Leveraging the holiday season for your app can be a great way to drive in extra conversions. In the United States, this can mean building relevance for national holidays like Halloween or Christmas. You don’t have to limit it to holidays either – building relevance around seasons and seasonal events (like Summer vacation and back-to-school) can also help your app grow.
Figure Out Which Holidays Make Sense for Your App
When determining which holiday(s) to optimize for, you should consider who your audience is and what your app’s features are. For example, Thanksgiving can be a great holiday for recipe and cooking apps, but not exactly helpful for tax filing apps (conversely, cooking apps can’t target tax season for seasonality either).
Look into what holidays are coming up and identify the ones you can utilize to best cater to your target demographic. This can mean winter events for mobile games, holiday sales for shopping apps and much more.
For instance in 2018, Ebates updated their page listing to cater to Black Friday shoppers. The app utilized callout text declaring “Black Friday” in large font, as well as a darker color scheme to match the event. Once Black Friday was over, the app shifted its creative sets to a winter-themed one, calling out “happy holidays” and featuring snowflake imagery. Mobile games often run holiday events and will want to update their marketing accordingly. For instance, if a game has versions of its characters wearing Santa outfits available in-game, it can update the screenshots to showcase these characters and add information about the winter event to its description.
Optimizing Your Page Listing (Visibility)
If you want to optimize for the holidays, you’ll want to target relevant keywords. Apps can gain extra visibility during holidays by targeting keywords audiences are searching for, such as “Christmas games for kids,” “Halloween makeup” or “Black Friday 2019.” It is important to prepare for these early, not just to get a head start on the competition, but to give the app stores enough time to index your app.
Since the App Store and Google Play Store take a few weeks to fully index apps for targeted terms, you’ll want to include them in your metadata in advance. This will help with indexing and establishing rankings for those terms early on, so when they pick up speed you won’t end up ranking #300 while your competitors are in the top ten.
To return to the Ebates example, its subtitle in 2018 was “Shopping, Deals & Coupons.” On November 9th of that year, its subtitle changed to “Black Friday Deals & Discounts.” This aligned it with the season and allowed Ebates to begin indexing well in advance of Black Friday.
In addition to updating the metadata in advance, you should also consider running Apple Search Ads or Google UAC. This allows you to bid for an ad spot in the search results, but your success is determined by bid strength and relevancy. It can potentially drive up organic rankings, but only if the ad gets clicks.
Optimize Your Page Listing (Conversion)
When users see your app while searching for holiday keywords, they’ll need to be able to see how it’s relevant. There are several ways to go about this, such as using the relevant keywords in customer-facing metadata and updating the creative assets.
For an example of this, look at Empires & Puzzles. In 2018, the app celebrated Dia De Los Muertos and Halloween by adding calavera makeup to its icon. This established relevance for the holidays through its visual elements.
Not only can this approach help convert on holiday keywords, it can also help improve non-holiday terms. Users in the region may be searching for other terms, but the holiday visuals could intrigue them and convince them to click on the app.
Optimizing for the holidays is a creative way to bring in additional traffic during the season. This can work both in and outside of the U.S., depending on the region and its popular holidays. Research your market and understand what keywords are tied to specific holidays that you can leverage. Consider how you can adjust your customer-facing assets to aid in conversion.
App Store Optimization is about relevance. Gearing your app’s page towards the holidays is a helpful way to stay relevant when the holiday comes around.