We all know that it’s the era of the mobile. People spend more time on their phones than anywhere else. Time and frequency of app usage is increasing along with the rise of apps (because there’s an app for almost everything now).
One of the biggest challenge for app developers is customers’ paradox of choice. With millions of apps on both the market places together, it’s almost impossible to get your app discovered (let alone downloaded or paid for).
For every 10 apps in both the iOS and Android markets, at least of them cannot be discovered.
Unless you do something about it:
App Store Basics
Remember how Search optimization was (and still is) a very critical part of a website’s marketing plan. Over the years, we’ve all been conditioned to search for “what we want”. App store is a directory of apps and is also driven by search. While principles of SEO might not apply as is to App store optimization, there’s not much deviation from the basics:
Put yourself in your customers’ shoes. Test search and see where your app shows up. What is your competition doing? What’s your app discovery process like, in the eyes of the end user while on the app store? What apps are ranking for the keywords that matter to you and what are they doing?
When it comes to your app discovery, you’d do well to stick to basics. It’s time to roll your sleeves up and get down to technical things – more to do with how you list your app and what you do immediately after.
To start with, allow people to move between the results off app stores and the apps themselves. Get to terms with Google App Indexing, Bing App Indexing, Apple App search & Universal Links, Facebook App Links, and more. Search Engine Land has a primer on indexing
Paid Mobile Marketing
The Internet has made it easy to laser-target your marketing messages to your audience – demographically, geographically, and even based on age, gender, race, interests, and more. Paid advertising is a great option for app developers – from testing and validation all the way to driving app installs and/or sales.
Plenty of advertiser networks such as AdMob, InMobi, MobiCow, and PocketMatch now make it easy (and very quick) to launch your campaigns and drive app installs.
Of course, the behemoths like Google AdWords and Facebook ads also have the ability to help you launch campaigns to push your sales revenues (for paid apps) and installs or downloads (for free or freemium apps).
While paid marketing could have been your own effort to push app discovery on app stores, affiliate marketing is a different animal. It has what’s called as leverage where thousands of affiliates from all over the world will put in their expertise, resources, and even run paid campaigns to help push your app downloads.
A worldwide workforce that’s hungry, skilled, and operating without asking for anything more than a commission or a payout for every conversion (sale or download).
Most app developers don’t go this far when it comes to app promotions, but you’d be in a different league when you do.
Signup with ShareaSale to get some campaigns going.
Customer Reviews: Use them For Good
Word-of-mouth and social proof have long been critical for marketing (traditionally and for digital marketing too). The more the word gets out, the more discoverable your app can be. Give your existing users first access to new features, ask for testimonials, build up the social proof, and try to use tools like push notifications to pump out the word.
While in-market listing, discovery, and promotion rules are changing constantly, doing your diligence always puts you in good stead.
How is your app discovered?
Too many Google Adwords acounts are set up to lose cash. They have no structure, no meaning, and are usually a mess. Every time that happens, it’s a hole that continuously drains you off your ad budget. It makes you believe that you are spending for nothing.
It’s a nightmare, a hell-hole, and obviously a certain path to an unmitigated disaster. To Setup Adwords Account isn’t as obvious as it might seem,depending on how experienced you are with it.
Just don’t buy into the notion that “you know what you are doing”. You’d be surprised to know that many Google Partner agencies and PPC agencies don’t get it right.
Basics: The Structure
Almost always, no matter what business you are in and regardless of the campaign you are going to launch, you just can’t miss a few basics. First, stop picking Google’s default settings.
Google’s default settings are crafted to make “Google” money (and for them, it works). As a business looking to milk Google for its worth, you have to engage in a play with Google where there’s a battle for the dollar.
You want to spend as low as possible to get you maximum returns. So, this is how you start:
Use the Right keyword Modifiers
There’s a never ending debate on what kind of keyword modifiers work best for your campaigns? Some swear by exact match and phrase match while mostly writing off broad match.
The trouble is that keywords specifically and with Google Ad Words campaigns, you can’t sit on extremes.
