Video: How to build a mobile website to drive revenue and brand engagement

DudaMobile’s CEO and co-founder, Itai Sadan, had a conversation with Untether.tv’s Rob Woodbridge about the mobile space and the need for creating a mobile strategy. Watch the video below via Untether.tv.

How to build a mobile website to drive revenue and brand engagement – with Itai Sadan, co-founder and CEO

Mobile websites. Everyone is talking about the need to have one but why? What is the value of having a website built from the ground up for mobile devices? What are some of the best practices in building and using mobile websites for your business? What are some examples of great mobile websites? Which ones stink?

These questions – and MANY more – are the reason I asked Itai Sadan, co-founder and CEO of DudaMobile, on to UNTETHER.tv. Itai offers some great commentary on the need for a strategy and reason for implementing what seems to be a natural extension to what we do on the web – simple in idea, somewhat challenging in executing properly.

There are lots of takeaways from this session that should help cement your mobile website strategy and the reasons for moving into this space (hint: if it isn’t generating revenue or deepening a bond between you and your customer, question everything).

Is it worth to invest in Mobile SEO ? (Part One)

Is it worth to invest in Mobile SEO ? (Part One)

With over 175,000 mobile websites currently hosted on the DudaMobile platform, we continue to strive to make all websites mobile friendly. We like to see our customer’s websites serve as a useful and effective tool for their business.

DudaMobile has teamed up with AdLift, to help mobile website owners learn more about the benefits of mobile SEO. Over the next few weeks, Prashant Puri from AdLift will be guest blogging about mobile SEO for business mobile websites.

Is it worth to invest in Mobile SEO ?

Gartner predicts that there will be 1.83 billion smartphones compared to 1.78 billon PCs worldwide by 2013. In the next 3 years, virtually all phones sold will be smartphone and according to Morgan Stanley, iphone + ipod touch reached 21 million users in 9 months – it took desktop internet a little over 3 years. These statistics point to the hyper growth of the mobile segment and the consumption of data via mobile phones. Furthermore, search engines are the #1 sites visited by mobile phone users. This brings me to the point of this blog post – if you own a website and are not driving mobile traffic via search, you are missing out on a significant segment of users depending on your category.

Source: Macquarie Capital, March 2011

So how does one reach the mobile search audience?  There are essentially two ways of doing this – 1) buying ads targeted toward mobile devices – PPC and 2) optimizing your mobile websites so that you rank higher on Google/Bing – Mobile SEO. In this post we’ll focus on Mobile SEO.

Since mobile searches are different from desktop searches – in intent, category and frequency – mobile SEO is hence different from desktop searches and SEOs should use the Google’s mobile keyword tool instead of the desktop & laptops tool while conducting keyword research.

Apart from making sure your mobile site is tightly targeted toward mobile queries, it’s very important to have to develop a mobile website that renders and validates based on the mobile markup dialects – WML, XHTML Basic, XHTML MP and cHTM. Dudamobile develops mobile websites that are XHTML compliant – this enables efficient mobile viewing for users and crawling by search engines.

Submitting a mobile sitemap to Google webmaster tool is equally important. The main difference between the mobile and desktop sitemap is the inclusion of <loc></loc> and <mobile:mobile/> indicators – for more detailed instructions check out – Adding mobile URL information to a Sitemap.

Links and link building is equally important if not more – it’s important to drive topically relevant links to your mobile website. If you are a local business it’s all the more important to be listed both on mobile directories (example: http://mobilinks.com/go/submit) and across local directories (example: yp.com) – these local directories signal to Google & Bing that these businesses are local and hence when a user does a mobile search with local intent – these results bubble up to the top of the SERPs.

Other SEO best practices remain the same –

  1. Unique & descriptive title tags
  2. Crawlable categorization and taxonomy.
  3. Interlink appropriately between pages to enable the flow of link juice.
  4. Submit mobile site to DMOZ
  5. Do not use frames or flash
  6. Invest in creating unique content through the site.
  7. Using robots.txt correctly – this is an important one. I get asked frequently if mobile websites should be blocked in the robots.txt file to avoid duplicate content. Short answer – never! Matt Cutts explains this here in this video

 

Lastly, analytics – you should track your mobile website visits and see if all the effort you’ve put in to optimizing your site is paying off ! Also, it’s useful to know how mobile users interact with your website vs. desktop users in terms of bounce rates, page views, conversions etc. Google analytics provides a ton of insight on your mobile user – mobile operating system, device and service provider.

Mobile SEO a fast evolving space, where search engines like Google are investing heavily to make sure they provide the best user experience for their mobile users. As this space continues to advance, we’ll see a greater advantage for mobile optimized website that provides a better more efficient user experience. Small and medium scale enterprise owners should adopt fast if they want to compete successfully with larger brands.

About the Author

Prashant Puri has over 8 years of online marketing experience and has successfully built numerous sites into multi-million unique visitor sites through a combination of SEO & SEM. Prashant Puri is the co-founder of AdLift.com, a niche SEO company focused in delivering search ROI. Prior to AdLift.com, he was Head of Global Search Marketing for Shopping.com (an eBay Inc Company) where he was responsible for increasing search traffic across 3 websites – epinions.com, shopping.com and dealtime.com across 5 countries. Prashant frequently speaks at leading industry events including SMX, SES & Pubcon as an expert in search marketing. If you have any questions – feel free to reach out to him on LinkedIn.

38% of US Cell Phone Owners Access the Internet From Their Mobile Device

A very interesting survey conducted by Pew Internet during the month of May indicates that there has been significant growth in US mobile Internet usage during the last year. The survey shows that 38% of US cell phone owners use their device to access the Internet, compared to last year when it was only 28%.

The statistics are even higher when looking at the age group of 18-29 years old cell phone owners, as 65% of them access the Internet from their mobile device.

For all the businesses that are still thinking about their mobile strategy (“we want to do it, it’s on our roadmap…”), it’s time to get moving.

[update] Comscore released a similar survey showing that 32% of US mobile subscribers use the mobile browser to access the Internet