We had the honour of being invited to follow a session about mobile apps at Google Amsterdam. What a program, and what a set of speakers!
How to best build and improve your mobile app, how to drive app installs and re-engage app users, and how to measure everything from app installs to in-app conversions were all discussed during this interesting session.
So, how do you best improve your mobile app?
The first thing you need to do is to make sure people adopt your app. You do so by removing all roadblocks to usage. Your app needs to load quickly, give enough explanation as to why the user needs to fill in certain information, and if on-boarding is the last resort: the user has to be able to choose to skip it.
The purpose of the app, the user’s journey, and the menu must be clear. Also, nobody likes long sign-in forms, especially on mobile. Handy tricks like touch-ID for iPhones, a demo, a persistant sign-in for returning users, reveal/hide password, etc. will all make the process much more enjoyable.
Secondly, you want people to use your app, so you should make sure conversion decisions are simple! Help users quickly find what they want with following options: prominent search, auto-suggested results, a way to sort and filter the results, display recent searches, etc.
Help users make key conversion decisions without hesitation by being very clear and transparent about your products and its prices. You can do so by using a primary CTA button, displaying a list of suggested products, and showing basket symbols next to the products.
Don’t forget to enable cross-device and offline conversions by giving the opportunity of scanning an image/product, using a wishlist the user can save, sync it to a customer account, and making it easy to share products. Using a click-to-call button or an in-app store locator so that he may find nearby stores could help your customer convert as well.
Of course, your job is not done once your customer has filled his basket. He still has to go through all the checkout stages, and it is your job to help him through it with minimal effort while reassuring him.
You can do so by making it possible for the customer to edit his basket content in the basket itself, where he can also see related products, for instance. If you have a frequent or returning user, having only one checkout screen with pre-populated data would make his life much easier.
Once these stages are passed, and the user comes to the payment phase, that’s the final moment of truth. During the payment, make sure the costs are transparent, provide an express payment option, and make sure all credit card data can be sequentially entered in one file. And a really cool last one: give the option for first-timers to scan their card! This is much easier, much faster, and much cleaner.
Last but not least: engage your customers, and make them come back. You could for instance use widgets or push notifications to the user with highly relevant, timely and personal information/events/news, etc. to make him come back and convert again.
Another way to help users on their journey back to your app is using deeplinking in SEA and SEO search results, app indexing for SEO, and you can even build remarketing lists! Show your new app to people who already have one of your company’s other apps, make a “today only” offer for users who abandoned their basket,… Everything’s possible.
(Find all the details about how to build your app in this article: https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/intl/en-gb/article/mobile-app-ux-principles-improving-user-experience-and-optimising-conversion/ )
So you’ve got a great app, but one thing’s for sure: you don’t want to be part of the 60% of the existing apps that have never been downloaded, do you? When you know that apps have generated 35 Billion in revenue in 2014, you want to get it right 😉 You have to go after your app users, and potential app users yourself if you want your app to be downloaded.
The good thing is that you can reach them anywhere they are with a CTA to download and install the app, which is pretty convenient. YouTube (via Trueview Ads), mobile search (via extensions and click-to-download ads on Google), in-app advertisement, the mWeb (mobile web), Google Play Ads, and Gmail: all of these tools offer you a way to reach your customer in an efficient way.
Now you’ve got a great app, and you’ve got users *Applause*! But how do you know if you are investing in the right audience, or if your app is a success, and if not, why? There is only one possible answer: tracking is key!
Mobile (in-)app tracking hasn’t always been easy, but there are very tangible and reliable solutions nowadays, which will enable you to know everything about your app and the interaction with its users.
Without being too technical, here are the three most common ways to track app activity:
- The AdWords Software Development Kit (SDK). This is a first party tracking solution: install the in-app tracking code and the conversion data will be sent automatically to AdWords.
- Server-to-Server (S2S). Also first party: use your own tracking system, and push the information onto the AdWords platform.
- 3rd Party Analytics. Use a 3rd party tracking system, and push the information onto the AdWords platform.
What can you track?
– App install:
This is very easy for Android users, but the challenge remains for the iOS users. However, there is a possible solution by tracking the opening of the homepage as a conversion, and making sure this action isn’t repeatable. This way, you will only track a conversion the very first time somebody opens your app. Quite smart, no?
– In-app conversions:
Measure anything and any action you want in your app and get help from Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager for Apps. Yes, you’ve read it right: Google Analytics has a special mobile app interface where you can create goals and events for you app, and measure everything that’s going on in your app with the mobile-specific metrics! And if you’re having trouble uploading the tags on your app, use the safe and easy way: Google Tag Manager for Apps.
If you follow these tips, you should be ready to launch your awesome app for your customers/prospects to discover AND you’ll be able to know how they interact with it very easily.
Remember: people usually prefer using apps as opposed to mobile websites because they’re quicker to load, simpler to navigate, and time-saving, so make sure you’re armed for it 😉