On the other hand, you can experiment. You can test, but with the catch that you’d always base your decisions based on data. Meanwhile, don’t be too quick to write off anything “that doesn’t work”. Novah Hopkins of WordStream writes:
Broad Match. Nothing splits the room quite like this match-type and the implications of using it. The very definition of broad match (the match type designed to bring in the broadest possible audience) means there will be divide.
On the one hand, nothing brings in the impressions like broad match – if the keyword is in the query, regardless of the context, your ad can be triggered. On the other hand, ad impressions that don’t match the intent of the search query bring down your CTR, which ultimately cause your cost per click to rise.
Meanwhile, John Gagnon of Search Engine Watch points out that for Bing Ads, broad match keywords get 70% more clicks and 56% more conversions than exact match.
What really works for you depends on your propensity to test and take meaningful decisions.
As Perry Marshall writes in his book The Ultimate Guide to Google AdWords, it’s always best to start with a few keywords with Phrase Match and Exact match only. You can always go for broad match when you have the budget to spare.
Search Networks? Display? What?
When you are just about to setup a campaign, you get an option to whether or not you’d like to include Google’s search Partner Network — a huge cluster of partner search engines and other properties Google owns or is associated with. Andy Taylor of Search Engine Land wrote a great post on his take on what you ought to do with this choice.
Display network campaigns should always stand on their own (this is a different beast compared to search and your audience behaves differently).
Geography? Scheduling? Ad Delivery?
Always start small and go with the immediate market that’s of relevance to you.
For local ads, we don’t even need to write about it but for national and global businesses, you should always build up on your campaigns: from local to national and then to global (in that order).
If you are low on budget, opt for scheduled standard delivery where you can specify days of the week and time blocks for your ad to show (while shutting them off for the rest of the time).
Accelerated delivery makes sense for time-sensitive offers, events, etc.
Show ads that are more likely to be clicked?
At fetchprofits, we are big on testing. We lead our campaigns with data-driven decisions. We don’t want Google to do any kind of thinking for us. In that sense, we always pick “Rotate evenly” as the option because we like to test out ads over periods of time.
This is a good habit, but it calls for an added habit of keeping a hawks eye on your campaign.
Keywords, Ad Groups, and Ads
The best Ad Words campiagns are thematic in nature. Keywords of a particular theme are grouped together as keywords.
For our “rebelpreneur” brand, we launched campaigns to drive registrations for our freelancing course.
For this example, we’d set up an adgroup called “Work From Home” and use only keywords with “Work From Home” in them. All set up as Exact Match and Phrase Match.
The ads, meanwhile, look like this, in pairs of two (for testing):
Those ads will be tested over time to find the best ads that perform.
If there’s an ad, it should point to a landing page. Not to a home page. Not even to a landing page that’s designed like a home page or a home page that’s designed like a landing page.
Websites and other pages designed with navigation, lots of content, graphics, and links have a low “attention ratio” as Oli Gardner of Unbounce puts it.
Don’t ever launch a campaign without landing pages. When you do use a tool like Unbounce, for instance, A/B testing of landing pages allows you to see which landing page version works better than the other.
Here’s an example (from a recently launched campaign):
As with any paid advertising,take the time out to setup Google Adwords account. Make sure you have all the moving parts working, and test every aspect of the entire campaign.
It’s your money. I can bet you don’t want to pay Google’s “Stupidity Tax”. Do you?
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The Indian ecommerce industry is al set to touch a whopping $38 billion mark this year (2016)
It’s 38, with a B.
So, you have FlipKart, SnapDeal, Myntra, and many more but the market is only beginning to take shape.
For the small business owners in India, there’s humongous potential. There are tons of niches that can still go online exclusively.
We are a digital marketing agency in India, and that puts us in a really strange spot: We have the whole world to serve, but not much happens where our roots really are.
Yes, this is in the face of a booming ecommerce scene, and a fantastic opportunity for more businesses to thrive.
Many SaaS tools, web apps, and many shopping platforms (include popular website builders which allow for eCommerce) cater to U.S, Canada, and a few other countries.
India is almost always out of the equation (despite the growth and opportunity).
While the perennial search for the best ecommerce platforms continues, it’s an exciting time to be in business. With so many options to choose from, however, it could be a serious pain just trying to choose one to begin with.
