Move over desktops, because mobiles are hotter than ever. The latest figures from the OfCom Communications Market report show that the total browse time per month is much higher on smartphones. Indeed, in the United Kingdom, users spend on average 66 hours per month browsing on a smartphone, compared to 29 hours on a desktop. As we discussed in our previous article, mobile-only social networks, including Snapchat, are only ever getting more popular and this is driving increases in time spent on mobile devices. So, as a business owner, it can be difficult to decide what you should focus your efforts on in terms of various mobile mediums.
What is the difference?
The real question is where should you be investing your money: on the mobile web or on a mobile app? But what is the difference between the two? The mobile web means a website that is responsive and adaptive or designed specifically for mobile browsers. Mobile apps, on the other hand, draw in traffic and gain users.
The mobile web vs. mobile apps.
Research has shown that the mobile web is growing much faster than mobile apps; in fact, it is twice as big in terms of raw traffic. The traffic from the mobile web is also highly distributed, and we can draw a lot of similarities between the mobile web and the desktop web as users are familiar with this medium. Furthermore, when browsing on mobile web people visit so many unique websites every day through clicking on links, as, after all, when using the mobile web you aren’t contained within the walls of an app.
On the other hand, because of apps, we are now spending far longer on our mobile devices. Whilst we aren’t spending much more time on desktops than we were in 2010, the mobile world has gone crazy, such that people spend 85%-90% of their browsing time on a mobile phone. When you consider the likes of Instagram and Snapchat, that statistic does make a lot of sense. In terms of raw traffic, the reason apps aren’t sending out as much traffic is because you are less likely to click a mobile web link as you want to stay in the app that you are in. Furthermore, unlike mobile websites, people don’t visit hundreds of apps, they only visit a few.
The first thing you must consider when catering your brand for mobile devices is if your page or app is mobile friendly. You want to be able to deliver a great user experience right from the search, so optimise your site for search engines. Whether you decide to maximise your efforts in mobile web or mobile apps, ensure you are creating great content experience that delivers answers efficiently. If you are a smaller business, starting off with focusing on your mobile web experience is advised as it does provide a lot more features and functionality than you may have first thought. If you have a larger company and want to be able to send push notifications and if you have the power to generate downloads, then focus on app development.