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Top 10 Reasons Your App Needs a Website

Top 10 Reasons Your App Needs a Website

You've poured your heart and soul into developing an incredible mobile app. It's beautifully designed, packed with excellent features, and primed to revolutionise its industry vertical. But here's the burning question: Is a mobile app alone enough nowadays?

The simple truth is that while apps are vital for many businesses, they can't go it alone successfully. Even in our über-connected world of smartphones and tablets, having a dedicated website is crucial for any app's long-term success. Are you not sold yet? Then, allow me to elaborate on why your app desperately needs a website wolfpack to run with.

10 Reasons Your App Needs a Website

You Need a Powerful Online Presence

Why Your App Needs A Website Design

Think about it – how do most people first discover new apps? The odds are that they don't randomly stumble upon them in an app store. Instead, it usually starts with an online search, reading reviews and recommendations, or clicking on a website or social media post.

Your app simply can't afford to lack a solid online presence and visibility. A professional website acts as your virtual storefront and megaphone to the world, allowing you to:

  • Rank higher in search engines for relevant keywords
  • Build brand awareness and credibility
  • Provide detailed info about your app's features and value prop
  • Share customer reviews, press mentions, and other social proof
  • Capture prospect email leads to nurture

Without this online hub, your app's metaphorical “opening night” will be a dim-lit, sparsely attended affair. But with a kickass website flying your flag, you can shout from the digital rooftops and ensure your app gets noticed.

Websites Offer Fuller Product Experiences

Let's face it – apps are inherently limited in how much info they can comfortably display without overwhelming the small screen. But you know what isn't limited? You guessed it – websites!

Your website provides a fuller, more in-depth product experience that isn't possible within an app's confines. This is where you can go into extensive detail explaining:

  • Your app's rich feature set and core benefits
  • Pricing plans, terms of service, and policies
  • Integration options and extended functionality
  • Company info, team bios, mission and values
  • Educational resources like guides and tutorials
  • Multimedia like videos, graphics, and downloadables

An app alone cannot (and should not) aim to be the be-all and end-all. A website is the perfect complementary channel for housing this extra context and value-adding content that builds loyalty and trust with your user base.

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Acquisition Channels Lead to Websites

You've likely spent countless nights brainstorming inventive user acquisition strategies to drive more app downloads and recurring engagement. PR and influencer marketing, paid ads, and social media promotion are many channels.

But where do most of those acquisition sources ultimately point prospective new users? Yeah, that's right – to your website!

  • Social media bios and posts link to websites
  • Search ads and search engine rankings send traffic to websites
  • PR articles and reviews link to company websites
  • Influencers share trackable website links in their promotion
  • Pretty much any digital marketing tactic leads to a website

It would be anticlimactic (and conversion-killing) if all of those potential new users landed somewhere other than a high-converting, info-packed website after clicking your promotion links, right? An app alone cannot efficiently capture, nurture, and convert those hard-earned leads effectively.

So, by all means, execute your acquisition efforts. But make sure you have a stellar website as the ultimate destination to maximise your ROI on those campaigns.

Websites Facilitate Better SEO Than Apps

Ui And Ux How To Get Featured On The App Store

Speaking of acquisition, let's talk SEO. While app store optimisation (ASO) is vital for essential discoverability, even world-class ASO can't hold a candle to an entire website's customisability and targeting abilities regarding SEO.

With a website, you can:

  • Develop extensive pages and content for various high-value keywords
  • Leverage blogging to add fresh, crawlable content continually
  • Implement detailed schema markup and other technical SEO tactics
  • Build quality backlinks from other authoritative sites
  • Easily integrate tracking and analytics tools
  • Test and iterate on conversion rate-optimised layouts

While top spots in app stores are ultra-competitive, a well-executed website SEO strategy allows you to rank for far more niche terms and long-tail search queries. This helps cast a wider acquisition net for prospective users at all stages of product research and the marketing funnel.

When someone searches “apps for XYZ,” they may not find yours. But when they get more specific with “best app for XYZ professionals” or “XYZ app with ABC integration,” your content will be waiting.

