The surge in Mobile Apps and the Basics on how to promote your Mobile App!

Mobile apps are a great tool in today’s society; Apps provide businesses with new and exciting marketing methods, internal and external assistance, brand awareness, brand loyalty, promotions, increasing user accessibility, user engagement and much more. On the opposite hand, apps provide users with entertainment and education that make every day living easier and more enjoyable. But how do we make people aware of our apps, how do we make them want to download it, how do we keep them using it month after month?

mobile apps
mobile apps

There are over 700,000+ apps currently in the app store and you wouldn’t be surprised to see this figure get close to the one million mark by this time next year. How on earth are you able to make a successful app with that much competition? It’s not as simple as uploading it to the app store anymore. You have to implement certain marketing tools, not only for pre-app release but ongoing as well. With this in mind, will the app still be successful?

Let’s take a step back for a second, back to the development. When developing your app, regardless whether it’s for yourself or for your company, make sure you know who’s developing, designing and testing your app. Staying local is always a safe option, often the initial quote may be more expensive than off shoring, but over the complete project it’s often cheaper and of a higher standard. It’s crucial to have clear communication with the development company; miss communication can result in the longest game of Chinese whispers you’ve ever played. Not only will it be frustrating but it will be time consuming, a waste of money and at the end of the day the app most likely won’t be what you had in mind. Finding a company that will be able to provide constructive criticism towards you’re app, demonstrates passion for success. If you take onboard the advice given to you by your developer the more likely the app will be successful. It’s very easy to say yes sir and develop this crazy app, which the client has in mind but realistically it won’t flow, resulting in a huge mess.

Your app has been designed, developed and is currently in the testing stage. 
It’s now time to implement these marketing tools. So what are they? There is no right or wrong way to market your app, this is still a very new process within this industry. First question should be, what’s my budget? If you have money to market, great, if you don’t, that’s okay. I will be focusing more on those with little to no budget. Next question, who’s your audience? Don’t market to the world if that’s not your audience, it’s a waste of your time. Have a catchy, relevant and straightforward name, don’t be alternative.

Provide a clear description of what the app does, what features it has, who’s it targeted at, possibly some testimonials if you have them. The description should implement key words related to your app, this will allow your app to be displayed in more searches both via Google and the app store. This increases your app awareness and SEO. The description should be supported with a tutorial video and screen shots, 9 out of 10 times users will skip to the screen shots so make them demonstrate the app clearly.

Set up a social platform for promotion. Twitter or Facebook are most common, this will be used for marketing pre-release and support post release, keeping users informed on any movements within the app. Get your users involved sharing high scores, pictures, posts, reviews or whatever it is relevant to your app, user engagement will increase your monthly users while also increasing your market reach. Micro sites are often used for a similar purpose, focusing on the support side.

Form partnerships, who with?
 The more people you know, the more people you potentially have using and talking about your app. Form strong partnerships with journalists, bloggers and app reviewers. These partnerships will allow your app to be widely discussed across the net, resulting in app enthusiasts reading and potentially using your app. An app without reviews or ratings looks terrible and usually reflects on the standard of the app; ensure you don’t fall into that category.

Develop a solid press release with relevant pictures, description, the story behind the app, who’s your target audience, why your app is better than competitors, a link to the app and correct contact info, distribute this to relevant publishers. Don’t limit yourself to the large publishers, focus on specific regional newspapers and newsletter; these are free to get involved with and often a lot easier to get published in.

There are plenty of other marketing tools to be mentioned, such plenty of other offline and online methods. Regardless of all the marketing your willing to implement, it comes down to the development of the app, make a quality, well written, good looking, user-friendly app. Don’t let it crash! Preferable keep the project (design, developed and testing) internal.

This is a guest post from Chris Hackett who works as a Sales Manager at www.buuna.com in Sydney, Australia. Chris can be reached by email on: chris@buuna.com

What is Google Enhanced PPC Site Links

Google has rolled out new PPC enhanced site links, these site links are not like the old style they take up for more real estate on branded search term pages.

Enhanced site links google
Enhanced site links google

Special thank you to Stephanie who works with me who sent me across this update.

How will the Click Frenzy Australia Website go down tonight?

Today is an interesting day in Australian retailing because we will see the first combined “online” deals day. Basically what this means is we will see a “Cyber Monday” in the Australian market. I first noticed this website a month ago when a buddy of mine in the retail space said if I have ever heard of the website “click Frenzy”? at the time I said I have never heard of it! (see image below when I first started talking about this site in October)

I did some background checks and it seems Power Retail was behind it, Smart move by them as from my estimations on costs they have done very well from this website, it apparently costs between $500-$10,000 to get listed on this site, depending on how much presence you want (so especially they have made over 100,000+, sure website set up and hosting will cost a bit but its easily going to turn a big profit. Another question many users are asking is if the site will actually stay live during the launch and many estimate it will do down due to sheer influx of visitors!

Click-Frenzy-Twitter
Click-Frenzy-Twitter

Now I have looked at some of the metrics behind “Click Frenzy” too see what type of traffic they are getting and it seems if you bench mark them next to a very large Australian brand Optus they are gaining quite good awareness in the market.

With the top search terms to the click frenzy brand been:

1. Click Frenzy
2. Click Frenzy Australia
3. Click Frenzy Online
4. Click Sale

click-frenzy-trends
click-frenzy-trends

Another funny thing is all the brands who have used the “Frenzy” line in their advertising, some examples from the paid search below, the best one by far is Treadmill Frenzy, followed by Deal Frenzy and Christmas Frenzy. I am suprised they have not registered the Click Frenzy trademark with Google as every brand has free game to bid on these terms.

