Mobile App v Mobile Site

15 replies
Hello.

I was wondering, based on SEO, what is more of a positive move.

Should someone focus on building a mobile app and trying thier luck on Itunes/Android/Amazon and direct the mobile site to the app?

Or should someone just build a mobile site first and master that domain in terms of SEO.

I am thinking of what path I shoudl go on.
#app #mobile #site
  • Profile picture of the author cooljapra
    just go for wap site first..
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  • Profile picture of the author jrlsage
    WAP Site?

    Is that mobile?
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  • Profile picture of the author LeadBoltBrian
    Originally Posted by jrlsage View Post

    Hello.

    I was wondering, based on SEO, what is more of a positive move.

    Should someone focus on building a mobile app and trying thier luck on Itunes/Android/Amazon and direct the mobile site to the app?

    Or should someone just build a mobile site first and master that domain in terms of SEO.

    I am thinking of what path I shoudl go on.
    This depends on what your overall agenda is - do you already have an idea for a mobile app? Are you simply looking for placement or trying to create a business model?

    A WAP (mobile site) and a mobile app are two different beasts in this case. WAP's are simply sites translated for mobile devices while apps function as more of a consumer product.
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  • Profile picture of the author jrod014
    I think it also depends on what features you want.

    Are you looking to have a "check in", fan wall, or GPS coupons? If so, then a mobile app would be the best way to go.

    If you just want a mobile version of a website, then look into jquery mobile.

    Jerry
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  • Profile picture of the author WillR
    Your SEO efforts should currently be focused around your main website. When people find your main website, IF they are viewing it on a mobile device, they should automatically be redirected to a mobile optimized version of your website.

    Apps have their uses but not for most small businesses. They are expensive, platform dependent, and not as user friendly as having a mobile website. You need to be where your customers are searching. If you are a local chinese restaurant or locksmith, the last place I will be looking for you is in the app store... and the last thing I want to do is have to download another app on my phone just to view your menu, etc.
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    • Profile picture of the author Mobileico
      Originally Posted by WillR View Post

      Your SEO efforts should currently be focused around your main website. When people find your main website, IF they are viewing it on a mobile device, they should automatically be redirected to a mobile optimized version of your website.

      Apps have their uses but not for most small businesses. They are expensive, platform dependent, and not as user friendly as having a mobile website. You need to be where your customers are searching. If you are a local chinese restaurant or locksmith, the last place I will be looking for you is in the app store... and the last thing I want to do is have to download another app on my phone just to view your menu, etc.
      Best advice given
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    • Profile picture of the author niac7
      Originally Posted by WillR View Post

      Your SEO efforts should currently be focused around your main website. When people find your main website, IF they are viewing it on a mobile device, they should automatically be redirected to a mobile optimized version of your website.

      Apps have their uses but not for most small businesses. They are expensive, platform dependent, and not as user friendly as having a mobile website. You need to be where your customers are searching. If you are a local chinese restaurant or locksmith, the last place I will be looking for you is in the app store... and the last thing I want to do is have to download another app on my phone just to view your menu, etc.
      You are correct on the SEO portion and I would add that Apps can actually be superior to a basic mobile website for small businesses.

      You have to give an incentive to download the app, such as offering special discounts and deals exclusively to app users.

      It is wise to have a mobile site, for those that can't download the app, and an app for those that can and want the incentive. An app allows the business owner to push alerts through as well to all app users.
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      • Profile picture of the author silverb78
        WIFM

        "What's In It For Me" affect
        Yes lure them in with the coupons or discount if they d/load the App that's the way to go...
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      • Profile picture of the author WillR
        Originally Posted by niac7 View Post

        You have to give an incentive to download the app, such as offering special discounts and deals exclusively to app users.
        Offering an incentive is great but as we know with email marketing, a lot of people will unsubscribe or delete the app as soon as they have received that incentive. This doesn't really solve the problem. I have no doubt people might download the app but what I am talking about is people keeping that app on their phone.

        I wouldn't want my device full of apps for restaurants and local businesses - not when I can instead just bookmark their website and get the information I need that way. The last thing I want is to receive a whole heap of push notifications throughout the day from all these apps.

        Sorry but I still do not see apps as being a sensible cost effective solution for small local businesses.
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      • Profile picture of the author Mobileico
        Originally Posted by niac7 View Post

        You are correct on the SEO portion and I would add that Apps can actually be superior to a basic mobile website for small businesses.

        You have to give an incentive to download the app, such as offering special discounts and deals exclusively to app users.