It Provides a Central Hub for Your Brand's Identity

Earlier, I mentioned that your website acts as a virtual storefront and marketing megaphone. But it goes well beyond just user acquisition. Your website is also your brand identity's anchor and core projection.

This is where you visually express:

  • Your logo and brand colours
  • Your brand's unique personality and voice
  • Your mission, values, and overarching story

Your brand's website is equivalent to its physical retail space or corporate office environment. It's where you control the entire narrative and experience.

With just an app, you're at the mercy of the app store's visual and branding limitations. Your app becomes another face in an endless crowd rather than standing out with its virtual “real estate” that you fully customise.

After all, you want your user's first brand experience to be entirely authentic and on your terms, don't you?

Websites Aid App Onboarding and User Education

Even the most intuitive apps require some initial education to get new users properly onboarded and set up for success. Continuous training and support are vital for driving long-term adoption.

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For these onboarding and training needs, an app's limited real estate doesn't cut it. Delivering in-depth walkthroughs and resource libraries within the app feels cumbersome and clunky.

But a dedicated website with custom learning portals? Now we're talking!

On your website, you can build out entire hubs solely devoted to onboarding new users and providing guidance like:

  • Step-by-step getting started docs and videos
  • Searchable knowledge bases and FAQ libraries
  • Integration guides and developer resources
  • Webinars, video tutorials, and interactive courses
  • User community forums and conversation channels
  • Channels for users to submit feedback and support tickets

With resources like these living on your website, you'll increase stickiness and delight your user base rather than driving them away with a frustrating initial experience.

In-App Purchases? Your Website Needs to Sell It

Blinkist App Website Design

Does your app employ any sort of paid premium plans, in-app purchases, or additional upsell products and services? If so, then having an informative website is an absolute necessity.

You wouldn't expect someone to purchase a new car based solely on a tiny showroom model or brochure, would you? Of course not – you'd want extensive details, comparisons between models and trims, pricing info, available add-ons, images, video walkthroughs, and more.

The same applies to your app's premium offerings and monetisation strategy. Your website needs to provide this level of depth so that users can make informed decisions before pulling out their wallets.

Features like:

  • Detailed pricing and packaging comparisons
  • Highlighted premium features and benefits
  • Testimonials and case studies from happy customers
  • FAQs addressing common pre-purchase questions
  • In-depth sales content like product videos and demos

Remember, you're asking your audience to consider spending their hard-earned money seriously. Trying to sell anything beyond tiny microtransactions through your app alone is futile. But with a decked-out, conversion-focused website? You maximise your chances of turning window shoppers into paying customers.

Your Website Acts as a Marketing Content Homebase

Okay, we've covered why your app needs full website support for user acquisition, SEO, branding, monetisation, and onboarding. But I've saved one of the most crucial roles for last:

Your company's marketing content machine needs a home base! I'm talking about the near-limitless content canvas that a website provides for fueling:

  • Lead generation through gated ebooks, templates, tools, and downloadables
  • Thought leadership through insightful articles and long-form guides
  • Product updates, announcements, launch details, and press releases
  • Audience growth through email list signups and content subscriptions
  • Link building via industry-leading coverage and authoritative reference

With just an app, there's no long-lasting hub for your premium content beyond fleeting in-app messaging. But on your website? You control the entire experience with unlimited creative freedom to flex your content marketing muscle.

You can design stunning multi-media experiences. You can build animated, conversion-focused lead capture funnels. You can combine different content types into immersive resource hubs that wow and delight your audience.

Most importantly, your content becomes a permanent fixture of the internet record. It gets crawled, indexed, and continually marketed for years to come so that the resources you create today keep compounding in value over time.

Simply put, your website turns content from a passing engagement into a perpetual audience-building machine.

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Analytics Dashboards Provide Powerful Insights

Here's a reality: many mobile-first companies wrestle with In-app analytics and often fail to tell the complete picture of your audience, marketing impact, and conversions.

Where are new users coming from before downloading? How many visited your website first vs. skipping that step? What marketing sources deserve the lion's share of attribution? Which channels yield higher retention and lifetime value?

With an advanced website tracking and analytics platform like Google Analytics woven into the mix, it's easier to gain a 360-degree view of these vital metrics.