We have some of the best and the greatest options available already: from the ever so simple ones to gigantic ecommerce platforms such as Shopify.
However, ever so often, I get the privilege of getting in touch with some UberCool startups with some degree of focus on India.
Shenaz Bapooji, CMO of Shopmatic Group (India), believes that India has tremendous potential with ecommerce. She believes that the small businesses in India haven’t even woken up to the real opportunity ecommerce is.
In fact, she believes (and we quote her verbatim) that:
If you are not spending 48 hours a day thinking work, then you’ve not joined Ecommerce.
Say Hello to ShopMatic
If you’ve worked with any of the Indian “build your ecommerce site” solutions, you’d realize that it’s not cakewalk. There’s just too much going on. I tried signing up with Instamojo and it felt more like I was filing my taxes. Forms, and some more forms. Most other platforms are just as cantakerous, if not, soul-sucking.
Shopify always ends up being my default choice to setup a store for clients.
That was until Shopmatic came along which really has clean interface, amazing design, and it’s very easy to set up.
Drag & Drop to Awesomeness
The templates look fantastic and are even better than any web designer or developer can ever give you.
Pick out on each page, edit your content, and go. If you’d like to use the advanced editor, you’d have to click on Toggle Switch (upper right corner) to see something like this:
Tweak header, footer, layout, forms, elements, and more.
At the moment, I don’t see the ability to export code or do any extreme customization but I also don’t see any reason why you should bother.
Few Clicks to Go To Market
A few clicks, one payment (with a choice of three plans – 1 month, 6 months, and 12 months), and you are good to go live.
No matter which plan you choose, you get:
- Free custom domain
- A choice of 50 industry-specific templates for you to choose from, also optimized for mobile and responsive.
- Ability to host unlimited products
- Sell on other marketplaces and channels
- Get ready to accept payments instantly
- Automated shipping and logistics
- Marketing Modules
- Intelligent data insights (analytics)
- A single dashboard to manage your business from.
Display Prices In Rupees, Or Whatever
If you are looking to setup an ecommerce store in India, you’ll do better to display your prices in Rupees. It’s surprising how many “ecommerce store solutions” ignore simple things like GeoIP or customizing content to reflect visiting audience.
If Indian customers look at store, a lot happens for good when they see prices in Indian rupees (dollars or pounds can freak us Indians out, with a few exceptions)
When you are out to setup products, you’d see that you can easily setup your list price, images, SKU, add tax rates (if any), specify quantities, add descriptions (product copy), and add tags.
Repeat this for every product on your inventory and you are set.
Bonus 1: Why You Should Stop Shopping & Get to Work Instead?
The biggest problems you have, as a business owner, are information overload and the paradox of choice. You’d spend way too much time just trying to decide which platform to use for your ecommerce business. I agree that it’s an important decision to make but it’s not as important as “starting up” first.
Ecommerce platform like Shopmatic or Shopify take care of hosting, security, and regular maintenance. They come secure, out of the box. The reason why these tools exist is to help you “not” worry about the choice you make with respect to ecommerce platforms but instead focus on what your business really needs: marketing and conversions.
Put your energy into marketing and work to grow your conversions and sales over time. Digital marketing already takes a tremendous amount of energy and time and you don’t want to sit and knock on the tables wondering why sales don’t happen.
Read my post on why you should focus on the entire digital marketing spectrum and not just SEO or social media.
Bonus 2: How to promote Your New Shopmatic Store
Now, If you are in India, you are likely to hear all sorts of stories about digital marketing (since everyone is an expert). The fastest and the most effective way to promote your new ecommerce store is with Google Adwords. More specifically, it’s Google Shopping Ads.
When someone types “Leather shoes”, this is how shopping ads look like:
The best part of doing ads with Google is that you will start showing up for relevant searches on day 1 (unlike SEO which takes months). Plus, you choose your budget, control your ad spend, and you also have the ability to continuous test your ads (A/B testing).
Try out Shopmatic For Free. See what It can do for that ever-thinking, Idea-hatching brain of yours.
If you’d like to promote your store or your products or have us manage your PPC campaigns, sign up for our free trial