The growth in the Mobile Industry over the last decade has made it paramount for all businesses to have Mobile Sites in order to reach this growing new target market.
Current local (South Africa) trends show that:
- There are ten million mobile Internet users in SA (Five million PC Internet users in SA)
- One in six Google searches in SA originates off a mobile device.
- In South Africa about 40 percent of mobile phone users have WAP-enabled phones.
- The top Mobile Applications currently in South Africa are: Mxit – with 15 million+ users – and Facebook.
- Mobile search and eCommerce will be a large area of growth in 2010.
In short, this indicates an importance for businesses to target mobile searchers and users of mobile applications.
Some of the best Mobile Site examples I can give include BBC, the Goal mobi site, and College Humour (N/B: “these examples obviously look better on your mobile phone – feel free to suggest your favourite mobile sites below“).
However, when creating a Mobile Site it is also imperative to build and optimise the Mobile Sites so it is user-friendly and accessible on the Mobile Web.
Mobile Design and SEO Best Practices
When designing a Mobile Site one aspect to consider is that one must understand that mobile searchers/users are different from PC searchers/users. In order to cater for Mobile users designers must:
- Provide an elegant experience by considering whether individuals possess a smart phone (for example an iPhone with fully featured web browsing) or a standard mobile phone (with stripped site features).
- Consider that phones are not used like PC’s – users are usually on the go therefore the site should be more goal oriented – Relevancy and Simplicity is key.
- Mobile designs are to conform to the new W3C standards in order to create mobile-friendly style sheets (CSS).
- Mobile Sites must be small, lightweight and fast-loading site – (< 20kb / page).
- Consider User Agent Detection – this is another form of transcoding which takes into consideration the type of mobile phone an individual uses to search and provides more uniform browsing experience for various device types.
Once the Mobile Site has been built, Mobile SEO steps can now come into play. These include:
- Major keywords in the title tagging
- H1′s and body text
- Rich keyword Meta Titles and Descriptions
- Keyword-rich anchor text for internal links
3. Mobile Search results tend to reflect ‘Local Search results’ – your site must be optimized for local type searches. Also submit your business info to local directories making sure your site is verified and included in sites like Google’s Local Business Center.
4. Get the Mobile Site spidered and indexed – submit to major search engines:
In short, the above Mobile Design and SEO factors are to be strongly considered when building a Mobile Site. These aspects help provide a solid Mobile Site foundation for your Mobile Campaign or Strategy. For further Mobile Campaign or Strategy enquiries, visit our Virtuosa website.