19- Feb2016
Posted By: Guardian Owl
434 Views

App Store SEO: The Inbound Marketer’s Guide to Mobile – Moz

As the app ecosystem grows, many marketers are turning their sights towards mobile app marketing. Today’s post provides a high-level view of App Store Optimization, and gives tips on how to break into the rapidly expanding world of apps.

How to Optimize for App Store Search Engines

Let’s dive into search in the app stores, and how the search engines differ based on platform.

First things first; remember I mentioned that the app ecosystem reminds me of the web in the mid-to-late 90’s? Keep that picture in your head when you think of search. App store search hasn’t been “figured out” in the same way that Google “figured out” search on the web. Simply put, we’re still in AltaVista mode in the app ecosystem: something better than Yahoo’s directory provided, but not incredibly sophisticated like Google would become in a few more years.

Just like the web has on-page and off-page SEO, apps have on-metadata and off-metadata ASO. On-metadata ASO include factors totally within your control and are often things dealing with your app store presence. Off-metadata ASO include factors that might not be entirely in your control, but which you can still influence. Here are a few of the most important knobs and levers that you as a marketer can turn to affect your search performance, and some quick tips on how to optimize them.

On-Metadata

App Title

An app’s title is the single most important metadata factor for rank in ASO. It’s equivalent to the <title> tag in your HTML, and is a great signal to the app stores as to what your app is about. On the web, you want your title to include both a description of what you do (including keywords) as well as some branding; both elements should also exist in the app store. Be sure to include the keywords, but don’t be spammy. Make sure it parses well and makes sense. Example: “Strava Run – GPS Running, Training and Cycling Workout Tracker

Description

Patrick Haig, our VP of Customer Success, likes to break descriptions down into two sections: above the fold and below the fold (sound familiar?). He says, “Above the fold language should be 1-2 sentences describing the app and its primary use case, and below the fold should have a clear and engaging feature set and social proof.” We’ll dig into some of the differences about the description field across platforms below.

Keyword Field

The Keyword Field in iOS is a 100 character field which you can use to tell iTunes search for which keywords you should show up. Since you only get 100 characters, you must use them wisely. A few tips:

  • When choosing your keywords, just like on the web, focus on relevancy, search volume, and difficulty.
  • Don’t use multiple word phrases; break out to individual words (Apple can combine them for you).
  • Don’t repeat keywords that are already in your title (and put the most important ones in your title, leaving the keyword field for your secondary keywords).
  • Separate keywords with commas, and don’t use spaces anywhere.

Icon

Consumers are finicky. They want apps which are beautiful, elegant, and simple to understand. Your icon is often their first interaction with your app, so ensure that it does a great job conveying your brand, and the elegance and usefulness of your app. Remember, in search results, an icon is one of the only ways you can convey your brand and usefulness. Think of it as part of the meta description tag you’d create in SEO. For example, SoundCloud does a great job with their icon and branding.

Screenshots

The most important rule to remember when creating your screenshots is that they should not be screenshots. They are, instead, promotional graphics. That means you can include text or other graphics to tell your app’s story in an interesting, visual way.

Especially in iOS, where the card layout shows your first screenshot, it is incredibly helpful when an app displays a graphic which explains the app right up front, increasing conversions from search results to viewing the app page and, ultimately, installing the app.

The best app marketers also use their screenshots promotional graphics together to create a flow that carries the user through the story. Each graphic can build off the previous graphic, giving the user a reason to continue scrolling and learning about your app.

Here’s a great example of using the screenshots effectively by our friends at Haiku Deck.

As the app ecosystem grows, many marketers are turning their sights towards mobile app marketing.

Off-Metadata

Outside of your direct control, you’ll also want to focus on a few things to ensure the best performance in ASO.

Ratings

Average Ratings

Every app has a rating. Your job as a marketer is to ensure that your app gets a great overall rating. Rating is directly tied to performance in app store search, which leads us to believe that rating is a factor in app store search rankings.

Reviews

Similar to ratings, you want to ensure that the reviews your users write about your app are positive. These reviews will help increase your conversion rate from app page views to downloads.

For a great product to help you increase your rating and reviews, check out Apptentive.

Link-building

This is discussed further below, but suffice it to say, link building to your app’s page in the app store matters for Google Play apps. Given you all are SEOs, you know all about how to rock this!

How Do iOS and Google Play Differ In App Store Search?

The differences in the platforms mean that there are different levers to pull depending on the platform. Google Play and iOS act completely independently, and often, quite differently. The differences are wide-ranging, but what are a couple of the main differences?

In general, the way to think about the differences is that Google is Google and Apple is Apple. Duh, right? Google has the built the infrastructure and technology to learn from the web and use many different data points to make a decision. Apple, on the other hand, doesn’t have indexes of the web, and comes from a background in media. When in doubt, imagine what you’d do if you were each of them and had the history each of them has.

Here are a couple concrete examples.

