Optimizing your app used to be less important than it is now. More specifically, app store optimization was once all that mattered.
Google has mixed things up, however, and made it possible for apps to come up in organic searches.
That means there’s a new venue for exposure, and you should be competing for a top spot in the SERPs. Seeing as more than half of users click on one of the first few links in the search pages, you should be working on your app SEO in order to drive traffic.
We’ll go into a few methods of optimizing your app so you can start seeing a boost in traffic.
Methods of App SEO That Work
We’ll get into a few methods that are experimental and could prove to give you a lot of success. We’ll also cover those methods that are known to work and should definitely be a part of your arsenal when you’re launching your app.
Remember that results don’t come easily, and you should expect to do some work on the back end to start seeing results. That said, if you do things right, you may start seeing success right off of the bat.
This is especially true if others in your niche don’t typically have apps. One benefit of local SEO is that most small businesses haven’t yet optimized their sites for search engines. Similarly, a lot of applications haven’t optimized for search engines because applications only started coming up in organic searches recently.
App SEO and Traditional SEO
Another thing to consider is the mutual benefit that app store popularity and web optimization have on one another. One of Google’s ranking factors is the popularity of the app itself. In other words, it factors in downloads and reviews when deciding where an app ranks in SERPs.
So, the more downloads you get, the higher your ranking. Alternatively, when you rank higher, you are extremely likely to get more downloads. This is, in part, due to the fact that app listings in SERPs are typically coupled with a link to directly download.
That means that users can download right from the Google search. That information should be enough to motivate a little effort toward optimization.
In any case, it’s time to get working on your optimization. Let’s get started.
1. Feature Your Brand Name in the App Name
One mistake that a lot of companies make is naming their app something totally different from the name of their brand.
Extremely large companies may have the luxury of naming their products in unusual ways and retaining a large amount of traffic, but smaller businesses simply do not.
Naming your app with your brand name will allow all users that would otherwise search your name to find your app. Naming erratically will put you at square one, whereas keeping with your current name will lump you on to your website’s current success.
2. Include Name in Links to Different Platforms
You likely have app variations that cater to different mediums like tablets, iPhones, and Android.
Each iteration should have a different link to download. Make sure to include your brand name in each link. A lot of sites miss this opportunity.
Their links say “iPhone version,” or “Android version.” If your product name is “BluBird app,” your links should say “BluBird app iPhone version,” and “BluBird app Android version.”
This extra name placement will factor into the search results and give those links a higher chance of landing in the SERPs.
3. List Your App in Business Listings
This is true for your company’s SEO as well. Having your product placed in as many registries as possible is a surefire way to improve in the search rankings.
On the one hand, each site that you’re listed on gives you a number of inbound links that are factored into your value as a search result. If SERPs were a democracy, links to your site would all be considered votes in your favour.
On the other hand, you open yourself up to an entire audience of users who frequent that site. Those are users who can provide downloads and reviews.
4. Be Hungry for Reviews
User reviews are like gold when it comes to app optimization. Google wants to make its results as relevant to users as possible. That’s how they compete with other search engines and remain the dominant force for internet searches.
Their results are scientifically crafted to be what users want to see. That means finding and listing sites that users can benefit from. User reviews are essentially users telling the search algorithm that your site is good or bad.
Accumulating a wealth of reviews from different sites is a direct way to fire to the top of search results pages.
5. Engage with Customers
A degree of back and forth with your customer base shows that you genuinely care. If you value customer service, communicating with your customers is an essential way to know that your product is high-quality.
At the same time, communication provides a venue for you to make suggestions. You should suggest downloading and leaving reviews for your app. First, you can do this through your mailing list.
Utilize your mailing list as a way for your current users to become aware of app changes and new products. When a user makes a download, you should send them an email asking how well the product is faring and ask that they leave a review.
6. Keyword Optimization
This one should be a no-brainer, but it has to go on the list.
Keyword optimization is the lifeblood of any kind of search engine optimization. When developing for apps, though, it is a little bit different.
With web pages, you have the opportunity to optimize for a number of different keywords using blogs as channels to do so. With the app, you typically have just a page or two to optimize.
This means you have to make your keywords count. Do research to identify a relevant keyword that doesn’t have extremely difficult competition. This just means that users are searching that phrase and Ford isn’t the site that you’re competing with.
Additionally, keep an eye on the state of the keyword you choose. You may find that your selected word or phrase starts to lose popularity a month or two after you optimize your pages. It’s never a bad idea to reformat the page to use keywords that are successful at the time.
7. Optimize Your Website
If you make your app easily available through your website, any traffic driven to your actual site is traffic driven toward your app.
Optimizing your website requires keyword optimization, backlinking, site architecture improvement, and strategic content creation. All of those things can be done on one’s own, but it may help to work with a professional.
Again, there’s a mutually beneficial relationship between SEO and app SEO.
8. Utilize QR Codes
Do your best to make your QR codes visible. It’s even possible to have QR codes present in the SERPs.
This is just a simpler way for web users to download the product instantly. Make sure that the code directs users right to the download page of your application.
You may have a lot of people seeing your link but denying it because it seems inconvenient to download an app. For one reason or another, the QR code makes the download feel easier and more convenient.
9. Fit Keywords with Brand in the Title
It’s important to include your brand’s name in the title as we discussed. That said, if it isn’t too difficult to include the keyword you’re optimizing for, do that too.
That’s a direct way to link your product with the user search in addition to keeping your brand at the centre of your optimization. Search algorithms value keywords to different degrees based on where they sit in a web page.
For example, a headline with the keyword will have more value than a keyword in the body of the text. The product name is arguably the most important placement in the scheme of your optimization, so fitting the keyword there would do you well.
10. Come Through with a Great Product
At the end of the day, your product should speak for itself. The better the product you put on the market, the more people you’ll have downloading it. Further, you’re more likely to get great reviews when you dedicate a lot of time to your app.
This means being open to suggestions and altering your product when there are negative reviews that hold weight. It seems obvious to say this, but some people place too much value on their optimization. If you’re not getting traffic, it may be the fault of your product and not your optimization.
Want to Take the Web by Storm?
Working out your app SEO is one of the essentials of having a great web presence. There’s a lot more to learn, though, and what you need to know will depend on the nature of your business.