Why You are wasting customers time with "Mobile Sites"

85 replies
I originally posted this in a WSO thread, but I think it warrants a post here
and independant discussion.

Let us Assume you are a Local Marketer and approaching a business. We recommend Mobile Apps over Mobile Websites for the following reasons. If you have reasons to agree or disagree I would like to hear them

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In my experience a mobile app for a Local Business is 1000x more effective for the business for the following reasons

1 - mobile sites are essentially a website formatted down. A viewer will get "more or less" the same experience and it wont significantly add or detract any added value

2 - people visit a mobile site and then are done. People install a Mobile App and it sits in their pocket on their phone following them around everyday.

3 - Mobile Apps give access to Push Notifications. Unlimited amounts and no charge for Pushing. This is similar (but different) to an SMS. So a customer installs your mobile app and then any time you like, you log into our dashboard and do a "push" which instantly delivers any message you like to them.. promotions, coupons deals etc...

And that is just the beginning. Bottom line is if you are a local marketer, you need to be selling mobile apps, not mobile sites as the value added is immense.

So to affirm, after significant time in the pits and practical experience with customers and actual usage, we found that mobile apps deliver the experience and value they need whereas mobile sites really only add a + to what they already have.. no excitement or gamechanging in how they market and acquire customers.
#customers #mobile sites #time #wasting
  • Profile picture of the author massiveray
    Ok so for example, my new client is going to be a tattoo parlour.

    Mr walking down the street want a tattoo, so he pulls out his phone.

    Is he going to go to the app store and search for tattoo parlour apps or is he going to his web browser to type tattoo parlour city?

    Mobile sites are a huge money maker for both us and the person buying, you might be able to get them on board for a native app later on but it's much harder to get a sale than for mobile site.

    As you can't really explain the ROI of an app.

    I sell sites like this...

    This many people potentially search for you on a mobile device, times that by a modest percentage of that number by the average lifetime value of a customer and voila, you make the money that ou spent on the site back in the first month.

    Apps are much more difficult unless you already have a relationship with the client.

    As for the more or less the same experience thing, I completely disagree. People on a phone want to be able to know what you do, where you are, and how to contact you as quickly as possible, a mobile site can do this instantly, a non optimised site is a hassle to find this information.
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    • Profile picture of the author Greg Jacobs
      Originally Posted by massiveray View Post

      Ok so for example, my new client is going to be a tattoo parlour.

      Mr walking down the street want a tattoo, so he pulls out his phone.

      Is he going to go to the app store and search for tattoo parlour apps or is he going to his web browser to type tattoo parlour city?

      Mobile sites are a huge money maker for both us and the person buying, you might be able to get them on board for a native app later on but it's much harder to get a sale than for mobile site.

      As you can't really explain the ROI of an app.

      I sell sites like this...

      This many people potentially search for you on a mobile device, times that by a modest percentage of that number by the average lifetime value of a customer and voila, you make the money that ou spent on the site back in the first month.

      Apps are much more difficult unless you already have a relationship with the client.

      As for the more or less the same experience thing, I completely disagree. People on a phone want to be able to know what you do, where you are, and how to contact you as quickly as possible, a mobile site can do this instantly, a non optimised site is a hassle to find this information.
      Ok, mobile apps do NOT help you acquire new clients, they are to cement and expand the existing relationship with client in amazing ways.

      This is clear.

      but mobile sites, only add a "plus" to whatever experience is delivered on a regular website. aside from a "conceptual" gain, mobile sites give the exact same experience as a regular website, but just a "little bit nicer"

      Point being, it is not a selling point or even that useful aside from an addon to a regular website.

      I know for a fact, when i'm on my mobile and goto some website, sure its nice to see a mobile site, but.. . it really doesn't change anything in my experience with the website, I still get the information I need.. . (regardless if it was a mobile site or a regular site I viewed on my mobile) This is the point i'm making.

      In terms of "ROI of an App" Push notifications. Nough said.
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      • Profile picture of the author massiveray
        Originally Posted by Greg Jacobs View Post

        Ok, mobile apps do NOT help you acquire new clients, they are to cement and expand the existing relationship with client in amazing ways.

        This is clear.

        but mobile sites, only add a "plus" to whatever experience is delivered on a regular website. aside from a "conceptual" gain, mobile sites give the exact same experience as a regular website, but just a "little bit nicer"

        Point being, it is not a selling point or even that useful aside from an addon to a regular website.

        I know for a fact, when i'm on my mobile and goto some website, sure its nice to see a mobile site, but.. . it really doesn't change anything in my experience with the website, I still get the information I need.. . (regardless if it was a mobile site or a regular site I viewed on my mobile) This is the point i'm making.

        In terms of "ROI of an App" Push notifications. Nough said.
        I think you're just plain wrong with your mobile site opinions, not that I am fighting either side of the argument, I make great money with apps and totally know their worth, it's just that most of the time they aren't a viable alternative to a mobile optimised site.

        In terms of your ROI, push notifications point, that is completely to what I meant, I meant that you can't tell your client how much they will make from having an app each month before they have one.

        With a mobile site, I can estimate conservatively the amount that the site will earn them each month and show the, how long it will take to make their money back, the answer to this is they always make their money in the first month.

        You should do some research on the bounce rates of people who visit a site that isn't optimised from a mobile device. You'll quickly see that not having one is leaving a lot of cashoosh on the table.
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  • Profile picture of the author Greg Jacobs
    To add, I think a mobile site is fine if sold as an addon to a website creation service, but the reality is you are not adding much practical value for a client aside from a minor "+"

    Mobile Apps are a very different thing and useful in their own independent regards for client retention and value adding.
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  • Profile picture of the author Aaron Doud
    As a guy on the other side here is why you pitch mobile websites vs. mobile apps.

    Making your website mobile friendly just makes sense. All you have to do is pull out a phone and most business owners will get it. We got out mobile website about a year and a half ago. Getting a mobile friendly website is common sense. If you have any skills at selling you can get 90% of business owners to want a mobile website.

    Now let's look at mobile apps. For some business this may make sense but for the vast majority it will not. You have to be able to answer why, the prospect, as a business owner or manager of a local business would want an app?

    Like I say every time this comes up. Grab a bunch of your friends and look at all your phones. How many of you have apps for businesses? I bet a few do but they are for large businesses like Target. Now ask each and every one of them if their favorite local resturant, bar, or etc had an app would they download it. The vast majority wouldn't for the same reason the vast majority of local customers don't visit the website of their favorite resturant all the time. There is no use to it.

    What will you put into a local app for my business where people will first want to download it and second actually use it regularly? And how based on the cost will I see a positive ROI worth doing it?

    Can you answer these questions? if so get out there and sell apps as an upsell. But why ignore something that every business truly needs to pitch something that if we were all honest we would know really wouldn't benefit the vast majority of businesses.

    The business I would for sells RVs. You could actually argue well that an app for us makes sense. You know why we don't have one? Because we know the vast majority would never install it. Why waste the money on something that isn't needed? Our mobile site made sense because the numbers showed we have people in phones browsing our site. But the app would have just be throwing money away.

    But hey if someone wants to pitch me on mobile apps feel free. And on that note let's look at how you pitched it here.

    1. A mobile site often is a similar experience tailored to phones and other mobile devices. The value it adds is allowing those customer who use their phones to surf the net to be able to use out site and browse our inventory. Pull up the stats and you can show me and any other business how significant this number of customers is. If you don't believe that has value I have no idea what to tell you.

    2. People visit many sites mobile and otherwise and are done. It depends on what the site in question offers. If a customer is looking for a resturant menu and they find the menu and place an order has it not done it's job even though they are now gone? Or in our case if a person searches our inventory and finds a camper they are interested in and calls us should i be upset that they are not still hanging out on our website? Honestly I don't want them on the website getting buyers remorse and wondering if another camper will be better for them. Every website has a purpose and for the vast majority of businesses that purpose is not to get customers to visit every day.

    3. Push notification can be nice. I will give you this one. But you can do many of the same things with email and text marketing. I personally am one of the many who turn off push notifications yet I sign up for email and text VIP clubs.

    What you don't mention is how a mobile site is passive. The prospect doesn't have to do anything but go to the website on their mobile device. An App is active. They have to install it. Sure you can get the website to prompt them to install it but what happens if they don't want to and instead of going to your website they back out and go to your competitor's website which is mobile ready without the need to download an app.

    And like i said before even if they download it how do I get them to open it other then me sending them Push notifications? Why would they want to have an app for my business? If my customers will want it I will want it. So tell me and all the other business owners and managers why our customers want our app taking up space on their phone.
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    • Profile picture of the author Greg Jacobs
      Originally Posted by Aaron Doud View Post

      As a guy on the other side here is why you pitch mobile websites vs. mobile apps.

