Getting Site and SEO Smart with Mobile Phones

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Let’s face it how many of you owned a PDA and didn’t carry it or forgot to take it with you when you left home or the office. It sat in your top drawer for a year, went out of date then got recycled on eBay. On the other hand mobile phones continue to go wherever you go. What would we do without our smartphones? Look around on any city street and you will see someone making a call or keying in a text. It was only a matter of time when the functions of a PDA would become one with the mobile phone.

It’s been on the cards for quite a while now that the more savvy design houses would start looking at ways to building sites on the mobile web. It’s now being pushed to the forefront with the W3C’s Mobile Web Initiative which is developing a set of technical best practises in support of web sites for mobile devices. Macromedia are now licensing Flash for the smartphones and in the last year alone mobile devices running flash have tripled from 12 to 35 million units. (Source:

More than ever the development of mobile web sites will have to come under serious design considerations that will include creating the sites to be more accessible and to render correctly on mobile browsers such as the Opera mobile web browser for Symbian and Windows mobile browser. The coding of choice for this appears at first glance to be XHTML and developing strictly with CSS and no tables.

Another major consideration will be the use of graphics. Unlike the web, mobile smartphones have to rely on less graphics and faster loading images to be able to render in faster times. This means that any development for a mobile website will be limited to fewer pages with less graphical output. A typical ‘mobile web surfer’ will only spend a short time looking for the information they will need before moving on. Mobile web sites will have to consider more than ever the users surfing experience and what they want. This includes short well written copy selling the sites product, branding, contact information, mapping and optimisation.

Search Optimisation for Mobile Web

There will be a place for SEO’s to get involved with mobile websites. It will mean re-learning optimisation and drawing on past search engine marketing experiences. The mobile website SEO will have to have a certain amount of technical experience to optimise a site for the mobile web. It won’t just be keywords and descriptions. Mobile search engines such as Google Mobile will be accepting standard compliant and well coded sites for inclusion in its mobile search engine. Search engine specialists certainly have their work cut out for them in the mobile optimisation medium.

There is good news for website owners. For the ones that won’t want a re-design or re-development they can add a subdomain of a few pages and have this built for the mobile web, or a separate website using the .mobi extension that will be a suffix for the mobile platform only.

If you have had your eyes closed or have been avoiding the issue there is no getting away from it. The mobile web revolution is here and it will be only a matter of time before customers start requesting their slice of the action and wanting their sites to be mobile ready.

Publication Date: Sunday 24th July, 2005
Author: Vicent Marcello View profile

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