The internet ecosystem has evolved significantly in the past ten years. A decade ago, a business targeting the organic buyer only had to look at Google to reach their target group. This is not the case any more. One study finds that nearly half of all eCommerce buyers today begin their product search on Amazon.
This is also true for other product categories. A consumer looking for a food ordering service or racing game is very likely to search on the Google Play Store or the iOS App Store rather than on Google. In short, SEO is not the only way to reach an organic search audience. Your strategies regarding backlink building, keyword research, customer reviews, etc. depend on your product and buying behavior.
Analyze your user behavior
Work on your marketing strategy begins much before your product is ready. The first step in the process is to know if you have to target the web audience or mobile app users. Your decision needs to be based on user behavior.
Is your product a ‘toothbrush app’ - as in, is this something that your user will need at least once a day?
Does your product need features that are location targeted?
Is it important for you to own a brand to be successful?
What platforms do your users prefer?
Does your business model involve advertising?
What is the level of competition you are going against?
The answer to these questions should help you decide if you should go for a website or a mobile app. Let us take a look at some examples to understand how this is done.
Case 1 : Business Insurance
Businesses of all sizes and forms need an insurance to cover their liabilities. Depending on which country or state you belong to, certain insurances are also mandatory. As such, there are a lot of business owners looking for insurance products.
Having said that, purchasing an insurance is a one-time process and it is quite likely that once purchased, consumers tend to keep renewing them without bothering to compare policies every year.
A business insurance comparison tool is thus not a “toothbrush app”. Also, such offerings are generally uniform throughout a state or a country and so the city or neighborhood that a user is looking up for information from does not matter.
SEO is thus the right strategy to pursue in this case.
Case 2: Casino game
The lure of making money attracts millions of people to play casino games every year across the world. This also means there are thousands of websites and apps catering to this audience. Competition is thus intense. However, casino games are ‘toothbrush apps’ since the target group for this product like to play several times a day. While location is not a constraint, branding can help players pick your product over another.
A product as this can thus work nicely as a website as well as a mobile app. However, the fight to be seen makes SEO untenable. Ironically, this is also true for Google Play Store and the iOS App Store.
In this case, it makes sense to target a smaller ecosystem like the Amazon App Store. While the user base on this platform is much lower than what the web or platform app stores can offer, the competition here is relatively lower and so it is easier to rank on top.
Case 3: Invoicing solution
An online tool for invoicing is a toothbrush app - your users need it every day. Branding also helps in attracting users While competition in this space is intense, there is also an incredible level of customization that you can make on your app and this makes it possible to target a smaller niche of buyers. For instance, you could build an invoicing solution for event planners by building features that are relevant to this customer segment.
All this makes it seem like a smartphone app would be a better solution. However, one overlooked fact in this assessment is that invoicing involves a lot of spreadsheet analysis. It is easier for a user to do this from a desktop compared to their mobile phone. Targeting a web app and focusing on SEO thus seems like a better bet.
Picking the right platform strategy is thus crucial in picking