One SEO professional was curious about redirections. Their question was about redirecting an app – basically – what are the risks of redirecting users from a site page to an app?
Does it have a negative impact from an SEO point of view?
John says that he doesn’t think so. If you register the URLs for the app, then you do that in the operating system.
So, if you go to that URL, then this goes directly through the app.
The SEO professional then added that while they were doing the data analysis, they found that the bounce rate of their mobile implementation is very high.
Also, it had low conversion rates. However, their app has a higher conversion rate. Therefore they were thinking maybe they can redirect some users when they get on some product pages or category pages.
After they land on the page, then they redirect some users to the app or the app store. Maybe they can work on conversions for this, to improve to a higher conversion rate?
John said that overall you can do that. The aspect he would watch out for is that you do it in such a way that lets users go to the app if they want to.
But he believes there is a way to do it – perhaps some kind of smart banner, where if you can recognize that the user has the app installed, then it’s very easy for them to move to the app experience from there.
However, he is not as familiar with Android or iPhone in terms of how this is handled.
But, in general, from a search perspective, if Google can index the individual mobile pages, along with the desktop pages, then this method is perfectly fine.
So long as people from your pages end up going directly to the app, that’s just fine from Google’s point of view.
This happens at approximately the 20:31 mark in the video.
John Mueller Hangout Transcript
SEO Professional 6 20:31
Hey, John, how are you doing? So I’ve got three questions. And the first one is about the redirecting. Do you know, what are the risks of redirecting users from a site page tool like app? Because, does it have a negative impact on traffic from an SEO perspective?
I don’t think so. So you mean, if you register the URLs for the app, I think you do that in the operating system. So that if you go to that URL that goes directly through the app.
SEO Professional 6 21:12
Um not exactly, it’s more about–because we’re, as we were doing the data analysis, we found that the bounce rate of our mobile is very high. And it also has low conversion rates. But our app has a higher conversion rate. So we are thinking that maybe we can redirect some users when they got on some product pages or category pages, we redirect some users to app or App Store. Maybe we can convert this, these users to Yeah, maybe contribute to a higher conversion.
Now, I think overall, you can do that. The aspect I would generally watch out for there is that you do it in a way that lets users go to the app if they want to. So I don’t know all of the details at the moment with regards to the connection between the apps and the web pages. But I believe there is a way to do it kind of like a smart banner, where if you can recognize that the user has the app installed, it’s very easy for them to kind of move to the app experience from there.
But I don’t know the specific details for Android and iPhone, how that is currently handled. In general, from a search point of view, if we can index the individual mobile pages, the desktop pages as well, like whatever you have available there.
That’s, that’s perfectly fine. If people from your pages end up going to the app, that’s, that’s also perfectly fine from our point of view.
SEO Professional 6 22:57
So the way you’re talking is about maybe a top banner on the site page. And maybe if we are redirecting them, like force force them to redirect? Well, that’d be maybe bad for SEO, or site?
I think that would probably be okay. I mean, there are two things I have in the back of my head, which may be something to watch out for. One, since Googlebot also uses an Android user agent, you need to make sure that you don’t redirect Googlebot to the App Store or the App, because we won’t install the app. So that’s one thing.
The other thing is with regards to specifically the metrics around Core Web Vitals. If you always redirect mobile users directly to the app, then you won’t have a lot of data for the Core Web Vitals. And depending on your site, maybe that doesn’t bother you, maybe that’s fine.
But it’s also kind of something to keep in mind there. But I think, as far as I have it in my head at the moment, there is nothing kind of negative from an SEO point of view.
If you redirect users to an app. I think from a usability point of view, making it optional is a lot nicer. But ultimately, that’s between you and your users.
SEO Professional 6 24:24
Yeah, so good to know, maybe we can start by maybe doing some tests, doing A/B test to test things.
I think we also still have some documentation about this, because it used to be a part of search with regards to app indexing. And I’m pretty sure we have some documentation, either on our side or on the Firebase App Indexing side, with regards to that specific kind of configuration.