So You Have an App… What Now? Part I

A good understanding of user flow for your website is the first step in making the best of a mobile

Mobile! Everyone’s talking about how mobile is changing the world. No matter who you are you need a mobile app. Household names like Google and Facebook have declared that they are “mobile first” – meaning, first they develop for mobile and then adapt to PC. Convinced, you have acquired your mobile trading app for your brokerage. Your tech provider has even helped you get your app into the app stores (and maybe even explained that you can also allow Android users to download the APK directly from your site).

Understanding Mobile Needs New Skills

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Now what? Understanding mobile marketing is a skill set that you may not have. In this three-part series, I will give you a thorough intro and a few tips to get you started. If we take a basic conversion flow of acquisition, conversion and retention, we can see steps along the way. Part one – before acquisition – is getting ready.

Getting Ready

It is important to set up for mobile correctly. This means understanding the flow and what is needed as far as your website is concerned. First, we need to understand the basic user flow and how it differs from PC. The CTAs (Call To Action) are slightly different as the first step is to get the user to download the app and then register. Once they have completed both steps you can look at them as “double opt in” and should be simpler to convert. More on this in part 3 – Conversion.

As Google is the definitive search engine in most markets outside China, it is interesting to look at its policy. Google demands that you have a mobile friendly website for organic ranking and preferred for paid. As paid can be directed straight to the app store, it is only preferred. It should be preferred for you anyway.

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 It is a myth that Google punishes mobile specific websites

Most people will tell you to go “responsive.” This means using a template that automatically knows how to adjust according to the resolution it is being viewed on. You can also go for a specialized mobile site. The advantage of this route is generating a higher quality and more relevant site, but it is costly in both building and maintaining. It is not just maintaining two websites with content, but also having versions to meet the ever-changing resolutions of new models. You should remember to have a “view full site” option if you are offering a specialized mobile site. It is a myth that Google punishes mobile specific websites by lowering their ranking. Google does recommend responsive sites as it is an easier entry. It does rank sites lower for mobile searches if they are not compatible. Opinion is divided as to whether it also affects your desktop ranking.

 Relevant Content

So what should be on your site? You should include relevant content about the mobile app. Remember to use the latest models in your imagery and update when the devices do. It is a personal pet hate to see sites showing iPhone 4s and Samsung Galaxy IIIs. Your desktop site should also include a QR code for users to scan and access your app directly in the app store. There is plenty of information online on how to do this. A tip is to use a shortened URL (like so that your code is cleaner and more readable).

Your site should also be able to recognize a mobile user and offer a direct link into the app store for downloads. The common practice is to have a banner appear at the top of the page with the icon and link to the relevant store. When it comes to the app store we will discuss this in the next part when we deal with conversion.

Read here Part II.

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