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The Power of App Indexing (and How You Can Index Your Mobile App on Google)
This topic is assigned to JustAlex
JustAlex 2019 May 05 08:15

What is App Indexing?

App indexing makes sure that you no longer need to be solely dependent on app stores to get your app discovered. Mobile users can thus find your app in their Google search results in the form of an install button, instead of going to an app store to search for an app which is relevant to their needs.

When the users click on the result, it will redirect them to the Apple App Store or Google Play Store automatically, if they do not already have the app installed on their mobile devices.

And, if the app is already installed, then clicking on the result will take the users to the Android or iOS app which they have installed. In this way, you can both engage and re-engage with your new and existing app users.

“40% of searches now return app indexing results in the top five results.” – Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google

In a nutshell, it helps you get new installs and drives users to come back to your app through the omnipresent Google search.

Benefits of App Indexing

There are many benefits of app indexing, but the top six benefits are listed below for your review:

  • It helps to drive traffic of active users to the app.
  • It increases the amount of installs and its quality.
  • It boosts the browsing time.
  • It boosts visibility on Google Search Mobile.
  • It improves advertising revenues.
  • It increases the click-through-rate (CTR) on Google Search Mobile results.

How to Index Your Mobile App on Google

Since you have now read about what app indexing is and the benefits you can get by embracing it, it is time to learn how you can implement it for both Android and iOS.

We will start with Android and then cover iOS.

App Indexing for Android

  • Support deep links – The first thing you have to do is to make sure that your mobile app is apt with links to your content. You can do this by setting up intent filters and logic to manage the deep link intents.
  • Publish your deep links – This is the next step, as it will help Google identify and understand your app to display it in the SERP, incorporate it in the autocomplete actions and give the option to the users. This step is divided into three actions: a) allow Googlebot to access your app or use the app indexing API; b) host your links; and c) follow Google’s search quality guidelines.
  • Test – Next, you need to test if your deep links perform properly to see whether your app indexing implement is accurate. Make sure that the links to your content can drive the users directly to the content inside your app. You can use the Search Console or Android Debug Bridge to test your deep links to your app.
  • Analyze and measure performance – Once your deep links begin to show up in Google search results, use the search analytics report in the search console to learn about the queries, clicks, and pages that are performing better for your app.

You can find the official documentation from Google to learn more about the app indexing process at this link.

App Indexing for iOS 9

  • Support HTTP deep links – Just like Android, you first need to introduce your content in the Google App index. Make sure that your app is apt with links to your content. Remember, app indexing for iOS 9 uses URL HTTPS. You can skip this section, if you already followed the instructions to support universal links to your app. If you have not already done so, then add handling for universal links to your app and set up the app-to-site association.
  • Include app indexing – This is the second and most crucial step. You should use CocoaPods to install and administer dependencies. Then, include the indexing into your management file of your Podfile. Make sure that you save and then install the file Google has produced for you. After that, you can import GoogleAppIndexing and then you have to register your app to the Google system, but only once.
  • Review the implementation – Once you are done with the app indexing setup, double-check the universal links before they show up in Google search. You can perform this by tapping a universal link in Safari on your mobile device. But, make sure that it directs you to the correct place in the app.
  • Intensify search performance – One of the best ways to improve your app ranking is to have high-quality content in your app. So, you should never ignore this. Also, ensure that your associated site complies with Google’s Design and Content Guidelines. If Google finds any deviation to its guidelines in your app, it can delete or downgrade your deep links.

To get more detailed information, you can find the official documentation at this link.

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