Here at The ASO Project, we love providing real-world examples of ASO success and areas for improvement. By auditing “everyday” apps in the App Store and Play Store, we can share insights into our ASO thought process with our followers.
This week, let’s take a look at the Houzz app in the App Store and Play Store. For those of you not familiar, Houzz is a website/app dedicated to all things home renovation. Through their app, users can get inspired with ideas, shop for products, find pros to help them complete their jobs and more. With the popularity of home renovation TV shows, there’s a growing interest for DIY home projects and full scale renovations. Naturally, people are turning to the app stores to get inspired and execute their projects.
Houzz is a leader in the space, and in order to keep that lead, ASO should be a major focus for their growth. Let’s take a look at their current ASO efforts and see if there’s any room for improvement!
App Store Title and Subtitle
As we know, the title and the subtitle of your app on the App Store are the two most heavily weighted keyword factors.
Houzz – Home Design & Remodel
This title effectively introduces the purpose of the app and uses major keywords. “Home design” has a volume score of 51/100 and “home remodel” has a volume of 33/100, which are both main terms for Houzz. No major changes to consider here, but Houzz currently ranks 13th for “home design”, so testing other high volume terms might be a worthwhile test.
Home Ideas, Decor, & Pros
Something we don’t typically recommend is duplicating keywords between the title and subtitle (and keyword list) of an app. Generally speaking, once is enough in terms of using a keyword. This provides the opportunity to replace the duplicated “home” keyword with a more valuable term like “planner” (to make “room planner” 41/100 volume). Ultimately, this is something that should be modified, tested and re-tested to figure out the best opportunity and combination for keyword rankings.
Play Store Title
On the Play Store, the title is also a large factor when it comes to keywords. The Play Store allows up to 50 characters, so there’s a little more room for keywords here.
Houzz – Home Design & Remodel
This title is the same as the App Store and again effectively introduces the purpose of the app and uses major keywords. The difference here is that it’s only using 29 of the available 50 characters. This leaves more room for keywords! Adding additional terms into your app’s title is a great way to establish and push more keyword rankings.
Screenshots are one of the most important elements when it comes to conversion rates in the App Store and Play Store. With an app like Houzz, there are a lot of split test opportunities in terms of design, features, and text callouts.
One of the main considerations when split testing is crafting a hypothesis and establishing the goal of your test. An example of a valid hypothesis could be identifying the main features of the Houzz app that users interact with and placing those screenshots into the first 3 positions in order to test whether or not new users find those features as important as current users. Additionally, testing screenshots that highlight some of the “hottest” products could generate further user interest.
The text callouts in each screenshot use a very thin font and can be hard for users to read in the search results on the App Store, and on the app’s page in the Play Store. Increasing the weight and size of the text can be more effective when it comes to capturing user attention. Also, while not 100% necessary, adding devices to frame the screen grabs could also add a nice pizazz to Houzz’s screenshots and would make a worthwhile test.
One thing that sticks out on the App Store is that one of the iPhone 5.8 screenshots uses an iPhone 5.5 screen that’s been photoshopped to appear otherwise. The screen ends up looking quite different from the others and can potentially cause confusion.
Houzz has a great start on their ASO. However, there are some clear opportunities and split testing potential on both stores. Testing, iterating and testing more is the only way to succeed in the ASO game, and even an app as large as Houzz has room to improve!