Boost Mobile Engagement with Smart Banners Guide
Driving traffic to your app from your mobile site is the smartest way to gain new app users and retain mobile visitors. To get these people to down load your app, you can use smart app banners.
We highly recommend promoting your app using Apple’s smart app banners and the equivalent solution for Android – with these you’ll show a banner suggesting to install your app only to your website visitors using either an iOS or an Android device.
Read on to learn more about smart banners, and how to implement a smart app banner on your site.
What Are Smart App Banners?
Smart app banners are banners that show up when someone lands on your mobile website, prompting them to get your app.
Here's an example:
Here's what Apple's own help pages say about smart app banners:
"Smart App Banners vastly improve users’ browsing experience compared to other promotional methods. Users will trust that tapping the banner will take them to the App Store and not a third-party advertisement. They will appreciate that banners are presented unobtrusively at the top of a webpage, instead of as a full-screen ad interrupting the web content. And with a large and prominent close button, a banner is easy for users to dismiss. When the user returns to the webpage, the banner won’t reappear."
Apple smart banners (like the one above) have the added benefit of automatically detecting if the user already has the app installed. If so, it will change the word "View" to "Open". It will also only show the banner if the the app is available on the user's device, and in the user's location.
An Android smart app banner works the same way, but will link to the Google Play Store instead of the Apple App Store.
How Do I Add App Banners To My Site?
Apple gives you a way to add iOS smart banners to your mobile website, by adding a line of code to your site.
There are a few issues with this, though.
- The smart app banners only work on iOS
- They only work on Safari
- They're not customizable at all
The best way to add smart app banners to your site, for both Apple and Android, is with our free plugin Smart App Banners.
Activate the plugin, then go to Settings -> App Banners and enter your Apple App Store App ID and Google Play App ID, Author, App title and price (if you’re selling your app).
This is the best way to add app banners if you're on WordPress, and you want your app banners to show for both Android and Apple.
How to Add App Banners Using Code
If you don't want to install a plugin, you're only interested in the iOS smart app banners to show, and you're happy with the limitations, you can do it with a line of code.
Go to your WordPress dashboard and click on Appearance -> Editor, and select header.php on the right, or whatever file in your theme controls the <head> section of your site's HTML.
In the <head> section, add:
[codesyntax lang="php"]<meta name="apple-itunes-app" content="app-id=123456789">[/codesyntax]
Where 123456789 is your App Store ID (see below on how to find it).
Save and you're done.
It's just as easy to do it with our plugin, though. All you need are your Apple and Android App IDs.
How to Find Your iOS App Store ID
The easiest way to find your iTunesStoreID or AppId is by opening iTunes and copying the information directly from the App Store url.
Please follow these steps:
- Open iTunes.
- Search for your app.
- Click your app’s name and copy the URL (In case of PC users, mouse right-click on App Name).
- App store URL’s will be in the following format:
http://itunes.apple.com/[country]/app/[App–Name]/id[App Id or Store Id]?mt=8
Here is an example url:
How to Find Your Android App ID
Visit Google Play and search for your app. The URL of your app will look like this: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.mobiloud.android.yourappname.
You have to copy everything after “id=“, in this case: com.mobiloud.android.yourappname – this is the app ID of your Android app.
Benefits of Using Smart App Banners for Android & iOS
Smart app banenrs are a powerful way to get people to download your app. Perhaps the most effective way you'll get app users. You're showing them an easy way to get a better experience than they're currently getting (this is why 90% of our mobile time is spent on apps, rather than mobile browsers).
More and more people today choose to browse the internet on mobile devices. Worldwide, more than 55% of people access the internet on their smartphones.
That means there's a good chance a lot of people will discover you on the mobile web. You want to get them out of the browser and into your app, to:
- Provide a better user experience for your users
- Boost retention
- Get users to spend longer with you
- Increase engagement
- Increase revenue metrics
Once these users download your app, they'll be much more likely to come back to your site in the future. They'll be able to get back in with one tap, instead of needing to open their browser and type the URL every time.
They're also more likely to spend more time and take more important actions (such as purchases for an ecommerce store) if they access your site via app, as opposed to the browser.
This post goes more into detail on the benefits of mobile apps vs mobile websites. While you definitely need a well-optimized mobile website, your end goal should be to take these people and get them to download your app.
Smart app banners for Apple and Android are the best way to do this.
Utilizing iOS and Android smart app banners is something all site/app owners should do. It's simple to do - just download a plugin and away you go.
Many people put in a lot of work to create an app, but don't have a plan for how they're going to get users for that app. If you have a mobile web presence, smart app banners are an easy, low-friction way to get users.
Putting a smart banner on your site may result in a huge uptick in app downloads - which will, in turn, boost a lot of key metrics for your business.