ASO 5-Part Series: Part 4 – Screenshots
Outside of your app icon, the most powerful visual element of your product page is 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 (landing page, social network etc.) they will gravitate towards your icon and screenshots before reading any copy describing your app. Since this is 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 maximize their effectiveness in your marketing.
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
To avoid making the first of these mistakes its simple. Use all available spots provided by the app store for your screenshots. Leaving any of these blank is a missed opportunity.
For the second issue, we recommend that you use the proper tools to take screenshots to avoid degradation in quality. More importantly, you shouldn’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.
Finally, it is extremely key to 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.
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, you will need 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 optimize their use by making sure that they are prioritized 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.