App Discoverability: The New Factor In SEO
Just when you thought you had covered all the SEO bases in your online marketing campaign, Google raises the bar.
Enter: App Discoverability – Google’s newest hoop that website owners must jump through in order to improve and/or maintain their search engine placement.
So what is “App Discoverability” anyway?
In short, it’s the search engine friendliness of your mobile apps.
But what if you don’t have a mobile app for your website?
When this whole “App Discoverability” thing is said and done – you’re going to wish you did.
Google already told us how they have shifted their algorithm focus to include a website’s mobile-friendliness in its search engine placement because the vast majority of online searches are now being done via mobile devices.
That gave website owners the impression that simply incorporating responsive web design into their website structure was enough to make it mobile-friendly. However, a recent study by Criteo found that, regardless of a site’s mobile-friendliness, websites who have mobile apps have higher conversion rates and more sales than mobile-friendly sites that do not have mobile apps.
So what does this mean for website owners?
Well, for starters, it means that in order to remain competitive in your online market, creating a mobile app is a definite “must do”.
But even if you created the most fantastic app ever – it’s not going to do your brand or your website any good, unless people can find it.
Enter: App Discoverability – again.
As with any other product, if you want people to buy/use it, you’re going to have to market it. For apps, you can do so in the various app stores, on your website or other online advertising venues. Google has also stated that some apps will appear in organic search results, based on keywords contained therein. This is a clue that mobile apps should be optimized for search engines, just like websites are – in order to rank well and increase their visibility.
There’s also a new feature by Google called Google Now On Tap that allows you to browse search engines for information that you need, without ever leaving an opened app, which enhances the functionality of the app.
The final (and maybe the most crucial) step in “App Discoverability” is app indexing, which is the process of getting your app indexed by search engine crawlers via deep linking. One caveat to be aware of with app indexing is that an app must have a dedicated web page linked to it in order for the indexing service to work.
If past behavior is the best indicator of future behavior, it’s safe to assume that having a fluid, multifaceted approach to SEO is imperative to having any kind of real success with search engines. Google has proven this time and time again, with each update and new feature they have released.
If your current SEO strategy doesn’t include flexible methods that are easily adapted to the fluidity of the online marketing industry, you should definitely consider changing your game plan and investing in one that does.