Website owners will know the struggle of trying to get your site ranking. While there are thousands of guides online detailing exactly what you need to do to get your website noticed, it seems that all too often Google takes matters into its own hands and you’re left scratching your head.
App founders, on the other hand, don’t have to deal with this. After all, the app exists solely on the App or Play Store, so it doesn’t matter if it ranks on web searches, right? Wrong!
It may come as a surprise to many, but SEO is still important when it comes to driving mobile app downloads. That’s because recent studies have shown that up to 27% of users discover apps by browsing search engines – not the App or Play Store search bars! This means that if you neglect SEO, you could be receiving 27% fewer downloads.
Why SEO is Still Crucial
A number of apps are discovered through App Packs on search engines conducted on mobile devices. This is where search engines will display a collection of apps, each related to a specific search term, for example ‘photography app’.
If you can get Google to display your app in a pack for a high-traffic keyword or search term, you could potentially receive thousands of more downloads. The only way to do this is through SEO. This means keyword implementation in your title, tagline, and description, as well as obtaining a number of positive reviews from your users.
A solid landing page or blog is another essential when it comes to driving downloads. Focusing on original, fresh and interesting content is a great way to get your website rankings booming and, with a link to the app on your landing page or blog, your downloads could skyrocket. You’ll want to do keyword research first, using tools like Google Trends or Ahrefs, then write compelling content around those keywords — something that’s so good your target audience just has to read it!
You’ll also want to recognize who your customer is, and how they’re looking for technological solutions to their problems. At my company, we target small business owners who are in front of their desktops for a significant portion of the day, so it makes sense to focus on SEO.
For game developers or consumer apps, it might make sense to focus a little more on app store optimization (more on that in a second). One good way to judge is to look at your website’s analytics vs. overall trends — do you have more or less mobile usage? That can be a great indicator of where your focus should be.
App Store Optimization
SEO aside, App Store Optimization is one of the most important factors when it comes to making your app visible. Without putting time and effort into your ASO, you’re unlikely to get very far with your app, as this is where the majority of downloads come from – no matter how solid is your marketing strategy or SEO.
So, if both ASO and SEO are important when it comes to driving downloads, which one should be prioritized? To put it simply, both! Even freelance and sole prop app developers can benefit from both — especially because these don’t cost advertising dollars. Good ASO, combined with a regularly updated content – both of which focus on similar keywords – is a solid marketing technique and will put you in good stead when it comes to getting ahead of the pack.
Jaren Nichols is Chief Operating Officer at ZipBooks. Jaren was previously a Product Manager at Google and holds an MBA from Harvard Business School.