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5 SEO Tips That Will Get Your App More Downloads

Bobby Gill | April 12, 2021

5 Tips to SEO Your App

One of the hardest things you will face when launching a mobile app is getting people to download it. People can’t download something they don’t know about and in order for them to know about it you must make your app discoverable to them. App SEO strategy is one foolproof way to do this. Discoverability is more than having your app show up in the right searches on the app store, you need people to come across your app when they are searching Google. Be it the ‘Post-PC’ era or not, Google search remains the firehouse through which much of the traffic on the web flows. If you are building a utility app like a to-do list, then when someone Google-searches for “to-do list app” or “iPhone to-do list” you want your app to be perched at #1 in the search engine results for that query. The science of improving your web sites organic search ranking is what is known as Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and be it an app,  an e-book or an online store, SEO is something every online vendor must master.

I’m by no means a master of app store SEO, but I’ve learned first hand things that work and don’t work when it comes to making an app discoverable on the web. To start you off down the road of SEO – or app store optimization – mastery, here are 3 tips to improve the search engine visibility of your app:

 1) Build a dedicated website for your app

Yes, the App Store and Google Play both provide a detailed app listing page for your app, but you don’t control the content on that site. Plus, you don’t get any type of analytics on who is landing on the page, where they are coming from and how many may have potentially clicked to download your app.

Create your own web site to promote your app, have a download link which takes people to the app store listing on the App Store or Google Play. You can then customize and create your very own web promotion experience for your app. The world is your oyster when you control the web site that features your app.

Check out Templatic’s iPhone App theme for WordPress or WooThemes Sealight App theme, both of these make creating a web site for a mobile app a breeze. We made the Bahndr app web page with Templatic’s theme.

 2) Submit your site to reputable web directories

At the heart of app SEO strategy is getting credible websites to display relevant links to your app web site. If you can score an article on TechCrunch, the link from the TechCrunch article to your app web site will provide an immediate boost to your site’s search engine visibility.

Yet for us plebes who can’t count on being featured in Tech Crunch, we instead have to roll up our sleeves and manually build links back to our app web sites from any number of websites for our app store SEO.

One somewhat easy way to get links back to your app site – and boost your app’s SEO potential – is to submit your app site to web directories. Many web directories have high Google Domain Authority rankings and offer the ability for people to submit links for free and upon approval be listed in the directory. While it’s unlikely that anyone will ever use that directory to find your site, the fact there is a link from that site to your web site is all Google needs to see to improve your own listings.

Here are a couple of credible directories that have a very thin approval layer that should make it pretty easy to get your link submitted on:

Be warned though, Google will punish you for submitting your site to obviously fake web directories designed purely to boost SEO rankings. A good rule of thumb is to only submit links to directories which have some sort of editorial approval process for links being submitted. Any directory which automatically adds your site to its listing should be avoided!

3) Guest post and comment on other people’s blogs

As the more astute of you might have guessed, guest posting means writing articles on other people’s blogs. The SEO benefit to you and your app is that when you guest post you can include a link back to your own site in the author information or the body of the post. So for a little bit of work on your end, you end up with a link back to your site!  Guest blogging is a tedious exercise which takes time and effort, but you know what, it actually works. 

The hardest part is actually finding blogs to write guest posts for. Luckily, there is the web site which is a forum for people to connect with blog owners so they can guest post for them.

4) Incorporate SEO keywords 

Though word of mouth and social media are both important, many people still find out about apps through a search in their respective app store be it Apple’s App Store or Google Play. Much like how SEO refers to search engine optimization, ASO is the app store equivalent. It stands for app store optimization. One of the best ASO practices is to create a title and description that fully communicates what the purpose of the app is but also incorporates keywords. You can find out what keywords in your industry are being searched the most by using paid tools like Google Analytics and then placing these keywords into your title and description.

5) Optimize your app’s title

They say you can’t judge a book by its cover – but how many of us do exactly that? We base a lot of decisions off first impressions, especially when it comes to our digital choices. Make sure your app has a title that tells the user exactly what they can expect from it. For instance, the app Shop Pay has a clear and direct title that lets you know exactly what it can be used for. It uses the word ‘shop’ and the word ‘pay’ – including the two functional elements of the app in a quick snappy title. Not only do you want to avoid user confusion, but you want your app to appear when people search out the keywords that describe it. This has a helpful SEO (or ASO) benefit as when people search for a shopping app or an app to pay with, Shop Pay is an obvious result. Make sure your title is not too long or too short either as either extreme can throw off the SERPs.

This is by no means an exhaustive list of SEO app store tips, but it’s a good place to start if you are looking to launch an app and want to build traffic to it through search visits.

Bobby Gill
Co-Founder & Chief Architect at BlueLabel | + posts

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