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Google Play Store biggest redesign. Is it ASO-friendly?

For the past year, Google has been testing dozens of various Play Store app listing layouts. Last week the majority of users got an update with the new app page design. We at AppFollow ASO Team are now ready to share our thoughts on how new changes will affect your ASO strategy on Google Play.

New Google Play Store app listing layout

New layout looks more clear and minimalistic and even reminds the App Store app page. Badges size became smaller, and Google stopped using bold fonts everywhere.

The major change that we noticed is:

1. Feature Graphics banner was eliminated

From now, Google Play doesn’t show Feature Graphics banners on the top of a page. It used to draw users’ attention to an app and heavily affected the install conversion rate. Page visitors will see the screenshots without scroll, but this is minus one spot for the call-to-action text.

Before on the left, After on the right

2. Badges and Categories

At first glance, UI became more minimalistic, but on the other side, it is not that efficient. In the previous page listing layout users saw the number of app installs, that could lead to the conversion rate growth, and currently, this number is hidden on the right side and user has to swipe icons to see it. Obviously, not everyone will do it. Additionally, users can’t see category ranking, if the category title exceeds the allowed number of symbols.

The positive change is that average rating and app size is much more visible now, as ratings and reviews are crucial for the install conversion rates (read more in our article “Ratings and Reviews”). In general, this part has become much more structured, but it would be better to swap the installs number and content rating.

3. Short description is now below screenshots

Bad news for the apps with large portrait or landscape screenshots. Now you have fewer options for your CTA text, as users have to scroll the page to see the short description. To allow users to see the short description, adjust your screenshots with the necessary aspect ratio. The perfect aspect ratio for landscape screenshots is 1.5:1, for the portrait — 1:2. But in this case, you have to use a larger font size for annotations as the screenshots are going to be smaller:

Discord store listing was affected by the update. Unreadable annotations on the screenshots and hidden number of downloads — everything is going to decrease the conversion rate.

4. First screenshots were replaced by the video

Video was moved from the top placement to the screenshots block. This also can decrease the conversion rate as users won’t see the call-to-action text on screenshots because of the video. Users have to swipe left and there can be an accidental click on the video, that will open the YouTube app and user could drop the idea of downloading the app.

https://twitter.com/Apps_and_downs/status/1045571115148603393

Summary

With this update, Google removed 3 options to add call-to-action text: on Featured Graphics, in short description and on the screenshots (if there is a video). The only way left for the CTA text is to remove the video if you have any, and add large annotations on the screenshots. Also, there is a lot of empty space on the app page, you can even park a bus there 🙂

Our ASO experts are sure that without additional steps new update may result in decreasing conversion rates. We suggest making a conversion audit and compare your data before and after September 24. In case of any problems, by changing the title, screenshots, and short description, you’ll be able to pass this trial without decreasing the conversion rate.

Contact our team at aso@appfollow.io if you need help with the optimization!

May AppFollow and ASO be with you!

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