By Chris Crum
|Tuesday, June 16, 2015|
People are spending more and more time with mobile apps, and that includes those that let them buy things. The problem for businesses hoping to break into that increasing app usage is that the number of apps people are using isn't really growing along with the time they're spending using apps.
New changes Google has been making could (and should) mean increased discovery for new and existing apps, and could just lead to that number of apps metric increasing as time goes on. It's going to be challenging to make your business' app stand out in the crowd, so you should know what kind of app content users are gravitating towards. We'll look at that in this article.
Are you getting a significant amount of business through mobile apps so far? If not, what do you think needs to change to make it happen? If so, what are the main ways people are discovering your app and/or the content within? Discuss in the comments.
Nielsen released some research showing significant growth trajectory for the time consumers are spending using apps.
"Over the span of just a few years, the concept of app usage has transformed from a novelty to an essential part of the mobile user experience," the firm says. "With millions of apps now available and more being rolled out every day, there is an app for everyone, regardless of age, race or interest."
"But while marketers and app developers continue to add functionality and robustness to apps, they also must effectively position them to stand out in an increasingly competitive marketplace," it adds. "Despite the increase in choices, the number of apps used is staying the same."
As you may know, Google is now indexing app content in search results. Businesses who follow Google's protocol for app indexing even get the benefit of a ranking signal. It's in your best interest to have an app and to have it indexed. At first, Google was only offering this on Android, but has recently started to index content on iOS, though it's still early days on that. Currently, on Android, anyone can take advantage of app indexing. On iOS, Google is only working with a handful of partners so far, but that will likely open up to everyone else eventually. Luckily, Android has a much bigger piece of the mobile operating system market share since it's on so many different devices from various manufacturers. (view image)
RELATED READING: HOW TO SET UP APP INDEXING FOR RANKING IN GOOGLE
You might want to give this presentation from Google I/O a watch. It's a session called "Smarter user acquisition with App Indexing, AdWords and Google Analytics". (watch video)
Here's how Google describes it: "Content discovery on mobile isn't easy. Luckily, this is a familiar problem to Google. With App Indexing on both iOS and Android, you can engage users organically by surfacing app content in the search results page. And on Android specifically, you can even drive app installs for users who don't have your app. Google's smart mobile ads platform gives you access to AdWords, the world's largest network, to find the right users who will install and engage with your app, plus you can gain insights through Google Analytics install attribution to know where your users came from. Discover Google's variety of approaches to driving app discovery, growth and engagement in this session."
Even if you can get people to install your app, you face the challenge of getting them to open it and interact with it regularly. Google has been working on some things that can help with that as well.
For one, it now offers app deep linking with Goo.gl. This was announced less than a month ago.
"Once you've taken the necessary steps to set up App Indexing for Android and iOS, goo.glURLs will send users straight to the right page in your app if they have it installed, and everyone else to your website. This will provide additional opportunities for your app users to re-engage with your app," explained Google software engineer Fabian Schlup. "This feature works for both new short URLs and retroactively, so any existing goo.gl short links to your content will now also direct users to your app."
Do you expect maintaining a mobile app to have a significant impact on your business?Share your thoughts in the comments.
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|About the Author:|
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.