How To Get More Web Site Traffic To Your Mobile Site
Desktop traffic isn't dead, but there's a brave new world being developed called mobile search. This "new" platform plays by different rules and has a very different user-base than desktop search users. While we might not be talking about physically different users (desktop users are often also mobile users at some point), the search intent is very different between desktop and mobile users. Understanding this will get more web site traffic to your mobile site.
Make It Simple
One of the biggest mistakes that businesses make is they make their mobile site way too complicated. Instead of having a mobile version of the site, they just use the desktop version and serve that to mobile users. Huge mistake. Huge. Why? Think about it. When you're on your mobile device, searching the web, you might be casually surfing but you're probably looking for something specific. Smartphone screens are, well, small. At least, compared to laptop or desktop screens.
People search for bars, pizza shops, flower shops, and grocery stores on mobile devices. They map directions to the rock concert tonight. They even fiddle around on Facebook and Twitter. They do not, however, read a 10-page PDF file or have a burning desire to view your landing page in frames. A lot of users also don't want to scroll horizontally to view your entire site - especially on a small device.
Usability expert, Jakob Nielson, consistently finds that mobile users are more rushed than desktop users, and are less patient given the mobile setting they're in. Websites should have fewer navigation options and content should be strictly cut to only include that which is absolutely necessary for users to accomplish their task on-site.
Put The Most Useful Information On the Site For Mobile Users
Part of good usability for mobile sites is keeping the most useful information at the forefront of the site, while eliminating everything else. For example, if you're a flower shop, you should really consider what your users are there to do. They probably want to:
1) find your place of business and;
2) buy flowers (if you have what they want).
They might want to see some of your stock, and you could include that on the mobile version of the site, but a better option might be to place a huge clickable button on the homepage that automatically dials your company's phone number. That way, they can actually talk to someone about your flowers. Visual aids are nice, but high-res pictures of your beautiful flowers might load very slowly on a user's mobile device (especially if they're still on some carriers' 3G network), and users have short attention spans while surfing on a cellphone.
Research Mobile Keywords
Mobile keywords are very different from desktop keywords. Mobile users tend to want to complete tasks quickly. In fact, a study by Ruder Finn, one of the world's largest independent PR agencies found that, "Our survey data shows that people use their mobile phones out of necessity for instant access to the Web whether it's to conduct business with the most recent information or advocate on the spot on issues of pressing concern and breaking news." People use mobile devices to manage personal finances. They use it to socialize via text message, email, and social networking sites. They do not use it as a learning or educational tool. That means that your information-based site isn't going to do well online. Unless you're a social site, you probably should be selling something. Your mobile site should make it easy for transactions to take place (or should facilitate transactions). Once you've got good mobile keywords, it's time to buy ads.
Buy advertisements from companies that can serve your ad to mobile users. There are a lot of companies out there. If you're already working with someone who will sell you banner ads for desktop users, try to convince them to expand into the mobile market. Otherwise, it might be a good idea to reach out to a company that does serve mobile users. Sure you could rely on organic SEO to get web site traffic, but the only sure-fire way to get eyeballs looking at your mobile site is to buy them.