      Making your website mobile friendly just makes sense. All you have to do is pull out a phone and most business owners will get it. We got out mobile website about a year and a half ago. Getting a mobile friendly website is common sense. If you have any skills at selling you can get 90% of business owners to want a mobile website.

      Now let's look at mobile apps. For some business this may make sense but for the vast majority it will not. You have to be able to answer why, the prospect, as a business owner or manager of a local business would want an app?

      Like I say every time this comes up. Grab a bunch of your friends and look at all your phones. How many of you have apps for businesses? I bet a few do but they are for large businesses like Target. Now ask each and every one of them if their favorite local resturant, bar, or etc had an app would they download it. The vast majority wouldn't for the same reason the vast majority of local customers don't visit the website of their favorite resturant all the time. There is no use to it.

      What will you put into a local app for my business where people will first want to download it and second actually use it regularly? And how based on the cost will I see a positive ROI worth doing it?

      Can you answer these questions? if so get out there and sell apps as an upsell. But why ignore something that every business truly needs to pitch something that if we were all honest we would know really wouldn't benefit the vast majority of businesses.

      The business I would for sells RVs. You could actually argue well that an app for us makes sense. You know why we don't have one? Because we know the vast majority would never install it. Why waste the money on something that isn't needed? Our mobile site made sense because the numbers showed we have people in phones browsing our site. But the app would have just be throwing money away.

      But hey if someone wants to pitch me on mobile apps feel free. And on that note let's look at how you pitched it here.

      1. A mobile site often is a similar experience tailored to phones and other mobile devices. The value it adds is allowing those customer who use their phones to surf the net to be able to use out site and browse our inventory. Pull up the stats and you can show me and any other business how significant this number of customers is. If you don't believe that has value I have no idea what to tell you.

      2. People visit many sites mobile and otherwise and are done. It depends on what the site in question offers. If a customer is looking for a resturant menu and they find the menu and place an order has it not done it's job even though they are now gone? Or in our case if a person searches our inventory and finds a camper they are interested in and calls us should i be upset that they are not still hanging out on our website? Honestly I don't want them on the website getting buyers remorse and wondering if another camper will be better for them. Every website has a purpose and for the vast majority of businesses that purpose is not to get customers to visit every day.

      3. Push notification can be nice. I will give you this one. But you can do many of the same things with email and text marketing. I personally am one of the many who turn off push notifications yet I sign up for email and text VIP clubs.

      What you don't mention is how a mobile site is passive. The prospect doesn't have to do anything but go to the website on their mobile device. An App is active. They have to install it. Sure you can get the website to prompt them to install it but what happens if they don't want to and instead of going to your website they back out and go to your competitor's website which is mobile ready without the need to download an app.

      And like i said before even if they download it how do I get them to open it other then me sending them Push notifications? Why would they want to have an app for my business? If my customers will want it I will want it. So tell me and all the other business owners and managers why our customers want our app taking up space on their phone.
      I don't disagree that a mobile site is an "easy sell"... But the point I'm making... Is will having a mobile site vs regular website result in any significant revune increase for the majority of local business. In my experience, no it won't.... Its just another thing to dazzle them with if you are in the business of dazzling... And sure add it on and it does add some sort of value, but if we are talking about more bottom line for your client then mobile apps WIN. I'm in the business of making my clients more money and showing them $ tangible results... Not just selling them more" cool stuff"

      Now to respond to your points...

      Mobile apps are for customer retention not aqusistion.... To get them to install you give them an incentive.. A good local marketing consultants will help their clients get this setup... Ie.. A free drink if you install the app... Or something of the sorts.... To get them installed on the spot...

      Once they have it installed doesn't really matter if they use it or not... If you are clever they will because you add value with things like a local or targeted news feed etc... But even if they never open it it doesn't matter because of...

      ..... push notices... You said something about turning yours off... To that I say you are In the 0.01 percent.... Man... I do mobile for a living and don't know how to turn off mine... So it's not something I would worry about customers doing...

      As to reach... Depending on whose stats you believe push notices have somewhere between 80 to 97 percent read rate...... Email... Ermmm.. 3 percent maybe.... Text messages... Well they cost you per text they aren't multimedia and have to go through a filtering process at the carrier and people have become blind to them...

      It is not even a debate regarding the power of PN....

      Bottom line is as a consultant go sell mobile websites if you please but....that is small thinking... You can start charging ALOT more when you provide your customer with something that has a measurable ROI for them which becomes painfully clear once you get their customers installed and engaged.
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    • Profile picture of the author MiniBay
      Fantastic responce here. I just got wind of a new webinar coming up soon, its all about how mobile can increase the ROI for any business. It includes daily deals and sms text message marketing & it doesnt mention mobile apps once. If anyone is interested in joing the webinar, you can do so here
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      Mobile Ecommerce Solutions - Free Webinar
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  • Profile picture of the author Valdor Kiebach
    Lets say I am driving through an unfamiliar town and get a flat tyre.

    I use my smartphone to check Google that has my location already from my phones GPS.

    I search for tyres and up come the results, I click one and get a 'mobile site' with a map location and a couple of buttons to a 'our services' and 'about us' page and a 'push to call' button. My problem is solved.

    How would an app help me and why would the company be wasting time with their mobile site.?

    An app would benefit the company by being able to use push notifications to inform users of discounts but an app for them would be no use me as I am just passing through and needed a new tyre.

    A mobile app is not 'instead of' a mobile site.
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    • Profile picture of the author Greg Jacobs
      Originally Posted by Valdor Kiebach View Post

      Lets say I am driving through an unfamiliar town and get a flat tyre.

      I use my smartphone to check Google that has my location already from my phones GPS.

      I search for tyres and up come the results, I click one and get a 'mobile site' with a map location and a couple of buttons to a 'our services' and 'about us' page and a 'push to call' button. My problem is solved.

      How would an app help me and why would the company be wasting time with their mobile site.?

      An app would benefit the company by being able to use push notifications to inform users of discounts but an app for them would be no use me as I am just passing through and needed a new tyre.

      A mobile app is not 'instead of' a mobile site.
      I agree they are very different.... However in that scenario you described a regular site vs a mobile site is a.... whatever... difference.... Its not bad to have a mobile site... But....

      I think the basis of my discussion is that quite frequently uneducated customers and sometimes consultants often get in a head trip of "mobile site vs mobile app" and the fact is that they are made for very different purposes and that in my sales approach I could show any local business honestly with real numbers how a mobile app will increase their bottom line whereas a mobile website would just be something "nice to have"

      Point is... Don't confuse the two and make sure your customers clearly understand the difference and usage.
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      • Profile picture of the author wcroz99
        Originally Posted by Greg Jacobs View Post

        I agree they are very different.... However in that scenario you described a regular site vs a mobile site is a.... whatever... difference.... Its not bad to have a mobile site... But....

        I think the basis of my discussion is that quite frequently uneducated customers and sometimes consultants often get in a head trip of "mobile site vs mobile app" and the fact is that they are made for very different purposes and that in my sales approach I could show any local business honestly with real numbers how a mobile app will increase their bottom line whereas a mobile website would just be something "nice to have"

        Point is... Don't confuse the two and make sure your customers clearly understand the difference and usage.
        Ok I own a local landscaping business in the UK and I would love to know how having an app would help me make more money. I have been thinking about apps but honestly cant think of a reason why someone would download it. If you have any ideas of how its going to make me money, I would love to know

        Thanks
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        • Profile picture of the author Greg Jacobs
          Originally Posted by wcroz99 View Post

          Ok I own a local landscaping business in the UK and I would love to know how having an app would help me make more money. I have been thinking about apps but honestly cant think of a reason why someone would download it. If you have any ideas of how its going to make me money, I would love to know

          Thanks
          Your business would take the same approach as a dentist or real estate business where you essentially craft a useful informational app regarding the local area... Local News.. Events.. Landscaping education?... Etc... And have it presented by you with your contact details and pitch in the app..... I would get a QR code for it printed on your flyers with some incentive to install it..... Again they will install it not for you but for the daily content the app will provide.... But then you are top of mind all the time....
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          • Profile picture of the author wcroz99
            Originally Posted by Greg Jacobs View Post

            Your business would take the same approach as a dentist or real estate business where you essentially craft a useful informational app regarding the local area... Local News.. Events.. Landscaping education?... Etc... And have it presented by you with your contact details and pitch in the app..... I would get a QR code for it printed on your flyers with some incentive to install it..... Again they will install it not for you but for the daily content the app will provide.... But then you are top of mind all the time....
            Interesting, although I still think it would take quite a bit of promoting in the local area to actually get people to download it.

