Jenny provided some advice for setting up a mobile. The first step is to determine your resources (money, etc). You then need to use simulators to view your current site from a mobile perspective. After determining your resources, build a dedicated mobile site, but make sure to link back to the HTML site for users who may want to view the classic view. Other tips:
- Have a ‘skip to content’ link near the top.
- Goog 411 uses top 8 results not top 10
- Be XHTML compliant
- Use ‘tel’ tags on phone numbers to enable click to call and make sure to use the full 10 digit number, not a 7 digit number.
- Use CSS & div tags to put navigation below your content
- Submit a mobile sitemap
Chris Silver Smith:
Chris recommended checking out http://www.localsearchguide.org for more info on IYPs (Internet Yellow Pages) and local search engine networks. For more info on the top reasons that people access the Internet from a wireless phone, check out this comScore report. Chris cited stats that 38% of searches on IYPs convert into a sale and that users of IYPs are also more likely to have a higher income ($100k+) so make sure you are using the IYPs.
He continued and noted that mobile companies are resistant to open platforms and have operated as walled communities but this should be changing in the near future. So what should companies do to operate in these fragmented markets? If you are a small to medium sized business you should probably rely on an agency with experience with mobile advertising due to the fragmented nature of the industry. Large businesses will need dedicated mobile advertising employees and should also consult with an external agency to keep up to date on best practices. He expects a change away from the current mobile sites to standard html sites on mobile browsers similar to how the iPhone works.
Make sure to use basic SEO practices for your local campaigns and use the free business listings available from Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and others. Where should you advertise? Be careful to do your research of who uses whose data, because buying one ad may get you exposure across many different local & mobile search networks. Also, you need to track the effectiveness of the ads and using tracking phone numbers is a good way to do this.
Most importantly in local/mobile search you need to pay close attention to the industry since it is changing very rapidly.
Paul believes that the ‘small screen’ is the web of the future and most browsing will be done in a similar manner as on the iPhone since it provides rich web content and isn’t as limited as other mobile devices. Make sure to weigh the pros and cons of mobile specific campaigns to see if it truly fits your needs and that you have the available resources to ensure an effective campaign. Also make sure that you know who you are targeting. The early adopters of the mobile web are business users in the 25-54 year range who are always on the go. This demographic rely on their mobile devices for news, sports, weather, etc. The other demographic is the youth market of 13-17 and the 18-34 year olds who are most likely interested in entertainment, movies, television, and video games. This group will be more likely to ignore the marketing messages so approach them with a well crafted message on a timely product. Paul’s favorite sources for mobile marketing are Enpocket, ThirdScreen and Quatro Wireless.
Many issues were discussed regarding duplicate issues that may arise from having both a traditional and mobile web site so be sure to watch carefully and troubleshoot any issues that may arise. The panelists were upset that no guidance has been given by the major search engines on how to avoid these issues and best practices for managing the similar content on the sites. The best bet is to upload a mobile sitemap and monitor search results for the two versions of your site.