The number of apps that populate mobile devices is growing and so is the competition to get your app amongst them. App marketing has taken off and there are a number of highly popular and much talked about ways in which you can successfully market your app, such as App Store optimization and advertising, be it through third-party mediums or on your own website.
The Google Play Store housed 2.6 million unique apps as of December 2016. Google has been busy with morphing into a platform that provides the ultimate tools to cater to every need an app has. It started off by introducing a mobile-first indexing system, with which Google’s bots will crawl your websites as a mobile user and not as a desktop user. But now, Google intends to take this further. Google is the world’s most powerful search engine and it cannot lose out on the opportunity to develop a medium to make apps appear in its search results. As a result, Google now offers apps the option to index on the search engine, which means that, from now on, search engine optimization will be an integral part of any app marketing strategy.
How does it work?
When using Google on your mobile, you could see results from the apps you have installed on your phone if you put forward a certain search query. Now, even if you don’t have a certain app installed on your phone, Google will still fetch suggestions to install apps in the results if the content they carry matches the search query. This new app indexing strategy starts working when you allow your app to be indexed by Google, much like is the case with website indexing. The different is, you would need to have a webpage corresponding to the content featured in the app.
What Google does with app indexing is, if a certain search query matched the content contained in your app, then Google can display your app in the search results and provide the option to the user to install the app. If a person clicks on the install link in the search results, it will find itself redirected to Google’s Play store where it could get that app installed in its mobile.
What does this mean for app marketing?
Whether it is app store optimization or third-party ads, no one can widen the realm of app marketing to the extent that a search ranking can. Conventional forms of app marketing were quite restricted in the sense that they existed only inside the app store domain mainly. The user would only have the visibility to the apps that were optimized on the app store’s search engines.
Google’s search engine ranking provides more relevancy and more qualified leads because it offers apps as suggestions to those people who are searching for something related to the suggested apps. Diversifying outreach and giving app marketing a boost, Google’s app indexing will bring in a lot more conversions and app installs.
How to include SEO in your app marketing strategy
SEO will have a crucial role to play in charting out a more effective app marketing strategy. To include SEO in your app marketing strategy, you would need to write content for the app that is optimized for Google search. This will help your app gain more exposure when people are using other apps through a feature called Google Now on Tap.
The Now on Tap feature is optimized to work within apps and is available on Android 6.0 Marshmallow. This new feature allows users to hold on to the home screen button when using a certain app and the content on the app’s interface will be read and analyzed, bringing back the most relevant results that could enhance the user’s experience of that certain app. For example, if you are reading a feature about an upcoming election on a news app and you activate Google Now on Tap, you can view the candidate profiles, their constituency, any other related news based on the keywords used in the original news feature. But how would this help your app gain visibility and drive more downloads?
If your app is indexed by Google, then someone using the Google Now on Tap feature in a certain app could see a suggestion to install yours as well if it is relevant to the search. These amazing new features by Google could stand to power even more installs for apps and make their discoverability far easier than was otherwise possible.
One way to optimize and take advantage of this feature would be by revamping current apps. For a new app, you would need to optimize it for Google when it is in the development stage and incorporate this step as a milestone in the app’s lifecycle stages to stand the most chance of benefiting from it. Every marketer who is in the business of promoting apps needs to understand and incorporate this strategy into the app’s marketing mix to increase the app’s chances of becoming a success story.
Carla Adams is an enthusiastic dreamer and is a workaholic to achieve that. She is a blogger, writer, basketball player, technology and fashion freak. For all the updates, follow her on Facebook.