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SEO Positioning for Apps, PWA and AMP

Importance of Mobile for Google

Google has opted for mobile devices. If we analyze its behaviour in recent years, there are 3 actions which leave no room for doubt:

  • Mobile-first indexing: Google has started to prioritize mobile devices, tracking sites by taking into account the mobile version, and not the desktop one. Now, the mobile version of your site becomes the starting point for what Google includes in its index, and the baseline for how it determines rankings. Therefore, now positions depend to a great extent on mobile optimizations (Mobile SEO).
  • Accelerated Mobile Pages (known as AMP): one of the projects which have grown the most in the last two years is, without a doubt, AMP. AMP is an open-source initiative aiming to establish a new way to develop better web pages for us all. This project enables the creation of sites which are consistently fast and high-performing across mobile devices and tablets.
  • Progressive Web Apps (known as PWA): they are the present and the future of mobile applications. Forget about Apps as you now know them. Forget about searching for Apps on the App Store or Google Play. From now on, Apps will no longer be downloaded or installed. They will become shortcuts to web pages that are indexed on Google, and they will be able to access your mobile settings. Do you want to position your App in the top search results on Google? Keep reading...
PWA | SEO
In Spain, 97% of Spaniards use their mobile device to access the Internet (whether to check emails, chat, visit websites, etc.)

Mobile users far exceed desktop users, and the most common activities they carry out on mobile devices are related to social networks and messaging Apps.

SEO for AMP

While most SEO agencies are still wondering ‘how AMP affects SEO’, trying to figure out the best way to create AMP for their websites, our approach is absolutely different: we do not consider Accelerated Mobile Pages as an extension of current web pages but as an individual project. If Google prioritizes AMP over websites, why should we not?

What is more, if the code used on AMP is not exactly the same as the one used on websites, but Google takes into account its use when ranking… why not create accelerate pages for desktops? At our SEO Agency, we have an I&D department, and we are already working on this idea.

SEO for Apps or PWA

Although PWA are not, so to speak, ‘regular applications’, they fulfil essentially the same function. For example, they can create a shortcut on your mobile phone and access your mobile content (contacts, camera, GPS, etc.) if you allow them to. So, as you can imagine, when thinking of SEO for Progressive Web Apps (or PWA) we are forced to change all the strategies we have been using so far. Since they are web applications, we no longer have to position them on the App Store or Google Play to give them visibility. Now, positioning web applications or SEO for Progressive Web Apps (PWA) is very similar to web positioning. This is because, currently, Apps act as web pages that can be indexed on Google and, therefore, become search results.

PWA | SEO

We strongly believe that the more a client knows about marketing, the better they can choose a professional SEO Agency, which is why it is so important to read the following information:

Apps - What do we refer to?

The average user profile who downloads applications is a man aged between 18 and 40, middle class and urban. They have an average of 20 Apps on their smartphone but, normally, they use 5 at most, and just once a day.

In fact, of all the billions of App available on the market, less than 5% have been as successful as expected. Why so? Here we name the most common mistakes we have identified:

  • The App is actually a replica of the company website.

    Companies have confused responsive websites, that is, the creation of websites adapted to all devices, with the creation of Apps. However, a mobile application, whose sole target audience is mobile users, should never forget that its users lack the convenience a desktop offers. Plus, it should also consider that its users type standing upright or lying down and, generally, using their thumbs.

  • Apps have no identity.

    The icon we can see on the dashboard must have its own identity and express the concept, purpose or functionality of the app. In fact, the design and the user experience should be the main pillar of the application. It is always best to have one functional option than thousands of options for the same function.

  • Apps do not treat users as unique.

    Interests, needs and preferences are different for each user. Underestimating or generalizing them is one of the most common mistakes.

  • Most companies create their Apps to get rich quick.

    The truth is they believe that if their Apps succeed, they will become famous and rich easily. Therefore, they do whatever it takes to make their Apps viral, offering users a wide range of call to actions: ‘share’, ‘comment’, ‘invite your friends’, ‘hit the Like Button’, ‘write a review’, etc. Nonetheless, the only thing they get is a ‘Leave me alone’ from users who are tired of these demands and end up uninstalling the application. We are not saying that Apps should no use call to actions, we just think that it is important to wait for the right time and place.

3 types of Apps (characteristics)

Native Apps

  • Both the development and maintenance of native applications imply a higher cost than websites or web applications. Prices may vary from 25,000€ to 6000,000€, depending on the professional you hire, as the price per hour of an agency is different from a freelancer’s.
  • App developers are scarce, so start-ups offer them high salaries to prevent them from working for their competitors. In Mallorca, for examples, app developers do not usually last more than 6 months in the same company.
  • Each device has its own app store to download or install native applications. However, the process is so long (find the app on the app store, download it, register, confirm email, etc.) that 20% of users decide to give up before finishing it. And you want them to share it with their friends?
  • Native Apps are another well-known channel to invest in.

Hybrid Apps or Mobile Web App (e.g. m.mycompany.com)

  • They do not allow offline browsing.
  • They are not indexable on app stores.
  • It is difficult to do Responsive Web Design (RWD).
  • It is another technology that must be developed and supported by different browsers and operating systems.

Progressive Web Apps

  • They can be indexed in search engines.
  • They can also be indexed on app stores. In fact, Windows was the first app store which supported PWA.
  • They allow one-click buying through Payment Request API (without checkout). This is one of their main advantages, as 80% of mobile users abandon the shopping cart during the payment (there are usually push notifications).
  • They are progressive and responsive.
  • They are easily shareable and linkable (they have URLs).
  • They do not require any installation.
  • There are also desktop applications. In fact, they can be ‘installed’ on Chrome OS for nearly a year.
  • They can be used offline, that is, without internet access.
  • They allow faster transitions between screens.
Mobile SEO: Do you want to do SEO for your PWA or App? (Get a QUOTE)