The mobile apps market is growing year after year. Mobile applications strengthen their position in various fields and become an indispensable part of our everyday life: cab services, ordering food, shopping, books, music, entertainment etc. The 2019 App Annie mobile apps market statistics is really impressive: 

  • $120B spent by users on in-app purchases;
  • 3.8 hours a day (on average) is spent by every person on using a mobile device;
  • generation Z’s involvement is by 60% higher comparing to people of older age.

But what means and tools are behind these numbers? How to raise user awareness of your application? Below, we will outline main sources of traffic and tell you about the peculiarities of advertising and promoting mobile applications.  

As a rule, launching any advertisement is preceded by a preparation stage, and applications are not an exception. The preparation contains several steps. Let’s look at each of them in more detail. 


0. Market research

Goal: beforehand preparation preceding the project development and launching advertising campaigns.  

Market research is a set of techniques intended for exploring and analyzing the current market situation in your product’s marketing environment. Through market research, we gather all information necessary for creating a brand, developing a landing-page, ASO, SEO, a market strategy as well as launching advertising. For more details, see our previous article called Market Research


1. Preparing appropriate release versions of a mobile application for iOS and Android devices  

Goal: to publish updated versions of mobile apps for each platform and to develop the first app content.  

This is the initial and most important stage, without which all other stages are impossible. The publishing process includes not only the preparation of appropriate app setups, but also the preparation of ASO optimization, legal documents and privacy policies, registration and preparation of accounts in app markets and so on. For more details, see our previous article called The Process of Mobile Application Development. Release content is no less important. Firstly, it is used to maintain the level of user involvement over the first post-launching weeks above minimum. Secondly, users should be interested in using an app; if it’s «empty», no one will show interest. 


2. Integrating advanced analytics, Remote config and accompanying services  

Goal: to understand how and why users use an app; to ensure dynamic change of certain application parameters (predetermined screens, textual components etc); to properly track advertising campaigns results.  

Analytics is an importance process which should be paid attention to in every project. It is impossible to know beforehand what users may like and dislike about a new application. Collected evidence will tell you about the buttons users press most frequently, the screens on which they stay longer, how often they actually open an app and a lot more. Leaning on these findings, our customers develop, upgrade, improve their projects in a right way and make applications even more user-friendly. Remote config is a powerful tool of a Firebase services. This tool enables our customers to change headings, calls for action, graphic elements, color schemes, to launch experiments and A/B testing online, without developers’ assistance. It is a very convenient and effective tool, as you get read of frequent setup releases, which occupy extra time. As for additional services, they include Facebook SDK, without which you will not be able to properly start targeted advertising; Firebase SDK for analytics; additional analytics services.  

We are currently preparing supplementary materials on integrating advanced analytics, Remote config and additional services. Follow our news and don’t miss important information! 


3. Creating and integrating Deep links and push-notifications  

Goal: to redirect users from an external link to a particular resource or section in a mobile application.  

Such links will enable you to redirect users to a particular app section, to create the only link by which users will access the Play Market or the App Store depending on their device. We recommend including push-notification at the initial stages and adding them to Remote config parameters so that you can independently switch them on, off and keep them under control. With the help of such notifications, our customers regularly remind their users about the application and available functions.  

We are currently preparing supplementary materials on creating and integrating Deep links and push-notifications. Follow our news and don’t miss important information!


Through implementing all these stages, we provide our customers with a good background for launching, controlling and analyzing future advertising campaigns and traffic sources. Once they learn about the application, users are supposed to find it everywhere: on each platform, on every social net, in search, forums and so on. This is called information field, which should constantly grow and develop. For this purpose, it is possible to employ numerous approaches, strategies and traffic sources, both paid and free-of-charge.  

  • Traffic sources come in two main categories: shareware and paid. To shareware traffic sources belong: Organic traffic (reached via market apps optimization (ASO) and app website search optimization (SEO));
  • Social network traffic (reached via social media marketing (SMM));
  • Referral traffic (reached via crowd-marketing).

In turn, to paid traffic sources belong:  

  • Motivated traffic;
  • Search-engine advertising (Google, Yandex);
  • Social network advertising (Facebook, Instagram).

Each of these sources has its own peculiarities associated with mobile applications. Let’s take a look at each one.  


