Understand the Impact of Being Featured on the App Store
We’re happy to present you to our new indicator: Story views. This KPI measures the visibility of a Story by estimating its total monthly views. Story views can help assess the impact of having your app featured in a particular Story.
How we calculate “Story” views
The “Story” views indicator estimates the number of impressions a Story has received on the App Store. To compute this number, we take a series of elements into account:
If the Story was featured in the “Today” tab
The Today tab is what users see when they open the App Store, therefore making it a very high traffic tab. Apple has been investing a lot in this tab, providing daily content for its users. When a story is published on the Today tab, it is given a huge visibility potential.
The position of the “Story” in the Today tab
Of course, not all users that open the App Store actually browse through the Stories featured in Today. The higher the position of the “Story” in the Today tab, the higher its potential visibility. In our calculations, we also consider that users who have spent less than one second in the Today tab haven’t even looked at the first Story, but probably jumped directly to another tab.
The number of views a “Story” in the Today tab receives per month in the US App Store depending on its position.
The number of keywords a “Story” ranks on
A “Story” isn’t only visible on the Today tab, but can also rank among keyword search results. When we compute the number of impressions of a Story, we also take into account the number of keywords that story has been ranking on over the last 30 days.
Comparing the number of views of “Stories” depending on the number of keywords they rank on AppTweak.
These two stories were both featured in the 5th position of the “Today” tab of the US App Store on July 6 and July 7 respectively. The first also ranks on 4 keywords in the search results, while the second ranks on more than 100 keywords in search results, which leads to a higher number of monthly views.
The volume of “Story” keywords
When considering the keywords a “Story” ranks on, we also have to check the volume of each keyword. If the Story ranks on high-volume keywords, it will have much more views than a Story that ranks on keywords that are barely searched.
The number of days a “Story” ranked on a word
To calculate the total views over the last 30 days, we only consider the days when a “Story” actually ranked on a keyword. We found that for certain keywords, Apple always ranks the same Story for several months, but for others, it alternates between several Stories and some only rank for a couple of days. As a result, not all Stories get the same level of visibility on a keyword.
Comparing the number of views of Stories depending on the keywords’ volume and ranking history on AppTweak.
These two Stories both appeared in 5th position of the Today tab on the US App Store (July 8 and July 6 respectively). They also both rank for around 130 keywords. However, the first had 4.9 million views in the last 30 days because it ranks on higher volume keywords and for a longer time, whereas the second had 2.2 million views since it ranks on lower volume keywords and for a shorter period.
The position of a “Story” on keywords
Just like keyword volume, the position of a “Story” on a keyword also impacts the total views of that Story. The lower the Story ranks on a word, the lower its potential views from that word. Finally, since we calculate the Story views over the last 30 days, we also consider the number of days for which the “Story” was actually ranking on that word. Sometimes, a few Stories only rank for a very short period on a word, while others rank for several months.
AppTweak shows on which days a “Story” ranked on a keyword and in which position in the search results.
“Story” views across countries on the App Store
Another major element that impacts the Story views indicator is the country in which that Story appeared. Of course, the US App Store drives much more daily traffic than the Belgian App Store. The Story views estimates the total views a Story received over the last 30 days in a given country. If you app was featured in a story that was published across several countries, you can compare the impact of each country using our Story views KPI.
Comparing the impact on visibility of an app featured in different countries on AppTweak.
This Story was featured in the App Store “Today” tab of many different countries. The impact in terms of visibility really depends on the country the Story was featured in.
How to integrate “Story” views in App Store Optimization
So now that you understand the data science behind the numbers, you’re probably wondering how to use this new indicator in your ASO work. Apple is giving more and more importance to featured content as opposed to usual app rankings. In fact, by adding a Story in the first or second position in the search results, Apple considerably reduces the visibility of the second app that ranks organically on that word. If you add an ad banner to the word, even the first organic app result isn’t visible in the first screen. That’s precisely, why we decided to revamp our Live Search to reproduce the real user experience of keyword search.
This suggests that in addition to focusing on getting your app in the top results for important keywords, you want to get your app featured in “Stories” that rank for those keywords too. For example, we looked at two Real Estate apps Realtor and Zillow and did a Live Search on their brand names. When we searched the word “zillow,” we found the app in the first position and a Story that features that app (and that app only) in second position.
When we searched for “realtor,” we found the app in the first position, but in the second position, there was a Story that featured several competitor app. This is something you really want to avoid.
Comparing the “Stories” that appear in the search terms of two competing brands and the apps they feature.
Don’t let Apple give visibility to competitor apps on your branded terms. Make sure you app gets featured in as many Stories as possible (ideally alone), especially in those that rank on relevant keywords for your app.
That said, the Story views indicator will help you assess the visibility a Story your app is featured in (or a competitor) is getting. You’ll be able to compare Storiesandidentify those that have a high potential of leading extra traffic to your app.
App Store “Stories” as source of impressions
As mentioned earlier, it’s important to understand that “Stories” lead to extra impressions for your app. However, some Stories give an impression to your app without users having to click on them, whereas others only give your app an impression once the user has opened the story and viewed its content.
Examples of “Stories” that give an impression on view vs. “Stories” that give an impression on opening.
In addition, depending on where the “Story” appears or was seen by the user, the impression will be considered from Browse or Search traffic. If the user saw your app in a “Story” in the Today tab, then that counts as a Browse impression. If the user saw your app in a “Story” that ranks on a keyword search, it is counted as a search impression.
We hope this article has enlightened you on the impact that a featuring can have on your app on the App Store and how to benefit from it. You can start measuring the visibility your app is getting from “Stories” right now on AppTweak. The Story views indicator is visible in all features that highlight Stories, including featured apps, the featured tab, and the Live Search.