Assume you made an app. An app focused on content. Now you want your app downloaded and more important to get used. Probably you already distribute your app with your current users of readers but if you didn’t have them or you simple would like to extent your user base the most used way to promote your app is trying to get a good ranking in the iStore and Google Play by using App Store Optimization (ASO), you can use AdWords or other promotion channels. But for content apps, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for mobile search is worth to consider and test. Especially because it is not as known so you have high demand (search queries) with low supply (competition

Below an overview with the best 5 posts about SEO for apps with a short summary.

Blog post nr 1: March 3, 2015: App Indexing – The New SEO Generation
Back in 2012, the writer of the Dan Cristo predicted already that Google would use an API to crawl app content.

Google describes the app as follows on Google’s App Indexing API site:
“The App Indexing API provides a way for developers to notify Google about deep links in their native apps and allows the Google app, version 3.6 and above, to drive re-engagement through Google Search query autocompletions, providing fast and easy access to inner pages in apps. The deep links reported using the App Indexing API are also used by Google to index app content and are surfaced in Google Search results.”

And according Dan, we are today:

Google’s Mobile App Indexing API is more about helping users navigate to content it already knows about deep inside an app, as opposed to Google using the API to discover and analyze new content it didn’t know existed.

Blog post nr 2: April 23, 2015: SEO and Mobile Apps
Mobile app search is on the rise, along with mobile app usage.

This means that one of the fasting growing segments of mobile users cannot be marketed to by optimizing HTML webpages alone, requiring search marketers to expand their skills into app optimization. –Moz.com

App Indexing
Along with appearing in desktop search results, mobile apps can also be installed directly from the SERPs. Google introduced app indexing in 2013, and earlier this year started introducing relevant app installation directly from search results.

google-app-indexing-tea-300x264

Blog post nr 3: June 30, 2015: Your Mobile App Questions Answered With Google’s Mariya Moeva
Main reasons according Mariya for publishers to create an app (vs a mobile website)

  1. Apps provide a front door for your content on your users’ personal devices.
  2. Apps offer a bunch of functionality that is not yet widely available on the web, like interacting with content offline, or getting information from the device (e.g. using location or camera).
  3. Plus, you can learn a lot more about your users via the profiles they create and activity from their phone.

The content of your app can be indexed by using App Indexing:
App Indexing for Android
App Indexing for iOS

The content from an indexed app the user has installed is relevant to the user’s query, we’ll show it in search results like this one for [hotels in berlin]:

If app is already installed
app-installed-search-result

And if the app is not installed yet
app-NOT-installed-search-result

Here is the interview:

Blog post nr 4: July 9, 2015: The Emerging Role Of SEO In App Discoverability
In May 2015 at Google I/O, the search giant announced Google Now On Tap. Now On Tap is an expansion of Google Now on Android devices that is meant to provide assistance “in the moment,”

Brands that want their app to appear within Google Now On Tap and/or mobile organic search results must implement app indexing, which allows search engine crawlers to index your app content via deep links.

Google: App Indexing
Google App Indexing was launched in October 2013 for a limited set of publishers. It was expanded for use by anyone in June 2014. In April 2015, Google added support so that even those without a particular app would get recommendations to to install. In May 2015, support for iOS was added.

Blog post nr 5: And the old stuff from December 19, 2011: 5 SEO Tips To Get Mobile Apps Ranked In SERPs

  • Tip #1: Feature your brand prominently in the app name
  • Tip #2: Link to your app profile page(s) from your home page and/or site footer
  • Tip #3: Include your brand name in the link text that points at app download pages
  • Tip #4: Provide a QR link to download the app from your desktop site landing page
  • Tip #5: Cross-promote your app to mobile users, searchers, and bots

So what you waiting for. Go for the API and experiment as long as your content app will be one of the main channels to be downloaded and used.

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