Being visible in search results is an important aspect of generating app traffic and engagement for app marketers and developers. However, brands aren’t yet fully utilising Google organic search results to show content from their apps, according to new research from Searchmetrics, the enterprise SEO platform.
Google deep linking is not yet being employed enough
The study among the 100 most visible websites in Google US searches reveals that whilst 84% offer an Android app, only 30% of brands have implemented support for Google App Indexing that enables Google to show a preview of an app in mobile search results. Of the 88% of iOS app makers, just 19% supported deep linking.
If Google App Indexing is enabled, a mobile device owner who has installed that app can be shown pages from it if Google deems the content relevant to the search query. This interconnectivity lets users jump back and forth between the mobile web and apps more easily and presents an excellent opportunity for marketers to reengage their audiences.
In addition, deep linking also allows consumers to view content from apps which they have not yet installed, making it easier for app developers to reach new users. Via Google’s cloud platform, consumers can interact with the virtual display of an app, almost as if it was installed on their device. The technology behind this process actually lets the app run on a virtual machine and streams it to the user’s device.
Marcus Tober, CTO and Founder, Searchmetrics, explains:
“Many companies have invested heavily in apps, yet on average 20% of the apps a person installs on their device are only ever opened once. App indexing is a fantastic opportunity to maximize the investment in your app – by helping to drive more traffic and interaction and potentially even conversions. On top of this, if your app supports app indexing, Google has indicated that it could potentially appear more prominently in searches.”
The Searchmetrics App Indexing analysis also revealed that retailers were the most likely to enable deep linking. 32% of apparel retailers offered an iOS app with indexing, compared to 31% of Android makers. Interestingly, the majority of these retailers do offer apps, with just 5% of apparel sites not offering an iOS app, compared to 9% for Android apps. Electronic apps scored particularly low for App Indexing on Android, whilst Finance apps scored even higher than retailers at around 40%.
Deep linking by sector for Android apps
“Despite all these benefits, our data indicates that probably fewer than a third of app owners are making use of app indexing – even though Google has provided full instructions on how to get your app to enable it. Anyone that offers an app, should get on to this quickly while there is still a competitive advantage.”