Promoting the Mobile Website

Oddly enough the first decision you need to make in promoting your mobile website is where to put it.

In the recent past the .mobi top level domain (TLD) seemed to be the route forward for the mobile sites of the future, however it has a number of problems associated with it.

Firstly, the .mobi TLD extension is not well known and so, if the user has a problem remembering the address, they are unlikely to guess at the .mobi extension as .com or .co.uk will still be the first ports of call.

Secondly, by putting the mobile site on a new domain you lose any benefits of having a combined site and in many ways have to start again with the new site if you want to promote it independently.

Actually it would be a mistake to promote the mobile site independently (online anyway, see below), instead you should be looking to use it to add to the content of the site overall.

This advice also applies to subdomains which to most intents and purposes are recognised as separate domains by the search engines.

It is good policy therefore to instead have the mobile site in a sub-directory off the main site eg: (www.stuff-that-id.co.uk/mobile).

Ordinarily this will be best accessed by code on the main site that will recognise the viewing device as a mobile one and redirect accordingly. Having the sub-directory called ‘mobile’ will also provide the search engine with an additional clue as to the nature of this section of the site.

The search engines do not at present appear to give mobile specific results on searches other than to bias towards ‘local’ search. The general thinking here is that (say) someone searching in Google will be logged in and will have location services enabled. This will allow the search engine to present results that are more location specific than would otherwise be the case.

As part of this thinking, of course, is the concept that a large percentage of mobile searchers will be looking for somewhere to go such as a shop, or venue, or restaurant etc. It therefore makes sense to ensure that you have your location on Google places to make sure there is a clear connection between your physical location and your online presence.

A separate mobile address could be used off-line of course eg: http://m.stuff-that-ido.co.uk. You might use this in an off-line ad that re-directs to www.stuff-that-ido.co.uk/mobile. This will be best used where you are aiming specifically at mobile users, for example train travellers.

The presentation of mobile sites in search results is of course a developing area and we can expect some changes over the course of 2012 as the use of mobile develops and more and more businesses have a fully fledged mobile presence. It is a moving target – just like your mobile website viewers.

Why not ask TTMGi about mobile website development?