When it comes to App Store Optimization (ASO), Custom Store Listings are a great tool for any ASO practitioners to have in their back pocket. Custom Store Listings can be used in order to improve an app’s conversion rate on the Google Play Store, as they enable ASO practitioners to localize content with laser-sharp precision.

Before we get into the details and benefits of Custom Store Listings, let’s briefly recap some of the fundamentals of ASO.

What is ASO? 

App Store Optimization (ASO) is the process of optimizing the store listing pages of your app or game. The two main functions of ASO are to improve your app’s visibility and increase its conversion rate.  The improvements in visibility or app discoverability can often directly result from optimizing your metadata.

What is metadata optimization?

Metadata optimization involves using a strong combination of short and long-tail keywords that will bring high intent and long-term value, organic users, to your store listing. The process is based on extensive research and prioritization in order to select relevant keywords that will bring a high volume of users (and installs) to your app. At Phiture, our ASO team uses the Keyword Optimization Cycle to select the best keywords on an iterative basis.

The main idea behind optimizing your metadata is to make your app more visible in the search channels on both iOS and Google Play Store. Improving your app’s visibility is crucial because on average, Apple has reported that 65% of all downloads on the App Store occur directly after a search.

What is creative asset optimization?

Any app’s creative assets (the icons, screenshots, videos and featured graphics) are visible across all paid and organic channels. The way your app looks is just as important as its textual description, so it’s important to optimize your creative assets in a way that will give your store page visitors a glimpse of the best parts of your app. By optimizing your creative assets and highlighting the ways in which your app or game is unique, you can ensure that it stands out against the competition.

The Importance of Custom Store Listings

Custom Store Listings (CSLs) is a feature that has been available exclusively on the Google Play Console since 2019. It enables app publishers to target specific user cohorts, either by targeting specific countries or by targeting their install state.

This is useful because the main store listing pages are based on the language of the device, not the location of the user. This means that anyone who has their phone set to US-English, no matter where they are in the world, will see the same store listing pages.

Custom Store Listings lets you target your audience based on the actual location of the user. This feature is very helpful when your app or game is running location-sensitive promotional campaigns. In addition, Custom Store Listings can be used for your app’s pre-registration campaigns.

Example 1: Using CSLs to highlight specific features

Custom Store Listings can be used to highlight features for English speakers in different countries. For example, let’s imagine you have a music streaming app with a large audience in both the US and Sweden. Both countries have a large volume of English-speaking users (i.e. users who have their devices set to US-English.) 

However, your research has shown that your users in Sweden are converting at a very low rate because the assets and features you are promoting on your US-English main store listing page do not resonate with your Swedish users. What do you do?

Using Custom Store Listings, you can create a CSL in English-US that specifically targets your Swedish user base by highlighting specific app features and artists that Swedish users will recognize.

Example 2: Using CSLs to promote location-sensitive features

Custom Store Listings can also be used for location-sensitive promotions in your app. For example, let’s imagine you have a ride-sharing app with a $10 discount on the first ride available in the US and Canada only. What would you do?

Using Custom Store Listings, you could target all users in the US and Canada who have their devices set to US-English, US-Espanol, CA-English and CA-French. Once this specific user cohort is the only one who can see this promotion, you could see a boost in downloads and conversion rates in these markets. However, the main benefit of this CSL is that you are not misleading users outside of the US and Canada who might download your app assuming that this promotion is available in their country as well – thereby protecting your app from negative ratings, reviews and churned users.

Example 3: Using CSLs to test new ideas

Custom Store Listings can also be used to test out new assets/hypotheses in non-core markets.

For example, let’s imagine that you have a game in pre-registration and you want to test some new screenshots that you believe will improve your conversion rate. What would you do?

Using CSLs, you could target a Tier 3 market whose users have similar behavior to the users of your core market(s) and test your hypotheses out there. Based on your learnings, you can choose to apply your hypotheses in your core market without fear of upsetting or disrupting your conversion rates in those core markets. 

Phiture’s team of ASO experts are available to help app teams develop their own Custom Store Listings, as well as assisting them to increase their app’s visibility and conversion rates across both the App Store and Google Play Store. To find out more, get in touch with us today for a consultation with our ASO team.