            Also, as a local business owner, I personally would not want a mobile site for my business. There are 3 reasons for this:

            1. My site displays well enough and the text can be read just fine, including my telephone number.

            2. In my particular business its very important that things look pretty and, well, mobile sites don't.

            3. Lastly, when a customer is going to spend on average £5K on their property, they will do lots of research on potential contractors and want to see pictures of previous work so therefore, want to see a proper site.

            That said if my local business was a locksmith, plumber or garage then having a mobile site will definitely give an advantage over the competition, so would be a no-brainer.

            Just so you know, I'm in my mid-20s, so I get technology and I'm not a tradesman who thinks a yellow pages ad is all the advertising I need. Most tradesman I know have only recently realised that websites are worth having and most of these websites are poor at best. So trying to convince tradesman to get a mobile site, could be a difficult sell.
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            • Profile picture of the author philboy uk
              You have a superb looking website , extremely professional.... when viewed
              on a pc.

              if I was looking to spend a lot of money on home improvement, I would indeed be doing some online research, looking at customer reviews, etc.

              But if I happened to see your website on a mobile phone, I would not be viewing your website through your eyes, in the first few seconds I would
              have formed an opinion, and it would be based on what I see, and user
              experience, and I wouldn't come to the same conclusion that your website
              looks good on a mobile.

              it is not good marketing practice, assuming that your customers will be going through the same thought processes as yourself,

              but regardless of what I think , or what you think, or what statistics say, i recommend that you see what your customers think, have at google analytics,
              perhaps show your customers some alternatives and ask for feedback, and then base your decision on what your customers are telling you, because , after all,
              they pay your bills.

              My personal preference would be to see a video, with customer testimonials, something that is going to grab my attention and make me listen.






              Originally Posted by wcroz99 View Post

              Interesting, although I still think it would take quite a bit of promoting in the local area to actually get people to download it.

              Also, as a local business owner, I personally would not want a mobile site for my business. There are 3 reasons for this:

              1. My site displays well enough and the text can be read just fine, including my telephone number.

              2. In my particular business its very important that things look pretty and, well, mobile sites don't.

              3. Lastly, when a customer is going to spend on average £5K on their property, they will do lots of research on potential contractors and want to see pictures of previous work so therefore, want to see a proper site.

              That said if my local business was a locksmith, plumber or garage then having a mobile site will definitely give an advantage over the competition, so would be a no-brainer.

              Just so you know, I'm in my mid-20s, so I get technology and I'm not a tradesman who thinks a yellow pages ad is all the advertising I need. Most tradesman I know have only recently realised that websites are worth having and most of these websites are poor at best. So trying to convince tradesman to get a mobile site, could be a difficult sell.
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            • Profile picture of the author massiveray
              Originally Posted by wcroz99 View Post


              2. In my particular business its very important that things look pretty and, well, mobile sites don't.
              While I agree that a mobile site may not be ridiculously effective for your business due to the industry you're in, you don't need a tap to call etc, mobile sites are waaaaaay sexier looking than most standard sites, at least mine are.

              I don't think you've been looking in the right places if you don't think they're pretty.

              Also take a look at your analytics, I bet you'd be surprised how many people check your site from a mobile device.

              Edit... Actually just did a bit of research and there are a shit ton of mobile searches for keywords in your industry and area. And although your site does look "okay" on a mobile device, you defo need to invest in an optimised site, you'd convert a hell of a lot more.
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              • Profile picture of the author wcroz99
                Originally Posted by massiveray View Post

                While I agree that a mobile site may not be ridiculously effective for your business due to the industry you're in, you don't need a tap to call etc, mobile sites are waaaaaay sexier looking than most standard sites, at least mine are.

                I don't think you've been looking in the right places if you don't think they're pretty.

                Also take a look at your analytics, I bet you'd be surprised how many people check your site from a mobile device.

                Edit... Actually just did a bit of research and there are a shit ton of mobile searches for keywords in your industry and area. And although your site does look "okay" on a mobile device, you defo need to invest in an optimised site, you'd convert a hell of a lot more.

                Ok ive just had a look at my analytics and 9% of my visitors are viewing my site via a mobile device, with a bounce rate of 68%. This is compared to a bounce rate of 52% for desktop visitors. So I suppose this could be better.

                Do you have any examples of some of the best looking mobile sites? Admittedly ive only seen around 10 sites all of which have looked pretty poor. Perhaps if I see some good ones, then I could be sold on the whole mobile site thing.


                Edit No need for the examples, just scanned a QR code from a major retailer in the UK and it did look very good, a lot better than previous ones I have seen! I can definitely see the potential now...im sold!
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                • Profile picture of the author massiveray
                  Haha sweet, call me I'll hook you up.

                  Originally Posted by wcroz99 View Post

                  Ok ive just had a look at my analytics and 9% of my visitors are viewing my site via a mobile device, with a bounce rate of 68%. This is compared to a bounce rate of 52% for desktop visitors. So I suppose this could be better.

                  Do you have any examples of some of the best looking mobile sites? Admittedly ive only seen around 10 sites all of which have looked pretty poor. Perhaps if I see some good ones, then I could be sold on the whole mobile site thing.


                  Edit No need for the examples, just scanned a QR code from a major retailer in the UK and it did look very good, a lot better than previous ones I have seen! I can definitely see the potential now...im sold!
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        • Profile picture of the author Valdor Kiebach
          Originally Posted by wcroz99 View Post

          Ok I own a local landscaping business in the UK and I would love to know how having an app would help me make more money. I have been thinking about apps but honestly cant think of a reason why someone would download it. If you have any ideas of how its going to make me money, I would love to know

          Thanks
          In your situation your company app could be a collection of conversion tools like meters to inches, litres to pints etc.

          It could contain a couple of guestimation tools for giving an idea on how many bricks would be needed to build something of the user supplied dimensions or show how many rolls of turf are needed for x square meters of grass.

          The devices accelerometer could be used to turn the device into a handy spririt level.

          This app would include your business details and contanct info.

          yes its not local and yes it could be VERY expensive but it would be an asset.

          Business owners seem to not realise that websites and now apps are a business asset and should increase the value of their company.

          Infact an app like I have just described would be perfect for a local builders merchants or hardware store. The app would have to be free to the user but income can be generated from in app ads and push notifications. Link it with facebook and twitter and your onto a winner.

          Hmmm, let me fire up Eclipse...
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          • Profile picture of the author wcroz99
            Originally Posted by Valdor Kiebach View Post

            In your situation your company app could be a collection of conversion tools like meters to inches, litres to pints etc.

            It could contain a couple of guestimation tools for giving an idea on how many bricks would be needed to build something of the user supplied dimensions or show how many rolls of turf are needed for x square meters of grass.

            The devices accelerometer could be used to turn the device into a handy spririt level.

            This app would include your business details and contanct info.

            yes its not local and yes it could be VERY expensive but it would be an asset.

            Business owners seem to not realise that websites and now apps are a business asset and should increase the value of their company.

            Infact an app like I have just described would be perfect for a local builders merchants or hardware store. The app would have to be free to the user but income can be generated from in app ads and push notifications. Link it with facebook and twitter and your onto a winner.

            Hmmm, let me fire up Eclipse...
            When you say it could be very expensive. How expensive are we talking? This has given me quite a few ideas actually and which if done properly could save landscapers lots of time
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            • Profile picture of the author Valdor Kiebach
              Originally Posted by wcroz99 View Post

              When you say it could be very expensive. How expensive are we talking? This has given me quite a few ideas actually and which if done properly could save landscapers lots of time
              Cant really say but it could be in the thousands, it is one of those things where you need to contact developers and get a quote as it will depend on what you want.

              I has a quick google and its all a case of 'contact us for a quote' so its hard to give an idea of cost.
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        • Profile picture of the author philboy uk
          Had made a prospecting video for another business, added some images from your website. Couldnt find your google place listing , so not 100% accurate




          Originally Posted by wcroz99 View Post

          Ok I own a local landscaping business in the UK and I would love to know how having an app would help me make more money. I have been thinking about apps but honestly cant think of a reason why someone would download it. If you have any ideas of how its going to make me money, I would love to know

          Thanks
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          • Profile picture of the author wcroz99
            Originally Posted by philboy uk View Post

            Had made a prospecting video for another business, added some images from your website. Couldnt find your google place listing , so not 100% accurate

            Thats pretty cool actually, thanks for showing me that.

