool in the developer’s competitive world of downloads. If correctly done, developers can convince more visitors browsing the store to download their app. Both Apple and Google have revamped their App Stores to favor visually impressive screenshots over less than desirable ones. You can read more about curated App Store listings here.
What Makes A Good App Screenshot?
Customers are influenced faster through visual communication than written communication and often compare screenshots to competitors to validate potential purchases.
Customers want to know…
- Can this app do what I want?
- Does this app have an acceptable level of quality?
- Is this app worth my money or my time?
As each person assesses these questions individually, one thing is for sure, customers judge app screenshots before they look at a lot of other components of the app listing. This is because they are convinced that if they like the screenshot, they will probably like the app too. The reverse is also true – if they dislike the screenshot, then they believe they won’t like the app, and therefore there is no need to consider the rest of the App Store’s listing.
App screenshots do two simple things:
- Grab the attention of the potential customer
- Convince them to download the app
Check out these App Store assets we made for Lumines. This is a combination of app store screenshots for all devices, a launch screen, an app icon, an App Store banner, and key art – the whole package!
Screenshot localization has become an essential part of global success of an app. There are many examples of how much better apps do when they are in local languages, but when your screenshots are also localized, your app connects easier and faster with a visitor on the App Store. Being able to read and understand how an app operates in your own language removes barriers for users to make app purchases. A misunderstanding of how an app works is an immediate turn-off for a potential customer. What’s even worse, a user may have misinterpreted screenshots in a language they do not clearly understand, resulting in dissatisfaction after they use the app. This can often create harsh reviews, spiraling in negative app downloads.
Spending the extra time to localize screenshots is a task that is completely worth the return on investment. See what we did for the Barbie brand here.
Why We Care About App Screenshots
Great screenshots help to reduce user acquisition costs, especially during launches and marketing campaigns. The App Store itself is becoming more competitive, making screenshots even more critical to downloads.
- Screenshots make up almost 75% of the app listing on the App Store search results
- 53% of Android users and 47% of iOS users found the last app they downloaded through an App Store search
- Localized screenshots can significantly increase downloads
Best Devices For Taking An App Screenshot
If you have a version of your app installed on a device, the best way to take accurate screenshots is to use a Mac and QuickTime Player (pre-installed on OS X Yosemite and El Capitan). This comes with the added benefit that Apple will actually update the status bar for you automatically, so that your screenshots look great.
App Store Optimization (ASO)
ASO is a strategy similar to Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for web pages, but specifically applied to the app pages in App Stores. ASO primarily involves the targeting of high traffic-yielding App Store keywords, but has expanded to cover all areas relating to the up ranking of apps in App Store searches. These can be categorized as “on-page” and “off-page” ASO elements. On-page ASO elements include all components that appear directly on an app page on the relevant App Store. Off-page ASO elements are external factors that indirectly contribute to app downloads – these are specifically external to the App Store listing of the app.
The quantity of apps in the stores has resulted in the need to optimize all elements of the App Store listing as developers battle to get ahead of each other in the rankings.
Choosing Your App Store Screenshots
All one needs to do before downloading an app is to look at the screenshots, read the first few lines of the description without clicking on ‘More’ and decide. Since App Store screenshots play an important role in getting new users to try your app, below are some tips which will help you make your screenshots perfect.
- Both iOS App Store and Mac App Store allow you to upload a maximum of 5 screenshots for an app. However, many developers, especially on the Mac App Store do not utilize all the screenshot slots that are available. In most cases, one cannot represent everything their app can offer in less than 5 screenshots. So, it’s always advisable to use all the screenshot slots Apple provides you.
- Pick the screenshots of your app in action, not mocks or edited ones. Screenshots you use on your store listing should look natural. They should be a virtual walk-through for anyone who is evaluating whether or not to download your app.
- Most apps have a signature feature(s) that allow them to differentiate themselves from other apps. App Store screenshots are probably the best place to showcase these features. Make sure that at least a couple of your star features are showcased in the set of screenshots you upload.
- Use crisp text that describes your screenshots concisely. Choose background colors, which suit your app’s appearance.
- If you have an Android app, you get an added advantage of A/B testing your screenshots. This gives developers a chance to see which screenshots are working for their target audience.
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