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There were 3.3 million and 2.11 million apps on Google Play and App Store, respectively, in the first quarter of 2022. That’s a lot of apps, so your app needs to stand out if you want people to download it. Knowing your target audience and promoting your app can make it the first choice.
That’s where SEO for apps comes in handy. And in this guide, we’ll answer all questions about optimization for mobile applications, give you reasons to try it, as well as best practices.
SEO can significantly improve your organic rankings, and it doesn’t require investments on your end as PPC campaigns do. Let this be the first reason why you should try this approach.
Table of Contents
Mobile app SEO is traditional search engine optimization. It is a set of actions that increase your website’s online visibility in search engines, namely Google. In this particular case, you can optimize a landing page where you encourage people to download your mobile application.
You can do this by using proper keywords, optimizing page speed, and user experience, building links to the page, etc.
Mobile app ASO is short for App Store Optimization. This approach is similar to SEO, but it focuses on the App Store and Google Play, which are separate search engines. The terms mobile app SEO and mobile app ASO can often be used interchangeably.
The goal is to increase impressions and, as a result, increase the number of downloads of your application. Additional goals include positive reviews, brand awareness, audience engagement, etc.
While both techniques work excellent separately when done right, combining them amplifies your marketing efforts.
When you create a website, it has to be indexed so that you can rank higher. But you can also utilize app indexing to improve SEO efforts. The difference between website and app indexing is that you can see the Install button in the results when it’s an app. Also, the pages you click on are already opened within the app if you have downloaded it already.
This majorly improves user experience, which is very important when you’re building a reputation and want to retain existing users. It’s much more convenient to be redirected to the app automatically instead of looking through your phone to find it, open it, and find the information there. Therefore, combining your application with a search engine is very effective UX-wise.
The users who search for the information you have in your app will see the Install button and be able to download the application. App indexing ensures that the search engine has listed your software, making it visible in the search results.
To enable crawlers to reach your app and its contents, you must integrate the App Indexing API. This will improve your mobile app SEO efforts and help you reach your target audience in Google.
Both native mobile apps and progressive web apps have advantages and disadvantages. Your choice depends on many factors, including your experience, brand reputation, and goals.
A native mobile app is a downloadable application written for a certain operating system, such as iOS or Android. The former are usually written either in an OS-specific programming language or using a cross-platform network. Such apps offer superior features and a better experience, but you need a dedicated development team specialized in launching Android or iOS apps. Furthermore, you need time to get an app store approval.
Choose a native app with a sufficient budget since the features will have to be created from scratch at least twice, depending on the OS you want to launch.
A progressive web app or PWA is a website with the looks and behavior of a mobile app. It’s more advantageous for user experience since you don’t have to go to the app store, find the app, purchase and install it, etc. It’s a great option if it’s your first app or you need to build a reputation, but you have to visit the website, and there may be performance issues.
PWAs are universal in terms of OS and device, so it’s cost-efficient since you’ll only have to develop it once.
Native apps are more expensive, and you can’t limit yourself to one operating system if you want to reach a wider audience. Progressive web apps are somewhat of a test now, but they’re automatically responsive and faster (and cheaper) to develop.
Here, we offer you some of the best SEO and ASO practices for your native apps and PWAs.
You need a branded landing page to rank on Google and promote your application, encouraging visitors to use it.
Your website as a whole, including the landing page, is the driving force that takes people from a search engine or a backlink through the page(s), down the rabbit hole of your buyer funnel, and all the way to the app store. After that, many ‘travelers’ will turn out to be an interested, solvent audience.
How to do SEO for a mobile app via a landing page? Include the following, along with the proper keywords (we’ll talk about them in the next section):
This is basically everything people need to know to make an informed decision. To boost the effectiveness of your mobile app SEO, include the following on the LP (landing page):
Also, work on the loading speed of your page because Internet users won’t wait a long time for a page to load nowadays. To get insight into how fast your LP is, use Google’s PageSpeed Insights.