Treadmill-frenzy
Treadmill-frenzy

Overall it will be interesting too see if this website lasts till next year? Will we see the same thing in the US where Shop.org started as clickfrenzy.com.au and then all retailers set up a date to basically offer the deals and “leak” the deals online.

I will be shopping at 7pm tonight and on the look out for a deal or too, if you are shopping tonight please post below:

Further Questions with an Ex-Search Quality Team Member Andre Weyher

Over the last few weeks we have received many questions from readers on this blog and I also received several messages on Twitter to do a follow up interview with Andre (the Ex Google Search Quality members) to answer some questions and provide clarification towards specific points from his last interview here.

Andre-Weyher
Andre-Weyher

Question 1. How have you found the last few week’s after the article went viral, have you been contacted by many parties has Google contacted you?

The week after the interview went live was absolutely crazy. I never thought that it would cause such a stir. The reactions varied from enthusiastic to weird and even bizarre. I learned that the outside world is very divided in it’s opinions about SEO. It’s not that weird if you think about it, being an SEO is not a protected title and if I were to compare the opinions and reactions it stirred, I would almost compare it to a religion. Very sensitive, people can get extremely upset when they hear something that they don’t agree with or goes against their experiences. I think that many people forget that there is no magic formula and believe that they have found the holy grail. I also noticed that a lot of people easily forget the big picture. They are so focused on dissecting every single letter and using it to their benefit, instead of focusing on actually giving the users something interesting to read about which will in return help their rankings grow. So I believe that SEO’s should look at their field as a long term project and not as a “quick win” solution.
Also, an interesting thing I’ve noticed: many people interpreted my comments as a sort of “SEO is dead” statement. This is absolutely not the case. SEO is and should be an integral part of any online marketing campaign. It’s just an element that should come as second nature for someone who is truly passionate about the topic of his or her site. On page SEO is something that needs to be done pro-actively and intelligently. But the content part should flow more naturally instead of being looked at as a mere tool to increase traffic.
As far as contact is concerned, I was approached by many people in the industry to comment on some of the answers. Google commented on the article on Search Engine Land and I was given the opportunity to react to their comments as well, so very fair play by Danny Sullivan.

Question 2. Users on the blog have asked if you can please define further: “Commercial” for anchor text/keywords?

Absolutely, I saw this question come up quite often in the forum threads. It’s very simple really. A “commercial” keyword is a high volume and/or high value keyword! There is no official list of these words but you can make the judgement yourself very easily. Any keyword that has high commercial value like “cheap flights” or “car insurance” would be seen as commercial. People tend to over complicate this issue when in reality it’s very simple. If 90% of the anchor texts on your backlinks are commercial keywords, it’s a dead giveaway of a spammy profile, especially if the links run in to the tens of thousands. This would never occur “naturally”. So ensure you have non-commercial keywords anchor texts in there too – like the url of the website and long tail keywords.

Question 3. Users have asked if you have any examples of directories Google deems as high quality?

Good question, I’ve seen a lot of confusion about this topic and I want to be as clear as I can about it; there is no magical list of quality directories out there. There are, however a few guidelines that you can keep in mind when doubting about the quality of a directory. Pay attention to the following;
1) Does the directory demand a reciprocal link before they accept your submission? If they do, it’s a sign that something fishy might be up.
2) Perform a simple snippet search. Take a random entry, perform a “quotation” search on Google with a random sentence in the entry, are there hundreds of directories with the exact same sentence? You do the math! 😉
Apart from these 2 simple giveaways, remember the value of moderation and specialisation. Directories with a clear niche or with a very active moderator are for more likely to have value. Also, the SEOmoz list of directories is pretty up to date and good.

Question 4. You mentioned last time when I met you that META Keywords for SEO are still worth including, can you elaborate on this if possible?

Funny you should ask. I tend to mention META keywords as an often overlooked element and this causes a look of disbelief in the faces of the more experienced and “corporate” SEOs. There has been a lot of speculation about this and I appreciate the chance to expand on this topic. Part of the SEO community is of the opinion that META keywords are worthless and can be overlooked. The other (smaller) part thinks they are some kind of magic weapon. The truth lies in the middle in my opinion. It’s obvious that having correct META keywords will not make you rank on the #1 position in a competitive field. But that doesn’t mean that they will not help Google understand what your site is about! Even if Google totally disregards them from a ranking perspective, they are still being seen by the algorithm, and they can’t do you any harm, so why not include them and tell Google what your site is about?
Having said that, you shouldn’t overdo it. I see a lot of sites with a huge amount of them in the META data. Webmasters need to remember that the more of them you have, the less each one of them is worth! The less of them you put in your META data, the more powerful each one of them becomes. They might not make a difference in the battle for the #1 position for the keyword “cola” between Pepsi and Coke, but they might give a head start to the bakery around the corner, competing for the keyword “bakery in Brooklyn”.

Question 5. Finally you have been living in Sydney for a few months now how have you found the city would you recommend it?

I absolutely LOVE this city. I’ve been travelling for the last 10 years and lived in a good few places. All of them have their charm but as far as I’m concerned, Sydney combines them all. The people, the climate and the city itself, it has all the good elements from the places I’ve been before. Not to mention that there is an amazing tech startup scene here. There are a lot of very clever people working on interesting new projects. I’ve had the chance to be a part of it and it’s fantastic experience. Speaking of which, I’d like to invite all your readers to check out my new blog on http://netcomber.com/blog The amount of questions that my first interview generated has motivated me to start my own Q&A blog. I’ll be telling people about my new service and about an ex Googlers view on SEO. I’ll also give people the chance to send in their questions about search, so hope to see you all there!

Finally I would like to say thank you to Andre for doing the two interviews.

Andre will also be attending a new monthly meetup running in Sydney on the 22nd November, so be sure to sign up now here: Online Marketing Sydney