Responsive Design or Mobile App: What Scores Over?
Having a solid mobile marketing strategy is more important than ever. Over 49 percent of web page views come from mobile traffic, with the mobile population worldwide consisting of 3.7 billion users.
It’s crucial that you make yourself visible and easily accessible to these users. However, there are two ways of doing so – by making your website mobile responsive and by creating a mobile app.
Today, we’ll take a look at both of these options and see how they score against each other. Which one should you choose – and should you choose both?
Benefits of Having a Mobile Website
A mobile responsive website has certain benefits when compared to a mobile app. Here are some of the main reasons to choose a mobile website.
1. Easier to Set Up
A mobile app requires a lot more work to create than making your site mobile responsive. Many website themes come already designed to be optimized for mobile devices.
Even if you are using a complex or custom theme, you can still make your site mobile ready with minimal costs.
On the other hand, an app will require more time, money, and effort. There aren’t as many platforms to help you build apps as there are for websites. You’ll usually have to hire a developer if you want to build a custom app.
The same goes for support and maintenance. It’s simply easier and there are more options when it comes to websites.
For example – people are switching to platforms like WordPress which updates automatically, and there are various tools to help you update your website. With apps, on the other hand, you’re usually on your own.
2. Compatible With All Devices
One of the problems with mobile apps is that there is no universal app for each operating system. You’ll have to create separate app versions for Android, iOS, and Windows, for example.
With a mobile responsive website, on the other hand, your content can be reached on any device and on any browser.
3. Target a Wider Audience
Mobile apps aren’t as easy to be found as websites. With websites, you can use SEO so that you appear higher in the search results.
With mobile apps, there is usually a much smaller audience; you’ll need to place a larger focus on advertising and marketing your app. SEO for mobile apps also depends a lot on user reviews and app popularity.
However, if you are targeting a niche audience that doesn’t have a lot of competition, apps are actually a great way to reach new customers.
4. Immediate Access
A mobile website can be accessed immediately from any device and browser, as long as there is a working internet connection. Apps, on the other hand, must be downloaded before they can be used.
Many users will wait until they have Wifi until they download an app to avoid using up their mobile data. Others won’t have enough space on their phone for another app.
5. Longer Usage Duration
Most people don’t keep apps on their phone forever. Eventually, they’ll delete apps that they aren’t using to free up space on their phone or to speed up their phone’s performance.
Websites, on the other hand, don’t have this issue. If you rely solely on apps, you may end up losing customers.
6. Easier to Share
People can share blog posts and other content from your website easily on social media. Apps, on the other hand, require a special link or URL.
With apps, you’ll have to put a larger focus on encouraging users to share your app with their friends and family.
Pros of Mobile Apps
Mobile apps, on the other hand, come with their own set of benefits. While they don’t replace the need to have a mobile responsive website, mobile app marketing can bring you great results.
1. Personalized User Experience
Mobile apps give you the ability to offer users a personalized experience. Users can customize the settings on the app or their personal profile so that they get a personalized experience each time they open the app.
This allows for increased engagement over time. It also leads to a better customer experience.
2. Works Offline
Mobile apps can be designed to work offline. Once the app is downloaded and set up, users can continue to use the app even if they are not connected to the internet.
When it comes to convenience, mobile apps have two sides. On one hand, they need an internet connection and sufficient phone space to be downloaded.
On the other hand, once they are downloaded, they are really convenient. There’s no need to open your browser and type in a URL; just click on the app icon on your phone.
Thus, apps are often faster and easier to use.
Mobile apps can also lead to increased interactivity. Users can open the app many times each day and spend more time on it than they would on a website.
5. Works With Device Features
Mobile apps are better streamlined to work with device features such as GPS Location services, the phone’s microphone or audio recorder, or the camera. Websites can also do this, but they generally tend to not be as effective for these purposes.
6. Brand Awareness
Apps can often provide you with increased brand awareness.
Take dating apps, for example. Online datings services that use apps, such as Tinder, are often more well known than services that require you to access a website to use the service.
Wrapping It Up
Both mobile responsive websites and mobile apps have their pros and cons. Of course, they are not mutually exclusive. You can certainly have both.
However, if your website is not yet mobile responsive, you have another open item to your marketing list. Focus on that first before building a mobile app.
A website that isn’t mobile responsive will perform poorly when it comes to the user experience and SEO. Making your site mobile responsive also involves fewer costs than building an app.
Focus on making your site mobile responsive first. Once that is done with, you can move to setting up a mobile app.
I am Roberto, co-founder of Mofluid / Snewscms. It is absolutely amazing to see how technology continues to evolve, from email to browsers, search engines, mobile, AI and now blockchain. I am fortunate to witness it all and really excited to see what’s next!
Twitter – @mofluid
Facebook – @mofluid
Responsive Design or Mobile App: What Scores Over?