Mobile site or mobile apps: what should you invest in?
Mobile technology has been one of the most popular topics for many years, it is not an area that can be ignored in modern life. But how do you know what to focus on? Moz.com blog author Rand Fishkin ( Moz ) explores the differences between mobile internet and mobile apps, explores criteria that can help make better decisions, and shares his thoughts on the future of the mobile world in general.
Which area of mobile marketing should you invest in — mobile internet or creating your own application? By mobile Internet we mean a website that is fast and responsive or specially designed for mobile browsers or a mobile application to get its own customers and users — these two worlds are very different from each other. Rand Fishkin has done research, collected tons of statistics, trying to get as much information as possible to understand these two areas and communicate his findings.
Qualities of the Mobile Internet
“To provide a wide view” — this phrase describes the mobile Internet well. On the vastness of the mobile Internet, users spend much, much less time — on websites from a mobile device — than in apps. It may seem strange, but according to Fishkin, more than one source confirms this fact — the mobile Internet has less stay time, but more traffic in general, more unique users and unique visits. If you think about it, it becomes obvious that this is the case: visiting a web page is a much shorter action than downloading a mobile application and “spending time” in it. So, the mobile Internet is roughly twice as large in terms of raw network traffic, and is growing faster than the world of mobile applications.
We don’t spend all our time on multiple websites. Very often we use a regular computer, which is still relevant, and this is mainly Facebook and YouTube, which have their own applications and mobile versions. But there are tons of people visiting a huge number of different websites — from a few hundred to several thousand unique websites per month through a mobile browser. Search, social media, word of mouth, bookmarks are the sources of mobile internet traffic. And also the computers we are used to.
By the way, desktop traffic shows strange statistics. It continued to grow with practically the same dynamics from 1990 to 2010, then the process stopped, today the indicators are practically at the same level as in 2010. Good question: “Do people spend more or less time at the computer than they did 5 years ago?” Of course, you say, the time spent at the computer has decreased. But this is not so, in fact, we are at the computer quite a bit, but more. At the same time, the world of mobile applications is showing extraordinary growth.
The world of mobile applications
The essence of the world of mobile applications is different from what the mobile Internet offers. Apps dominate, and they consume the time we spend on mobile. The mobile world has gone crazy. The mobile world has eaten up all the free minutes of our lives. We no longer see our friends and family. We don’t eat food. We’re just sitting on our phones. And this is almost entirely due to mobile applications — this is about 85–90 percent of the time spent on the phone. Mobile apps receive and redirect very few guests. They do not go to another application or to any site. The application is entered directly from the desktop. And vice versa. If a user logs into the Facebook application from a mobile device, it is unlikely that they will follow the link in the browser, unless of course they are using Facebook itself from the browser. In short,
A maximum of 25–50 applications are actively used on a mobile device, and it still very much depends on who you ask. Some sources say that only five favorite programs are responsible for 80 to 90 percent of the time a user spends in applications. This data is from Forrester and comScore. Users do not visit hundreds and thousands of applications, but only a few of their favorite programs. The average mobile device owner uses approximately 24 unique apps per month and visits 10 to 30 times as many unique websites.
Seven percent of die-hard app fans (the people who download and use most of the apps in stores) are responsible for 50 percent — literally half — of all downloads. This is a kind of small subset of users who are just APP holics. They download all the apps they can. And they treat applications like websites. But for 93 percent of the rest of the users, apps are different. There are three sources of users discovering new apps — mobile internet, advice from friends-acquaintances-bloggers, or top lists in the app store. It turns out that the two worlds — mobile Internet and mobile applications — are very different from each other: in use, in how they work, in how to choose marketing tactics.
(ps we advise you to familiarize yourself with the APPROPIO mobile application builder for trading companies , which allows you to create mobile applications quickly and with high quality).
Mobile Internet: Positions to Work on in Doing Any Business
Rand Fishkin, based on his knowledge of the mobile Internet, considers responsive or responsive design to be a necessary component of optimizing any business project for the mobile Internet. This is no longer just a nice addition.