            So is that an example of how an app could work or a mobile site?
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    • Profile picture of the author jamtrading
      Originally Posted by Valdor Kiebach View Post

      Lets say I am driving through an unfamiliar town and get a flat tyre.

      I use my smartphone to check Google that has my location already from my phones GPS.

      I search for tyres and up come the results, I click one and get a 'mobile site' with a map location and a couple of buttons to a 'our services' and 'about us' page and a 'push to call' button. My problem is solved.

      How would an app help me and why would the company be wasting time with their mobile site.?

      An app would benefit the company by being able to use push notifications to inform users of discounts but an app for them would be no use me as I am just passing through and needed a new tyre.

      A mobile app is not 'instead of' a mobile site.
      great example, an app just does not come into play here, its just like saying to someone who needs a tyre, here is a nice set of alloys, yes it is a valid product to the car but not the right product to get the car moving again, a new tyre is...
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    • Profile picture of the author icandi
      Originally Posted by Valdor Kiebach View Post

      Lets say I am driving through an unfamiliar town and get a flat tyre.

      I use my smartphone to check Google that has my location already from my phones GPS.

      I search for tyres and up come the results, I click one and get a 'mobile site' with a map location and a couple of buttons to a 'our services' and 'about us' page and a 'push to call' button. My problem is solved.

      How would an app help me and why would the company be wasting time with their mobile site.?

      An app would benefit the company by being able to use push notifications to inform users of discounts but an app for them would be no use me as I am just passing through and needed a new tyre.

      A mobile app is not 'instead of' a mobile site.
      I totally agree, it's comparing apples and orange - Many business owners think automatically of the games and suchlike on the Apple Store.
      Trying to explain the benefits of an "app" is not easy and I bought into the whole App and teamed up with a company called Appcat, strange thing was I could not even give them away as a foot in the door, conversely businesses seem to understand the need for a mobile website. I can see the benefits but I find people that like them seem to have so many that any "info / business card" type apps just get lost, to get a truly interactive and engaging / viral app is usually too costly and people want apps to be entertaining and the people that aren't interested in them just don't install them.
      That's just my personal opinion...
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  • Profile picture of the author SJJPFTW
    For 99% of clients its mobile site over app all the time. My reasons are

    1) A potential client is not going to pull out his phone open the app store to search for the italian takeaways in sydney
    2) People that are going to their desktop site get redirected to a mobile site, not told they have to download an app to see the content. That is one less step a potential customer has to take and the more steps the less likely.
    3) I have never heard of anyone ranking number 1 on google for city + need with an app, google is the shizzle as far as finding new customers.

    Apps work for businesses with established clients as a way to push info (via notifications for sales etc) but for finding new clients and even providing casual info to existing ones sites are the way to go imo.
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  • Profile picture of the author MadLion
    It seems to me you are missing a few things. Some which have been mentioned. You may have a slight bias towards an app since that is what you sell.

    1. A user on a mobile devices experience on a non mobile website is HELL. Hard to navigate, some elements not functional, some sites cant be viewed at all. Usually the user will leave the website leading to possible missed business.

    So a mobile site does enhance what a mobile user will experience.

    2. Users can download a home screen icon to their mobile device like an app, subscribe to sms, email, etc.

    So to say you are not giving value to a business by adding a mobile version of their website is way off.
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    • Profile picture of the author MiniBay
      Originally Posted by MadLion View Post

      It seems to me you are missing a few things. Some which have been mentioned. You may have a slight bias towards an app since that is what you sell.

      1. A user on a mobile devices experience on a non mobile website is HELL. Hard to navigate, some elements not functional, some sites cant be viewed at all. Usually the user will leave the website leading to possible missed business.

      So a mobile site does enhance what a mobile user will experience.

      2. Users can download a home screen icon to their mobile device like an app, subscribe to sms, email, etc.

      So to say you are not giving value to a business by adding a mobile version of their website is way off.
      Couldnty agree more, especially as most mobile websites have the option to download the home screen icon, just like that one that apps use, so the mobile website is just a single tap away...
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      • Profile picture of the author ppc4profit
        If you are talking direct to a business whose website cannot accommodate mobile phone visitors there is one underlying fact that needs to be addressed before any other discussion ....

        ... people will already be visiting the website using a mobile phone and getting an unsatisfactory experience.

        That means
        - potential customers will be turned off
        - existing customers relationships will be put at risk

        This is a real issue which businesses need to address quickly and the solution is to make their website mobile friendly or to get a mobile website. Getting an App will not solve this problem, it is a question for another day.
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        • Profile picture of the author MobiDev
          I agree mobile apps can be more efficient sometimes. But it depends on your end goal and target audience. Let's compare them and check the screenshots. Here is an article about Mobile website vs Native apphttp://sixrevisions.com/mobile/native-app-vs-mobile-web-app-comparison/
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        • Profile picture of the author MoBuzz
          Originally Posted by ppc4profit View Post

          If you are talking direct to a business whose website cannot accommodate mobile phone visitors there is one underlying fact that needs to be addressed before any other discussion ....

          ... people will already be visiting the website using a mobile phone and getting an unsatisfactory experience.

          That means
          - potential customers will be turned off
          - existing customers relationships will be put at risk

          This is a real issue which businesses need to address quickly and the solution is to make their website mobile friendly or to get a mobile website. Getting an App will not solve this problem, it is a question for another day.
          This post says it all.

          If anyone walks into a small local business and sells them a native app, and leaves them without a mobile optimized version of their site, they should be smacked JK

          As Will mentioned, I will enjoy coming in behind you and educating them as it will be a quick sell. Shoot one could make a nice living just following you around and walking in after you ; )
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  • Profile picture of the author 4webmaster
    Mobile site wins over mobile app.
    I don't have to repeat what other said above but it's all true and for client retention you are wrong wrong wrong!!! A bad marketer will say what you said but a good one will see opportunities for mobile marketing with coupons, qr codes...

    So totally disagree with you.
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  • Profile picture of the author Daniel LaRusso
    I also think mobile websites win out over apps, but apps do have their place. One of the biggest reasons a mobile website is better is that any smartphone with an internet browser can have practically the same experience, and you can counter the benefits of push notifications with SMS marketing.

    If you design an app for a business, you normally start with iOS, and you'll have to make sure the app looks good on both iPod/iPhone and iPad - having a shrunk down version of an iPod app on an iPad looks just as bad as a full website on a smartphone. And you'll also need to pass the Apple approval process, and Apple is notorious for rejecting apps that are primarily used for marketing. You have no guarantees that the app will even be approved.

    And then you have to design the app for Android, which doesn't use XCode like Apple. So your costs, development time, and maintenance time go up just to capture the Android users.

    The bottoms line is, what do you hope to accomplish with mobile marketing? Connecting with your customers and prospects, converting them, and keeping them as repeat customers, right? You can do that and more with a mobile website.
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  • Profile picture of the author zoro
    They both add value and can increase ROI for a business. Just remember that each has a different use. I don't think it's clever to compare apples with oranges.
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    • Profile picture of the author Brandon Tanner
      Suggesting that mobile sites are a waste of time is just flat-out ridiculous (but not entirely surprising, considering the product you're promoting in your signature). I think apps have their uses, but for most small businesses... a mobile site is going to be much more practical than a mobile app will be.

      Most people won't be bothered to download and install an app... unless they have a very compelling reason to do so (ie a bribe that they can't refuse). But people don't think twice about visiting a website on their mobile device.

      And yes, push notifications are free, but they are certainly not the be-all-end-all of mobile communication (for one, they have a lower delivery/open rate than SMS).

      As I said though, apps do have their uses in certain situations, so IF it makes sense for the business, then there's no reason you can't offer your client an app in addition to a mobile site.
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    • Profile picture of the author emarrufo
      Originally Posted by zoro View Post

      They both add value and can increase ROI for a business. Just remember that each has a different use. I don't think it's clever to compare apples with oranges.
      I was thinking the same thing, well said.
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  • Profile picture of the author Tsnyder
    Truthfully, it's kind of a silly discussion. Apps and websites serve completely
    different purposes. Trying to compare them and declare that one is better than
    the other is to truly not understand either.

