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The importance of screenshots should never be underestimated. It is one of the most valuable marketing assets you will have. Among the millions of apps in the Google Play Store and App Store, without the best screenshots, it will be difficult for you to stay ahead of the competition.

Of course, you shouldn’t simply use random screenshots, but you have to use the best ones. Adding any screenshot just for the sake of having one won’t bring the success your want.

So, how would you know if your screenshot is the best one you’ve had until now? How can you be sure that you are using screenshots that bring a higher conversion rate? Most importantly, how can you assess the effectiveness of your screenshots?

The answer is A/B testing.

What should you A/B test when it comes to screenshots?

But you may ask, “What should I test?” There are just so many things to consider. How can you be sure that you are testing the right thing at the right time?

No worries, because we are here to answer your questions. To improve your screenshot A/B testing process, you must test the important elements of your screenshots.

Table of Contents

1. Number of the screenshots

Check out these numbers about the top 100 apps:

  • 3 out of the top 100 apps use 2 screenshots
  • 6 out of the top 100 apps use 3 screenshots
  • 13 out of the top 100 apps use 4 screenshots
  • 78 out of the top 100 apps use 5 screenshots

So this gives us an indication that the sweet spot would be 5 screenshots. Of course, this is not a one-size-fits-all number, but it gives you an idea that you might want to consider using around 5 screenshots.

Top 100 apps and the number of screenshots they use.

The number of your screenshots would directly affect the impressions, downloads, and conversion rate of your app. That’s why you should determine how many screenshots you will use carefully.

You need to A/B test the number of your screenshots. Is having 2 screenshots enough? Should you use 3, 4, or 6 screenshots? Should maximizing all available screenshot slots would make a difference? You just don’t know yet, but you will have a much better idea once you start A/B testing the number of screenshots you have.

2. Order

After deciding on the number of screenshots that you want to have (you can keep A/B testing them later on), you also need to decide the order in which they appear, which screenshot should be the first, second, third, and so on.

The best screenshot A/B testing practice is to place your most important screenshot at the forefront. The main goal is to ensure that your users would immediately be intrigued in installing your app even just by looking at your first screenshot.

Check out these screenshots by Blender Camera:

As you can see, the first screenshot can stand on its own. It also effectively tells you what the app is all about by saying “Blend Two Photos Together,” which is actually the main feature of this app; hence, the name — Blender Camera.

The second screenshot then shows the potential users amazing examples of what the app can do. By showing examples, users are given an idea of the features and capabilities of the app. Then, for the third and fourth screenshots, the interface of the app is shown to help users learn more about how easy it is to use the app.

Generally speaking, you want to order your screenshots based on importance rather than the most logical sequence. Most people would rather want to know first what your app is all about rather than immediately taking them to through your app step by step.

Now, once you have determined the best order of your screenshots, the A/B test would help you understand whether your chosen sequence leads to a higher conversion rate or not. Keep on testing until you get the best sequence possible.

3. Orientation

As you may already know, your screenshots can be viewed either in portrait or landscape orientation. By default, you might think that portrait orientation brings the highest conversion. After all, smartphones are usually held in portrait. However, you would really never know until you A/B test your screenshots.

Generally, how you choose to display your screenshot would depend on how your app will be used. Nevertheless, before you make the final conclusion on whether to choose landscape or portrait, it is better to still do A/B testing. You can also try mixing both portrait and landscape. You might be surprised with the A/B test result.

4. Color

Wassily Kandinsky, a famous Russian painter, and art theorist, once said, “Color is a power that directly influences the soul”, and this can be attributed to the screenshots as well.

Choosing the color can be tricky for many people, especially if this is not their cup of tea. There are just so many colors to choose from.

In this case, having a background in color psychology would be helpful. Aside from that, you can start looking into your brand and the overall motif that you want to use. You should then get an idea of what color to use.

Now, so far, when you choose the color scheme of your app screenshots, it is most likely you based it on your preference. Thus, it is also high time to see what your users prefer.

A/B testing will help you determine which color combination is the best for your potential and current users. What you can do is prepare sets of screenshots you want to compare. From there, you can proceed with A/B testing.

Try different color combinations and motifs. When implemented right, your screenshot AB testing results should tell you which set of screenshots give you the best performance.

5. Background

The right background of your screenshots can dramatically improve its appeal. There are various backgrounds that you need to test. Backgrounds can be as simple as one single color or a blurred photo. Sometimes, you can also grab a scene from your app and use it as a background.

Whatever background you choose, be sure to A/B test it. Sometimes, a background might be good enough for you but not for your users.

6. Font

There are hundreds of fonts available today. The days that you were simply choosing between Times New Romans and Calibri have passed.

One of the main goals of your A/B testing is to see which font appeals the best to your target audience. You need to ask, “Should I use different font styles?” “Can using 1 or 2 font styles would be enough?” “What font size should I use?”

With this in mind, you just don’t need to determine what font style you need to use, but also the font size.

Check out these screenshots by Timecap app:

You can see that they consistently use the same font style, from their screenshots to their app.

Another positive point you need to consider is how they only use a few words. This eliminates a lot of noise. The words used focused on what matters most with their app.

So, you want to know if doing the same thing would benefit your app. You can discover this through screenshot AB testing.

7. Style and the theme of the screenshots

The theme or style of your screenshot set also plays a role in making your app appealing or not. In most cases, you might already have a style in mind. Basically, you could base this on what your app is all about.

For example, if your app is a photo editing one, then you may choose a playful and creative style. However, you don’t have to restrict yourself to these styles. You can always find other themes for your app especially when you try to create a theme based on various seasons of the year.

Take a look at the photo editing app called “PicsArt.”

The focus of the screenshots is in-app features and images. However, they have done it in such a way that the screenshots look magical, eye-catching, and appealing. The style they use is simple, but still impressive at the same time.

A/B testing your screenshot styles should help you decide which style fits perfectly to your app.

8. Features

Your screenshots should be about the features of your app. You can choose which features you want to showcase first and how you want them to be shown on your screenshots. There are various ways to showcase your app’s functionalities. So, be sure to A/B test and determine the best way to present them in your screenshot.

9. Recognitions

Finally, one important element you want to A/B test would be displaying the recognitions and awards your app has achieved. A lot of users can easily be impressed when they see badges of recognition added on your screenshots. Thus, if you have certain accolades, don’t hesitate to include them in your screenshots.

Needless to say, you can use A/B testing to confirm if displaying awards and recognitions to your screenshots would lead to higher conversion and if it does, how much conversion does it produce.

Final words

Now that you have read the different screenshot elements to test, it is time for you to apply what you learned. Be sure to keep on screenshot AB testing. It is a never-ending research process.

While A/B testing is an important aspect of your App Search Optimization (ASO) effort, it can be difficult at times to perform. Thankfully, you can do A/B testing on iOS through creative sets. To bring your A/B testing up a notch, you can use Merikal. You can launch A/B tests very quickly on iOS and you can track the performance of the variations very easily.

With this in mind, be sure to A/B test your screenshots and see how it can dramatically improve your app’s conversion rate! If you would like to learn more about the screenshot testing feature of Metrikal as well as the other practical aspects of it, please schedule a demo or contact us!

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