Is It Better to Create a Mobile Website or a Mobile App? | Ep. #376

In Episode #376, Eric and Neil discuss whether it is better to create a mobile website or a mobile app. Tune in to decide whether it’s worth your time to create an app or just focus on your website being optimized for mobile. Eric and Neil discuss what they prefer and why it depends on your niche. They also emphasize that whatever route you take—mobile app or website—make sure you focus on making the BEST user experience possible.

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 00:27 – Today’s topic: Is It Better to Create a Mobile Website or a Mobile App?
  • 00:40 – Eric personally prefers creating a mobile website that is a responsive website
  • 00:58 – Eric also has a mobile app that they built with BuildFire
    • 01:03 – It includes their podcast
  • 01:16 – Unless you’re providing a unique function that requires an app, having a website is just fine
  • 01:40 – Prioritize making the best user experience when it comes to your product
    • 01:52 – Neil created an app before but the usage isn’t very high
  • 02:00 – Mobile optimized websites are simpler and drives more users
  • 02:22 – A website is enough for those content-oriented sites, just make it sure it’s optimized for mobile
  • 02:40 – Eric shares a study regarding app usage
  • 03:30 – Neil has less than 10 apps on his phone
  • 03:35 – Marketing School is giving away a free 1 year subscription to Crazy Egg which is a visual analytics tool that helps you increase your conversion rate
  • 04:44 – That’s it for today’s episode!

3 Key Points:

  1. The percentage that describes mobile app usage varies per industry.
  2. Consider your audience when creating a mobile website or mobile app—are they more likely to use the app directly or just stick with the browser to check your product?
  3. Eric and Neil both agree that it is better to focus on mobile websites rather than an app if your site is more content-oriented.

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Full Transcript of The Episode

Speaker 1: Get ready for your daily dose of marketing strategies and tactics from entrepreneurs with the guile and experience to help you find success in any marking capacity. You're listening to Marketing School with your instructors Neil Patel and Eric Sui.

Eric: Welcome to another episode of Marketing School. I'm Eric Sui.

Neil: And I'm Neil Patel.

Eric: And today we're going to talk about if it's better to create a mobile website or a mobile app. Again, I'm going to start with an eye-rolling answer. It depends. For me personally, I prefer to create a mobile website which is just a responsive website, because for the stuff that I run, let's say it's an agency, it's just simpler. People are just searching for agencies through a browser and that just makes sense for me. But having said that, we do just have a mobile app as well. We use a tool call Build Fire to build a mobile app. It's actually fairly simple to do and it includes our podcast and things on there as well. If I can choose one or the other, I would choose a mobile website because that's where most of my audience is hanging out because most of the time they are on a desktop or mobile looking for an agency.

Neil: Unless you're providing unique functionality that requires an app, and generally you don't really need one, more people are just going to come to your mobile website assuming you're just content oriented. If you're a booking profile where someone can book airline tickets, hotels, and all that kind of stuff and they continue to use you on a regular basis ... or like a car service like Uber, it would be hard to do that through a mobile website.
So think about the user experience. If something would be really difficult to do through a mobile website, then you want to create an app. If it would be unnecessary to have an app and it's overkill, then a mobile website should be fine.
But on my end, I've created a mobile apps in the past, like KISSmetrics and stuff, I don't do it anymore, because I found that usage just isn't high and you get way more usage from doing something simple like just making your website responsible and working on mobile applications or mobile phones and devices. In addition to that, when you're doing anything mobile related it's more work and more development so do you really want to maintain a desktop website, a mobile website, and a mobile app? It's a pain in the butt. For most of you guys, if you're just content oriented, a website's enough and just make it responsive so it works on mobile devices as well.

Eric: I mean, here's a case study. Here's some numbers from ... This is actually from two years ago, right. So even though a lot of people use their smartphones a lot, the fact of the matter is maybe only five apps see heavy use, so chances are your app's not going to see a lot of use either. Back in the day or a couple of years ago, there's this mobile app, Gold Rush ... Everyone's trying to make an app all the time. Now that's since died down. I'm scrolling through my phone right now ... a large percentage of these apps I haven't opened for months or weeks so that's just the fact of the matter ... You're trying to pull people's attention. At the end of the day, it's hard to do that if you don't have a repeated use, like Neil's talking about like an Instagram or Uber or or that you're using all the time. So, just keep that in mind. Remember it's a battle for attention at the end of the day. Neil anything else?

Neil: Yeah, unlike Eric, I don't have a ton of apps on my phone because I'm OCD but, on my phone, I can literally count on one to two hands how many apps I have. I should have less than 10 apps on my phone.

Eric: So that's it for today, but before we go we do have one year annual subscription to Crazy Eight that we want to give away. So, Neil, what's Crazy Eight?

Neil: Crazy Eight is a visual analytics tool. It shows you where people are clicking and where they're not. Think of it this way, if you have the wrong elements on the wrong pages in areas on your site and people aren't clicking on it ... What's gonna happen? You're not going to generate any sales. We also show you how far people scroll down your page. Again if you have your really important messaging below the fold where no one scrolls and your call to action below the fold and no one sees it, then they're not going to click on it and convert. Same with your design. You need to design changes off the feedback that you're getting from users, analytics, tools like Google Analytics. How do you make them really easily? You can't if you go through your designer or developer. They'll take forever and cost you a lot of money. Crazy Eight has a Wizzywig feature where you can make the design and copy changes on your own with no technical skills and you can even run AB tests with just a click of the button.

Eric: There you have it. If you want to get in on this one year annual subscription we're giving away one every single week and you can actually get multiple entries, so if you want to learn more about how to do this, just go to And we will see you tomorrow.

Speaker 1: This session of Marketing School has come to a close. Be sure to subscribe to more marketing strategies and tactics to help you find the success you've always dreamed of. And don't forget to rate and review so we can continue to give you the best daily content possible. We'll see you in class tomorrow, right here, on Marketing School.

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