A hot topic among developers is Google’s newly-launched “app pack,” which was released in 2017. Steven C. Wyer says apps are now offered above mobile search results and are both beneficial and potentially harmful for application owners looking to market their products. Here, Steven C. Wyer answers some of the most common questions about the new Google feature.
Q: What is the “app pack?”
Steven C. Wyer: This is a new convenience feature for mobile users searching for applications for photo editing, budgeting, social media, etc. Matching apps are listed above website results and offer users ratings as well as a link to download the app.
Q: Should apps be optimized for greater visibility?
Steven C. Wyer: Yes! Just like a website needs a little push, so do mobile apps.
Q: Does the term “app” refer only to mobile applications?
Steven C. Wyer: In this case, yes. Apps are also available on desktop computers but most app searches are for mobile applications, so that it what Google focuses on.
Q: How many apps does Google include ahead of website results?
Steven C. Wyer: The top six are listed ahead of results but users may have additional listings available via a drop down arrow.
Q: This sounds like a godsend for app developers. What’s the catch?
Steven C. Wyer: The biggest caveat is for developers who get most of their customers via their website. For each app listed, one search results gets pushed down, so a developer could find they are more visible in some ways and less in others.
Q: Should my focus be on web results or getting included in the app pack?
Steven C. Wyer: Both, but if your target demographic is already exposed to the app pack, you may be best served paying attention to that, so as to best compete with other providers.
Q: I know I need to use the right keywords and phrases for search results, but what about for app optimization?
Steven C. Wyer: Absolutely!
Q: How can I write an effective title and description?
Steven C. Wyer: Include keywords and keep it short and sweet. Titles should be between 30 and 50 characters and should center on actual search terms, such as “meal planner” as opposed to “planning meals.”
Q: Should I ask my customers to review my app?
Steven C. Wyer: Yes! You app will be stronger with more reviews, but make sure it works well – no one will download a 2-star app when it is listed next to a 5-star app.
Q: Can I pay Google to add my app as one of the top six?
Steven C. Wyer: No, like organic search results, your app is listed on the app pack based on its perceived strength and how well it matches a specific search query.