    Each serves a purpose and produces a result that can not be accomplished
    by the other so what's the point?
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  • Profile picture of the author DougPage
    Interestingly, smartphones have now just made it to 50% of all cell phones in the US. That number is surely lower in many other countries. Of that percentage of smartphones, many are older and therefore not able to run iphone or android apps. I have not seen any numbers on this but bet it's probably close to 50% again. This means that you are targeting approx. 25% of the cell phone users. SMS reaches almost all of these including most feature phones. Text to 97% or push to 25%. I know what I would choose.
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    • Profile picture of the author Greg Jacobs
      Originally Posted by DougPage View Post

      Interestingly, smartphones have now just made it to 50% of all cell phones in the US. That number is surely lower in many other countries. Of that percentage of smartphones, many are older and therefore not able to run iphone or android apps. I have not seen any numbers on this but bet it's probably close to 50% again. This means that you are targeting approx. 25% of the cell phone users. SMS reaches almost all of these including most feature phones. Text to 97% or push to 25%. I know what I would choose.
      Sure.... Stats are stats and we can flop stats all day and disagree but I know what I have seen...

      Besides advantages mentioned in previous post. People are blind to texts unless it is for some specfic event reminder. ... Its just like another email not to mention regulatory issues..
      With regard to smartphone pentration,,it is more like 50% can install your app... In middle class educated markets its more like 80 percent with the drop off being one partner in a relationship so either the husband or wife won't have it. ..... In lower class markets its more like 15-20%....so I guess it just depends where you want to be spending your time...... . And people with smart phones have a higher customer value as well...... Keep that in mind...
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  • Profile picture of the author Greg Jacobs
    Good we have gotten people stirred up. I see lots of ya are very gungho for mobile sites and I think the reason is because that is what you have been educated to present to the customer. Point I'm making is if you are that passionate about mobile sites... Well I can show you how you can charge more and deliver more practical value with an app... (perhaps in addition to your mobile sites)

    So the point is to make customers aware the very clear difference... And different usage of such

    Mobile site = website on wheels... Used for information and customer aqusistion
    Mobile App = customer retention and enhancement device

    Now when you market a mobile app to your clients you need to keep the following points in mind to forestall their questions

    -the two cannot be compared and are not an either /or decision
    -Nobody is ever going to install a mobile app for a local business voluntarily... As a consultant you need to help them devise an incentive plan to present it as a customer extension goal. This usually implies printing a QR code on a nice sign and putting it at the register with an incentive and staff trained to ask... Or same on their direct mailing material.
    -If it is a micro transaction business like a cafe or salon then the app should be in use some interactive aspect like a loyalty program or GPS Coupons.... In addition to using PNs to announce specials
    -If it is an infrequent transaction business like dentist or real estate agent then the app should offer useful and generic and probably localized info like MLS listing or local news/events so that the user associates it with being an informative useful app that is just "provided by...."... your client.... To keep them top of minds... Sorta like real estate agents giving out free notepads with their pix on it
    -once installed mobile apps remove the customer from the competitive space of the Web... You sit on their phone everyday provide them value and entertainment and get daily" free* advertising top of mind for customers that use/see your app.

    Shall we continue?
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  • Profile picture of the author timmor29
    Originally Posted by Greg Jacobs View Post

    1 - mobile sites are essentially a website formatted down. A viewer will get "more or less" the same experience and it wont significantly add or detract any added value

    2 - people visit a mobile site and then are done. People install a Mobile App and it sits in their pocket on their phone following them around everyday.

    3 - Mobile Apps give access to Push Notifications. Unlimited amounts and no charge for Pushing. This is similar (but different) to an SMS. So a customer installs your mobile app and then any time you like, you log into our dashboard and do a "push" which instantly delivers any message you like to them.. promotions, coupons deals etc...
    You make some excellent points and I agree for the most part - apps really are a great way to interact with users via their smartphones. HOWEVER, I don't think it replaces the mobile website because many people still like to browse through a website that has all the information they're looking to find about your business, and for that you need your website to be compatible with mobile devices.
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    • Profile picture of the author shoopt
      Hey Greg Jacobs
      Both mobile apps and websites are having it's own potential. Do agree that apps are installed in the devices and provides push notifications and further business but when someone searches web for some services apps does not show up. Mobile websites lets people know about your services.
      In my view, businesses must invest in both mobile websites and apps.
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      • Profile picture of the author timmor29
        Originally Posted by shoopt View Post

        Both mobile apps and websites are having it's own potential. Do agree that apps are installed in the devices and provides push notifications and further business but when someone searches web for some services apps does not show up. Mobile websites lets people know about your services.
        In my view, businesses must invest in both mobile websites and apps.
        YES, I completely agree. Businesses should absolutely invest in both. Use any means at your disposal to get your business out there! It's also so easy to have a mobile site, especially if you're using a website builder that automatically produces a mobile version of your desktop website like EXAI. This saves you the time and money it would take to build a mobile website from scratch, and all updates to your desktop website are automatically updated on your mobile site as well. Now all you have to focus on is getting an app for your business. So why not have both when at least one may require absolutely no effort on your part?
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  • Profile picture of the author Steve Solem
    Aaron pretty much summed up my feelings about this in his response above.

    Sure, for some businesses...and I would say probably national businesses mostly , I think Apps make sense. For a local small business, I think a mobile website is the way to go for new and existing clients...and sms is what you want to use if you want to engage them and keep in touch on a regular basis.

    In two years of iphone ownership I have Apps from my insurance company and bank, ebay and amazon etc... installed, but don't think I'd ever bother to install apps from a local businesses I might think about once a month...if I ever did see one being offered.

    Just my personal take, but hey - if you can show someone the value and sell them on a native app, go for it!

    Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author John Ayling
    One thing that hasn't been discussed is that there are big differences between the types of mobile sites that get built and sold.

    It's perfectly possible to build jQuery Mobile sites that are very much like apps both in look and feel, responsiveness and functionality, but for a fraction of the cost of building and deploying an app.
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    • Profile picture of the author Brandon Tanner
      Originally Posted by John Ayling View Post

      One thing that hasn't been discussed is that there are big differences between the types of mobile sites that get built and sold.

      It's perfectly possible to build jQuery Mobile sites that are very much like apps both in look and feel, responsiveness and functionality, but for a fraction of the cost of building and deploying an app.
      Excellent point. Having jQuery, HTML5, and PHP at your disposal gives you a LOT of possibilities for highly interactive, "app-like" mobile sites.
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    • Profile picture of the author massiveray
      Yeah we build the majority of ours using the jquery mobile framework, very app like with the right add ons.

      Originally Posted by John Ayling View Post

      One thing that hasn't been discussed is that there are big differences between the types of mobile sites that get built and sold.

      It's perfectly possible to build jQuery Mobile sites that are very much like apps both in look and feel, responsiveness and functionality, but for a fraction of the cost of building and deploying an app.
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      • Profile picture of the author cnckevin
        Mobile sites are better in my opinion. If I'm at a hotel and looking for a good steakhouse I search with google. Then click the restaurant link in my mobile browser.

        Two good things here for restaurants.
        1. Mobile Adwords with google - control your market
        2. Simple updating and ease or use. Not everyone downloads apps or want to take time to download specific ones for out of town restaurants they don't visit frequently.

        If your desktop website syncs with your mobile site AND looks good then why do they need an app?
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  • Profile picture of the author marshallbailey
    I'm a total newbie at the whole mobile website and mobile app game but I'm studying everything I can get my hands on...

    I decided to go out and ask some of my business owner friends what they wanted??

    I talked to my friend Mike today and he owns a liquor store in a small local community (around 40,000 people). He said he really wanted a way to announce local wine tasting's and deals to his loyal repeat customers.

    I asked him about using a texting service (sms) and he said he had tried that and people were really uneasy about getting a lot of text.

    I mentioned trying a Mobile App and using Push notifications on once a week or so basis... we talked about putting a QR code on the counter and calling it a VIP club.

    He loved it and asked how he could sign up... I explained I was just doing research and he told me to get to work and get him an app.

    I asked him what an App like that would be worth and he said he would gladly pay for an initail set up of around $200 dollars and 50 bucks a month.

    He also said he would tell all his business owner friends about it and felt sure that they would jump on board.

    True story ... so I was thinking of building him both a mobile website and a mobile app.

    Marshall
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    • Profile picture of the author massiveray
      $200 for an app? Haha, if this is a native app youre going to struggle to make any cash selling them at that price, you won't even get it near the app store.

      Its a much more complicated procedure than this thread will have you believe, you should be charging £3000-5000 as a starting point.

      The price he said he is willing to pay you is cheap even for a mobile optimised site, never mind an app.

      Originally Posted by marshallbailey View Post

      I'm a total newbie at the whole mobile website and mobile app game but I'm studying everything I can get my hands on...

      I decided to go out and ask some of my business owner friends what they wanted??

      I talked to my friend Mike today and he owns a liquor store in a small local community (around 40,000 people). He said he really wanted a way to announce local wine tasting's and deals to his loyal repeat customers.

