Understanding the relationship between new apps and your SEO plan can lead to symbiotic growth in visibility.
Marketing SEO

How New Mobile Apps and SEO Affect Your Visibility

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Typically, when marketing conversations turn toward new mobile apps of any kind, it’s to discuss some new, spontaneous success. From the meteoric rise and fall of Flappy Bird to mobile integration for popular websites (who doesn’t have Netflix on their phone or tablet these days?), apps seem to be an interesting, though somewhat inaccessible, get-rich-quick scheme. For those who actually take the plunge into app development, however, it usually isn’t long before they realize the uphill battle they’ve gotten themselves into for app store visibility.

But what many marketers have yet to take advantage of is the symbiotic effect that an app can have with your company’s SEO. With app stores constantly growing in competitiveness, SEO practices have become a vitally important part of making your app visible. On the other hand, brands looking to catch their audience while they’re out and about—particularly Millennials—might find that an app can dramatically improve visibility and retention. The opportunity is there, but certainly not without considerable cost and consideration required.

So the question becomes: Could the world of new apps be right for you?

Flappy BirdYou know SEO—now meet ASO.

Any digitally present company is aware of SEO, but a closely related spinoff to this is ASO, or App Store Optimization. The challenges and practices of ASO are very similar to those of SEO: giants like Google Play or Apple’s App Store don’t publish their exact search algorithms, so optimization is largely a process of researching, testing, and signing up for third-party services like Mobile Action to get an idea of how you’re doing against the competition. The beauty of this is that much of your SEO planning can still fit for this—keywords that perform well for your Web presence will likely perform similarly in a description (though, using tools like App Annie or Mobile Action will tell you for sure (best to not assume). Outreach for reviews of your app can also provide both backlinks for your site as well as visibility enhancing reviews in-store. It’s important to note that there are key differences between every app store service, so researching your platform is key before strategizing for visibility and downloads. It can be a lot of work, but shortcuts on the app store typically come at a high price.

Understanding the relationship between new apps and your SEO plan can lead to symbiotic growth in visibility. How do you know if you need an app?

So the important question remains as to which brands should invest in apps. Here are a couple things to consider that can help give you an idea whether apps are a fit for you.

  • Does your brand have time-related elements? Deals tied to calendar days, promotions that expire, webinars that are only accessible for a certain amount of time—all of these things encourage quick decisions, and are perfect for push notifications on a phone.
  • Does your brand have a social element? If your company ever runs social campaigns that center around interactivity, then coming up with ways to translate those campaigns to an app can be an excellent way to encourage users to download (and also share with their friends).
  • Does your brand have storefronts? If so, providing exclusive promotions through an app that are targeted to your users’ location and purchase history can be a great way to improve audience experience and loyalty.

Both SEO and app marketing require a lot of time and effort to do right, but understanding the connection between the two can certainly ease the load.

Looking to learn more about SEO? Check out Skyword’s free eBook, “How to Get SEO Benefit from Google Webmaster Tools.”

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