Mobile apps have proven to be an effective means of improving a brand’s reach and retention, particularly on mobile and with younger audiences. Promoting these apps, however, has always been a challenge. Many companies encourage their audiences to download their mobile app by serving specific landing pages of full-screen pop-ups when accessing their website. For the most part, this seems to work (though, it’s resulted in many of us having to search out that small, inconvenient “continue to full site” button on more than one occasion). However, in a further step to improve their engine for mobile, Google has recently announced that websites that serve oversize ads to mobile users will be penalized in SEO ranking.
In this move from Google, digital marketers are reminded of something very important: Metrics, KPIs, and analytics all are meant to measure people, not data points.
There are hundreds of ways to manipulate the mechanics and presentation of a website to improve search engine visibility and rank, but at times these decisions can come at the cost of user experience.
The use of mobile apps by companies is perhaps the best example of this disconnect between data and audience. Theoretically, apps allow customers—particularly engaged customers—to interact with a brand on a more consistent and convenient basis. Forcing users to download an app defeats this goal. It might bring your brand a little more visibility, but if the cost of visibility is frustrating your current audience, then it’s counterproductive.
While avoiding Google’s penalty might be as simple as reducing the screen space of your promotions, this latest update might be the perfect time to reevaluate your brand’s customer experience overall. Here are a few ideas to help:
Interested in more detailed insight into working with Google for SEO? Skyword’s guide to Google SEO and webmaster tools will help you dig deeper.