How to quickly make more of mobile visitors using apps

29 May

By Jonny Cameron

Most new clients we work with still aren’t making the most of visitors from mobile devices. There are more of these visitors, yet they are buying less.

Look at your website analytics. For most ecommerce businesses we have worked with in the past six months, mobile traffic exceeds desktop and even tablet traffic. But look at the conversion rate. The pattern is clear, unless the site is responsive to mobile devices, mobile traffic will have a higher bounce rate, spend less time on the site and visit fewer pages than desktop traffic. So, it’s either time to design your site specifically for mobile or look at new ways for mobile visitors to interact with your brand.

Smart phone usage

The Appoggiatura

In recent years the heading to this section would have been “get appy”, “be appy” or “shiny appy people”. But look at me, like a smart arse I’ve been on and found a big word starting with “app”.

Anyway… get an app version of your site made! 

People are downloading apps like never before. As mobile internet usage continues to dramatically increase, having an app makes sense if you’re an ecommerce business.

Earlier this year Apple announced that nearly 60 billion apps have now been downloaded in total and there are over a million in the Apple app store, with an average of 25,000 to 30,000 added every month. There’s big competition to get your app noticed, but there are loads of people to market your app to.

For businesses selling online, the message is clear! Get an app, and do it soon. Then market it properly, here’s how.

Promote your app with paid search advertising

The more downloads your app gets, the more visibility it is likely to receive in the Apple store and Google Play store. In order to get more downloads you’ll need to promote it.

One of the quickest ways is paid search advertising and with Google’s recent changes they’re making it easier than ever to target the right customers, including:

  • Advertising your app within other apps. If people have already downloaded a fashion app, the chances are that they’ll be interested in yours.
  • Promote it in search results for mobile devices only. This is a great way to serve an ad that links to your download page when a potential customer searches for something relevant to your product or services.
  • Use app-promotion ads to link directly to the Google play store or the Apple store. These only show on mobile devices and give you the option to include a title, description and price.  This represents a real opportunity to show reviews and persuade people to download.
  • Measure! You can of course track download performance, see which ad types, channels and networks are leading to more downloads.

There is also a value in serving ads  to people that have already downloaded your app. This could be to request a review or remind them that they’ve downloaded! Recent studies indicate that only 16% of people use an app more than once. Usefulness is obviously a big factor here, ecommerce apps in the fashion industry are always more likely to be used than the farmyard animal noises app.  The more reviews you get, the more visibility you are likely to have in the app stores, not to mention the more likely you are to persuade others to download.

Good old fashioned online PR

Use your existing network to spread the message, review the app and take up any offer of a free trial you might have. If you’re a company with an existing email database, let them know. If you have an engaged social media community, offer them a trial or a period for free if they review it. If nothing else you’ll get some valuable feedback.

Find journalists, online experts and social media influencers that have reviewed similar  apps. They might be more likely to review yours and let people know about it.

Show people how it works

Demonstrate how your app works using a video demonstration. This can then be promoted on video channels, but it also gives the app greater credibility and removes more barriers to people downloading it. Visuals of what the app looks like will also work.

Creating an app may seem like a luxury, especially if you’ve only just revamped your website. But if your mobile traffic isn’t converting, it’s time to invest in the future.

photo credit: JD Hancock via photopin cc


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