Marketing Tips: Understanding SEM and How to Get Your No Code Mobile App Found

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The Thunkable team is back with some additional marketing tips to help you make your no code mobile app stand out! Previously, we discussed competitor analysis and briefly explained the importance of keyword research and implementation. In this blog, we’ll take things a step further and explain Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and how you can use it to your advantage when marketing your no code mobile app.

What is SEM?

As stated above, SEM stands for Search Engine Marketing. This is the function of marketing that utilizes multiple techniques to help people try to get their businesses to rank higher in search engine results. When people are looking for a product or service, they typically don’t search for the exact brand name. Instead, they look for solutions or descriptions of what they are trying to solve. For example, if you need a gardener, you likely aren’t searching for a specific gardener's name. In reality, you’d probably look for, “blueberry gardeners in San Francisco” or something similar. 

Using the right keywords and building up a reputation around these specific keywords as it relates to your app will help you climb the ranks to surface on the first page. Keywords are at the heart of these efforts.

The techniques to make note of are as follows.

what is search engine marketing venn diagram graphic thunkable best no code app builder app creator app creation drag and drop app builder

SEO

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. SEO is the process of using keywords in your marketing materials (blogs, website, etc.) to rank higher on search engines (namely Google). The higher you rank (ideally on the first page), the more likely you are to have your website clicked and visited. (And, obviously, hopefully that results in an app download for you!) 

SEO efforts are considered “organic”, meaning they are efforts not backed by monetary means.

PPC

PPC stands for Pay Per Click and is just another way of saying “advertising”. PPC is similar to SEO in that it also is all about keywords and trying to get your business on the first page of Google. The primary difference between SEO and PPC is that you utilize advertising tools like Google Ads to pay to get better results on Google.  

For the purposes of this blog, we’ll stick to understanding the free side of SEM (aka SEO).

How to Use Keyword Research Tools

In our previous blog, we explained keywords and how to use them to better understand who your competitors are. That’s not all keywords are good for, however! In fact, you’ll want to utilize keywords in your own marketing efforts to rise above your competition.

To explain how to utilize keywords, we’ll need to look at keyword research tools again. (Head back to our first marketing tips blog for free tool suggestions!) Let’s use our example from our last blogs to look into this further: blueberries.

When you use a keyword research tool, like UberSuggest (shown below), there is some key information to look out for when choosing your keywords for marketing efforts.

ubersuggest screenshot what is sem thunkable no code app builder app creator best no code app development tool

  • Trend: This metric shows the search trend for the keyword. Obviously, you’ll want to choose keywords with an upward trend.
  • Volume: Volume works in conjunction with Trend and shows you how many (generally) monthly searches are happening for that keyword. You want to choose keywords that are being searched for. (Otherwise, what’s the point?)
  • SEO Difficulty (aka Keyword Difficulty on other tools): Here’s where things turn into a balancing act. SEO or Keyword Difficulty show you how difficult it will be to see results from your marketing efforts utilizing these keywords. Difficulty increases as more people and businesses utilize the keywords. You’ll want to choose keywords with difficulty rankings somewhere in the middle to upper end. (The higher the number/ranking, the higher the difficulty.) 

To sum it all up, you’ll want to choose trending keywords with a higher search volume compared to other keywords but that aren’t the absolute highest for ranking difficulty. Like we said…a balancing act. 🤷

How to SEO

To get started with SEO, you’ll want to choose 2-3 keywords that you think you can rank for, making note of the above information. More keywords than that will be overkill when it comes to individual marketing efforts.

Implementing Keywords on Your Website

One place to implement keywords for SEO is your website. You can place keywords on pages through your website and in blog posts (if you have these). To do so, you’ll want to put keywords in titles and throughout content. Sprinkle they keywords in but try not to overdo it. (More on that in a bit.)

Implementing Keywords on App Stores

SEO has existed for a long time. Now, there’s a related practice called App Store Optimization which also relies on keywords but instead focuses on climbing search results not on Google but within app stores. When crafting your app’s description on the marketplaces, do some research to see what the top apps are for your category. Look for their keywords and incorporate those into your description. When users are searching for new or alternative apps, this will help you ride the tailwinds of existing apps to climb the charts. 

Rest assured, though; the practice is the same! Sprinkle keywords into your app listing and watch your organic search results and subsequent downloads increase.

A Word of Warning

It might seem tempting to use as many keywords as possible, as often as possible to get users to discover and download your app. That’s not what you want to do, though, as Google watches for this kind of thing with special technology they deploy across the web. If you overdo it with the keywords (often called “keyword stuffing”, you run the risk of actually being removed from search results. (Don’t stress about this, but do be diligent about writing well written website copy, app descriptions, and supporting content. 

So, remember: use 1-3 keywords in your efforts, and only sprinkle them in conversationally. Re-read what you’ve created for marketing purposes, and if it doesn’t flow or seem correct, you may have forced too many keywords into your work.

Keep Going!

We said it before, and we’ll say it again: marketing does not stop. Optimizing your marketing once is not enough. You’ll want to optimize time and time again, as your competitors will be doing so. If you don’t, you run the risk of losing any traction and search results that you worked for.

We recommend optimizing about once a month. That’ll give you enough time to let things work themselves out and to see what’s effective. (The easiest way to check for results is just to keep track of where you are in search results, knowing that your goal is to always inch closer to that coveted number one position.)

A Quick Recap

That was a lot, we know. So, here’s what you need to know, summarized.

  • SEM (Search Engine Marketing) = SEO (Search Engine Marketing; organic/free) + PPC (Pay Per Click; paid advertising)
  • Research keywords for marketing and choose 1-3
  • Utilize keywords in your website, blog, and app store listings (or whatever combination of these that you have)
  • Don’t overdo your optimization efforts, or Google will become angry!
  • Optimize regularly so your efforts aren’t wasted.
  • Always strive for as close to the number one position as possible.

Need Help?

Don’t forget that we at Thunkable appreciate you using our platform as your app maker, and we are always here to help! Be sure to bookmark our Docs and Community for any support you may need regarding your no code mobile app.

And, if it’s additional marketing help that you need, we’ll have more marketing tips for your no code app in the coming weeks! (Be sure to check back often!)

Picture of Lisa Manthei

Lisa Manthei

As our Campaign Marketing Manager, Lisa Manthei creates the plan, schedule, and deliverables to produce exciting and engaging campaigns for Thunkable creators every day. As a data-driven SaaS marketer and project manager, Manthei specializes in content strategy, social media marketing, SEO, all things editorial, and paid advertising. She has a passion for the tech world and snuggling all four of her adopted pups. Manthei spends her spare time volunteering for local causes, eating as much Mexican food as possible, and dreaming about being a film critic or interior decorator in a future life.

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