Mobile Marketing: All about App Indexing
Companies that have bet on Mobile Marketing and have not indexed their applications, are missing a great opportunity by not maximizing the investment in their apps through App Store Optimization to get more information and interaction and even conversions.
According to Searchmetrics 90% of top the 100 websites have an Android app and 89% have an iOS app, but only 30% of Android and 19% of iOS apps have integrated deep linking/app indexing, so there is huge potential for websites to draw additional search traffic to their apps.
In this article you will learn the advantages of indexing your application to generate more traffic in your app and you will find the case study of Smashing Magazine in which it shows the impact that your application had when they indexed their app.
WHY TO INDEX YOUR APP
The App Indexing offers users who have installed an application the ability to display it on Google pages. This means that when the user searches for a specific product or service, Google will show a link to the destination page of the product of the application instead of the landing page of the company’s website.
These are some advantages of Indexing your App:
- Boost app traffic by listing apps right alongside webpages in search results.
- Increase conversions by taking a user straight to a specific app page with a CTA.
- Increase loyalty of existing customers by reminding them of the value they receive from your app and exposing them to app-only content.
- Aid in the acquisition of new users by recommending apps the user has not yet downloaded.
TESTING APP INDEXING
Smashing Magazine runned a Case Study to get a better sense of how much traffic, realistically, we can expect from getting an app indexed.
At first, the app Vivid Seats had more than 35,000 pages with the “Intent URI not supported” error in September of 2015.
Then they followed the procedure outlined in the Firebase documentation:
- They made sure that each type of link on our website had an equivalent view and corresponding URI in their Android app. To do this, they designed templates for page types that were not included in their app previously, and they built them in their Android app. The unique information on each page is dynamically served from our RESTful endpoint, so it’s only necessary to design and code the templates, not individual pages.
- They verified their website in Search Console and associated it with their website, since the website wasn’t in SSL, as required by Digital Asset Links.
- They added an intent filter in their Android manifest file.
- They called getIntent in the onCreate code and deployed the app to the Play store.
They grow their traffic from app indexing by 919%. If you only have an app to index, or if you have resources on your team, then app indexing does bring traffic that you wouldn’t get otherwise, and it might be worth the long-term benefits to your website and to Google users.
HOW TO INDEX YOUR APP
Apptentive give you the best steps to index your app:
- Support HTTP deep links. Just like with Android apps, the first thing you need to index the content of your iOS app is to introduce your content in Google Index. To do so, you need to ensure that your deep links are suitable with links to your content. However, App Indexing for iOS 9 uses URL HTTPs. If you already followed the instructions to support universal links to your app, you can skip this section. Otherwise, you need to add handling for universal links to your app and to create the app-to-site association.
- Add app indexing. The next step is to add app indexing. You need to use CocoaPods to install and manage dependencies. After that, you need to add the indexing into your management file of your Podfile. You should save and install the file Google has generated for you and then you import GoogleAppIndexing. Lastly, you only have to register your app to Google system.
- Check your implementation. Once you have completed the setup for app indexing, you can verify your universal links before they appear on Google search. For that, you only have to tap a universal link in Safari on your mobile device and make sure it takes you to the right place in the app.
- Enhance your search performance. Finally, in order to improve your app’s ranking, you have to provide high-quality content in your app. To make the best optimization of your search performance, make sure your associated site meet Google’s Design and Content Guidelines and use the same layout practices recommended for your mobile-friendly homepage (as keep your titles short and avoid full-width menus). If Google detects any abuse or deception, it may take corrective actions (as downgrade or delete your deep links).
- If you want to go deeply in this technical part you can find out all the official documentation provided by Google in this link.
The implementation of app indexing is putting into practice the philosophy that there should be no distinction between mobile and desktop platforms when it comes to serving up the best, most relevant search engine results. Are you ready for take a step forward in the dominance of mobile search and mobile usage?
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