I recently had a client ask me if developing a mobile application would help them with their SEO and search engine ranking.

I love the question, so I thought I would write a quick post on it.

From an SEO perspective, an app actually COULD influence ranking, but not how you might think initially.

Just posting a link to download a mobile app is not where the benefit comes from. The benefit comes from the application itself and what it does for your company, brand, service, etc. The app must be amazing. By creating an amazing app, what happens? People talk about it. Your app is going to have the biggest affect on your bottom line when the content is buzz worthy. Just like Facebook, Twitter or any other social media platform – or the Web in general – the content that gets shared is the great stuff. Make your app great and the buzz will naturally follow.

Take Angry Birds, for example. The app is what people want: free entertainment, great graphics and an original, memorable idea. It’s amazing, right? So what happens? People talk about it in their blog, talk about it on social media and do what? They link to it. Those links help the site in the search engines. Do you think that increased traffic to Rovio’s website? I would certainly assume so.

So, if you’re considering an application, get started by asking a few simple questions:

  1. What’s in it for my user?
  2. What’s in it for me (i.e. my company)?
  3. How can I make it amazing and worthy of a conversation to generate buzz so people share it?

Ultimately, it’s more about the word-of-mouth buzz created by new, quality content than creating an app just to have one. A duplication of a brochure-style website is not a good use for an application…or your money.

So think hard. Be relevant. Strive for amazing.

Hope this helps,

pferrier is the co-founder of MINDSCAPE at Hanon McKendry and a Web design/SEO expert