A mobile app is a mini software program that works on a mobile device like a smartphone or tablet. Just like a computer software program it has to be designed specifically for the operating system. On a computer it would be either be Windows or Mac iOS. On a mobile device it’s either for Android, Windows or Apple’s iOS.
A mobile website is a website that is enhanced to work and be easily navigated when viewed on a mobile device. The website has special coding so that it will recognize the type of device that is trying to access it and show the appropriate web page sized to the screen. If you view a regular website that is not mobile enhanced, the text will be too small, you’ll have to zoom in to read it or navigate through it.
Why should you care about mobile devices?
The global smartphone audience surpassed the 1 billion mark in 2012 and will total 1.75 billion in 2014. eMarketer expects smartphone adoption to continue on a fast-paced trajectory through 2017. Nearly two-fifths of all mobile phone users—close to one-quarter of the worldwide population—will use a smartphone at least monthly in 2014. By the end of the forecast period, smartphone penetration among mobile phone users globally will near 50%. ~ eMarketer
Every business should have a mobile enhanced website, but not every business needs a mobile app.
A few things to consider are the type of business, your target market, your goals, cost.
What are you mobile needs? There are many questions you should ask yourself to determine your needs.
Do you need customers to order in advance?
Do you need to access your site on a tablet for client presentations?
What do you want visitors to do?
Do you need clients to make appointments?
If you have a WordPress site, there are free plug-ins and some themes that you can install that will enhance your site for mobile devices. Test it on all screens before going live. A good web designer can easily create a mobile site for you.
Apps are way more expensive. It requires programming and it takes time to get it approved for iOS, Windows and Android. Apps also need to be updated to keep up with the operating system updates. You need to decide if you’re going to offer the app for free or charge for it.
No matter which way you go, shop around for mobile developers. Check with the BBB and some of their clients and read reviews of their services.
If you’re not sure which way you should go when it comes to mobile marketing, you should speak with a SCORE mentor to determine if your business needs an app or just a mobile enhanced site. Click here to schedule an appointment with a SCORE mentor.
Giselle Aguiar, founder of AZ Social Media Wiz is a social media, inbound and content marketing strategist & trainer helping small to mid-sized business owners learn how to leverage the power of social media marketing, increase traffic to their websites, generate leads, increase brand awareness and establish themselves as experts in their fields. As with anything in business, using the right tools in the right way and at the right time are critical parts to your success. Learn from someone who’s known the Internet since it’s infancy. Official Social Media, Newsletter and Blog Manager for Greater Phoenix SCORE. Social media training – 1-on-1 or for groups. WordPress sites and blogs. http://azsocialmediawiz.com 602-738-1700