News from Google – they’ve just announced that they’ll be changing the way they rank search results on mobile. They want to make the mobile browsing experience better for users. Now, we’re interested in this because one key thing they mention is that ‘App Download interstitials’ will be penalised.
If you’re wondering what those are, they’re those pages saying ‘Download our mobile app!’ that pop-up when you visit a site or click a link. If you’ve experienced them, you’ll know how frustrating they can be. Here’s an example from Gumtree:
They’re not always screens either, sometimes it’s a popup like this Daily Mail one:
Either way, they’re not good for users. We think Google are right to penalise these app promotion screens and pop-ups. Although in the short term they may promote more app downloads for the companies in question, from the user’s perspective they’re a huge pain and disrupt the flow of browsing, and in the long-term they hurt your brand.
So what is a better alternative? At Poq, we use the solution recommended for Apple iOS users, which displays a banner at the top of the screen alerting you to the presence of an app for this website.
It looks like this:
If you already have the app installed, you can open it from this screen, and if you don’t, you get the option to download it. This is called a Smart App Banner.
This is the standard option recommended by Apple, so it’s familiar to consumers. Here’s another example from Pinterest:
It might not lead to as many app downloads as the alternative, but the users who do end up downloading apps from this screen will be more engaged. As we’ve said many times, apps are for increasing loyalty and engaging your repeat customers, rather than a marketing tool for completely new users.