Business owners and managers all over the world know that reaching their customers and keeping their attention is the key to long-term success. At the beginnings of the internet revolution, that meant a mad dash to secure the perfect business domain name and develop an e-commerce solution. As the internet became crowded with retailers and other businesses, finding new ways to gain consumer attention in the hyper-competitive digital space caused a shift towards search engine optimization (SEO) and other digital marketing techniques.
Early on, targeting relevant keywords and link-building were reliable ways to make sure a steady stream of potential customers found their way to a business website. An entire industry grew up honing the best tactics for rising to the top of search engine results pages (SERP). It’s a digital arms race that continues to this day, and it’s certain to remain that way for some time to come. If your business is keeping up with the latest SEO best practices, you probably feel well positioned for the future. There’s a problem, though. The future may have already moved on.
The New Paradigm
Although a robust online presence is still vital for every business, there’s been a marked shift in the way that consumers are making use of the internet. Ever since the introduction of the iPhone in 2007, an ever-larger share of the population has embraced smartphones. Surveys indicate that as of this year, 77% of Americans own a smartphone, and the number is still growing. While you may think that creating a mobile-friendly version of your business webpage will suffice to adapt to the shift, a closer look at the available data indicates otherwise.
By the end of 2016, statistics indicated that a full 60% of Americans’ digital time was spent using mobile apps. That means that your business website can’t attract anywhere near the share of attention as it had with the desktop users of the past. For a business to tap into this growing segment of users, there’s only one course of action – develop a business app.
Just as the digital marketing industry once grew to accommodate new business needs, there’s also a thriving ecosystem based on mobile app development rising to meet today’s business challenges. There are application development companies that offer one-stop solutions for businesses that are just beginning to enter the app market. It’s already a simple matter to outsource app development work in this way, as a pain-free means of jump-starting mobile business initiatives.
It’s also possible to hire programmers with the requisite talent to create an in-house team for application development. Businesses can choose an existing web application development framework software to serve as the basis of their app, and bring in developers who are already adept at it. Making use of such frameworks eliminates the costly steps associated with building solutions from the ground up, and makes it much easier to locate and hire staff that can get to work immediately.
The Mobile Future
Judging by the trajectory of the mobile market, it’s easy to foresee a day when mobile apps will completely eclipse legacy websites as the primary way that businesses interact with the public. That means that today’s businesses are running out of time to adapt to this new reality. The digital landscape today bears a striking resemblance to the early days of the internet – when innovators first cemented themselves into our collective consciousness. That kind of opportunity won’t last much longer.
Businesses that fail to make adjustments to their digital strategies to account for the rise of mobile apps run the risk of rendering themselves irrelevant in the very near future. One need only look at recent history to see some stark examples of businesses that didn’t adapt to changing technology. For today’s business owners and managers, the choice is clear – and the clock is ticking.
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