Mobile search optimization is not something that users should be thinking of, but it’s something they should be doing now. Rachel Pasqua of iCrossing said there are 2.3 billion mobile subscribers compared to 1 billion computer users. It’s easy to forget that not all jobs require the use of a computer on a daily basis. But, most jobs require a mobile phone to stay connected.
Gregory Markel of Infuse Creative stated that WAP or .mobi is no longer dominating the mobile scene. With the introduction of the iPhone, the Nokia s60 and Opera Mini True Web Browser, the real web is quickly becoming available. However, most users don’t have those phones yet and we need to start optimizing sites for mobile phones that are currently in the mass market.
Gregory stated that there are really three ways to get your site optimized for mobile.
- One website with different style sheets for screen (web browser) and mobile.
- Separate sites for mobile users. Like m.website.com and code that site just for phones.
- Get into local directories like Google local so that GOOG 411 can bring up your listing and information when people use the voice activated searches.
Cindy Drum of Blue Moon Works stated that mobile is an industry that is in it’s infancy and there are lots of things to consider. There are many different browsers on many different phones at different speeds to be concerned with.
Cindy gave a lot of tips to optimize the site you have right now. Here are a few of them:
- Follow all SEO best practices.
- Code in XHTML as it’s less forgiving to code errors and will help ensure your site looks good on all platforms.
- Use separate CSS files for mobile and on screen rendering.
- Use %s for sizes instead of pixels as that’ll help ensure that things scale down.
- Hide items in the mobile CSS or re-arrange items to ensure that content isn’t pushed to far down the mobile page.
- Submit mobile sites to mobile search engines.
- Have a mobile site map.
- Provide relevant info for mobile users. Things like phone, address and hours of operation in the header and/or footer.
- Make phone numbers clickable so users can click and call.
- Optimize videos and podcasts to mobile too.
- Use jump links to drive traffic down to content areas on your site.
- Avoid Flash or other custom applications as not all phones will support all plugins.
There are items that you can do today to optimize for the mobile web, however you should take a good look at your website a few different mobile phones to get a true indication of what your users may be seeing.