Just as the prices have plunged on smart phones and data plans, mobile searches have skyrocketed.  This obvious inverse relationship can also be credited to “smarter” smart phones with faster browsers capable of Is Your Website Mobile Friendly?accessing data with the swift flick of a button. “Soon we’ll have mobile phones with 2Ghz processors, which is more than in a lot of laptops,” predicts Google’s vice president of engineering, Andy Rubin.

Lower prices mean higher accessibility to the masses.  Smart phones are no longer exclusive to business professionals but include users ranging from teenagers in New York City to farmers in Iowa.  What does this mean to you and your business?  No matter your industry, your product or service is going to be searched for using a smart phone.  Jump into the still-shallow pool of mobile-friendly advertisers now to capture the most market share.

You don’t have to have a specialized mobile website in order to take advantage of this lucrative new search market.  If you’re using a desktop PC, use this handy tool from Google to determine if your website is mobile-friendly and navigable through the eyes of a smart phone:  Google Mobile Browser.  Try, for example, to search for “JumpFly”.  Once your page of search results appears, click into the JumpFly site and see the way our site would appear on a mobile browser.  Not quite as flashy and full of color as our HTML-rich site, but still mobile-friendly, organized and inclusive of our main content. 

Not able to see your website?  Keep in mind that mobile browsers are not yet capable of flash display.  Also, mobile phones use internet browsing technology called WAP (Wireless Application Protocol). Due to the limitations of WAP browsers in terms of screen size and allowable download, you may need to simplify your current website design.  Here are a few important principles about mobile website design that you should consider when making the most user-friendly mobile website:

• Know your customers in order to deliver them the most appropriate content:  mobile users interact with your site differently compared to traditional customers sitting at a desk facing a large monitor. Mobile customers might be waiting in line, commuting to work, or lost in an unfamiliar town and trying to get somewhere.

• The most important information that you want users to see should be located at the top of the page.  It can be time-consuming for mobile phones to browse through an entire site; placing the most desirable information at the top will provide the most convenient site experience.

• There is no mouse on a mobile phone – only an up-down feature – so you can’t demand that users jump around the page.

• Always provide a ‘back’ button or link, since many phones don’t include a back button.

Once your website is mobile-ready, you are ready to drive your most targeted traffic to the site using pay-per-click (PPC) advertising.  Stay tuned for my next blog with tips and best practices to build your most effective mobile PPC advertising campaign!