The mobile version of the site must have a search-friendly experience, this will give the opportunity to get a search-friendly tag, which will help to rank higher in the search engine. It also provides a good user experience from the search page itself, and search is of paramount importance in the world of the mobile web. It’s worth getting familiar with what SEO is and optimizing your site for the search engines. This is critical.
The product should load quickly, even with slow internet connection speeds. One problem is that many automatically assume that everyone has already switched to 4G and LTE. This is not true. In a huge number of countries, there is neither 4G nor LTE. And even in the USA, and in Europe, and in developed countries like Japan, often for some reason the connection can be slow or limited, often inside buildings or while driving. Agree, everyone has ever come across this. Most importantly, you need to provide a cool user experience and quality content that provides the information you need.
So, by speed, we mean not only fast loading, but also the ability of a site to give users quick answers to their questions, since, as we know, Google uses CTR, behavioral factors and all that. If, even with a high download speed, you do not provide the user with the information he was looking for, he will click “return” and choose someone else. The next time that user is likely not to come back, and Google most likely won’t rank you high in the search results.
Moz about developing a mobile application
Rand Fishkin, based on his understanding and knowledge, advises to create an application for his business or organization, only if several conditions are met:
- (A) There should be a clear strategy of what the mobile application will do, what its functions and value are, what the mobile application will be able to do that the website (mobile Internet) cannot. Apps can provide push notifications even when they are inactive. This feature is very, very difficult to implement with a site, although Google promised that Chrome will support it someday.
Integration with contacts or integration with other applications. Integration with phone functions by itself, calls, device system or root phone functions is something that a mobile website cannot provide. But by the way, the mobile Internet provides a lot more options and functionality than is commonly thought. But you need to talk about this separately, there are a large number of articles on this topic (https://whatwebcando.today/). We advise you to study the cases of creating mobile applications for retail companies based on the appropio.com constructor at this link.
- (B) It is necessary to convince not only yourself, but the whole team and your entire audience that you are capable of entering, say, the top hundred in the world in your field with your application. Or do you think that from several hundred to several thousand active users will be enough for you to succeed? No, there is no either / or. All traffic and all user activity is received only by the rich dominant apps.
© The application must retain users.
If the user is not satisfied after the first few visits, this is almost a sentence. With the vast majority of apps, probably more than 9 out of 10, the average user will never reopen after 90 days. You need to force the application to retain users and their interest, you need them to come back again and again. To do this is no small feat.
(D) You have a super application development team or one or two geniuses who are capable of creating and developing a world-class product.
But all this can change if … The
world of mobile applications, in contrast to the world of the mobile Internet, can change dramatically. There are probably quite a few SEOs out there who believe that the entire app industry is on the brink of a big change because of what Google is doing.integration of mobile applications into the search for mobile Internet.
If we enter “the best pasta in Portland” into a search engine from a mobile device, we will get almost the entire content of the mobile Internet in the search results. This will be the case if you do not focus your search on applications. If you make a query like “find the best restaurants nearby,” the search engine will return results like TripAdvisor or Yelp, or something like that. This is happening right before our eyes. There are people who will take this change as an opportunity.
Google also made another change, now content is indexed in applications, including, for example, Facebook, and potentially it will be included in mobile search results, even if you do not have the application installed. This is a watershed moment. What if it turns out that mobile search, which now accounts for more than 50 percent of all searches, becomes a place where Google does biased culling, as it did with Google+ (remember when Google Plus posts were preferred, even from people who you don’t know at all)? If this is the case with the world of applications, and there is a distorted, selective attitude towards applications for payment, rather than for mobile Internet content, the balance will be shaken. Then it would be wise to think: “Even if I cannot attract and retain users and create the best application in the world,
It would be a bit weird for Google to do this, but it’s not impossible, and we’ll find out a lot more soon. There will be a lot of research and data on changes in mobile search, how often results appear with mobile apps and how often users click through them, and how often this leads to the download of the mobile app. All of this data should be available in the coming months. Then it will be possible to assert something about how the balance of interest has changed and whether it has changed.