5 Steps to Promoting Your PWA on Google (Progressive Web Apps)

promote your pwa

How can you promote your PWA on Google? Find out with this step-by-step tutorial:

Over the last few years, progressive web apps have been slowly, but steadily establishing their presence on the app market. They are light, fast, intuitive, and can easily work even if there isn’t a stable network connection.

As opposed to native mobile apps, they also have a key feature that makes their promotion really easy – and that is, the capability of being accessed through a single URL instead of having to be downloaded from an app store. This means that you can actually promote them on any channel, from Social Media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram to other advertising channels such as Google Ads and Programmatic.

promote your pwa on google

Today, we will show you a step by step tutorial on how to promote your PWA on Google. But before that, let’s talk a little bit more about the power of progressive web apps:

The Power of URLs

Whether you are building a native, hybrid or progressive web app, the whole process takes committment, time, and money. However, the hard work doesn’t end with the app development itself – this is where it just starts. Having your app up and running doesn’t mean that everyone will simply flock to it – you have to establish a sustainable PWA Marketing strategy to help it gain visibility among competitors.

When companies decide on the type of app that they want to develop, they typically discuss many aspects – the audience that they want to reach, the budget that will be needed, and the goals of the app. However, many businesses don’t have a clear plan on how they are going to promote their app. And the truth is, some types of apps are more versatile, and significantly easier to promote than others.

While native mobile development is the first choice for many businesses (and also the most popular), it can be rather difficult to promote it across different digital channels. The main reason why is because there is something between the end user and the company – in other words, the app store, which acts as an intermediary between them.

5 Steps to Promoting Your PWA on Google. Image: App Store

So, there isn’t really a direct way for the users to reach and open the app. Instead, they have to visit the app store first, and then, if they get convinced by the descriptions and images, they might decide to download it – or not. Depending on a third-party distribution system means that you end up creating an extra step for the audience, and a huge budget on Marketing might go to waste if you are not able to convert them into app users.

Because users can fall off the wagon at each extra step that you create for them in the conversion funnel, you might end up with higher Costs per Lead than you would expect for a regular campaign.

On another hand, this is not the case for progressive web apps. PWAs are essentially websites with the look and feel of a native mobile app, which means that you can access them directly with a single URL or a QR code. So, if you want to promote your PWA on Google, it becomes as easy as using the URL to your progressive web app instead of your regular website.

5 Steps to Promoting Your PWA on Google. Image: Progressive Web App.

This makes it much easier for your audience to get to your app, and removes the extra steps that are associated with app stores. This usually translates to cheaper conversions, which means that you can make more of your Marketing budget with progressive web apps than with native apps.

And this is the secret power of URLs when it comes to progressive web apps – but of course, this is only one of the many benefits that they offer.

Now that we’ve cleared out this information, let’s move on to our step by step tutorial for promoting your PWA on Google:

Step 1: Create an account

Of course, the first step to promoting your PWA on Google is to create an account in Google Ads. If you are already launching regular Search and Display campaigns to your website, you don’t need a separate account for your progressive web app. You can use the same account, provided that you’ve configured the goals for your app as well – which we will explain in the next step.

If you don’t have an account yet, all you need to do is hop to https://ads.google.com/home/, and create one for free. Just follow the instructions – it might take a couple of minutes, but it is really easy, and you can take advantage of some awesome tools such as The Keyword Planner.

Step 2: Set up your goals

Now that you have your Google Ads account, the next step for promoting your PWA on Google is to configure your goals. In digital advertising, goals (also known as conversions) make reference to the final outcome that you are expecting with your campaigns. In other words, what do you expect from the user once they’ve clicked on your ad? To download your free ebook? To fill out a form? To sign up for an event?

Of course, goals will vary for each business. In this case, you will have to think from the perspective of your progressive web app. What do you expect from your audience once they’ve clicked on your ad, and arrived to your PWA? Since it’s not necessary to download a progressive web app from the app store, and you can access it directly via a URL, your goal probably won’t be to drive more app downloads.

In many cases, a common goal would be to convince the user to register within your app. For example, think about Forbes – their goal would be to get more people to sign up for their premium news subscription, and this will be the main performance metric that they would be measuring in case of doing Google Ads campaigns.

To configure your goals, I highly suggest that you do it with Google Analytics and export them to Google Ads. If you don’t have a Google Analytics account yet, you should go and create one as soon as possible – it is an absolute must for any business that wants to measure the performance of their website and apps. It is 100% free to create and use.

To configure your goals with Google Ads, all you need to do is go to Tools & Settings at the top of the platform, and click on Conversions under the Measurement section:

promote your pwa on google
Promote your PWA on Google: Conversion Configuration

Next, click on the blue + button to start creating a new goal, and configure the settings required by Google. In this case, since we are talking about a progressive web app and not a regular native mobile app, you can select the option Website:

Once the goal has been configured, you should take the code that Google has generated for you, and implement it within your progressive web app. This way, you will be able to measure valuable actions that are happening on your PWA.