        It is wise to have a mobile site, for those that can't download the app, and an app for those that can and want the incentive. An app allows the business owner to push alerts through as well to all app users.
        I think you're asking the viewer to go around their elbow. No one should have to download anything. Why should we insist on a small business to make a customer work. Apps will never be superior to a mobile website when it comes to small businesses. I can't apologize to those who decided to spend countless hours on learning how to develop an app and went in that direction, only to be dethroned by mobile website developers that can get the job in a fraction of the time and a fraction of the cost. That was their choice, and some went one way and some didn't. I think that apps have their way into the mobile world in some ways but not against a mobilite for small businesses. I will resist asking my clients to make their viewers find their business. That should be an automatic thing. Imagine if you were needing car help. Could you honestly feel that going to the app store, searching for an app, inputting your password, waiting for that app to download, opening the app, etc. is more superior than just Googling it and it appear in your face with a push to call?

        As far as an incentive, I want it to be on their mobilite so that they can use it within the business as in a store discount, maintenance job, etc. IMO, an incentive just to download an app is only polluting their phone when all they have to do is land on your mobilite to get it. There are over 15 ways to campaign a mobilite to receive more benefits for a small business than asking to download an app.

        With pushing alerts, I can agree with you on some things. Just like an app, you get notifications directly to your email app. Everyone is different, but I like email marketing better. I can actually create graphics or video to accompany my message. I use Mailchimp. One reason I have not gotten into text marketing is that I feel that it invades my personal space and I have even turned off my notifications off on my iphone n this new iOS5 that shows it at the top. I have talked to a few people who feel the same. The last thing some of us (not all of us) want is to be talking to someone and a notification that we don't care about pops up talking about baby diapers and asking us to opt-in, etc. But again, that's an opinion. An email app is already a part of every OS and not something I have to download and I get the same little graphic icon that every app does.
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        • Profile picture of the author niac7
          Thanks for your comments guys and you both have valid points.

          As a matter of fact, I do both mobile sites and apps. I don't spend a ton of money or time on either. There are way too many good software programs out there that make it a snap to make simple versions of both.

          Both a mobile site and an app serve 2 different purposes.

          The key is having a different twist for your app. The app for a restaurant wouldn't be just for the restaurant. I don't deal in that niche, but if I did, I would have something that would make the customer really want to hang on to that app.

          For instance, my friend owns a BBQ restaurant. I am offering to do his Mobile Site 1st and later to develop a fun app that gives weekly BBQ tips and secret recipes, etc. Then, every now and then, they may get a notification to come in for 20% of their meal or something.

          The app is to the local business mobile site, what the "free report" is to marketing websites.

          If you offer something of continuous value, people will hang on to the app longer.

          Of course people can 'unsubscribe', but that's the nature of the beast.

          I have an email list and people subscribe and unsubscribe all the time.

          The advantage of an app is that if you get someone to download it, it means they have some interest and you can contact them in the future.

          A mobile site visitor does not offer that same luxury.

          The customer can bookmark the site, but the business owner can't let him know about a special in real-time.

          A Mobile Site with no opportunity to get app users, is like a Desktop site with no 'free offer' to join the email list.

          Yes, a Mobile app should NOT substitute a Mobile Site. It should be a part of the overall Mobile Marketing strategy.

          Just my 7 cents worth.
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          • Profile picture of the author WillR
            Originally Posted by niac7 View Post

            For instance, my friend owns a BBQ restaurant. I am offering to do his Mobile Site 1st and later to develop a fun app that gives weekly BBQ tips and secret recipes, etc. Then, every now and then, they may get a notification to come in for 20% of their meal or something.
            I appreciate what you are saying but I do think it is a bit of a long shot. I order a lot of Chinese takeaway but the last thing I want is weekly Chinese recipes or cooking tips. I also order a lot of Pizza but I don't want weekly pizza tips or recipes. You would probably have a much better response using a regular mobile website and then building a list from that. Call it your VIP club or something similar so people know they are going to be receiving special deals from you. Remember, people like special deals so don't be afraid to have a list that is for that very purpose and be upfront about it with your customers.

            However you get people to download the app is irrelevant. If they start getting annoyed by the push notifications they will eventually delete the app. The only reason I would download an app for my local restaurant is if it made the ordering process easier somehow. If they had a website that was just as easy to use then I would use that.

            I don't know about you but I turn off push notifications on the majority of apps I install - I am very confident I am not the only person who does this. If that's the case then the app becomes kind of useless to a local small business.
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  • Profile picture of the author Njenyus
    With the onset of multi-platform APIs, it becomes easier to create NATIVE mobile apps AND have a mobile web app. If you know HTML5, CSS3, and Javascript (or can outsource it), you can get a basic native app done. You can go to appmobi.com to check out more information on it.

    There are a few advantages of having someone write the raw code themselves. One is that you won't get every piece of functionality from companies like appmobi, but it's a good starting point.

    If you can, have both done.
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  • Profile picture of the author prezzy
    a strong domain focus will always work better in the long run. as long as you have a site with a steady flow of traffic, you can market as you please. i would focus my efforts in the site itself.
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  • Profile picture of the author aduttonater
    Looks like Mobile site comes on top of the Mobile app
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