As an inbound marketing company it is always our endeavour to suggest UX optimisation to our client's websites. To increase engagement as well as decrease the bounce rate. Did you know according to Google 53% of users will abandon a site if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load! Scared yet? You should be! But don't worry there's a new technology to your rescue, enter Progressive Web App. Now you might be wondering, what are Progressive Web Apps?What are Progressive Web Apps?Progressive Web Apps, aka PWAs, is a standard of modern web apps pushed by Google, which can be prompted by a mobile browser to be installed as a native app on your phone. It's the best way to make their web apps load faster and more performant. The best thing about it is, just like native apps it works offline too and doesn't take half the space of a native app.Cool! Am I right?!
Why Build Progressive Web Apps?
In Google's own word PWA's are web apps that are Reliable, Fast and Engaging. Making your website earn a place on the user's home screen, growing your customer engagement and increasing your conversions. Now you obviously must be thinking that's too vague! Technically speaking, it means adding manifest.json to your web app which would describe the web app's behavior as a native app (like it's icon, it's theme color and splash screen etc) and registering a Service Worker, which would help cache the static files(CSS, js etc).You might be thinking that's all fine, but does it help in SEO? The answer, definitely! Imagine the amount of effort and cost it can save you from. Until recently, search engine optimization (SEO) for apps was limited to listing in the app store and app indexing. With the help of the app indexing introduced by Google, it’s possible for users to receive link recommendations that directly refer to the contents of the installed app in Google search using the Google search app, however, for this, the source code of the website must be edited. Here lies the biggest advantage of PWA, the fact that the links are indexed by Google, without any additional effort than a basic sitemap.As I mentioned earlier a lot of the web app works offline as well so, even it's great for engaging customers from the developing parts of the world.
Case Study: Twitter Lite
Twitter PWA is a big example of the prowess of PWAs. Their Twitter Lite saw 75% increase in tweets with new PWA, making it the fastest, least expensive, and most reliable way to use Twitter. The official data shows:
- 65% increase in pages per session
- 75% increase in Tweets sent
- 20% decrease in bounce rate
Add to that the PWA is only 600KB over the wire vs. 21.64MB of downloaded data needed to install the native Android app.
Do I need a Progressive Web App?
Short answer, not necessarily. Depends on multiple factors, cost, type of audience your website has etc. PWA is a developing a technology and is still in early stages. Although only a few companies have adopted it for now, but with increasing mobile usage, it seems like a sensible enhancement to your web app.