When the names are used interchangeably, there is bound to be confusion. They can look the same, but under the skin they are very different. The majority of small businesses don’t need an app, but should consider a mobile-friendly website to be an essential.
⁃ Apps can’t be seen by search engines, although some
like Yelp’s are really vertical search engines on their own.
⁃ Mobile websites are favored by search engines and intended to be found by them.
⁃ Depending upon their purpose, apps can function without the internet.
⁃ Like desktop websites, mobile websites require the internet.
Apps can be extremely expensive to develop. They also need to be something really special—functional, entertaining—something that people will want to use repeatedly and hang onto. The sad truth is that the average lifespan of a mobile app is one month. People install them, give them a try, and if they don’t work well or are boring, out they go with the trash.
This is where small businesses should think long and hard, and then look at their budget before committing to an app. Games are popular, but does it have anything to do with the business? Is there a cool tool that could serve as the company mascot in the app world? If neither is true, spending thousands of dollars on the development of an app may not provide a good return on the investment.
Who do apps work well for? A real estate agent would be a good candidate. Since their clients are often out where internet service is unreliable, an app could fill the gap and deliver pre-loaded information about listings, serving as a mobile sales aid.
To your business success!