One of the biggest challenges once a merchant or marketer has developed and launched their Mobile Application is getting users to know about it. This process can get muddled a bit as there are now over 525,000 approved applications of various types in Apple’s App Store, and hundreds of thousands which are available in Google’s Android Market. So how does a consumer who may have a need for your app, but may not necessarily be looking for it, find yours.
One of the best ways is to apply a bit of search engine optimization (SEO) to promote it, but it’s a step that a majority of owners don’t know or bother to do. It has however become an extremely important step.
There’s usually just a small mention of the app on a merchant’s web homepage, somewhere on the corner, or the app may appear on a promotional piece describing what the functions of it are, and that’s usually about it.
Making Apps Visible On Google Search
Google in their latest algorithm spin made some important changes so that their engine is now able to actively index in their search results, mobile applications along with their title and description in their organic results.
So because of this, all anyone who has a mobile app is required to do is execute just a few easy tactics to get listed. This will in effect alert their visitors and let them know that they have an app, and then explain to them what it does or is.
SEO Optimizing Your Mobile Application
To fully optimize you app for the search engines, first, when you initially name the app, it should include your company brand or marketing name in the title, this according to top m-commerce experts.
Although doing so may be an obvious tactic, it’s something that most app owners don’t bother to do. In both the Apple App Store and the Android Marketplace, the name of an app also doubles as the anchor text and link for the apps direct download page, the same page that Google crawls.
Both of these App Markets now have a lot of equity when it comes to Google’s search algorithm. This is because there are links to the direct app download pages, which are now made available everywhere throughout Google.
Once you get all of your important web pages from your e-commerce site directly linking to other m-commerce, e-commerce and social media sites, Google by default will then automatically rank that app download page extremely high in the SERPs.
As a result, these merchants are actively placing direct links onto their apps on all of their important pages of their e-commerce site, the same pages that Google gives added weight to. These pages include the home page along with the category pages.
When it comes to promotional links, the majority of retailers will also usually make a mistake when it comes to SEO. They’ll usually make the app download process into a graphic or an image, and not a text link for Google to crawl. Google’s spiders are not able to “read” the text which is on the graphical image.
Using Text Links
You need to be explicit in your text links, such as “Download The FREE iPhone App Here,” so when the search engine crawls your site, that text link will alert the robot that it’s an App for the iPhone from your store or brand.
It’s extremely important to use SEO tactics to notify that you have an app which the visitors can download. This is a huge opportunity that most marketers with brands to market haven’t capitalized on yet.
Once you make these changes to optimize your site for your app, a quick search on Google should result in your Apple App Store page showing your app on the first page of Google’s search results. And more importantly, the same search on Google’s mobile page results should list the app on the first few results as well.
Taking Advantage Of Mobile Search
The mobile search platform is where marketers can also effectively optimize their sites to boost their search engine listings. One of the best methods when it comes to promoting a mobile site is a function that’s known as “user agent detection.” What “user agent detection” does is it tells the web servers what type of device is making the page request.
Merchants who are looking for more downloads of their app should have promotional copy that’s served on their m-commerce homepage, notifying the iPhone or Android user to click through to the App Store to download the app.
The same methods which are used for desktop URLs can be applied to the mobile site URLs as well. This is making sure that the name of the merchant appears in the name of the app, as well as within the link, and that the download link uses text and not an image.
What Google recently launched was their Smartphone Googlebot. What this bot does is it emulates a smartphone crawling around the web, searching for relevant mobile-optimized web-pages when a search on Google is conducted via a mobile device. So it makes it extremely important to your m-commerce and mobile application to follow these search engine optimization methods.