As an app owner it’s understandable that your main priority is to create a high quality app. The thought of needing a website has probably not even crossed your mind… Well, I suppose it has since you’re reading this blog, but I assume you aren’t entirely convinced.
Setting it up and then keeping it maintained requires money, time and effort. Plus, your users download your app from the app-store, not a website, so how is it even beneficial?
The truth is, your app store page can only do so much. With a website you can provide your potential users with much more in-depth information, in a space that’s completely under your control. Keeping reading to discover more reasons why having a webpage can benefit your mobile app.
5 Reasons Why Your App Needs a Website
1. Build Awareness Pre-Launch
Launching your web-page before the app is available is ideal for building awareness and momentum surrounding the official release. It would be pretty disheartening come launch day if nobody downloaded your app, right? With a website you can give potential users a taster of what your app will do using a great pitch, a few screenshots (if you have them) and even the option to subscribe to a waiting list. That way you can keep them informed about your apps progress and send a friendly reminder once it is available for download.
2. No Limitations
Publishing an app to either the Google Play or Apple app-store comes with a large list of guidelines and limitations. This includes restrictions on the number of screenshots and videos you can display on your app-store page, as well as limitations on their size, quality and content. With your own web-page you can let your creative juices flow freely and publish as much high quality content here as you wish.
Another major limitation for both the app stores is that you only get 4000 characters to explain why users should download your app. Whereas on a web-page you can give a more in depth description about your features, showing your potential users that you want them to fully understand your product before they make any commitments. This is especially beneficial if your app requires an upfront purchase before use or has any costly in-app purchases.
3. Direct Contact With Users
Most apps will (and most definitely should) have a support element built in to their app that allows users to easily reach out if they have any issues or suggestions. However, what if your users have some queries for you prior to the release or before they choose to download your app? Having a website gives that direct method of contact with your users. Whether it’s by providing a contact email address or via a live chat option, this ability to have a one-on-one conversation with them will prove beneficial. It can also help keep those unwanted bad reviews to a minimum. For apps that fail to provide their users with a visible means of contact, a user may feel their only option to being heard is by posting a review on the app store for all to see.
4. Control Over User Reviews
In an ideal world, your app store page would be filled with thousands of positive, glowing reviews and 5-star ratings. Around 59% of people have been found to check ratings and reviews prior to downloading a new app, making this a very vital element of the decision. And while there are strategies you can have in place to limit the damage and keep those reviews as positive as you can, this is not entirely in your control. Your website, however, is completely in your control. This means you can pick and choose exactly what reviews you wish to highlight and feature on your page in an attempt to portray your app in the best possible light.
5. Build On SEO
Having a website allows you to improve the search for your app on Google, Bing and the various other search engines. Even if you don’t have huge amounts of content on the website to begin with, it’s much better than nothing. With some clever optimization it will allow you to compete for rank on the various different search engines. Plus, if you are doing really well with your marketing efforts, and have bloggers and journalists talking about the launch of your app, then it will give them somewhere to link back to in their write-ups. Receiving these high quality links helps Google measure the authority of your website and will ultimately help you rank higher.
With a website in place you have the platform to start a blog, which is also an excellent way of improving your SEO. Begin by researching relevant keywords you could potentially compete for and start building content around these. Well written pieces of content will attract potential customers to your website to read about specific topics within your industry. It’s also a great way of keeping your current users, or those on a waiting list, engaged and updated in terms of how your development is coming along. You can use your blog to talk about your app’s design and features, and even get some very helpful feedback.
When Is The Right Time to Launch a Website For Your App?
The sooner, the better! Even if your app is still under development, having the website in place allows you to build some awareness and excitement regarding the launch. Offer users an incentive to sign up to an early access list, and give them the opportunity to provide feedback and ideas that you might be able to incorporate into the app.
Do I Really Need a Full Website?
No. If you only have one app and the functionality is pretty straightforward, then a simple landing page will be just as effective. This is essentially a one-page overview with branding, a link to download and contact information. This won’t take long to set-up and then in time you can consider adding additional pages such as a blog, user testimonials, a promo video etc.
10 Key Elements Your App Website Needs
- App name and icon
- App pitch/tagline: one sentence that explains what your app does and why people should download it
- Devices on which the app is available
- A clear call-to-action. This may be a sign-up form prior to app launch or download buttons that redirect to the relevant app-stores
- Social proof elements (once the app is released): user reviews, testimonials, awards won etc.
- App screenshots that demonstrate and explain the main features
- Promotional video: the closest a user can get to using your app without actually downloading it
- Links to your social media accounts
- Tap into social media mentions and display those on your site to let customers do the talking directly for you
- Contact information
To learn more about the various other marketing techniques that you can use to grow your app user base and retain loyal app users, check out The Ultimate Guide to Mobile App Marketing. I’d love to hear from you so feel free to reach out to me directly via firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions, or you can leave a comment below.