Apple Search Ads: Still tapping after 6 months of testing

It’s been five months since Apple expanded their Apple Search Ads program to advertisers in three additional countries (UK, New Zealand and Australia). After its initial, US-only launch in October 2016, I was really excited to finally get to test out this brand-new platform when it finally launched in the UK.
Now that I’ve had some time to experiment with it, I’m going to discuss what I like, dislike and hope to see in the future across this new and exciting platform. I want to share my own experiences here in the hope that anyone looking to test some Apple Search Ads campaigns in the future can get started as soon as possible.
One of the reasons I was so interested in Apple Search Ads is how booming the app market is globally, with 2.2 million apps available in the App Store alone as of March 2017. Furthermore, according to research by Flurry, the mobile browser is effectively dead

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Simple tips to get your app indexed, ranked & installed

Do you have an app that you’d like to rank in mobile search engine results? If so, you’re going to need to make room in your SEO strategy for app optimization.
For apps, there are distinct ranking factors. Although they are similar to ranking factors for a standard web page, there are differences that you need to know about.
Here’s how you can optimize your app to get the best possible rank.
Yes, you need to optimize
According to a recent Google report, 27 percent of users find apps through a search engine. That’s up from 2 percent to 3 percent in 2014.
That trend will likely continue. Why? Because Google is emphasizing app downloads from search results while brushing aside Google Play as a search engine. Google has also become better at ranking apps, a trend we can expect to continue.
Even though 40 percent of people still find apps by searching in an app store as of now, it’s still a great idea to plan for the future

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3 upcoming trends in paid search

Recently, we’ve seen some fairly significant changes on the search engine results pages (SERPs). Right-rail ads have disappeared, and on mobile, we’re seeing more prominent placement of Google Shopping ad units.
In this article, I’ll cover some upcoming trends in paid search and speculate on where the trends will lead. Though I refer mostly to Google, these predictions apply largely to all the major search engines.
The only absolute certainty is that there will be more changes in the paid search landscape!
1. More “shopping” ad units
Google Shopping has been very successful for Google, and retailers’ share of clicks from Google Shopping ads (aka PLAs or Product Listing Ads) continues to grow. In fact, according to data from Merkle, “Across all devices, PLAs overall accounted for 38 percent of retailers’ Google search ad clicks in Q4 [2015], up from 30 percent a year earlier.”
PLA growth stemmed from a couple of very recent changes, the first of which was better visibility of Google Shopping results

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Discovering Opportunities To Drive Your Mobile Web & App Optimization Strategy

With the steady rise of mobile search, SEO practitioners these days need to consider how to optimize both their websites and apps for mobile search visibility.
Google’s mobile-friendly algorithm update, released in April 2015, gave a boost in mobile search results to pages with good mobile user experiences. Along those lines, Google has sought to increase the visibility of app content within mobile search results through app indexing. Thus, it’s key to have a strategic approach to our mobile optimization efforts — both on our websites and apps.
The now more mature mobile web and app optimization tools make this analysis possible, and straightforward, too. For example, some of the tools that I use (which I’ll be discussing in this post) are as follows:

For cross-web-app mobile competitive analysis: SimilarWeb.
For mobile app analysis: Mobile Action, SearchMan, SensorTower and AppTweak.
For mobile web search analysis: SEMrush, SISTRIX, OnPage.org, SEOmonitor and URL Profiler.

Use the tools above (or your preferred alternatives) to answer the following mobile web and app search-related questions — doing so will help you identify more opportunities and potential, as well as establish an effective optimization strategy:
1. Which Are Your Industry’s

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5 Essential Search Trends That Will Impact Online Revenue In 2016

The search and content marketing world has undergone some major changes during 2015. The stage has been set for a shift away from producing content for its own sake. Instead, there is a trend towards the use of search and social data to guide content creation. This development will be a critical part of boosting engagement for brands and helping their content attract the desired audience.
Although the content itself has a central role to play in the conversion of customers, the importance of the more technical side of search optimization should not be overlooked. The industry maturation has also impacted where brands need to focus their efforts on the behind-the-scenes tasks that help to drive content forward and into the limelight.
Here are five SEO trends brands should pay close attention to as they move into the New Year.
1. Mobile Apps Will Need To Be Optimized
Mobile apps are likely to become an increasingly significant factor for search and

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Apple’s iOS 9: What Are The Implications For Search Marketers?

