Can’t I just use my regular site? Or should I create a dedicated .mobi site? And why do I need to optimize it since everyone will be using iPhones soon and browsing just like they do on traditional computers? (kidding!)
On this panel two different opinions were presented – and both had great points and best practices. Let’s dive in.
The first route to making your content mobile ready is to spend time optimizing your current site. The thought is that if you conform to W3C Standards and code using XHTML MP1.1, you’ll be on your way. Other recommendations are to use external CSS to separate content from design, minimize code and file size (less than 20K), and decrease load times.
As for content optimization, just follow what you’ve been doing for traditional “wireline” sites, plus the Hcard formatting I told you about yesterday. An important point is to not rely on embedded images, objects, scripts, frames, flash, pop up windows, or mouse over events to display content. But most importantly, provide content that mobile users will most likely need. They may not need to read your whole site, but rather get your phone number, directions, or pricing. So make sure that you hyperlink each element that the user might want to click to call or find out more information.
Final step is to submit your site to the mobile search engines and create and upload a mobile-specific sitemap. You’ll also want to alert the spiders that you have a mobile version, so that they don’t transcode it for you, when you might not want them to. This can be done by inserting an tag into the section of your site:
So what about optimizing your content for the iPhone or other True Web Browsers like Opera’s Mini True Web Browser and Nokia S60’s? Just optimize your wireline site and you’ll be good to go. The panel suggested that this is no longer a WAP/MOBI world – more true web browsers are being developed and utilized.
Need more and want to dig your teeth into this further? The panel recommended going to Mobile Marketing Association’s web site as they have a ton of resources on mobile marketing – and they aren’t lying when they say TON. Or of course you can read Joe’s post or comprehensive article in the Fall 2007 edition out now.