The most common story lines that dominate the release of any Apple update – especially its phones – are the specifications and hardware of the device. These include the size of the screen, the reaction and display of the interface, so on and so forth. There are software and system upgrades that get some attention, but they are mostly talked about in the more technical circles of the market.
The iOS 9 has a few new features like that, and they have the potential of changing the nature of the mobile industry as we know it. These abilities are closely related to app indexing. These features open a world of possibilities for app developers, businesses, and even SEO companies. They can and will revolutionize how the world interacts with companies in the digital realm.
Why Apps Are a Waste
In order to understand why app indexing is such a big deal, people first need to appreciate the relationship between apps and search; it wasn’t good — at all. In fact, there have been several voices in the SEO world that advised businesses not to create an app unless it was absolutely necessary.
This doesn’t make sense, apps are among the most successful features on the mobile platform, and were even instrumental for breathing life into the smartphone industry. Users were scoffing at Androids and iPhones as glorified cell phones until apps made everyone see what such devices could become. Creating an app was the next step in taking a business to the next level. So, why did a lot of people tell companies not to do it?
The biggest reason is that most users might not even see the app. For every app downloaded, there are a hundred others that users pass over.This is because users only download an app for utility and entertainment – convincing an audience that your app is either one of those is a big task. App development is too big an investment for many businesses to leave the final product to chance.
Most of the confusion regarding the investment of apps comes from the understanding that they’re affordable to create and develop. While it’s true that it only takes just upwards of $20 to develop an app, the creation of one that most customers would expect from a business can easily reach tens of thousands of dollars. So unless companies are absolutely sure that users will find their apps, there’s little reason to enter that arena.
Image Source: https://static2.clutch.co/sites/default/files/imce/u10837/mobile-app-development-costs.png
The Changing App-scape
This is the situation that app indexing can potentially change if developers can use its full potential. If marketers can get a more accurate picture of how apps can become searchable, they can make changes to maximize exposure and increase their chances for a return on investment.
Now, to be clear, Apple didn’t invent app indexing and aren’t the first to come up with the idea. The conversation regarding app indexing was mostly dominated by Google, which makes sense considering it is a search-centric innovation. Google App Indexing launched back in October 2013 to a limited number of publishers, and slowly expanded through the years. Similarly, Bing launched Bing App Linking in March 2014.
Image Source: https://media.licdn.com/mpr/mpr/p/6/005/082/170/2a7ce9e.jpg
The Apple Advantage
The only reason that the iOS9 is able to enter the conversation is because of several search elements that it either introduces or improves. For example, the NSUser Activity can index activities performed within the app, as well as the frequency with which users view content. Knowing what people want to do within an app is always useful in creating a better experience for users.
There are also other APIs available on the iOS9, like the Core Spotlight, which enables deep links into the app, as well as ensure that specific content is added onto the on-device index. Developers can take advantage of such APIs to make their apps more search friendly through efficient indexing and compelling content creation.
Image Source: http://arc.applause.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/ios_app_search_apis-1024×593.jpg
For example, strategies that help identify items that users search for the most, and index them for search, is one that can promise a fair share of attention. Providing detailed information regarding such items also encourages user interaction and increases its chances of making waves in the digital market.
Some apps already make use of a smartphone’s native functionalities, such as location services, calendars, and cameras to make their operation simpler and more natural. Utilizing these APIs is the same principle, its uses are only less obvious to users and marketers at the moment.
Similar to how SEO companies make websites more searchable, developers who take the subtle changes that iOS9 puts into play can make their apps easier to find with less effort. They may seem like mundane additions, which may explain why they don’t get nearly as much coverage as other Apple features, but they have the most potential to create a lasting impact.
If you’re looking for an SEO company that keeps up with the latest developments in search in all its forms, then we’re the team you’re looking for. Contact us today, and we’ll work closely with you to get your business easier to find on virtually every device and platform.