Organic traffic. App market optimization (ASO)  

It is a set of steps and decisions on strengthening positions and visibility of a mobile application in the App Store and Play Market organic search. Ideologically, ASO can be compared to SEO, but in real life, these concepts differ. After publication, the app becomes accessible to hundreds of thousands of mobile devices users. The app has its own page, and ASO seeks exactly to increase the position of this page as to certain target queries in the app market. For more ASO details, see our article called Mobile Apps Market Optimization.  


Organic traffic. App website search optimization (SEO)  

As we mentioned before, information field must be constantly expanded and developed. For a mobile app, a website is an additional source of search engines traffic. SEO is used to increase the website positions in search. SEO is a set of steps and decisions on internal and external website optimization intended for raising its positions following search results for certain queries. Mobile apps usually employ one-page sites – a landing page. We strongly recommend including a blog on this website, as it will enhance effective SEO optimization. Running ahead, we would like to say that contextual advertising is not applicable to mobile apps, but the website enables this option and you will have an additional source of traffic.  

We are currently preparing supplementary materials on all the details of website search optimization for mobile apps. Follow our news and don’t miss important information!


Social network traffic  

Information field should be expanded in all platforms available for potential mobile app users. It is necessary to create and make a brand identity-based design of appropriate pages on social nets (Facebook, Instagram, VK, Linkedin). It is essential to develop an SMM strategy and a content plan. An interaction with users on social nets will help to build a common opinion and an idea of the brand as a whole, to gain trust and to attract new users.  

We are currently preparing supplementary materials on all the details of social network traffic for mobile apps. Follow our news and don’t miss important information!


Referral traffic. Crowd-marketing

Referral traffic is traffic from other websites and Internet resources coming to a mobile application website. For instance, it is traffic coming from blogs, forums, news portals and the like. Referral traffic and the number of posted links play an important role in the website SEO optimization. The higher traffic comes to the website from side resources, the higher rating the website has. Crowd-marketing is an effort seeking to promote a mobile app in various Internet communities via shaping public opinion. One of the crowd-marketing objectives is not only shaping public opinion, but also building sufficient linking.  

Follow our news and don’t miss the next important article on referral traffic and crowd-marketing.  


Motivated traffic

For successful ASO optimization and promotion in highly competitive search engines, it is common to use motivated traffic. Motivated traffic is paid app settings for a particular country and a key query (through which it is necessary to reach the top). Upon reaching the necessary number of settings, the application positions start rising and the number of organic settings starts growing.  

We are currently preparing supplementary materials on all the details of motivated traffic. Follow our news and don’t miss important information!


Search-engine advertising  

Ideologically, there is no difference between advertising via various search engines (e.g. Google and Yandex). The only difference lies on user interface and certain principles. Since the leading position on the global IT market belongs to Google (even in Russia it counts over 50% of users), we will further focus on Google advertising. Google mobile apps employ a special type of advertising campaign, which is Universal app campaign. It is a fully-automated campaign, whereby ads are shown throughout the whole worldwide web: Play Market, Display network, YouTube, Google partners. When setting such advertising campaign, it is necessary to choose a platform (Android or iOS) and a mobile app; then, it is necessary to enter location, budget and to create responsive ads. The rest will be done by Google: it will select and test audiences, attract users to a mobile app webpage. This type of advertising campaign is the most beneficial for mobile apps with large audience coverage; if your audience coverage is quite small or your project is very specific (field-focused), you need to resort to other promotion techniques.  

For this purpose, Google provides several types of campaigns:  

  • Search ads;
  • Display networks;
  • YouTube video ads.

In these types of campaigns, you can access more settings and flexibility; in the case of mobile apps, it is necessary to properly select the goals of campaigns and to set conversions tracking.  

Follow our news and don’t miss the next important article on Google ads for mobile applications.  


Social network advertising (Facebook, Instagram)

To date, Facebook and Instagram advertising is one of the biggest sources of mobile apps traffic. Targeted advertising is accurate and flexible in its setting. Mobile apps employ the Application Settings advertising campaign. As we mentioned before, for appropriate setting and analytics, it is necessary to integrate Facebook SDK: first of all, you will be able to choose the Application Settings optimization or In-App Events; secondly, you will be able to add to ad groups the application itself, and not a related link.  

We are currently preparing supplementary materials on all the details of advertising mobile applications on social nets. Follow our news and don’t miss important information!


Thus, in this article, we outlined the stages of preparation for the beginning of promotion and elaborated on some basic ideas related to each source of traffic for mobile applications.  

Follow our updates, where we will provide more detailed information about each source of traffic separately.