App Indexing: How to make your in-app content searchable

Written on
Feb 2, 2016 
Marla Schimke  |

Until recently, in-app content has lived in a universe all its own—unseen by major search engines including Google, Bing and Yahoo! and therefore, unseen by many.

Zumobi, a mobile content marketing platform, working with Google’s App Indexing was recently able to improve a major U.S. retailer/Fortune 500 company’s search ranking by more than 50%. The secret? Zumobi leveraged Google’s new app indexing capabilities to make the retailer’s in-app content searchable on the web. This cross-channeling effort has multiple benefits including driving more users to the app, increasing app downloads, and heightening customer engagement across platforms. To explore this new way to make your apps more effective, Adotas.com had an interesting conversation with Marla Schimke, VP of Marketing at Zumobi (pictured left).

Q: What is the benefit of leveraging Google’s App Indexing within mobile content marketing?

A: The benefit of leveraging Google’s App Indexing capabilities within a mobile content marketing strategy is similar to a brand utilizing search engine optimization (SEO) tactics for its website content—it enables major search engines, such as Google, to be “aware” of the content that may only be available in the brand’s app, therefore making it capable of being included in mobile search results. Without the ability to perform App Indexing, content is essentially ignored on mobile.

A secondary benefit to app indexing is that it is a new way for users to discover an app outside of the app store itself, which today is crowded with hundreds of thousands of apps making discovery a huge challenge for brands. Through App Indexing, apps have a much higher chance of being discovered organically through mobile searches.

Q: Until now, in-app content hasn’t been searchable within search engines like Google, Bing or Yahoo! – what are the benefits of utilizing app indexing for the CMO/marketer?

A: Brands are spending billions on creating content for their consumers, and through utilizing App Indexing, a CMO is able to re-purpose and increase the ROI of their content. Results from early tests indicate a significant boost in mobile search ranking – over 50 percent improvement in fact – when leveraging Zumobi’s App Indexing support.

Even more, the brand’s app icon is featured prominently next to the content appearing in search results. This creates an instant visual connection between the brand and its content. Zumobi’s Mobile Content Marketing Platform automates this entire process and ensures that all content is optimized for the new era of mobile search. This not only elevates a brand’s relevance in search results, but also increases app discoverability—which can ultimately lead to more app downloads.

Q: Have you seen many retailers taking advantage of App Indexing’s capabilities as of yet? Do you think the opportunity is widely known or still greatly untapped?

A: As of right now, App Indexing is still greatly underutilized due to its capabilities not being fully promoted and understood. This is why taking advantage of a Mobile Content Marketing Solution is crucial.

Q: It seems that any brand/retailer with an app would want that content to get extra exposure via web search. Do you believe app indexing will become widely adopted and normalized? If so, what does that timeline look like?

A: In 2016 alone we will see a spike in apps across the board: in downloads, traffic, time spent in app, and marketing dollars put towards in app content. As this occurs, brands will inevitably begin to look for the ideal solutions to make their investment the most productive and lucrative—this is where App Indexing will play a key role. By 2017—App Indexing will be as common of a phrase as SEO. The timeline to widespread adoption is short, as mobile’s overall power is accelerating by the second.

Q: Would you say this is another sign of mobile’s growing power over desktop/websites?

A: At this point in the marketing landscape, everything is pointing towards mobile’s influence. Branded content and mobile devices are two of the most important forces in digital marketing today. Overall, App Indexing is an essential practice for any business with an app.

Is it a sign of mobile’s growing power? Definitely. We know that consumers want their content available on mobile and now we have to embrace the most effective distribution method possible – a Mobile Content Marketing Platform. App Indexing enables brands to increase the distribution of their content and at the end of the day, increase mobile ROI.

To read more about the value of App Indexing, read Zumobi’s white paper: “Mobile Search Marketing: The New Search Secret Weapon.”


Marla Schimke, vice president of marketing, Zumobi, is a digital media pioneer who brings a unique blend of technology and marketing knowledge based on her experience at successful start-ups and Fortune 500 companies. Prior to Zumobi, Schimke lead marketing for AudienceScience, the largest and most trusted audience aggregator in the world. There, she helped revolutionize how brands find and engage their targeted audiences through Internet advertising and was responsible for leading marketing as the company posted year over year double-digit revenue growth and corresponding profitability. Schimke has also designed e-commerce solutions for Fortune 500 companies and developed leading brands from Microsoft to high-tech startups, including a company that appeared in the Inc. 500 list of fastest-growing companies for three consecutive years.
An avid speaker and technologist, Schimke frequently speaks on digital advertising trends and writes about new media technology. Schimke founded the Behavioral Targeting Standards Consortium (BTStandards.org) and is an active member of the American Marketing Association and the Internet Advertising Bureau. She also serves on the Mobile Marketing Association’s Mobile App Committee.

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