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The Mobile Web vs. Mobile App Choice: Which is better for you?

15 April 2013 BY

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Last week I had the great opportunity to speak at SMX Munich with a presentation called “The Mobile Search Universe“, giving an overview of the different alternatives to create a Mobile presence and how to optimize it to improve its visibility.

One of the most important aspects that I covered during the presentation -and that I want to share in this post specifically, due to its importance- is the Mobile Web vs. Mobile App decision that many businesses are making at the moment.

Mobile Webs vs. Mobile Apps Overview

Besides the specific characteristics, requirements and restrictions that your business, audience and industry have with Mobile Webs and Apps that you need to first identify to understand your initial Mobile situation status and potential, such as the following that I explained in the presentation:

  1. Current Web Mobile Traffic
  2. Current Mobile Search Visibility
  3. Potential Mobile Web Search Volume
  4. Potential Mobile Web Search Competitors
  5. Potential Mobile App Traffic Volume
  6. Potential Mobile App Competitors
  7. Desired Mobile Offering and functionality

There are diverse pros and cons related to the Mobile Web and Apps platforms characteristics, that also need to be considered to make the best decision:

Mobile Web vs. App

The previous Mobile Web and App characteristics along with your specific business requirements and restrictions towards Mobile will give you the criteria to guide your choice and although there’s no “silver bullet solution” the following are the more “general” situations when it’s generally better to choose Mobile Webs or Mobile Apps:

When to Choose Mobile Web

Because of the previous Mobile Web characteristics, a Mobile Web is a most common option when you’re starting with Mobile. It’s also more suitable and relevant to choose in the following situations:

  • Your Mobile audience is well distributed in many different platforms, which makes difficult to target with specific a Mobile App for each one of them
  • You require maximum content distribution and web reach, achievable with Mobile Web search
  • You don’t need complex functionality and hardware integration
  • You have fewer specialized resources and time for development and ongoing support
  • Your Mobile audience potential is relatively strong and beneficial to cover the Mobile Web development costs and provide a high ROI

When to Choose Mobile Apps

Because of the previous Mobile Apps characteristics, a Mobile App is a common option when you’re expanding your already successful Mobile website. It’s also more suitable and relevant to choose in the following situations:

  • Most of your Mobile audience is focused in specific mobile platforms that you can cover with few Mobile apps
  • You need complex functionality and hardware integration that a Mobile Web cannot offer
  • You don’t require content distribution and a high Web reach that can only be obtained with Mobile Web search
  • You have enough specialized resources and time for Mobile app development and ongoing support
  • Your mobile audience potential is very strong and highly beneficial to cover the Mobile App development costs and provide a high ROI

It’s now time to Optimize your Mobile Web or Mobile App

Once you select the best Mobile presence alternative for you, it’s fundamental to optimize it to achieve your goals. Take a look at my SMX Munich presentation where I shared good practices, tips and tools to optimize both, Mobile Webs and Mobile Apps for Mobile Search:

[slideshare id=18547705&doc=mobile-search-universe-130410074448-phpapp01]

If you still have any doubts about the best choice for your Mobile presence, let me know in the comments!

AUTHORED BY:
h

Experienced International SEO Consultant -service that she provides through her company Orainti- and a Moz Associate. She’s a frequent SEO speaker at international conferences & blogger.
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