Mobile apps have long posed an issue for search marketers. Because search engines have historically been unable to crawl and index in-app content, mobile apps have traditionally fallen outside of the realm of SEO professionals.
All of that has changed recently with the introduction of app indexing, which enables app content to surface in mobile search results where relevant.
While much of the conversation on app indexing has focused on Google — but with the iPhone accounting for almost half of all US smartphone users, it’s important to consider Apple, as well. Search marketers will need to begin optimizing their mobile app content for Apple Search indexation if they want to stay ahead of the competitors.
The release of iOS 9 last month brought with it some changes that search marketers (among others) may want to take note of. In particular, iOS 9 introduces several APIs to help developers make their content available in the appropriate index on the device.
In my article over on Marketing Land

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Google Search Adds Support For App Indexing In Safari On iOS 9

Google App Indexing has allowed publishers to serve up links within Google’s search results on iOS that lead directly into their apps, but only for Chrome. Now, Google has announced similar support is coming to Safari, for those on iOS 9.
Spotted via VentureBeat, Google shared on its Google Developers Google+ page that iOS apps can now have deep links to their content appear when people do a Google search in Safari, with the right setup:
App Indexing is now compatible with HTTP deep link standards for iOS 9, as it has been on Android from the beginning. That means that you can start getting your app content into the Search results page on Safari in iOS, simply by adding Universal Links to your iOS app, then integrating with our SDK.
With this improvement, we will no longer support new integrations on iOS 7 and iOS 8. Users will start seeing your app content in Safari on iOS at the end of

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Could Deep Links To Apps Represent The Future Of Link Building?

Deep links have been a mainstay in the SEO community for more than a decade. Rather than pointing an external link to a home page, deep links point to a more specific internal page, such as a product page or a blog article.
This establishes greater diversity in your link profile, increases the page authority of individual pages, and gives users greater opportunities to explore more of your website’s content.
Traditionally, deep links have relied on networks of other Web pages, because until recently, that was the only place for them to exist. They might be embedded in an article, included in a forum comment, or even mentioned in a social media share.
Today, there’s a new kind of deep linking emerging, and it might pave the way for the future of link building — and SEO in general.
The Basic Premise
Instead of deep linking to an interior page of a website, the future of the industry could establish the importance of app-based

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Google Goes After The App Interstitial: Protecting Consumers Or Its Own Search Monopoly?

In 2010, Steve Jobs made a prescient observation: When it comes to accessing information on smartphones, people strongly prefer apps over mobile browsers.

A point Jobs left unsaid — perhaps because it is so obvious — was that in order for consumers to enjoy the advantageous experience apps provide them, they need to know the app exists. In other words, those apps must be somehow discoverable.
While many users find apps by browsing inside an app store, another critical way they discover new apps is through mobile search engines, like Google. In this way, mobile search indeed serves a critical function to users: offering a bridge from the less desirable world of mobile Web browsing to a new world inside apps.
Apps Threaten Google’s Search Business
After users cross the bridge from mobile Web to apps, they likely don’t go back. This presents an existential threat to Google’s core business of search, which envisions Google as the “middleman” for all information transactions

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The Growth Of Mobile: Do We Need Some Perspective?

The recent news that mobile searches have surpassed desktop searches on Google was considered monumental.
There is no arguing that mobile is not tremendously important. Even for those who did not previously think much about mobile, there was no way to miss Google’s announced “Mobilegeddon” — it was the SEO’s Y2K. Any business in today’s market that ignores its mobile presence does so at their own peril.
This emphasis on mobile might be a story of its own making, however. To be sure, mobile has come a long way since just a few years ago. Yet this new focus on “everything mobile” and “mobile first” might be misplaced if it is to the exclusion of your multi-device users.
What if “mobile first” is not everything it’s hyped to be? What if you are sacrificing real users and real money on the altar of “mobileness”?
Proximity Is Everything
Just as in the golden days of brick-and-mortar stores, location is everything. Your proximity to the customer makes a huge

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