Mobile phones are becoming an ever popular way to use the internet, especially with smart phones now accounting for over 50% of all the phones used in Australia.
There are all sorts of other usage and growth figures being bandied around for mobile and it is without a doubt a fast growing usage area that we have witnessed firsthand with our own clients seeing between 5% to 10% of their paid search campaign traffic coming via mobile phones.
Year on year growth figures for mobile search is agreed to be between 200% & 250% which is very high.
What we see with many SMBs is that they are still not optimised for mobile search and mobile visits. So let’s have a look at what you should look to have set up during 2012 so your business can make the most of mobile traffic.
A Mobile Version of Your Website
The first thing to look at is creating a mobile version of your website. People using a mobile phone are viewing your website using a smaller screen size and maybe with less time as they might be on the move.
Your mobile website needs to have its own version of your design, based on a smaller screen width, with possibly a more simplistic set of navigation options and less overall text per page.
For instance, with legal websites we will concentrate on publishing the Home, Firm, Staff, Service and Contact page but leave out the additional information such as articles, FAQs and newsletters. This is based on the idea that people are less likely to read long pages of content on their mobile phone.
If you are using a good CMS system such as the CMS used by GossipNet, you can simply publish out your mobile site from the same data source, meaning its purely a design update and a one off development job to publish out the mobile version of your website.
Mobile site development checklist
- Publish the site on a sub domain of your main website e.g. www.m.gossipnet.com.au
- Update the design to use a smaller screen width
- Simplify the navigation structure
- Publish the most important sales information, leave out the research material
- Include a link in the footer back to the non mobile website in case they want to access the full site
Your Mobile website and SEO
When people visit your website from a mobile device a server script detects there device and redirects them to the mobile version of your website.
It’s also important to do this for Google by using a Robots text file so that you direct the normal Google spider to your normal site and the mobile version to your mobile site as Google have a mobile version of their search engine that you would like your site to rank within.
There are other steps to take for SEO such as setting up and configuring Google Webmaster tools for the mobile site.
It’s also important to set up the domain correctly with a .mobi domain an option as well as sub domains and sub folders of your main site url. The preferred option for SEO is to use a sub domain.
It’s important to plan & configure your mobile site correctly, so a good SEO consultant should be part of the development team for your mobile website release.
Your Mobile website and Paid Search
For over two years now Google has provided the option to target your ads specifically to mobile and tablet devices.
Once you have a mobile version of your website it is best practice to separate your mobile Google Adwords campaign from the desktop and tablet version (we consider a tablet has the same needs as a desktop user at this stage).
In this way you can direct people from mobile phones straight to the mobile site.
It’s also important to separate the campaign so that you can manage bids and average positions separately as you may want to run higher positions on your mobile campaign as there are less advertising spots on the mobile version of Google search.
You will also find that click to call phone numbers in your mobile Google ads campaign will be used a lot more then the desktop version of your campaign.
These are the basics of optimising for mobile. There may be other options for you to consider based on the individual aspects of your business and your business goals.
Its important to have somebody experienced set and implement your mobile website strategy. Contact the team at GossipNet for a consultation on mobile website development, mobile SEO and mobile paid search ad campaigns.