      I asked him about using a texting service (sms) and he said he had tried that and people were really uneasy about getting a lot of text.

      I mentioned trying a Mobile App and using Push notifications on once a week or so basis... we talked about putting a QR code on the counter and calling it a VIP club.

      He loved it and asked how he could sign up... I explained I was just doing research and he told me to get to work and get him an app.

      I asked him what an App like that would be worth and he said he would gladly pay for an initail set up of around $200 dollars and 50 bucks a month.

      He also said he would tell all his business owner friends about it and felt sure that they would jump on board.

      True story ... so I was thinking of building him both a mobile website and a mobile app.

      Marshall
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      • Profile picture of the author MoBuzz
        Originally Posted by massiveray View Post

        $200 for an app? Haha, if this is a native app youre going to struggle to make any cash selling them at that price, you won't even get it near the app store.

        Its a much more complicated procedure than this thread will have you believe, you should be charging £3000-5000 as a starting point.

        The price he said he is willing to pay you is cheap even for a mobile optimised site, never mind an app.
        If all he is doing is converting a mobile site into an app in order to use push notifications I do not see a problem with $200 for a set up fee. After all it will not take much time at all.
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        • Profile picture of the author massiveray
          Originally Posted by MoBuzz View Post

          If all he is doing is converting a mobile site into an app in order to use push notifications I do not see a problem with $200 for a set up fee. After all it will not take much time at all.
          It will be a problem if it's anything more than a web app. A native app for the iOS and android devices and $200 won't even touch the sides.
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          • Profile picture of the author MoBuzz
            Originally Posted by massiveray View Post

            It will be a problem if it's anything more than a web app. A native app for the iOS and android devices and $200 won't even touch the sides.
            I disagree. Taking a web app and converting it to a native app is very quick and simple. There are many cloud based programs out there now that can do this at little or no cost and still give the ability to add PNs as well as geo targeted coupons. Really that is all a local business app needs.

            Most programs do charge $19 to $49 a month for PNs so I would charge a little more than $50 a month but it can be done.

            For android there is basically no approval process so you can actually go from web app to native app live on Google Play in an hour. I know because I have done this.

            However for IOS it is a different story. The Apple store is becoming very strict and can take a little time for approval.
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            • Profile picture of the author massiveray
              Fair play, you can pump out apps like that in the hundreds each day if that's what you Want to do, I'm not saying it can't be done at that price, I'm saying it shouldn't.

              Personally I like mine with a little more quality about them. Unique, built for my clients and not based on some shitty online conversion program that is bound to generate tons of useless and slow code.

              I don't know if this is actually the case as I have never used the cloud programs, I'm just assuming they're crap.

              If your app don't work on iOS it ain't worth shit, in my opinion.

              In all honesty though i don't sell a whole lot of apps, I prefer my developers to work on other more profitable projects.

              Originally Posted by MoBuzz View Post

              I disagree. Taking a web app and converting it to a native app is very quick and simple. There are many cloud based programs out there now that can do this at little or no cost and still give the ability to add PNs as well as geo targeted coupons. Really that is all a local business app needs.

              Most programs do charge $19 to $49 a month for PNs so I would charge a little more than $50 a month but it can be done.

              For android there is basically no approval process so you can actually go from web app to native app live on Google Play in an hour. I know because I have done this.

              However for IOS it is a different story. The Apple store is becoming very strict and can take a little time for approval.
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              • Profile picture of the author MoBuzz
                Originally Posted by massiveray View Post

                Fair play, you can pump out apps like that in the hundreds each day if that's what you Want to do, I'm not saying it can't be done at that price, I'm saying it shouldn't.

                Personally I like mine with a little more quality about them. Unique, built for my clients and not based on some shitty online conversion program that is bound to generate tons of useless and slow code.

                I don't know if this is actually the case as I have never used the cloud programs, I'm just assuming they're crap.

                If your app don't work on iOS it ain't worth shit, in my opinion.


                In all honesty though i don't sell a whole lot of apps, I prefer my developers to work on other more profitable projects.
                I would not say they are crap or even close to it. I do agree that it will not be as fast and as custom as building from scratch BUT building from scratch is usually out of reach for small businesses.

                Of coarse these apps work on ios, just take longer to be approved and needs to have a few more native features for approval.

                This I completely agree with, I do not sell many apps either as I do not find them very useful to small businesses. It is going to be very hard to get someone to download an app for a small liquor store. Even with an incentive.
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                • Profile picture of the author Pierre!
                  I just can't imagine what level of "Mobile App" you can deliver even remotely competitively cost wise against a mobile web site... and still deliver the same value.

                  Then, what is to be done regarding the updates to the "Mobile App" as Smartphone OS upgrades happen??? Tech Support???

                  I think it would end up being a rather big hole that the "Mobile App" purchaser would end up in.

                  Please elaborate on what is actually delivered for a 'competitive' ROI Mobile App? What exactly is the WIIFM factor here???

                  Patrick
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              • Profile picture of the author S3Ware
                Mobile sites = customer acquisition. Mobile apps = customer retention. Apps are not for every business, nor are they for every consumer. Every local business should have a mobile-optimized website, however.
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              • Profile picture of the author jschmitt
                The problem with building and selling apps is that the app stores can be very fickle and difficult to please. I've used Mr. Jacobs own system, as well as two others, and it's still a real challenge. Apps may be a more exciting sell, but mobile sites are a more dependable sell.
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                • Profile picture of the author MelKryger
                  I have been an iphone user since it's inception.

                  I do not have any local biz apps on my iPhone except 1: Dominos Pizza (I love the volcano cakes!)

                  I have never been recommended a local biz app by my AppStore 'Genius'

                  I do have a screen full of 'homscreen bookmarks' of mobile websites for many local businesses... all of them prominently display a "click to call" so I can get a hold of 'em quickly &/or a map, so I can easily find em. A few even have a great big coupon ready to display when I go to pay... NOTHING TO SIGN UP FOR. I appreciate when a business values my time & doesn't view my interaction with them as an opportunity to harass me.

                  The lassssssst thing I want is some local biz (or many local bizes) "pushing" their discount/sales messages to me... my iphone IS NOT MY TELEVISION! I do not want to be "passively" INTERRUPTED all day with stuff I AM NOT ACTIVELY pursuing.

                  I run a company that offers all the "online marketing & web dev" for "offline businesses" & my sale-steam understands that a local business MUST HAVE a mobile website & that is our best 'foot in the door' to get a biz owner to engage with us for their marketing needs. We do not do apps & have never been requested to do so.

                  Greg... I have been following you since WP Mage a year & 1/2 ago & I followed the Skybuilder Launch. Let me say, I think you are REALLY SMART and I can/do learn a lot from you... but aside from my company making money by selling apps to local businesses... I REALLY cannot find GOOD and REASONABLE PROOF that engaging in the app market is a worthwhile endeavor for small to medium local businesses.

                  just my .02

                  Mel Kryger
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              • Profile picture of the author ebizmarkpro
                "If a local business have an online web site for commerce, a business will want a mobile website and an app to do the same. They are adding a channel, becoming MULTICHANNEL, to what they do now. Businesses have to extend their reach in this way to stay competitive."

                Click link to see an example of Business using APPS + OTHER channels to built a Community 4 profit$ >>>http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...v=93uLKEiViS4#!

                Cornelius
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    • Profile picture of the author marshallbailey
      Originally Posted by marshallbailey View Post

      I'm a total newbie at the whole mobile website and mobile app game but I'm studying everything I can get my hands on...

      I decided to go out and ask some of my business owner friends what they wanted??

      I talked to my friend Mike today and he owns a liquor store in a small local community (around 40,000 people). He said he really wanted a way to announce local wine tasting's and deals to his loyal repeat customers.

      I asked him about using a texting service (sms) and he said he had tried that and people were really uneasy about getting a lot of text.

      I mentioned trying a Mobile App and using Push notifications on once a week or so basis... we talked about putting a QR code on the counter and calling it a VIP club.

      He loved it and asked how he could sign up... I explained I was just doing research and he told me to get to work and get him an app.

      I asked him what an App like that would be worth and he said he would gladly pay for an initail set up of around $200 dollars and 50 bucks a month.

      He also said he would tell all his business owner friends about it and felt sure that they would jump on board.

      True story ... so I was thinking of building him both a mobile website and a mobile app.

      Marshall
      Hey Guys.. been away for a few days.. I see my comment has been replied to...

      Let me give more info..

      The liquor store owner doesn't care what you call the end "solution"... ie- native app, mobile website, etc.. he just wants the ability to stay in contact with his customers via their mobile phones. He was really impressed with the idea of "push notification" in the end that's all he really wants.

