Mobile app development is something people have been getting into since the advent of smartphone technology as we now know it. Upon coming up with a new idea, either some novelty you find neat or a solution to some problem, you then set to work and choose what kind of content and how it’s to be presented in the app. Once the app is finished, you then publish it in the store and watch the download numbers go up.
Well, that last part isn’t really what goes on these days. With app stores being so saturated with content these days, it’s getting harder and harder to stand out. You can hope against hope and have users somehow start pouring in, with word of mouth raving about the sleek design and awesome features your app may have, but that’s a rather slim chance. However, preventing the app you worked so hard on from languishing need not be so tough.
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App Store Optimization (ASO) may sound like some magic trick or like its older counterpart Search Engine Optimization (SEO), but it’s not just some cheap parlor trick. In the dog-eat-dog world of mobile apps, ASO is your best chance at putting your app out to new customers, and a big part of that is getting ads to increase your app’s visibility.
These are nothing new, but they’ve become a force to be reckoned with in mobile app stores. Search ads basically show up in search results, which can serve as a suggestion for alternatives to customers when they’re looking for certain apps. It has minimal obtrusiveness and does help with the advertised app’s visibility, which some of can then be converted to actual sales and/or downloads.
But you can’t just go at it blindly without testing things out first. As an advertiser, you need to understand your audience and what ads work best in boosting your app’s performance. For a lot of people putting up search ads for the first time, they may not understand a lot of these things. You can learn more about them in this infographic.
The best example of search ads becoming a major part of an app store is with Google Play. With Google being known for its online advertising, it was natural for them to incorporate it into what would become the Google Play app store. However, they seem to have doubled their recent efforts towards this end.
At first, developers could only run search app install campaigns on AdWords to appear in Google search results, but it was then implemented within Google Play’s search results. Along with that came a new conversion-tracking solution for figuring out if a search ad is actually bringing customers in or if either improvements need to be made or have ads placed somewhere else.
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Recently rolled out, Search Ads on Google Play has allowed Android app developers to run ad campaigns, potentially reaching almost a billion people in more than 190 countries. However, the option is only available to developers who had been running search app install campaigns on AdWords already.
Potential Revenue in Paid Search Ads
Paid search ads are a new way to generate revenue out of the boom in mobile technology, especially Android. With handset makers shipping over a billion phones in 2014 alone, there’s much for Google to mine. Facebook has reaped much benefit from this as well, having placed app install ads in front of more than 700 million mobile users.
It’s known that Google’s core search market has shrunk recently due to more users switching to smartphones as their main platform. Therefore, it made sense that Google put more priority into advertising for the mobile market, and search ads are most likely only the beginning.
Google recently acquired a startup called Toro, which specializes in creating Facebook ads for software developers. Their technology helped with the implementation of the aforementioned Search Ads on Google Play. It does seem like search ads are significant enough for Google to buy out companies to achieve this.
It must be said that while potential revenue is huge, it’s not as big as it could be. China has its Great Firewall in place, which means that the government blocks a lot of things online, including Google services. Google has been planning to re-enter the Chinese market by offering a version of the Play store designed for that country.
Also, Apple’s App Store still generates more revenue due to the iPhone and iPad’s wealthier user base, despite Android’s dominant market share. It was estimated that Apple earned around $15 billion in 2014, which just shows how much money there is in just a portion of the now-gigantic mobile market.
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Apps are now pretty much a major part of the online ecosystem, and they’re viable sources of revenue for companies. Therefore, investing in paid search for apps is now something that should be within consideration for any developer who has released an app and has the extra funds to invest in it. You might as well since every bit of help does eventually count.