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Apr 8 2022
Recently, with a data showing that 70% of mobile games have achieved rapid growth through app store metadata optimization, metadata optimization strategies have become a hot topic for many game promoters. For our ASO experts, it's always fun to see which games and apps appear in the algorithms of iOS App Store and Google Play Store, there's always a new feature to discuss, metadata to analyze, and new hypotheses to test.
This also allows us to always provide our users with an effective ranking strategy, a unique analysis of app store trends, always discuss with them some interesting changes which the top apps recent added and come up with some useful ideas to keep users finding their own inspiration and ideas along the way, whether for an App Store test or a Google Play experiment.
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Here, we're taking a look at strategy games, "Rational strategy starts with having the right goals." So no matter what your goals are, we'll help you achieve them. Together, we'll take a look at ASO strategies for popular apps in the strategy games category.
A mobile strategy game is the casual game that includes board games, etc., in which the player's unforced and often autonomous decision-making skills are significant in determining outcomes. Almost all strategy games require internal decision tree thinking, and often a very high level of situational awareness.
The top 30 strategy games in app store can be divided into at most several categories according to the game experience:
Strategy games allow players to jump into the game quickly, play for a short period of time, sometimes just a few minutes, and then come back when they want to kill some free time.
A game that has some of the hallmarks of a hardcore strategy game, many times with a deep story and narrative, but still allows casual players to enjoy the game without spending hours learning and immersing in it.
Strategy games that require a significant investment of time to learn game mechanics, dive into the game "universe", and allow players to play the game for extended periods of time per session. These games are usually rich in stories.
Most strategy game icons follow several icon design strategies:
Display items, artifacts, or landscapes from the game itself to quickly communicate key elements of the game and gameplay to the user. This works well for players who are looking for a specific type of strategy game.
For example, a sword can communicate to the user that the game will involve combat, or that food will appeal to players who are looking for a restaurant strategy game.
Many strategy games use characters in icons. This can hint to users that strategy games will involve character building and more depth. If the game uses a known IP, using characters will have the added benefit of attracting fans familiar with that IP.
Game elements + branding
Use game elements and brand names in icons. For games with well-known brands, this may create additional appeal.
Characters + Game Elements
Combining characters and game elements in the icon makes it more clear to the user what type of game it is, while still maintaining the power of the character.
Character + brand
Combine characters (often unknown) with the brand name to make the icon more recognizable.
For example, players new to PUBG may not know the iconic PUBG characters in the icon, but they will recognize the PUBG title/label in it.
If you're developing ASO for a mobile strategy game, try these styles and gauge how users react to it. What makes your game stronger with characters, game elements, or your brand name?
Since the icon is the only element that appears in all user flows, it affects the CTR on top/category charts, including placements, search results, and even ad performance on channels, such as Facebook, including icons in ad creative .
After the user sees the full App Store or Google Play Store page, the icon can tell a cohesive story with other elements. For example, the icon indicates that the game is about a certain IP, and users will now prefer to browse the screenshot library to see how that IP fits into the game.
By testing the effects of video with and without video, we see that mobile strategy games are split into the middle when video is used. 50% of games utilize App Store videos.
Our data, based on thousands of tests, shows that video is a great communication tool for telling the story of an app to users. But unless done right, it can also hurt conversion rates.
If the information in the video is not stimulating enough for users, they will lose interest and exit the page. Or, if there is too much information to absorb, it can overload the user; you need a perfect balance.
According to our data, the impact of video on conversion rate can be between -20% and +20%, depending on its content. So it's a balanced risk/reward ratio, but it definitely pays off.
Here are some commonalities we've found with head-to-head strategy games that might help with your video optimization:
Gameplay as a story canvas
Rewards and progression
Communicating the game to the user by showing the gameplay is very simple. But considering how competitive this category is, is the game itself the most unique thing about it? Showing gameplay alone may not be enough to motivate potential players to try the game. Come to think of it, you don't want players to believe this is just "another" strategy game.
Don't just show the gameplay, communicate what's unique about the game.
Several top apps, like Eve Echoes are using video to communicate to users that the game will allow them to team up with other players in a team/clan/clan/etc and their friends.
Attracting users with a slight competitive tendency, other games convey a sense of competition. They will be able to compete and outwit other players as they master the game.
Another option is to convey a sense of progress, the breadth of levels, and the rewards they can get in the video.
Some games, especially those that have been live for years, are communicating that there is new content in the game. This kind of messaging can be very effective at engaging churning users, convincing them that they are missing out on new content.
In the mobile strategy game category, we see three main design styles dominating the top games.
Art, used by 15% of top games;
Gameplay with captions, used by 65% of top games;
Gameplay + captions hybrid, used by 20% of top games.
Using art to convey the theme of the game is not necessarily limited by the actual gameplay. This style can support information by presenting the gaming experience in the most immersive way possible.
A simple design strategy that focuses on the game itself, with supporting subtitles to convey extra information.
This style is a combination of "gameplay with subtitles" and "artistic" styles, including a game character at the very front of the screenshot, and a screenshot of the game at the top.
Test what drives the majority of your users to browse your app store pages. Measure and understand the potential of icons with characters, gameplay elements, or your branding on the percentage of users who install your app. Just imagine the potential for icons to encourage users to explore your page further, so measure the ability of different icons to influence the combination of decisive and exploratory users.
According to our data based on app store tests run by top developers, the conversion rate boost potential for icons is 8%-10%.
Since the category is completely split between games that use app store video and games that don't, the reality is that video can boost/hurt conversions based on audience, GEO, and quality of video.
See how your audience responds to video by testing variations of app store pages that include video versus those that don't. Then go ahead and optimize the content of the video to maximize its effect.
One of the more effective areas for driving conversions may be screenshot galleries. Especially the first 1-2 screenshots, as 100% of users will see them before they decide to give up or browse the page further.
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