Mobile Developments for Small and Home Business
The rapid expansion of the Mobile Web and the success of smartphones and tablets open new opportunities and imperatives for Website Developments. In as much as Semiomantics is concerned, the focus is set on two main issues:
- Conversion and integration of web content into an App
- Publishing on Multiple Platforms
Conversion and integration of web content into an App
Whether it is a simple blog or a shop, a photo site or a video library, a directory or any other content, your website can be converted and integrated into a mobile App. Production cost will vary in function of the complexity of the development. I mention cost at this point because for the time being, App developments are still relatively expensive, but that’s the price to pay for a seat in the front row.
The mobile web and mobile devices and platforms offer today many features designed to enhance conversation, feedback and interaction which are much more dynamic, flexible and user-friendly than those offered on traditional websites. Also, an App is much easier to use on a smartphone than surfing a website.
Bookmarking a website and then accessing (loading) it at a later time is one thing; accessing an app with the content already downloaded to the device is a completely different story. Surfing the web on a smart device is in many countries relatively slow and linked to excessive cost for bandwidth. The App is a onetime download and thereafter only updates will need to be downloaded, which saves time and bandwidth.
Communication between the user and the App owner or amongst the users can take place using all mobile features, from email, over SMS to Push Notifications which will display an alert immediately. Skype integration (or other communication plugins) is a plus.
Publishing on Multiple Platforms
The mobile web has been dominated by Blackberry first, today by Apple (iOS, iPhone, iPad), Android Operating System by Google and Microsoft with Windows Mobile. Producing for multiple platforms is costly but seems to become a necessity for as long as no uniform standards prevail.
Like publishing a website, App publishing has to do with visibility, traffic and sales. Mobile web users are active on Google, Facebook and in App Stores to find what they are looking for. This is a key issue: Apple’s App Store with over 500 000 Apps has become a real search heaven. If your name, brand or product is not available there, you are losing out on the potential of the mobile market.
App Store Optimization and Marketing
You can write the best App in this world, if it cannot be discovered by interested people, it’s worthless. As mobile web users surf the stores to find Apps corresponding to their needs, it is important to
- Optimize the App you submit to a store and to monitor downloads and reviews
- Market the App inside and outside the store.
- Make sure search algorithms can detect and become aware of the existence of your app and as the case may be optimize for top ranking.
For the time being it is not clear how Search Engines will deal with Apps nor how App stores will make more App related info available to bots, however it can be expected that sooner or later Google will include App results as they have included Video and Images or Local Content into their search returns.