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Web Technology – What’s Right For Me?

Web Technology – What’s Right For Me?

Online gambling revenue through mobile devices is projected to reach $100 billion by the year 2017, so you know your casino needs a mobile presence. Any casino wanting to increase player loyalty and attract new players today needs an effective mobile strategy.

This is our one-stop guide to navigate you through your options for going mobile. Learn the difference between mobile apps, mobile sites, and responsive websites and what each does (or doesn’t do) for your casino’s marketing. At the conclusion of this article, we hope you have a better understanding of which option best suits the needs of your casino.

First, let’s figure out what’s new with Google.

In order for customers to find your website, it has to rank high in Google’s Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).  What many may not know is that Google rewrote the rules for SEO to penalize sites that are not mobile-friendly, taking mobile-friendliness into consideration when ranking pages in mobile search results.   

With smartphones and mobile devices becoming the primary way people connect to the Internet, it’s a given that any casino would want to rank prominently for relevant search terms.  Organizations that make it easy for these users to navigate their sites will enjoy higher search engine rankings, greater visibility, and, over time, increased revenues. Those who are slow to adapt to these changes will find themselves left behind.

Responsive vs. Mobile Friendly: What’s the Difference?

These two terms are used interchangeably so often that it’s easy to confuse what each one means. So here’s a breakdown of what makes each type of site distinctive:

  • Mobile-friendly sites feature static content that rarely changes. Responsive sites, on the other hand, usually incorporate dynamic material that can change on a daily or even an hourly basis.
  • Mobile-friendly sites use simplified navigation that lacks many of the features of full-sized websites. A responsive site, on the other hand, presents navigation options that vary depending on the device the site visitor is using.
  • Mobile-friendly sites use smaller images, while responsive websites focus more on condensing image files than on reducing the size of graphics.

To sum it up, mobile-friendly sites sacrifice some of the capabilities today’s technology offers in exchange for greater ease-of-use. Responsive sites, conversely, provide both types of experiences to visitors, tailoring the presentation to the device in use.

But what about Mobile Apps?

Do you want players to access your content or play games on their smartphone or tablet whether they’re online or not?  If your answer is yes, you’ll probably want to have a mobile app developed.

Mobile apps offer some unique functionality of their own; they are generally faster and load more smoothly than a responsive website or mobile-friendly site. Push notification features (badges, alerts or pop up messages), smartphone camera, and GPS functions are benefits to having a mobile app.

Which Is Right for My Organization?

As with so many things in life, the choice of going mobile-friendly versus responsive doesn’t break down to a simple “yes or no” answer. However, there are some useful criteria to guide you in making this all important decision:

  • If your site’s message can be reduced to simple text and graphic displays, then you’re better off going with a mobile-friendly site. On the other hand, if you need to display complex, dynamic information, then gear your site design efforts towards responsiveness.
  • If you have a limited need of images to convey your message, then a mobile-friendly site offers faster load times for visitors on the go. On the other hand, if graphic displays are an important part of what you’re trying to do, then focus on creating a responsive design.
  • If the site is intended for long-term use, then you’ll want it to be as responsive as possible. Conversely, if it’s intended to spread the word about an upcoming event or something else with a limited shelf life, then a mobile-friendly site will work fine.
  • Responsive websites are completely reliant on cellular or Wi-Fi internet access, whereas mobile apps can generally run offline. Since mobile apps reside in a closed environment and are not indexed by search engines, a responsive or mobile-friendly website may be the better choice in terms of reach and visibility.

Confused? We Understand Where You’re Coming From

If budget concerns require you to choose just one option, we would typically recommend that you prioritize the mobile-optimization of your website. Google searches are going to lead people to your casino’s website. It makes sense to get the website in order first by making certain your content and its presentation is mobile-friendly.

In the end, what’s best ultimately comes down to your casino’s primary needs. If you want to enhance your player loyalty program, apps offer functionality that is ideal to best serve your most valuable players, and a mobile app may very well take precedent over your mobile-optimization of your website. Start by asking yourself what your primary objective or need is, and then go from there.

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