Description versus Keywords

In iOS, there’s a keywords field. It’s easy to see where this came from, especially when you think of iTunes’ background in music: a song has a title (app title), musician (developer name), and then needs a few keywords to describe the song (“motown,” “reggae,” etc.). When Apple launched their app store, they used the same technology that was already built for music, which meant that the app title, developer name, and keywords were the only fields used to understand search for an app. Note that description isn’t taken into account in iOS (but I expect this to change soon).

On the other hand, there is no keyword field in Google Play; there is only a description field. Thus, while iOS doesn’t take the description into account, in Google Play the description is all you have, so be sure to do exactly the same as you do on the web: cater your content towards your keywords, without being spammy.

Leveraging PageRank in Google Play

Another big difference in iOS and Google Play is that Google has access to PageRank and the link graph of the web, while Apple does not. Thus, Google will take into account the inbound links to your app’s detail page (for example, https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.symantec.mobilesecurity) as a factor in Google Play search, while Apple has no such factor.


How To Measure Success In App Marketing

It’s very difficult to measure success in app marketing in the same way you can measure success in web marketing. This is especially true when you’re working with inbound channels. It’s still early, but it’s continuously getting better, with more tools and services coming out all the time to help marketers understand success. Here are some of the ways I recommend measuring success in the app store today:

Search Rankings

Just like on the web, a great way to measure your success in app store search is to track your ranking for specific search terms you care about over time and versus your competition. Rank tracking is incredibly valuable for ASOs to understand their progress.

Top Charts

Top Charts, especially Top Charts within a particular category, do a great job of allowing you to understand your success in relation to the rest of the apps in your category.

As the app ecosystem grows, many marketers are turning their sights towards mobile app marketing.

Ratings and Reviews

Just as ratings and reviews will help your ASO, they are also great metrics to track over time for how you’re doing with your app marketing. Keep track of what users are saying, how they’re saying it (pro tip: listening to their language is a great way to do keyword research!), and what they’re rating your app.

Downloads

Taking it one step further, correlating your search rankings to downloads will allow you to understand the effect your increased ASO is having on your app performance. One way we do this is to integrate with iTunes Connect and overlay your search rankings with your downloads so you can visually see how closely related any one keyword is with your downloads. It’s not perfect, but it helps!

Conversion and Revenue

At the end of the day, revenue is the most important metric you should be understanding. Of course, you should be tracking your revenue and doing the same correlation with search performance. In addition, you should watch your conversion rate over time; we often see apps whose conversion rate soars with an increase in ASO because the users are so much more engaged with the app.


Tools And Resources To Use To Help With App Marketing

To conclude this post, I want to quickly talk about some tools and resources to use to help your app marketing process.

Sylvain has written some great content and has some incredible insights into app marketing and ASO on his company’s (Apptamin) blog.

I mentioned Apptentive above, and they really are the best way I know to impact your ratings and reviews, and get great feedback from customers in the process.

In addition to having a great, free, in-app analytics product (Flurry Analytics), as well as an interesting paid advertising product (AppCircle), Flurry also posts some of the most interesting data about the app ecosystem on their blog.

If you’re looking to obtain some amount of attribution for your paid advertising (inbound can’t be split out, sorry!), MobileAppTracking is where it’s at. It allows you to understand which paid channels are performing best for you based on the metric of your choosing. Best of all, you only pay for what you use.

App Marketing Tools

This is, of course, a shameless promotion. That said, our product is a great way to understand your performance in app store search, help you do keyword research, and give you competitive intelligence. We offer a free (forever!) tool for Indie developers and scale all the way up to the largest Enterprise customers.


Now It’s Your Turn–> Visit the link below to get the full list to help guide you along your optimization way!

Source: App Store SEO: The Inbound Marketer’s Guide to Mobile – Moz

14- Feb2016
Posted By: Guardian Owl
199 Views

AdWords Automated Bidding Gets An Overhaul: Welcome, Portfolio Bid Strategies

Terminology changes come with some new functionality, including the ability to set different CPA targets at the ad group level within the same bid strategy.

Google is going to be rolling out a revamp of AdWords automated bidding. Some of the changes are just semantic, but the workflow is also getting an update.

First the naming changes:

  1. Flexible strategies will be called “portfolio” bid strategies. The change is meant to better indicate that a single strategy can be applied across multiple campaigns, ad groups — and keywords, in some cases.
  2. A strategy that is applied to a single campaign is called a “standard” bid strategy.
  3. Conversion Optimizer will be called Target CPA for all new bid strategies to simplify the nomenclature. Target CPA can still be applied as a “standard” or a “portfolio” bid strategy.

Now for the functionality updates:

  1. Managers will be able to create or add to bidding strategies from the Campaigns Setting tab — no more need to dive into the Shared Library.
  2. Portfolio bid strategies for Target CPA can have different CPA goals for separate ad groups. “For example, if you’re a clothing retailer with multiple ‘Accessories’ ad groups in a bidding portfolio, you may want to set a lower CPA target for ‘Socks’ compared to other product categories with higher average order value.”