      Remember that most of the people you talk to will have no idea how all this works.. an all of your paying clients will have little to no idea how all this works... because if they did they wouldn't pay you...

      So at the end of the day is all about giving the client what he/she wants at a affordable price... my goal is to give them the perception that they got way more than they paid for... because I want them as long time customers.

      The Apple store is a problem I'm trying to work out ... I've heard they really don't like business apps... I was wondering if you could skip them by going with a mobile website and a icon on the iphone... but then you lose the push notification.

      Any ideas??
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  • Profile picture of the author sumerunagnah
    I am a newbie but in my opinion is to do both (mobile sites + apps). So be prepare for .....both (a business owner may choose one or the other ....or both).
    Now I'm looking on warrior forum for the best mobile sites builder and for the best apps maker (Amber ??? SkyBuilder???).
    Please advice and thank you in advance.
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    • Profile picture of the author marshallbailey
      Originally Posted by sumerunagnah View Post

      Now I'm looking on warrior forum for the best mobile sites builder and for the best apps maker (Amber ??? SkyBuilder???).
      Please advice and thank you in advance.
      Me to... since I'm just starting out (in mobile) I don't won't to get in over my head (financially)..

      I have another question... when you build a app for a business and they get customers signed up for "push notifications" where are those customer stored?? I use aweber for my list and only I have access to them... what about app customers??? does the platform like "skybuilder have access to my app customers?? can they push notify them to??

      I worry that if I build an app for a business and the platform I use goes out of business then I would lose all the customers the business paid me to gather... that would be super bad..

      thanks
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      • Profile picture of the author AUKev
        One thing that must be considered is the potential SEO value of a mobile site. I have read on several occasions recently that Google is creating a 'mobile' index. In the near future, the expectation is that the results Google returns for local searches will be different whether you are on a mobile device or a PC. The anticipation is that Google will start 'scoring' websites based on their level of mobile optimization which will be reflected in the results. So non-mobile optimized sites may get penalized when the requesting device is a mobile device.

        Just something to consider going forward. I do know that I can search from my PC and search from my mobile phone and get different results at times. I do not know what is impacting that for sure. It could be IP location detection, browser history, cookies et al., but the SEO value of a mobile site is something that needs to be considered if not now, certainly in the near future.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mwind076
    My opinion is as an appointment setter for those of you selling mobile apps AND mobile websites. I've now been calling on this market for about 2-3 years and it's way different.

    Mobile Apps:
    - Help retain existing customers and keep them loyal, interested and up to date on coupons, events, etc.
    - Are not effective in branding yourself or creating new business, people search for sites, not apps (unless they know what they are looking for).
    - Are only effective to a smaller portion of customers (ages 16-45), this varies, but is something that should be considered based on your demographic. Older customers, even with a phone, do not do many "apps" (they search for a website).
    - Are best as an add on, never as a first option for a client that has no site/no mobile site.
    - Are not essential for every business owner
    - Are not as easily navigated by the client (to update themselves)

    Mobile Websites:
    - Help garner new customers and keep existing ones
    - Are essential to the technology we all use
    - Are easily sold to customers that have a website only (it's an easy upgrade if they saw the importance of a normal website)
    - Are easily navigated and updated by the client (some people don't want to pay you to maintain it)


    As you can see there is a clear winner here, and yes there are exceptions. However, this isn't from someone selling both or either, I am generally unbiased. Except for this, I prefer dealing with those of you selling mobile websites, because it's MUCH easier for me to get you in front of a business owner for an appointment! More appointments means more business!
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  • Profile picture of the author NBAY
    I think it comes down to the simple fact that more and more people are using their phones in place of their computers and this trend continues to grow. The mobile website or app when designed properly provides the best user experience. And that my friend is the difference between success and failure. Making money and or lossing money. (smile)
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  • Profile picture of the author badlimey
    I concur, an app has more potential. I give away mobile websites as a door opener.
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  • Profile picture of the author KingMedia
    Greg, I think you have it all backwards.

    Yes, APPs follow you around and send push notifs, but customers are going to get tired of having those things go off all day long for 1-15 diff APPS on their phone.

    Who is going to want an APP for a dentist, pizza parlor, restaurant, etc... its too much.

    APPS are good for games, social media, and cool gadgetry (flashlights, etc)

    A mobile site CAN capture leads via email/phone - just depends on how you use it.

    And APPS do not show up in search - still the #1 way businesses are found these days.

    And on top of all this, APPS are pain to develop and cost a LOT of money to do it right. The normal local biz won't spend thousands on an APP that is not proven to make them money.

    They do have their place in members circles for real estate agents, clubs, etc. outside the norm.

    Having said all that, mobile sites are STILL a tough sell (USA west coast anyway) as most biz don't "get it".

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    • Profile picture of the author NBianco
      Here is a real world example that pits a mobile website vs. an app against each other.

      I work for a company that builds websites and other digital solutions to car dealerships. We also build their mobile websites.

      For individuals shopping for new or used cars, a mobile app makes no sense. No shopper (or very few) are going to download apps for three or four or five dealerships that they are considering just to look at their inventory. In this situation a mobile website is perfect. It gives the visitor a quick and easy way (as long as the mobile site is built well) to browse the dealer's inventory, call them, read their reviews, etc.

      Now, after someone has purchased a vehicle from that dealership I think an app would be perfect for their service department. Someone could open the app, take a look at special offers, schedule a service appointment, even take pictures of what is wrong or needs repair and send it to the dealer. The dealer could also use the app to send push notifications when the vehicle is most likely ready for the next oil change, transmission flush, etc.

      I think that mobile websites probably serve a more frequent purpose, but for businesses that have a lot of repeat customers an app can provide great value
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  • Profile picture of the author Mr Bill
    How about both?

    Mobile website gets customers and in the mobile website you encourage them to "click here to download our official Mobile App to make savings and get special offers". That way they will go straight to your app download page and will download the app to get discounts. This way the Mobile website and the app are both useful, both connected and it makes for a more complete package.

    The reason I build and sell mobile websites is because every business needs one to (at least) compliment their existing website and to not isolate potential customers or clients that are visiting from their mobile phones. The reason I like apps is purely for their ability to push notifications which I presume are either free or cheaper than pushing an SMS though I've not really looked into it. One potential stumbling block is that users usually have to approve push notifications but users can be encouraged to allow them to receive discounts...e.g. "Download our Official App and Allow Push Notifications To Win!" (or get discounts...whatever).
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    • Profile picture of the author koolphoto
      I think that a lot of businesses use their websites as an online calling card. If they don’t they should. I think for many businesses a mobile site is the way to go. I think a mobile site is going to be needed much more in the future instead of the common type of websites built today.

      Unless a business is a shopping cart retailer or a certain type of websites where push info is needed like forums, news, weather etc. then I think there is really no reason to have a full blown site to view on a computer. I want to see if a locksmith covers my area because I am locked out of my car, a pizza menu or some photos of their product. I want to look at these to help me make an immediate decision.

      I live in a large city where people are constantly on the go. Everyone I know uses mobile phones or tablets to surf the internet for information and entertainment. So many customers carry them when they are on the go.

      With Windows 8 tablets coming out soon I think this is going to be a more common way of acquiring the needed information. I myself do not rely on a desktop computer anymore except for work. And I don't surf on my laptop anymore either. I use either my cell phone or tablet for most of my internet use. I keep it by my chair when I am watching TV too. A tablet is so convenient. And they are getting better that I think they will eventually replace most desktop and laptop computing needs.

      I download apps like weather, news, shopping sites like The North Face, Amazon, eBay, Best Buy. But if I am looking for a business on Yelp or Google places, I might get their information from these sites, but I am still curious and click through to websites on my phone or tablet. I want a fast loading site that gives me a feel for the business with any extra information like menu’s or services I didn’t see listed on Yelp or Google places.

      I am not going to download an app for this type of cursory information. And I think building and app just for the sake of building an app is a waste of time for a business.

      I think apps complement a mobile business website. They shouldn't replace it.
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  • Profile picture of the author anpharmd09
    Some great discussion going on here.

    Personally, I think both mobile websites and mobile apps have their place.

    Like others have said, mobile websites are crucial to a pleasant consumer experience when a prospect is searching for a business online from a mobile device.

    While it's true that some "regular" websites may not be significantly more cumbersome to navigate to certain people, there are still alot of people out there who demand a quick, easy, and pleasant web browsing experience.

