The browser is now at least 21 years old. Some of you might recall the early mosaic browser, predecessor to Netscape’s groundbreaking Navigator:

Technology improvements have accelerated. Smartphones, iPads and fast cellular networks are everywhere. Apps reign supreme. New sensors and cloud services are built for the app world.

User expectations have completely changed. Point and click with a “mouse” is fading away while touch and ambient awareness experiences drive massive investment.

Past Choices
Website choices have often been made without considering usability. Search engine optimization (SEO) is just one example.

Some websites place hundreds of links and actions on their home page following the advice of consultants. Others follow consultant advice to simply copy a national aggregator’s website.

Still more view a website as a brochure for the company.

A few focus on client experience/lead generation, though that space is increasingly usurped by simple and fast apps.

Further, about 36% of web traffic is considered fake, often driven by spam bots.

Plan Ahead
First, 86% of smartphone usage is on apps. 83% of Americans between 18 and 29 have a smartphone. 74% between 30 and 49.

Every broker should have a fast, native app. Do not purchase a website pretending to be an app. There are several on the market and they are terrible. They damage the broker and agent brand.

Second, websites will be around for awhile. If you want people to use them (rather than bots or “SEO farms”), they must be simple, fast & elegant. Many vendors are trying to stuff their legacy web world into the mobile space. The result is a slow mess. Hardly a pleasant, lead generation opportunity. Brokers sticking with a web only or fake web app strategy simply drive opportunities to competitors and aggregators.

Broker Strategy Chat
Virtual Properties has been working on the web since 1995. We released our first native mobile app, for the Palm VIIx in 1999 and a native app for the iPhone in 2008.

Call +1 608 468 6013 or email jim@vp.io to learn what’s possible in the new world. Postmodern computing, indeed.

Background reading:

Mobile Technology Fact Sheet

How mobile is taking over the web.

A ‘Crisis’ in Online Ads: One-Third of Traffic Is Bogus.

When SEO Fails: Single Channel Dependency and the End of Tutorspree

SEO: Brokers Competing with Google Properties; Apps Now Majority of Facebook Usage

Design for humans not bots