Adwords target CPA bid strategy

Note that Portfolio bid strategies can not be applied to video or universal app campaigns

.The periodic Table of SEO success factors

In December, Google added new reporting features for automated bidding. These latest updates will start showing up in accounts over the next few weeks.Google Adwords

Source: AdWords Automated Bidding Gets An Overhaul: Welcome, Portfolio Bid Strategies

09- Feb2016
Posted By: Guardian Owl
428 Views

Super Bowl Ads drove 7.5 incremental searches for Advertisers

Google stated that 82% of TV ad-driven searches during the Super Bowl occurred on mobile devices. This year, the ads drove 7.5 million incremental searches during the game which was a 40 percent higher lift than last year.

The winning Super Bowl Ad of 2016? Audi, “Commander” won the top spot.  Four of the top five ads driving lift in brand search were from automotive manufacturers: Audi, Acura, Honda and Kia.

 

 

05- Feb2016
Posted By: Guardian Owl
395 Views

Google and Deep Learning

W I R E D  just released a pretty cool article about Google Search’s artificial intelligence.  Will “Deep Learning” be the 2016 buzz word?

YESTERDAY, THE 46-YEAR-OLD Google veteran who oversees its search engine, Amit Singhal, announced his retirement. And in short order, Google revealed that Singhal’s rather enormous shoes would be filled by a man named John Giannandrea. On one level, these are just two guys doing something new with their lives. But you can also view the pair as the ideal metaphor for a momentous shift in the way things work inside Google—and across the tech world as a whole.

Read the rest of the article at W I R E D

03- Feb2016
Posted By: Guardian Owl
308 Views

Why Guardian Owl Digital Marketing

Guardian Owl Digital is a search engine marketing company in Louisville, Kentucky.  Check out why you should choose us to handle your paid search!

Jenna Ahern, owner of Guardian Owl Digital
Guardian Owl Digital Marketing is a certified Google Partners agency.

 

 

03- Feb2016
Posted By: Guardian Owl
123 Views

Google Gives Away Free Ads to Fight Radicalism

Great article by Search Engine Land explaining the Google Grant program and how advertising can be used to fight radicalism.

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A story coming out of the UK today suggested that Google might be preparing to alter search results, triggered by “extremist” queries, and “divert” users to anti-extremist or anti-radical content and sites instead. Fighting extremism is desirable but the notion of altering search content to serve political objectives is a troubling prospect.

Fortunately that’s not what’s happening.

Articles in The Guardian and The Telegraph implied that organic results would be changed to remove or suppress radical content sources. Accordingly there was a brief discussion internally at Search Engine Land about whether Google might suppress otherwise non-radical information if it might be used in furtherance of radical objectives.

Would Google, for example, censor results where queries had bomb-making implications (e.g., fertilizer)? It turns out, however, that Google isn’t doing anything like what we imagined or what was suggested. Google is simply giving away ad credits to organizations that fight extremism.

It’s only about ads.

We were able to confirm from Google that the pilot program referenced in the articles involves Google AdWords Grants for non-profit organizations. Under the AdWords Grants program qualifying non-profits/non-governmental organizations (NGOs) receive $10,000 worth of AdWords credits each month if they meet certain criteria.

NGOs that promote anti-radicalization would be able to use those credits to advertise against extremist queries. This is essentially no different than any advertiser selecting keywords for ad targeting on Google. The company is simply enabling these organizations to participate in the AdWords Grants program.

It’s not entirely clear what caused the confusion or ambiguity that appeared in the articles.

19- Jan2016
Posted By: Guardian Owl
309 Views

Google Core Algorithm Updated Continue

Hey Relax folks! The Google change this past weekend was just a core update, nothing penguin related.

Gary Illyes from Google said on Twitter this morning that the weekend fluctuations were “core algorithm” and “not Penguin.”

Many webmasters are waiting for a Google Penguin update, and we are expecting it to happen early this year. So when we see major fluctuations, some are quick to say it is Penguin.

But Google is telling us this is not Penguin but rather just common core ranking algorithm updates.

Read the full article at Search Engine Land!

23- Mar2015
Posted By: Guardian Owl
82 Views

Biggest Advertisers Are Sending Their Dollars to Digital

By SYDNEY EMBER, NY Times
March 18, 2015

The country’s largest marketers are slashing their advertising budgets as they shift a larger portion of their spending to digital, according to new figures released on Wednesday.

The 10 biggest advertisers cut spending by 4.2 percent in 2014, to $15.3 billion from $16 billion a year earlier, according to the latest report from Kantar Media, a research firm owned by the advertising conglomerate WPP. Procter & Gamble, the top advertiser, lowered its ad spending in 2014 by 14.4 percent, bringing its expenditures to $2.6 billion, the report showed. Read more