Mobile is the new trend and the businesses not adapting to this paradigm shift are losing a huge number of customers. The change is so powerful that the search giant Google has recently announced that their search results will now be Mobile First, meaning while indexing content and showing that on SERP, Google will first look at the mobile version of the website. If you’ve a Google Webmaster account then you must have noticed the addition of “SmartPhone Indexing” by now. This gives a strong indication that brands that are not opting for mobile first trend might struggle to tap their niche market.
With the increase of smartphone users and internet penetration, it has become easier for users to access the internet on the go. And this is where the mobile apps come into the picture. Mobile apps let users access content over the internet without opening their browsers every now and then, also they don’t have to remember the long URLs of each website they visit frequently. Not only the users, but from the company/brand point of view a mobile app is more beneficial that a website in terms of customer engagement, brand building etc.
But just like websites, there are hundreds of mobile apps in every industry that a brand has to compete with to be visible to its targeted audience. Just like getting your website in top 10 organic search results is not an easy task nowadays, making your application visible in search results is also not easy because of stiff competition. But few fundamental basics and some extra efforts in the right direction can help your app to rank better than its competitors in organic search results.
We have discussed some of the best ways to lift your app on organic search results with some minimal effort and tweaks.
Title & Description Optimzation
These are the basics things you need to implement in order to rank your app in search results. Just like in a traditional SEO approach, spend some time to find relevant keywords for your business. Understand your target audience and come up with some highly relevant keywords that your users are likely to search to find your business/app. Create a list of 20-30 keywords and then filter out the most relevant keywords to use in the name and in the description of your application. Keep in mind that the keywords play a very strong role in SEO. Where right keywords can get your app at the top of the results, the irrelevant or wrong keywords can hurt efforts of improving organic search results.
Include screenshots and videos
This might not affect your search rankings inside app store but it can drive downloads for you. Images and videos are a great way of showing your users the true potential of your app. The descriptive text in your description sometimes fails to demonstrate what your app is all about. So try to include high-quality screenshots with videos demonstrating the most striking and unique features of your mobile app.
Rating & Reviews
Rating & Reviews play a crucial role in ranking an app high on search results. Always ask your users to leave a rating and review about their experience with the app. The more reviews & rating you get the better you rank. This is because even the app store wants to provide a better expeience to its users by providing them high quality apps. criteria that search engines use to decide the mobile app ranking in organic search results. Keep asking users to rank your app. The more ratings/reviews your app will get the more it rises high in ranking.
App Indexing: It matters a lot
First, let me tell you what App Indexing is. App Indexing, as Google calls it is a method where if a users performs a Google search on a mobile device, Google will not only show web pages but also content from your app via deep linking. Below is a screenshot which will help you understanding in a better way.
Landing Page & Backlinks
One of the most important things to focus is to have a converting app landing page on your website. Design your app download page in such a way that it drive the maximum user to download the app. Place your app store links, use screenshots, review and videos to push users for more downloads.
Link this landing page from most important pages of your website and leave the page link on other websites in your niche. The aim here is to signal the search engine that your app download page has a high importance or priority over other pages on your website and hence the higher chances of appearing your landing in SERPs which will result in high app ranking.
One bonus tip would be to use your brand name in the URL of your app download page for additional signal boost.
Spread the word
High traffic and authority over the internet are two most popular factors among hundreds of other factors that a search engine takes into consideration while ranking a page in organic search results. And making your website viral is one of the best ways to achieve this. In traditional SEO approach, we do this by creating high-quality backlinks from other relevant websites and social media platforms. Let people know about the launch of your app and the best way to do it is using PR. Publish press releases and use links to your download page in app stores.
Apart from PR, there are other ways to create hype for your newly launched mobile app:
- Product Hunt: Product Hunt is a community of product developers, founders and enthusiasts votes every day on new products launching. You can call it Reddit for newly launched, innovative products and startups. The two most powerful features of Product Hunt that a mobile app developer or a business can leverage are feedback for your product and sometimes the huge traffic to your app download page which could be another boost to your mobile app ranking in search results.
- Look our for beta testers: When I was working for my previous company what I did was, I posted in every beta testing community about the launch of our app and asked them to try it out and give their honest feedback about it. We got some odd 1500 downloads within a month or so from these communities.
- Appstorm: Appstorm is yet another popular platform to promote your mobile app. This platform has a unique feature. It is divided into several sections, with each one dedicated to a different mobile platform. It is a perfect website to promote your mobile app if it is available only for a specific platform.
- Use social media: It is now proved that social media plays a huge role while deciding the ranking of a page in organic search results. Links from popular social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn can help your page rise in search rankings. Also, if promoted right on social media, it can earn you huge traffic which could be converted into downloads. Your brand pages on social media websites such as Facebook, Google Plus, Wikipedia and LinkedIn means different URLs in your profile. Think of these social media profiles as one of the strong SEO opportunities by pointing the link equity of these social media profiles to your app profile page on your website.
- Leverage content marketing: Ever heard of Hubspot? They get millions of visitors to their blogs every month. But they’re not a content creation company, they are a sales and marketing platform. They leverage content marketing which drives the huge audience to their blogs and then converts them to customers. The best ay to do this is to create a blog on your website and convert those visitors to download your app. You can also write on popular websites like Quora and Reddit and get more downloads.
Search engines change ranking position every now and then and there’s no guaranteed method to rank an app at the top for every search query (unless you’re Google or Amazon :p), but if executed in a proper and efficient manner the above-mentioned techniques would surely boost your mobile app ranking search engine result pages.