Website vs App - which is better?
I am often asked about the advantages and limitations of websites and apps and whether one is better than the other. The answer in my view, and from what analytics data of our client schools shows me, is that neither out-performs the other in all aspects and that both have key advantages.
To illustrate what I mean, here are some strengths and limitations for both websites and apps*:
*as it pertains to your screenzest website and/or app
Everyone can find your website on the web
Blogs generate great search engine results
Your content is searchable on the web
Can be viewed on any device and screen size
News can be disseminated through various channels (social, email, blog, etc.) - creating more traffic back to your website
Push notifications have great click-through rates
Push notifications for urgent information/messages are very convenient and cost-effective
Works off-line (with data as of last time connected)
Fast loading times
No push notifications to smartphones and tablets
Only works online
Slower load times (compared to apps)
Content is not indexed by search engines
Not accessible via the web
Easy for users to turn off push notifications
Has to be installed from the app stores (adoption hurdle)
Limited to smartphones and tablets
So, it’s evident that no one solution offers all of the advantages over the other. What is very clear to me also when I try to answer the question of which is better, is that the only honest answer, is the dreaded: “it depends”…it depends on which area of performance we are talking about. Two areas I am keen to highlight from the above is:
website’s being indexed by search engines and
app’s key strength in push notifications engagement levels, convenience and cost-effectiveness.
This is where both are most polarized in terms of strengths and limitations. The app’s content is not indexed by search engines, so in terms of PR and access from the web as well as PC’s/Laptops, websites offer something that apps can’t. Voice technology (Alexa as an example) relies on search engine results to give you the information you requested and being a growing technology, I can’t see the importance of search engine indexing going away anytime soon - on the contrary. But when it comes to the fantastic levels of engagement and cost-effectiveness that push notifications offer, this is where apps shine and offer something special.
The future then, I believe lies in fusing the two, until they become one…it is an evolving space that I am experimenting with and I will be the first to write to you when that becomes reality. Until then, I will continue to integrate the two more and more and keep you updated with the continued evolution of both website and app technology and solutions, to help you create and nurture ever more meaningful human connections with your audience.