Scripted Podcast: SEO for Mobile Applications

Show Notes

  • Traffic for mobile applications can come from the Android and iOS app stores and from your website.
  • Email capture is important for leading customers through the sales funnel.
  • User-generated content can boost local search results.
  • Although SEO is important, a good product is the key to success.

Corey Lydstone started AutoList, a meta search engine that aggregates car listings from across the web, roughly four years ago. Having previously worked on the successful real estate listings site and mobile app ApartmentList, Corey was keen to apply the same technology to another vertical. AutoList is now one of the top-rated auto apps for iOS and Android, as well as a popular website.


Corey takes a broad approach to SEO, supplementing listings with user-generated content, such as reviews. Filling your site or mobile app with content that provides useful information to users who are searching for the products you list or sell can give a valuable boost to SEO.

Although SEO on the iOS and Android app stores is useful for bringing users to your mobile app, you can also build awareness of your app through your website. The ApartmentList website draws in approximately equal amounts of traffic from organic search and PPC.

Capture Strategy

If you’re planning to invest in SEO or PPC advertising, you need to determine whether the value of the extra traffic is worth the investment. One way to increase the value of the average visitor to your site is to use an effective email capture strategy to get content details from your visitors. This allows you to keep in touch with them and lead them through the sales funnel. ApartmentList uses an aggressive email capture strategy on the brand’s PPC landing sites, asking users to input their email addresses when they go to close the page. This aggressive focus on email capture increases the lifetime value of each PPC visitor.

Local Searches

Another important aspect of AutoList’s business is local search. Google automotive searches always prioritize local results, as you don’t go across the country to buy a car unless you’re looking for something very niche. However, Google results lead searchers to individual dealerships, which means they only see part of the market. By focusing on long-tail search terms, AutoList is able to capture part of this local market, giving searchers a full picture of the vehicles that are available for sale in their area. The brand’s local search strategy leverages user-generated content that focuses on particular local areas, as well as on particular makes and models of vehicles.

Get the Core Right

Ultimately, the key to building and sustaining traffic to your website and mobile app is to offer a great product. Both AutoList and ApartmentList offer customers a useful service, allowing them to find the accommodation or vehicles that meet their exact specifications in their local area. If you get the core offering of your mobile app right, bringing in traffic shouldn’t be a difficult task.

Corey has just a few more words of advice for the CEOs of budding companies. He advises them to learn to prioritize their tasks, focusing on those that will bring the biggest returns for the company. He also advises delegating or outsourcing tasks like content creation to others, so that you as the CEO can focus on guiding the overall direction of the business.