Google Search On Apple iPad2 - mobile marketing for retailersThe insurgence of digital handsets and mobile apps has dramatically changed the way we interact with one another. They are even changing the way we access information, discover new interests and do our shopping.

Needless to say, mobile technology has a huge effect on our everyday lives. It is also changing the way marketers and companies present themselves to the world and acquire new customers.

There is no doubt digital marketing has huge benefits for companies. With the right type of SEO you can raise visibility of your brand and drive engagement. And now more and more people are using mobile handsets to access the web, the digital landscape is changing again.

Mobile apps

Applications have become a customary feature on smartphones and tablets. They allow users to have instant access and interact directly with brands. If your app is useful and engaging, they are a great way to optimise engagement with mobile users.

Apps may not be the leading marketing tool of the future, but given over 70% of teenagers favour apps over traditional browsers, the feature is already ingrained in the minds of today’s youth.

Search results are also beginning to pick up metrics from apps, and companies that have dedicated app stores, namely Apple and Google Play, have laid the foundations for how marketers target an audience.

We are already seeing signs that mobile apps are dominating user attention, and using handheld devices to conduct search grows year on year. Mobile marketing is the fastest growing industry ever.

ASO is SEO

The introduction of app stores has developed a new metric for search engines and consumers to gauge how popular, successful or worthless an app is. The apps are typically given star ratings, but rank is also determined on other factors similar to SEO.

The ranking system for mobile apps is known as App Store Optimisation (ASO), and are judged by keyword alignment and the performance of the app – the same basic principles as traditional SEO.

For the time being, only Android apps appear in organic search results, although rumour has it Apple are looking to introduce this service in iOS as well. There is therefore potential to for your mobile app to outperform your desktop website.

Search engine crawlers can be given access to data in your app so they appear in organic search results. This will drive traffic to your app rather than your actual website.

If you are going to apps therefore, they need to engage the user, and they have more potential to do that than your actual website sitting in a browser. It may even be the case that some users only ever access your content through an app rather than a browser. It’s what the kids are doing!

Mobile search

Apps are fundamentally extending technical SEO from servers and webpages to optimised applications. In turn, marketers are challenged to focus on structured content that warrants user engagement.

Whilst traditional SEO is still required for optimising the front and back-end of websites, apps bring in a different dimension of your brand, a website within a website as it were.

Although apps and websites are essentially two separate elements, both platform are incorporated to achieve the same end – attract customers and increase conversions.

The difference is, apps are better suited for a mobile audience. They are also favoured by teenagers and twenty somethings. When you consider those two factors together, it is easy to see why online businesses cannot not afford to look over mobile marketing.