    At my firm, we like to lead with mobile websites for this reason, and because they are less expensive than mobile apps (we usually charge $397-497 for a mobile site, and $997-$1197 for a mobile app).

    If I'm able to sell a client on a mobile website, I often then go for an upsell on a mobile app at a later time, emphasizing the customer retention benefits through push notifications.
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  • Profile picture of the author rife
    The whole mobile version of a site thing is a bit old fashioned no? What is wrong with responsive html5 / css for example HTML5 Up! Responsive HTML5 and CSS3 Site Templates
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  • Profile picture of the author Roberto F Carrera
    Banned
    Well, I believe that some people favour one or the other but in my experience the mobile website comes out on top IF you are trying to get business from the client for the first time.

    The reason I say this is because a client doesn't really understand about aps but they sure know about Google and people searching for their business on it. This way you can SHOW them exactly what their business looks like to a mobile surfer and then they see that the money they spent on a website looks like cr*p on a mobile device.

    It is more for the aesthetics of the site and you can have it show the exact place where the business is and also a call button and even coupons if you want. These are things that will help get people in the doors.

    Once you have this done, THEN you could show them the advantage of an ap.

    Roberto
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  • Profile picture of the author xichabodx
    In short, we're not selling an app builder in our signature? Therefore, the majority of us don't create threads to discuss the two. If you had asked this question (even with your bias toward apps), WITHOUT your guise to promote your app service, I might be more inclined to debate the two (given that I'm a mobile marketer).

    But, seeing you created this thread for obvious reasons, how was your results?
    We're all marketers, right?
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  • Profile picture of the author WillR
    Originally Posted by Greg Jacobs View Post

    We recommend Mobile Apps over Mobile Websites for the following reasons.
    After looking at your signature there is no surprise there.

    Originally Posted by Greg Jacobs View Post

    1 - mobile sites are essentially a website formatted down. A viewer will get "more or less" the same experience and it wont significantly add or detract any added value
    Bingo. That's exactly what a mobile website is and why they are so powerful. A mobile website is a scaled down, faster loading, easier to use version of the main website. When done properly it also prioritizes information so that mobile users can more easily find the information they are looking for (which is different to that of a desktop user in many cases).

    Originally Posted by Greg Jacobs View Post

    2 - people visit a mobile site and then are done. People install a Mobile App and it sits in their pocket on their phone following them around everyday.
    People are highly unlikely to install a separate app for each of their favorite local restaurants or locksmiths. That's the reality of the situation. A mobile site is there when people need it. They can also be bookmarked to the users homescreen just like any old app can be. So this argument is invalid.

    Originally Posted by Greg Jacobs View Post

    3 - Mobile Apps give access to Push Notifications. Unlimited amounts and no charge for Pushing. This is similar (but different) to an SMS. So a customer installs your mobile app and then any time you like, you log into our dashboard and do a "push" which instantly delivers any message you like to them.. promotions, coupons deals etc...
    You will find a lot of users now disable push notifications by default when installing new apps. So once again, this is not really a valid argument. Even if they do not disable push notifications right away, if they start to get annoyed by your messages they will disable them very quickly.

    Originally Posted by Greg Jacobs View Post

    Bottom line is if you are a local marketer, you need to be selling mobile apps, not mobile sites as the value added is immense.
    Sorry but that's the biggest load of crud I have ever heard. You are saying that because you sell apps and you make money from people selling apps. An app is absolute overkill for the average local business. It is not needed because a mobile website will do 99% of everything an app can do and for a fraction of the price. A mobile website can also be used across any device whereas an app is limited to the one platform it was designed. Creating apps for all the different platforms again means more money.

    For the very few users most local businesses would get an app is just a waste of money. If you disagree with that then I feel sorry for the clients you are approaching and saying otherwise because you are giving them bad advice in order to make yourself more money... and that's not what a good marketer should do.

    If you sell local businesses solutions that waste their time and money then you will always be having to look for new clients because they will not want to continue working with you. I much prefer to give my clients only the solutions that will help their business the most for as little investment as possible... and that's why they like to keep working with me over and over again.

    I do like marketers who go around spreading mis-information to local businesses though because when I get to visit them, you have made my job a thousand times easier.

    So, thanks!
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  • Profile picture of the author Njenyus
    I'd have to agree with WillR. I also would like to add that apps have their place. I am a developer and I have done very well with both developing native apps and mobile sites. I usually complement one with the other if the budget allows.
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    • Profile picture of the author WillR
      Originally Posted by Njenyus View Post

      I'd have to agree with WillR. I also would like to add that apps have their place. I am a developer and I have done very well with both developing native apps and mobile sites. I usually complement one with the other if the budget allows.
      I'm not saying there is no room for apps... there are such large corporations where it makes sense. A large taxi company for example could do well having an app but that's because it's an app people are likely to install and use. I am not going to install an app for my local plumber or restaurant though. For that reason trying to sell those types of businesses into the idea of an app is just irresponsible and misleading those business owners.
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Ten
    Good point, OP. One disadvantage I see would be that if all companies have a mobile app it could get quickly saturated. No one wants to install 70 or more apps on their phone, IMO, even a fast one. Too many apps will slow the phone down a lot, in my experience.
    Here is a free idea for anyone who wants it:
    One app that allows anyone to publish push notifications that anyone can subscribe to. Facebook sort of has features like this, it seems, but I think it could be done a lot better and a lot more business focused, or have a different framework.
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  • Profile picture of the author 7eclair
    Business must be aware for the mobile evolution. Mobile users, got all the money one meter away- in it's hand. SMS marketing and responsive design is first. This is the best marketing business after many years for all to move on.
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  • Profile picture of the author Everyonemobi
    I just have to say... there is a lot on this form where it's a VS. scenario. Mobile web and App's are complimentary items. Most businesses could benefit from Mobile Web Optimization (it's a simple as if you're running an Adwords campaign you wouldn't send your traffic to a horrible landing page. Well, a percentage of your current traffic that you work hard to build is currently going to a horrible landing page; yep, hard to navigate desktop content).

    Whereas App's have a purpose as well, typically loyalty and after the fact engagement. But really, do you expect consumers to keep all the SMB app's on their phone. The hype get's silly and the majority of businesses have no need for an app.
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  • Profile picture of the author albventures
    IM'NIMM'O (in my 'newbie in mobile marketing' opinion), :-)

    if we're pitching a client for the first time, mobile websites
    are the way to go. it's easier for them to understand its importance.
    then if the client is happy with our service, then we start educating
    them about apps (how apps affect the customers' buying decisions,
    profitability depending on what their business offers, ROI, etc.).
    clients decision to pursue apps will depend on ROI and product or
    service ability to be marketed through apps (of course, based on
    how well we educate the clients about apps).

    a good example are car fixers or auto mechanics.
    we all know it's important for them to have a mobile website,
    but how about an app?
    an app for them will be a big plus. how?
    educate them how an app work, them propose an app that tackles
    '5-minute car fixes and troubleshooting'. these app will solve common
    car problems. then of course, hidden in all that fixing and
    troubleshooting, a soft sell message like "need more help? call
    0123456789", or something like "get these items at a discount, call
    0123456789".
    just like what an internet marketer does: provide great info, make
    customers happy, then market them.
    it really depends on what business our clients are in, and how well
    we can market their products. but of course, local service businesses
    must have a mobile optimized website
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  • Profile picture of the author networkempire
    As some of you have noted here, mobile app and mobile site are two different things, which can't be compared. Still it's a good discussion for people who don't know much about these yet.
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  • Profile picture of the author indejoe
    Its really quite simple - to get new leads/customers implement a mobile website. To deliver incentives such as coupons, promotions and engage with your current customers use mobile apps
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    • Profile picture of the author networkempire
      I think there is a whole chapter that is not raised here. It's silently shaping up, particularly in Android market - the Niche Info Apps.

      Like we know the once lucrative model of building highly searched Keywords based Niche websites and SEO ranked in SERP that get good traffic and monetising them via Adsense that kept us busy for good 5 years, untill very recently Google has changed the game rule.

      Now, same model can be applied in Mobile Apps. Again Android is much easy, iOS needs more native features, as mentioned before.

      Find highly serched keywords, pull in contents based on feed (think Autoblog), and then Monetise. Cost of developing these are same as buying a domain. Revenue from these are real. It's going crazy these days.

      We have a working Apps model structure of these Info Apps (not a sales pitch at all). If you wish to know more on this model, PM me and would be happy to help fellow warriors.
      Regards
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  • Profile picture of the author hirithk
    Hi
    website optimization is bit difficult, these will be considering page structure and all. there one ppt regarding the wso in slideshare. if we go through that it will be easy
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