This is both a mobile app SEO and mobile app ASO approach since both engage with search engines. Keywords are what will match you to the searches of your target audience. Researching them and choosing the most suitable ones for your campaign includes:
For this, you can use a keywords search tool for Google optimization, as well as ASO keyword research tools to boost your app store visibility. Using such tools, you’ll see all the information on the seed keyword, including its difficulty score and monthly search volume. You’ll also get suggestions of long-tail and other keywords that can diversify your semantic core and help you reach a wider audience.
The goal of keyword research and use is to be considered relevant to the search query by the search engine you’re optimizing for.
Where to put keywords to boost the relevance of the page?
If you’re marketing a PWA instead of a native mobile app, use the keywords on the pages that lead to the link to the app page.
This is primarily a mobile app ASO technique to help you rank higher for the focus query. App stores are triggered by the keywords you put in the title, app name, description, and other fields. Since there’s not too much space to use queries on the app page, do thorough research and choose the best possible keyword options.
The perfect set of keywords will:
Keep in mind just how limited the space is character-wise. Be sure to write concisely and not to overuse keywords. Names and descriptions full of queries seem spammy, which both the search engine algorithm and potential downloaders won’t like.
Spammy SEO tactics for apps don’t work anymore.
If you’re promoting a PWA, apply these tactics to the page describing your app.
Img cr: https://www.invespcro.com/blog/the-importance-of-online-customer-reviews-infographic/
This approach works well for both Google and the app store you optimize. It’s also effective for native mobile apps and PWAs.
The thing is, good ratings and reviews bring your app closer to the top in-store search engines and may improve conversions from those stores and Google. People seek social proof because they are more likely to trust other users than brands. This is logical since no brand will say something like “well, our app isn’t that good, but we’re trying.”
90% of consumers read reviews before using a business. And 88% trust online reviews and personal recommendations, although the suspicion of fake reviews increases as consumers become more knowledgeable of such manipulations.
So, you need to have a framework for review and rating generation. And to build trust with existing and potential mobile app users, it’s wise to engage with those reviews and reply to them (especially those describing a problem).
Another part of doing SEO for mobile apps is the off-page side involving link building. It will improve your Google ranking for both native apps and PWAs.
First of all, link to the app on your website. Look at the main page, the detailed information page, your blog posts, case studies, etc. Also, don’t forget to post the link on your branded social media where you want to grow a following to maintain communication with the target audience, engage it, and encourage them to download/access your app and make purchases.
Img cr: https://www.smartinsights.com/social-media-marketing/social-media-strategy/new-global-social-media-research/
Over 4,6 billion people use social media as of January 2022. That’s over half of the worldwide population. Your target audience is there, guaranteed.
Try contacting other media channels and using PR tactics to get backlinks from relevant news resources. Thus, you’ll cover the audience that may not see you in organic search results or on social media.
Another way to build links is to write guest posts for relevant blogs, leaving your link there organically as a recommendation or in the author’s bio. Many websites offer guest posting opportunities, no matter the industry.
And finally, list your website and app in mobile directories along with essential information such as a statement that you’ve entered the game.
Additional ways to build links include:
Mobile app SEO and ASO are essential if you want your application to stand out. The more people there are online, and the more apps are created to make their lives easier and more entertaining. Of course, another goal is to boost the revenue of the brand.
You can do both by ranking higher in search engines such as Google and Google Play/App Store. There are many approaches to app optimization, and they work best when used together.
First, get the background information to understand how much time, effort, and money you will need to achieve your SEO goals. We should mention that it’s basically a free marketing tactic, but you may need funds to pay for SEO tools or specialists that can do the job for you.
As you establish the budget and time slot for the campaign, create a landing page with all the essential information about your app in an appealing, engaging, and concise way—research keywords to enrich your app page and LPs and match users’ search intent.
Build links to the website to improve your reputation in the eyes of Internet users and search engines. Garner reviews and ratings, reply to them, and communicate with the public. And finally, be active on social media, make statements, and update your audience with information about your app.
These techniques work for both native mobile apps and progressive web app promotion!
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