Mobile in Minutes: the Cautious Company’s Guide to Mobile SEO

As much as I think that relevant, digital, query-driven mobile search marketing is both the wave of the future and an opportunity for today, I hear you Alice Z. Cuneo of AdAge and the eMarketer Report that supports “Why ‘08 isn’t Mobile’s Year—Again”. 2008 may not be mobile’s year.

As David Berkowitz pointed out, mobile may not have a year, per se, but a series of years in which the medium becomes what we all knew it could be. However, if we’re all waiting for others to have that “Hallelujah” moment, without experimenting and receiving success for ourselves, progress in this field will never be made, and mobile marketing will always be hype.

With that in mind, I present five simple ways to enter mobile marketing today that don’t require many resources or much of an understanding of the complexities of the medium. Because I’m pretty sure Mobile SEO for Dummies is taken, this is the cautious company’s guide to mobile SEO…

1) iPhone Optimization
The iPhone is currently only 2% of the handset market, but recent studies indicate that its users are affluent, young and rabid users of the mobile Internet and mobile search. The way to reach this audience properly would be to build an iPhone specific web site, do iPhone specific keyword research and build an iPhone app of your relevant web content; but if you are a cautious company or a time-starved small business owner you can get more iPhone traffic by simply using progressive enhancement if you use Flash or forgoing it altogether. At this point, even the iPhone can’t display Flash, and using it without text alternatives will not help you reach users on mobile devices, visually-impaired users or search engine spiders. Watch your iPhone traffic rise in traditional web analytics. No mess, no fuss.

2) Handheld Style Sheets
No, handheld style sheets do not fully address the mobile user experience, and they can’t be processed by every mobile device. They’re not an ideal solution for mobile marketers or developers, but they are a quick one. They also work for getting mobile content indexed in most search engines.

3) Mobilized Content
There are many things that I don’t like about mobilizers these days, and I wouldn’t recommend them for creating optimized content generally. But they do create fast mobile content. If your options are limited, mobilize a site in minutes with something like Winksite or moFuse Grow. You may have to customize it later in order to make it more accessible, but at least mobile users will have something to find when they’re looking for your brand.

4) Mobile Specific Keyword Research
When doing keyword research for your site, make sure you consider the mobile user. As I mentioned in an earlier post, mobile users search differently, and might be looking for different content in different ways than your desktop users. It’s not necessary to do a great deal of mobile keyword research when optimizing your desktop site, but it doesn’t take long to filter those pages on your site mobile users might be looking for with data from the JumpTap mobile keyword tool, Yahoo! Mobile Search Assist or Google iPhone/iPod Touch Suggest.

5) Mobile Analytics
Track your success. As I mentioned in an earlier post, if you’re using Google Analytics or another popular web analytics package to track your mobile users, you’re probably only seeing part of the picture. Add Mobilytics or another mobile analytics package to your desktop site to get a better sense of your mobile traffic. It may actually be the year of mobile for you, but JavaScript support issues in mobile devices prevent you from seeing your success.

Posted by: Bryson Meunier, Product Champion, Natural Search


Copyright © 2008 Resolution Media, Inc. All rights reserved.