At Vivid Image, a question we hear often is about the difference between a mobile app and a mobile website. You have probably heard us talk about the importance of a mobile website – It is the fastest growing online space as more and more people are browsing the web from their Smart Phone or tablet instead of their computer (in fact, mobile search has grown by over 500% in the past two years). A Mobile Marketing Strategy is part of many marketer’s plans for 2013.
A Mobile Application or “App” is a software application that you install onto your phone via the Apple App Store, Andriod Market, or Blackberry World. Once installed, some apps will pull information from a website, and other apps can be accessed without an internet connection. Many businesses and brands have their own App that may offer coupons, games, shopping, or other interactive features. Read more about Smart Phone Apps here.
A Mobile Website is a website that has been optimized for browsing on your Smart Phone using mobile responsive design or another design option. Using your phone’s browser, you can access any website, however the websites that are optimized for mobile viewing will be easier to read and navigate. Unlike most typical websites, mobile websites are designed for smaller screens, touch-screen interfaces, and with the mobile user’s needs in mind (i.e. quick access to map, contact information, hours, etc.). If you are still wondering why a mobile website is so important, consider that in May of 2012, 10.11% of all website page views came from a handheld mobile device and this will continue to rise (source and more mobile stats here).
Now that you understand the differences between a mobile app and a mobile website, which option is a fit for your business? A mobile website is a practical first step in most Web Marketing Strategies for 3 main reasons:
- Mobile websites will be searchable through Google where Mobile Apps are not.
- The cost to create a mobile website is very affordable compared to designing your own mobile app.
- Mobile websites are compatible across various devices, where a mobile app is more device-specific.
If you are not sure if mobile website is right for your business yet – see how your customers are accessing your website. Google Analytics will tell you how many of your website viewers are accessing your website from a mobile device – and you may be surprised!
Are you reading this from a mobile device? Do you have questions on how to make a mobile version of your website?
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Photo Credit: Sean MacEntee