Find Your Web Audience

Image by Whereswaldo.com

This is the fourth post in the “12 Weeks of Christmas” series.

Most app developers focus on App Store discovery to bring them users, or by advertising on mobile ad networks. If you’re one of those developers we have good news for you: mobile web use this year exceeds desktop web use for the first time ever.

Let that sink in for a moment. There is more web browsing happening on mobiles than on all computers out there. These are potential customers you can reach in many ways, paid or organic, and you won’t have to compete with every other app developer working on App Store Optimization and spending money on mobile ad networks.

This is what Tapstream enables: we help you measure web traffic, again paid or organic, and let you focus on building your own traffic source away from all that App Store noise. You simply place a JavaScript snippet on your website and we can tell you which websites are sending you traffic and which portion of that traffic actually ends up using your app.

That’s great if you know where your web audience is: you can then advertise directly on the websites they frequent, optimize your site for keywords they use on Google to find you, and write great content for your site that they will share on Facebook and Twitter.

But what if you have no idea how to reach your audience on the web?

It’s actually not that difficult and we can help. Firstly, you will need to dig up some Google keywords you think your audience would use to find you. Enter Google Keyword Tool.

  1. It’s really easy to use and you don’t even have to have an AdWords account to use it. Just enter a few words or phrases (one per line), skip the other fields, fill out the CAPTCHA and hit Search. For example, if your app is a word game, you can try adding keywords like “mobile word games” and “crossword app”.
  1. Google will then show you a list of Keyword Ideas you can sort by clicking on Global Monthly Searches. Now, take some of the better candidates from that list and do some Google searches. See which sites show up, who’s advertising on those keywords and what seems to define your ideal visitor.
  1. Next, you can actually start advertising directly to them via Google AdWords. You will need to setup an account and then start a Display Network Only campaign. You will be able to define countries you want to target, mobile devices only (yes please) and even time of day. The important details related to the new AdGroup are on the second step.
  1. Choose to target your traffic based on Placements (under “Use a different targeting method”) and you will be able to enter websites you found to be frequented by your potential customers and see if you can buy traffic through their AdSense ad spots. Alternatively, select to target based on keywords or interests you feel identify your potential customer and Google will automatically locate likely sites that fit that criteria. Make sure to add Tapstream shortlinks to your ads if you’d like to track how profitable each ad or AdGroup is.

Keep in mind that you may not be able to run a profitable campaign if your product price is too low, or your customer lifetime value (LTV) is too low. But this is a great way of finding great traffic for your app to fine tune your web marketing. And it doesn’t have to cost a lot: you only need to spend a few dollars per day to see what’s working and what’s not.

Ideally, take what you’ve learned above and start building your own free web audience. You do this by creating great content for the audience you’ve identified, that gets linked and shared. After all, this is how web publishers have survived for decades and Tapstream now gives you data to see which pages end up driving users, which referring sites are worth working with and which Google search keywords bring in visitors that are likely to install your app.


After running some tests this week you should begin having a clearer idea where your potential customers are hanging out and what they’re into. Continue creating and sharing information that interests them and their trust and familiarity toward you will begin to increase. Keep it up!

Next week: get discovered with on and off-page SEO.

This is part four of the 12 Weeks of Christmas series

This post is just the start of a weekly series on marketing your mobile app more effectively – the sort of way that spikes your holiday sales.

This series will help you take your marketing beyond a simple App Store page, because that just isn’t good enough anymore. It’s time to build-out your web marketing and ready your app for the Christmas sales storm.

To catch the whole series stay dialed-in to Tapstream, or why not subscribe by email to make sure you don’t miss a post. We have lots of great tips coming up.

You can read the first three posts here:

  1. Warning: the App Store freeze could kill your holiday sales (here’s how to thrive)
  2. Planning and testing for your marketing push
  3. Beyond the App Store: how to start winning with content