Step 3: Do a keyword research

Now that you have your account up and running, and your goals configured, the next step to promoting your PWA on Google is to do a comprehensive keyword research in order to discover keywords that might lead people to your app.

In one of our previous articles, we talked about doing a proper ASO keyword research. This type of keyword research is typically done for native mobile apps so that you can position them better on the app store (in front of competitors). In this case, however, we will be doing an SEO keyword research so we can optimize our progressive web app to show up on Google. Regardless, we highly suggest that you also check our ASO article as well – it can give you valuable tips that are also applicable to SEO.

A comprehensive keyword research is crucial if you want to promote your PWA on Google successfully. It helps to identify users who are searching for the exact same product that you happen to be offering. Going back to our example with Forbes, they could use keywords such as “business news” or “world news” to drive people to their website with ads.

To start researching for keywords, go again to the top of your Google Ads platform, and select on Keyword Planner under the Planning section:

Promote your PWA on Google: Doing a keyword research
Promote your PWA on Google: Doing a keyword research

Next, start by typing possible keyword ideas that come to your mind. Let’s say that you have a progressive web app for your local football team, and you want to drive more traffic to it. Of course, you also want to capture more potential sign ups so that users can become members of your club.

You could start your research by typing something like “football membership”, or you can get even more specific and directly type the name of your club + the word “membership”. In both cases, Google Ads will return ideas that you can use for your campaigns:

Promote your PWA on Google: Getting keyword ideas

Next, open an Excel sheet, and start adding the keywords that you’ve selected so that you can later use them in your campaigns. For example, you could create one column for more generic terms such as “football club”, and another column for terms that include the name of your team – this will be up to you. But the point is that you should group these terms under the same category, so you can later separate them into ad groups.

When selecting keywords, make sure that you follow these simple rules:

  • Select keywords with enough volume – this would be over 100 monthly searches per keyword. If you select keywords with low volume or no volume at all, your campaign may not even begin in the first place.
  • Select keywords that are not too high on competition – the higher the competition, the more you will end up paying per click for your campaigns. Ideally, you should aim for low to medium competition. However, do not avoid highly competitive keywords if they are extremely relevant for your progressive web app.
  • Select keywords that are relevant – to support our previous rule, make sure that you choose relevant keywords. These are the keywords that are the most related to your app – for example, if your football club is for Liverpool, the keyword “liverpool football club” would be highly relevant. And the keyword “fc barcelona club” wouldn’t be any relevant at all since people are looking for a different club than the one you offer.

To promote your PWA on Google successfully, you need to create keyword lists that will bring quality visitors to your progressive web app. As we mentioned previously, targeting keywords that mention other football teams or clubs will not bring quality visitors because these people are looking for something completely different than what you offer.

So, you will only end up wasting budget unnecessarily – in these cases, paying a little bit more for more expensive, but more relevant keywords is better than going for low-cost, non-relevant keywords.

Step 4: Create your ads

The next step to promoting your PWA on Google Ads is to create your search ads. Make sure that you:

  • Use up all the space provided by Google – for expanded text ads, these are 3 headlines and 2 descriptions of 90 characters each. The more space you take on the screen, the more likely is that your ad stands out from the rest. It is basically more real estate space!
  • Add extensions – extensions allow you to add extra information, besides from what you’ve already included in your ad. For example, if you used the ad descriptions to talk about the content of your progressive web app, you can use the extentions to zoom in on the features or benefits that it offers for the audience.
  • Include keywords – within the ad, make sure that you include some of the keywords that you’ve selected – this way, you will make your ad even more relevant to both Google and the user.

And of course, do not forget to send your audience to the right page within your progressive web app. More specific pages tend to perform better than generic pages, although this may vary between apps and businesses.

Step 5: Launch your campaign

The last step of our tutorial on how to promote your PWA on Google is to set up your target audience – in other words, who are you aiming to reach with your ads? Once you’ve set up your segmentation, you will be ready to launch your campaign.

Promote your PWA on Google: Target audience

To build a good audience, you will need to keep some considerations in mind:

  • Where is my audience located? – in the case of the football club, let’s say Liverpool, you might want to target an audience within the UK, or get even more specific and target Liverpool directly.
  • What are their demographics characteristics? – in Google Ads, you can target or adjust your bids by gender, age, and household income.
  • How am I going to reach them? – typically, you will target your audience with the keywords that you selected in the previous step. However, you also have pre-built inmarket audiences at your disposal.

Keeping these things in mind will help you build a powerful audience so you can promote your PWA on Google successfully.

And that was all from us for today! Thank you for taking the time to read the article. If you don’t have a progressive web app yet, you can start building yours today with Beezer’s Drag and Drop app builder. Click here and start your 30-day free trial!

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