The difference between mobile website and mobile app
Taking nothing for granted, let me first distinguish between a mobile website and an app.
The former is a mobile version, usually a miniature edition, of your usual website. This mobile website is designed for people who want to check up your website on their mobile devices like a smartphone or a tablet. The requisite of a mobile website is that you should stick to providing information that a user might need on the go.
The mobile app, on the other hand, is something that users download and install on their smartphones or tablets. Mobile apps can be used only by users with an Android or Windows device, not to mention the iPhone or the iPad. On the other hand, mobile websites can be used or surfed by any mobile device with an internet connection.
There is a difference in how these two varieties of mobile access are used to check up your brand. Because mobile apps have to be downloaded and installed for use, people needing just a quick check of something do not use the app. In other words, the number of unique visitors on a mobile website is much more than those offered by mobile apps.
It is not that mobile apps do not offer any such value to your brand! They have a distinct advantage over their counterpart in the sense that people spend more time on them when compared with mobile websites. With an app on their phone, a user checks into it more often and that can lead to potential leads for your brand.
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How to choose between mobile website or mobile app
Use mobile apps for your brand only after considering these factors:
- You can use pop-up notifications on the user’s phone even when they have not clicked or checked into the app. This is a very potent tool to drive sale. A mobile website can never make this happen, at least till date. Pop-up notifications allow your brand to grab visibility in a way like nothing else can.
- To add maximum value for your mobile app, you need to figure among the top 100 on the app bank, like Google PlayStore. You need to drive your team towards that goal. It is common knowledge that the optimum number of downloads go to apps which feature higher on the ratings.
- Factor in another hard fact about mobile apps: the chances of user retention is abysmally low. Once downloaded and installed, more than 80% of the apps are never checked again! That gives you an idea about how to use this tool in your marketing. If your app can tide over this pit, you should opt for this form of mobile marketing.
If you are thinking of opening a plank for mobile web marketing, here are some pointers to look at:
- Responsive and adaptive mobile web designing is a must-have. There is no alternative to this!
- Your mobile website must adhere to SEO rules and ensure that it takes mobile searches seriously in terms of keywords. Of course, the keywords for a mobile website optimization can never be the same as the ones you use for its desktop version. No users types in the same keywords for a search sitting at home against a search in the car.
- Pull up your socks on the user experience. Use the thumb rule: think like a user yourself. What do you want to know on a mobile website? For example, make store locations or contact details more readily visible and scratch flashy intros.
- Make the mobile website light. There are many zones that still work on a 2G connection, let alone 4G or LTE. You cannot lose those users by having a heavy, image or video rich website. Do not allow the website’s quality to be compromised because the user does not have access to a faster internet speed.
As obvious, both of these platforms have their pros and cons. You should try to opt one or both by evaluating these factors. After all, your aim is to increase brand visibility and access through the use of mobile devices. Pick what works for your brand.