Welcome to the second article in our three-part series on the benefits of websites and apps, and which option is best for your business.
In our first article, we explored the differences between the two options and how they relate to your business. To review, a website is an effective platform for delivering a lot of content and information, while an app is immediately engaging and action-oriented. Both are powerful and effective tools depending on what you want to accomplish.
Today, we’ll examine the benefits and considerations of websites in detail. This article will help you decide if a mobile-optimized website, rather than a native app, should be the first choice for your business. The decision starts by considering the goals you want to accomplish and the user experience you want to deliver.
The Benefits of Websites
- Immediacy: users can explore your content, products, and services as soon as they arrive on the site. There is no need to download and sign up for an app.
- Compatibility: unlike apps, websites do not discriminate between platforms, and are broadly accessible across iOS and Android devices.
- Flexibility: compared to adding new functionality to an app, updating content on your website is usually quick and easy
- Discoverable: if you employ quality SEO practices on your website, organic searches should provide a good ROI. Apps, on the other hand, are often discoverable by very specific search parameters.
- Shareable: for websites, a simple link in a text, email or social media post, can quickly grant access to your content.
- Scope: accessibility across platforms and through search engines, plus convenient share-ability, means your website can reach more people than most native apps
- Longevity: unlike shorter-lived apps, websites can’t be deleted by users and are always accessible whenever someone wants to visit. A website is a solid, long-term investment.
- Lower cost: it is almost always the case that websites cost less to build and maintain than creating native apps from scratch
Is a Mobile Website Right for Your Business?
The quick answer to this question is, in most cases, yes. Every business needs a searchable web presence that gives users key information about its products and services. If you are an eCommerce business, avoid the temptation to develop a convenient app for customers until you have your website (main business engine) running perfectly. Other businesses, such as contractors or restaurants, can often do without apps entirely. In short, unless you are a tech-centric business like Grubhub or Uber, or have a huge marketing budget, a website is going to be the right choice, at least initially.
Tip: Today, more than 50% of web browsing occurs on mobile devices, so make sure that your web developer prioritizes responsive website design.
Consider the question from another angle. Apps usually facilitate a single function, such as a game or payment portal. For completing user actions, these are very powerful. However, they are also limited in scope. In conclusion, don’t sacrifice a broad scope and content presentation for limited user functionality. Those can come later. They will also be the topic of discussion in the third and final article in this series.