One of the main reasons for the cancellation of the weather contract, according to a number of sources, is the Met Office’s inability to create a ‘good phone app’.
There is an existing app from the Met Office on Apple’s App Store, but it has a miserly two-star rating and is apparently prone to crashing. Users have also slated how difficult the app is to use when all they want is a simple, accurate reading of the weather.
Enough to warrant ending a 94-year relationship and spark national outcry? That’s a matter of opinion; if the BBC feels that it can get a better weather service for the public then it has every right to shop around for offers.
The app argument is interesting though, especially considering the government is urging Auntie to make more of its online properties while cutting budgets.
Is an app really the best way to do it, though, or could both properties be benefitting more from mobile website optimisation?
Do you have an app for your business? How is it helping you to get word of your business out and earn revenue? Let me know in the comments section below.
The BBC’s a bit of an extreme case. It’s a global behemoth that’s going through a very tough time at the moment and a lot of internal and external change. It’s also a huge source of creativity with lots of different departments. Its strategies must be very complicated.
But there is also a lot of conjecture around the way the BBC generally performs online. A lot of people find its website a bit of a shambles, and is only just moving it to a new mobile-friendly design now, which has been heavily criticised by users.
A huge portion of the BBC’s budget goes on ‘online’; £174million in fact, so can it not really do better with keeping ahead of the curve when it comes to web design and online trends?
I digress a bit. For all the problems the BBC has it’s able to output apps, websites, and lots of diverse media content. And not many companies are able to afford that luxury.
Strat’s the way to do it
As I mentioned earlier a lot of it comes down to careful preparation, planning, and what you want to achieve from your overall strategy. A lot of brands think an app will set them apart and make them look savvy.
That’s not always the case, though. A good app can be very expensive to create and maintain, and a lot of advertising investment can be needed to push it out to the right audience. Still, get it right and it could be a good earner for your digital arm.
Some stores like to have apps to push coupons and deals to people that have downloaded one. With push notifications especially that can ensure a large database of people immediately get access to vouchers and products, all in one go.
But perhaps a mobile website optimisation strategy can be equally as effective for less money. A store could publish vouchers and loyalty rewards through an email strategy, and draw people to sign up through a well-optimised mobile website that collects data and encourages people to click on other areas.
The point is there are things an app can do well that a website particularly can’t, and there are things that a well-optimised website can do that blows apps out of the water. Until your company grows so you have the chance to experiment with a number of mediums, though, you have to choose your strategy carefully.
Is it better to have an optimised mobile website, an app, or have both working together in tandem to raise awareness of your brand? Let me know below!
3 ways mobile optimisation beats apps
And for a lot of smaller companies especially that means making the most of monetising their mobile presence until they can look at developing and experimenting with an app. Here are some benefits that a good well-optimised mobile website can give over an app:
#1 A rankings boost
Google now gives sites that are mobile-friendly a rankings boost in mobile search results. And, without looking to play devil’s advocate, for my money it’s a lot more straightforward to optimise a mobile website for responsive devices and mobile search than it is to get an app to climb up the charts and push it hard. Google also has a site to let you know if your site is mobile-friendly, and gives you tips on how it can be improved.
#2 Sites can be easier to amend
An app available to download is there, warts and all, ready for the public to try. If users find problems they can let you know about it in the reviews, for better or worse. You’ll then have to amend the app and resubmit which can be quite an awkward process. A mobile site can be amended in real-time and also be A/B tested to get it as user-friendly as possible and evolve over time as your brand and business grows.
#3 New, innovative ways to collect data
As search and online marketing continues to change on a regular basis so do new ways to ethically capture data and provide engaging online journeys for your users and audience. There’s no single way that an app can be better at this than a mobile website; continue to evolve your strategy and target the right people and build a database of people that come back for more.
Larger businesses have the option of opening up corresponding apps when users visit their website, and this can be beneficial. But don’t believe you can’t grow without an app. The right mobile marketing strategy is worth its weight in gold for both you and potential customers.
If you’d like to know more about mobile website optimisation and how it can help your business speak to a Webpresence representative today!