Our client is in the Affiliate network business and has several mobile applications that basically serve the same content as websites. Each year, there is an increase in traffic from mobile devices on their websites, and in the past 2 years, this percentage amounted to a 50% increase in all visits.
Analyzing these numbers we saw a chance to relocate some of the web users to mobile app users and then engage them with push notifications and user-based (centric) content. For comparison, in the past, user acquisition for mobile applications was made mainly with paid campaigns.
Another interesting thing to mention is that the visitors to the websites usually originated from Google SERP (Search engine result page) and therefore we were constantly searching for ways to improve their position on Google SERP.
The challenge consists of three main parts:
We also took into consideration, that our client wants to make a meaningful connection between web content and mobile applications in case the visitors have or have not installed mobile apps yet, so they can have a seamless user experience.
Since the client’s business is tightly connected to the Google search engine, we began looking into new features that Google is introducing for Android and in general for mobile applications. Back in 2017, Google introduced Instant Apps on Play Store intending to allow users to use the application without installing it.
We saw this as an opportunity for our challenge, so we opted to develop the Android app in a way it supports Instant Apps, connects and verifies applications with the websites, and as a final step sets the links to our Instant App on the webpages. In this way, we allow the users to check the content in the mobile application without installing it as well as give them the option to install the full application with all the features.
While developing the Android Instant app, we noticed that the Google Firebase platform with the App Indexing feature is allowing the application to be indexed and become part of Google SERP. Having this in mind, after the successful migration and integration of the Firebase platform, we also added support for App Indexing.
With this feature, we successfully managed to tighten the link between the website and the application and we also had our app start showing on Google SERP pages. Now users were able to easily discover the app and try it out without even installing it.
By choosing this approach, the client can deploy a solution that brings a constant number of new users without investing anything into user acquisition campaigns. Along the way, we also managed to decrease the app size to ~5MB which at this moment is far below the market average of 15MB.
Another great result that we witnessed was the integration between the Firebase App Indexing and the Instant App. This approach improved the organic application visits, which later transformed into a high percentage of application installs.