However, when you have a dedicated website acting as your conversion funnel and marketing engine, you can easily track the entire user flow and lifecycle using a combination of:

  • Website behavior analytics
  • Heat maps and session recordings
  • Goal tracking and conversion metrics
  • Ecommerce tracking of purchases and revenue
  • Traffic source and campaign tracking
  • Custom reporting dashboards

This level of insight is invaluable for optimising your campaigns, improving conversion rates, unearthing new expansion opportunities, and doubling down on what's working.

It's simply one of those “better together” situations – with your app and website analytics speaking to each other, you gain exponentially more data-driven context versus looking at them in isolation.

Boost Your Trustworthiness and Credibility

App Website Trust Reputation

A well-designed, professional website does so much to garner trust and credibility for your app and overall brand perception. When you lack that web presence, it communicates a lack of commitment or a sense of a “fly by night” operation.

On the flip side, by investing in a stellar dedicated website, you instantly convey a sense of:

  • Legitimacy and polish
  • Experience and longevity
  • Customer focus and transparency
  • Reliability and support

A detailed, information-rich website signals you're an honest company with a superior product. It projects that you're willing to fully back your app rather than just pump it out and forget about it.

Plus, your website demonstrates your commitment to educating your audience and facilitating their ongoing success with valuable resources rather than simply trying to make a quick buck.

Simply put, a professional website helps reassure prospective customers that they can trust your app and feel supported long after converting into a paid user. That investment and prioritisation pay significant dividends for driving downloads, retention, and loyalty.

Bringing It All Together: A Blended Digital Ecosystem

Now that you've been thoroughly convinced of a website's importance let's wrap this up by recognising that your mobile app and website fulfil complementary yet intertwined roles in today's blended digital ecosystem.

Like a physical retail storefront with an online ecommerce shop, your app and website ideally work together in harmony:

The app is your core, dedicated product experience – streamlined and user-friendly for portable on-the-go usage.

The website facilitates:

For modern brands, these two channels create a cyclical, mutually beneficial acquisition and retention engine:

  • Your website attracts prospective new users through search, ads, social media, and content marketing
  • It nurtures them until conversion via persuasive info and incentives
  • Upon app download, the experience delights and users see the value prop
  • The app, in turn, drives them back to the website for ongoing support and education
  • This retention maximises lifetime value as they consume further content
  • The cycle continues as happy users spread the word via ratings, reviews, and word of mouth, fueling additional traffic into the website's funnel.
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So, while an app alone may be trendy and practical, combining it with a feature-packed website puts you leagues ahead. By leveraging these two channels, you maximise your integrated digital reach and conversion potential.

And really, can you make any less than a maximum effort in today's fiercely competitive digital landscape? You may want your app to survive and thrive!

FAQs

Can't an app's content and info just live within the app itself?

While apps can house some basic info, there are limitations regarding file sizes, formatting constraints, and the general user experience of digging through too much text and media within a mobile app interface. A website allows unlimited content without compromising the core app experience.

Isn't an essential “landing page” website enough to support an app?

An essential website or landing page doesn't provide a full-fledged content website and marketing engine's depth, resources, and conversion potential. It needs more flexibility to back up your app comprehensively.

Building a whole website seems like a lot of work. Is it worth the investment?

When looking at the big picture, having a dedicated website amplifies every aspect of your app – user acquisition, activation, retention, and monetisation. The ROI in helping your app reach its full potential is undeniable.

Is maintaining both an app and a website too costly?

While it requires an upfront website design/development investment, ongoing website maintenance and content management are relatively cost-effective (especially with modern CMS platforms). Compare this modest recurring cost to the potential upside of enhanced visibility, market reach, and revenue. It's a wise investment.

Are most app companies doing this with dedicated websites?

Yes, most successful, sustainable app companies across all industries have robust websites backing their core mobile app product—those who don't leave massive growth potential on the table versus their more savvy competitors.

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Stuart Crawford

Stuart Crawford is an award-winning creative director and brand strategist with over 15 years of experience building memorable and influential brands. As Creative Director at Inkbot Design, a leading branding agency, Stuart oversees all creative projects and ensures each client receives a customised brand strategy and visual identity.

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