You’ve already created a responsive website to meet the demands of your mobile visitors, so what else could you possibly need?
The answer – you need to create an app to match your website. Mobile users aren’t content with a mobile friendly site alone. For some tasks, they’d prefer a native app.
The good thing is you don’t have to start from scratch. The idea is to match your app to your existing site so it’s familiar to users, yet even easier to use than your site.
Focus On Most Used Areas
Every area and feature of your website isn’t used equally. For instance, your About Us page probably doesn’t see as many visitors as your Contact Us page. Your mobile app should be a pared down version of your website that focuses on the most used areas and features.
Start by looking at your analytics data. This shows you which pages and features you users might want and need in app form.
Make Conversions Easier
You want to increase conversions, so why not make that a central part of your app? For instance, ecommerce stores should make it quick and easy to search for products, view larger images and make purchases. A mobile site might show 10 products per page, but a mobile app might only show five and allow maximising images with a single tap. Out of the top 500 merchants, 42% of sales came from a mobile app. This is in part because it’s quicker and easier.
Consider how your app could help boost conversions. Is social sharing important? Add a social feature to your app. Want more emails subscribers? Ask for signups during the checkout process or after viewing a blog post.
Incorporate Your Brand
When you create an app to match your website, you shouldn’t lose your brand identity. When a consumer is already interested in your brand, they’re likely to search for an app to make it easier to interact with your brand. An overwhelming 52% of mobile users worldwide are more likely to make a purchase from branded or store apps.
As long as the app accurately reflects the brand and even website your visitors are accustomed to, they’ll feel right at home using it. The idea is to make it easier for visitors to interact with your brand on the go while still having a website for when they want to dig deeper into your site.
On your website, you might have a list of links or linked tabs that serve as your main navigation. While this layout works well on a desktop or even the responsive version of your site, it’s not ideal for your app. Think of how you can condense your navigation. Is every page necessary? Would drop down menus work best to condense options? Figuring out the best way to streamline navigation without losing the same flow as your website usually requires talking to your developer.
Integrate With Device Features
The best part of having an app is you’re able to take advantage of all the features on the user’s phone or tablet. For instance, a fitness site might have an app that allows users to take pictures and share them straight from the app. It’s not something you’d likely have on your website, but it’s a feature that would increase brand awareness and even conversions.
Your app doesn’t have to match your site exactly. Focus on core features and then integrate device features to make users see your app as something slightly unique from your site. This makes your app a must have for anyone who loves your site and brand.
Most sites can benefit, even if it’s only by having interactive contact information that allows users to call with a click or bring up directions directly from the app.
Create An App To Match Your Website
Even five years ago, a responsive design seemed liked something only certain sites needed. Now, Google’s made it an important part of a site’s success. If having a mobile app to match your website seems crazy, imagine how different users will be in another five years. Apps are becoming more popular and work as the ideal alternative and even compliment to your website.
Want to create the perfect compliment to your own website? Contact StuartMedia today to discuss a matching app for your site.
Image: Alejandro Escamilla