The PC is Dead. Long Live Mobile… & the Tablet! #RIMC13

The PC is Dead. Long Live Mobile… & the Tablet! #RIMC13

22nd March 2013

How has the rise of mobile phones and tablet devices affected your e-marketing, and how have you adapted to this fast growing target audience? What are the NEW rules for mobile marketing, and why should you care?

This session covers all you need to know about responsive design as well as other mobile solutions that can work for you

cindykrum-smallCindy Krum – Moble Moxie

Cindy is the author of Mobile Marketing: Finding Your Customers No Matter Where They Are, published by Que Publishing in English, but also translated and available in Chinese, Korean, Italian and German. Cindy Krum is the CEO and Founder of MobileMoxie, LLC, a mobile marketing consultancy and host of the most cutting-edge online mobile SEO tool set available today.

How to Win on Mobile

Stuff is changing with Google Mobile. In the past 18 months Google launched a smartphone crawler, a preference for responsive design and now there’s a new protocol for passing desktop SEO value to mobile pages. You have 3 basic options:

  • Responsive Design
  • Mixed solution (RESS)
  • Separate mobile pages

Responsive Design
One URL, different layouts dictated by CSS. Some mobile layouts strip out some images completely to just deliver the most relevant content. This is less taxing on Google’s resouces but is lots of stuff to put on one page so can increase the bounce rate in general. It’s also harder to target mobile specific keywords with one set of content. One thing to note is that Googlebot must crawl all the same page assets (CSS, JavaScript and images).

Responsive design with Server Side Components. It’s the most complicated and still new. It’s harder for Google to crawl than responsive, but only slightly. Reponsive design SEO rules apply but make sure you add in the variable HTTP headers.

Separate Mobile Pages
Gives you more flexibility. Not all content needs to be ‘mobilised’. It’s easiest for targeting mobile specific keywords. It’s the most taxing on Google’s resources. SEO elements can be duplicated but desktop and mobile can be different and therefore your SEO strategies can be more complex and in-depth.

As an example, some separate mobile pages can cause errors so ensure you have unique title tags, META description, headings and alt tags. Ensuring that there was an expiration date means you may not run into loads of 404 pages. Ecommerce sites can also potentially have issues with mobile specific searches. JavaScript can error, some pages have a great ranking on mobile search but loading the page caused issues. Inconsistencies between robots.txt files, canonical tags and XML sitemaps can also cause ranking issues so ensure these are double checked.

Tablets are used more often than phones for consuming videos so ensure you optimise for this too.

pierre-farPierre Far – Google

As a webmaster trends analyst, Pierre follows industry trends in SEO and web development in order to help different Google teams build better tools for webmasters and improve search quality. Pierre also writes for the Webmaster Central Blog and participates in Google and external forums, helping site owners troubleshoot search-related problems and get the most out of Google Webmaster Tools.

How to annoy mobile users…. or not – and how to fix common problems
The definition of mobile is changing itself. Used to be feature phones but now smartphones are more powerful than ever before and tablets have now come into play. Google has 3 different crawling agents but tablets are considered as desktops. Cindy mentioned that crawling is taking up Google’s resources but it’s also worth mentioning that it’s also taxing on your resources too.

The biggest problem sites have is that they don’t have a smartphone website. The fact that ebay recently sold a Ferrari from a mobile so it’s a sign that people take mobile seriously and real valuable customers exist. Sort out your videos. The RIMC website is an example of this 😀 but also worth noting that the homepage has a Flash video that the iPhone doesn’t support. It’s an easy technical solution that you should fix. What if you’re on a train and don’t want to view the video – try to find a solution for that too.

Smartphone only URLs need attention. Google sees too many issues with irrelevant redirects and to 404 pages. