There’s been a lot of hype recently with regard to making sure your website has a mobile friendly version available for Blackberry, iPhone, Android etc. users. How important is it really? Think about it this way. The vast majority of your site visitors have a mobile device, right? Well, the number of those mobile devices with internet capabilities is growing quickly and will continue to climb. You ought to ensure that you have a mobile site that represents your business well and can be easily accessed and viewed from any mobile phone.
That being said, have you ever looked at your website on a Blackberry or iPhone? If not, I encourage you to do so. Once you finally get it to load, how does it look? If you do not have a mobile version of your website, my guess is not so good. Oh wait, scroll to the left, now to the right, then all the way down. Get my drift? The purpose of having a mobile site is to present a simplified (yet still aesthetically pleasing) version of your website on a handheld device. The site should be no more than 4 to 5 pages of branded/informational content and should include components that a mobile phone visitor would want or need. So what would they want or need? Mobile searchers tend to be impatient; they want to find what they are looking for quickly and easily. Some examples include:
Directions – This is absolutely critical if you are a brick and mortar business. Think about how many people will use their phone to find directions if they are lost!
Contact Us – No matter what type of business you are, you want your visitors to easily be able to reach you.
Request More Information – This could be a brochure, or simply a request to have someone call or email them back.
Newsletter Sign Up — An excellent lead generator!
Services — What exactly do you offer?
Social Media — If you are participating in Facebook, Twitter, etc. you can include links and logos on your mobile site.
Also, don’t forget to include a link to your home page for those who wish to view the site in its entirety.
At the end of the day, for a relatively low cost, you can create a mobile friendly version of your site. It doesn’t require any of the functionality of your main website and can become an excellent branding tool. Why wouldn’t you have one?
Have you ever wondered what search engines are available on mobile phones and which one is more user-friendly? One search engine has started to expand, to make its user experience on mobile devices better, this search engine is Bing.
Bing provides its search engine in two different formats, one of them is its mobile version, m.bing.com, and the other version is available as an app that can be downloaded in phones such as the iPhone, Android and Sidekick.
Bing’s mobile site provides a clean and clear design which creates a nice user experience. It also provides options on the top of the page to allow an easier search for the user; these options are directions, maps, weather and movies. The page also includes a “set my location” option, in which you can place the location of the area you would like to include as part of your search. The site also has the option of narrowing the search, by providing different alternatives on the “show only” option located on the right hand side of the page, which is available after performing a search.
The mobile version of the site also alerts the user that there is an app available to be downloaded, this depending on the phone and the application availability. The app contains multiple ways to help the user search. They include the regular search bar and a drop down menu to narrow the search, a clickable option to perform a specific search by images, businesses, movies among other, located in the bottom bar of the app, which appears and disappears by pressing a button, and a speak button, which allows a search by voice option.
The application also provides a settings option where you can control the safe search, units, screen rotation and clear search history settings, allowing a more personal and friendly search to be made.
It also has an image as a background home screen which changes everyday, and when you hover over the image or select the image, information about the image will be displayed within the same homepage, as it currently does on their main site.
As we can see, the mobile industry keeps providing users with mobile phones that have the technical capability to create users experience as close as possible to feeling like you are searching on the companies’ main site. This also shows the importance of searches when it comes to location and how a good SEO standing can help your website be one of the top options displayed by search engines.
Google has created a new option available for iPhones users and Android phones. This option appears when viewing Google’s website and uses the GPS of the phones to provide a search result within the area the user of the phone is located.
To use this feature, the “Near me now” option needs to be selected. This option is located below the Google search button and prompts the user asking if it’s ok for Google to use the current location.
After selecting the “Near me now” options you can update the current location by selecting the “update” option located on the same area as the near me now option. This feature displays multiple search options that allow users to narrow their search and make browsing on a mobile phone easier and faster.
The options available for search include restaurants, bars, ATMS/banks and an even wider selection is available when selecting the “browse more categories” option which includes shopping, gas and automotive, and healthcare, among others.
There is also an option to “star” a place and view the listing of all the places you have previously “stared”. This is available by selecting the star icon located at the right corner of the listing results.
When it comes to SEO, we see that searches from mobile devices are continuing to change to make its use easier for mobile users, as seen by this new implementation created by Google. For this reason, it is essential to place the location of your office or sub offices on your site and be part of Google’s local search. Even though this feature is only available for iPhones and Android phones, I would not be surprised to see it appear in the near future on more mobile devices.