3 Ways Google’s mobile app indexing will boost your revenue
While everyone fretted about Mobilegeddon, Google’s update to its mobile search algorithm, the tech giant quietly rolled out a new app indexing feature. If you decide to have Google index your Android mobile app content, Google’s mobile search app (Version 2.8+ for Android 4.1+) connects pages on your website to content within your mobile app.
Imagine that you own an online travel booking site that also offers an Android mobile app. When someone searches for available hotel rooms in New York using Google’s mobile search app, they can either book the room using your mobile site or open your app on their Android device.
If they don’t have your app installed yet, Google directs them to Google Play to download it. It’s a feature that could boost your bottom line in three important ways.
1. More Downloads
Too many developers have an “if you build it, they will come” mentality about their mobile apps, which results in no ROI. They spend money creating development environments and invest in cloud security for their PaaS infrastructure. Once the app is finished, they place it on Google Play, slap a Google Play badge on their website, and pray for the downloads to commence.
According to data from comScore, 65.5 percent of American mobile users don’t download new apps every month. Instead of letting your app collect virtual dust while no one downloads it, let Google index your mobile app.
People search Google because they need something or because they want to solve a problem. They have an immediate requirement, which marketers call an “intent,” and Google’s search algorithm attempts to give them what they want. Instead of stumbling on your app on Google Play, where they may or may not feel that they need it, they’re being directed toward your app at the precise moment when your app could solve their problem. In other words, “X + cost of download = problem solved.” In this equation, X equals your app.
2. More Engagement
It’s nice to think that your customers would always know that your app is ready and waiting to serve them. Unfortunately, people often forget that they’ve downloaded an app, particularly one they’ve downloaded in passing, or they download an app and delete it because they haven’t had a use for it yet.
By referring customers to your app after a search, whether by opening the app or giving them the chance to re-download it, Google’s mobile app indexing will give your customers more chances to engage with your app.
Nielsen’s latest research suggests that customers use an average of 26.8 apps per month. This number has remained relatively flat since 2011, suggesting that there’s an upper limit to how many apps consumers use during a given month. At the same time, the time that people spend using their favorite apps increased from 18 minutes in 2011 to 30 minutes by 2013. That’s an increase of more than 18 hours, or more than half a day.
More time leads more in-app purchases, more e-commerce buys, more affiliate revenue, and more customer data. Customers are already engaging more and more with their favorite apps. App indexing makes sure you get a bigger share of their time.
3. Better UX
The whole point of Mobilegeddon was to give Google’s customers a better mobile experience. By boosting sites that offered superior mobile design and performance, Google ensures that its own customers — those who use its search engine — get satisfactory mobile results.
Offering app indexing makes sense in the context of Google’s mobile mission. In most cases, apps deliver a better UX than a company’s mobile website.
When your customers are shopping for your products, you don’t want anything to get in the way of the buying journey. Problems with page design and non-intuitive mobile website navigation can mean that your customers will bounce elsewhere. By letting customers immediately open your app from their search results, you’re giving them a superior mobile user experience. All the responsive design in the world can’t beat the convenience of shopping from a mobile app.
What Are You Waiting for?
You’ve invested in a great Android app. Don’t just leave it languishing on Google Play. Visit Google Developers to set up Google mobile indexing for your app content.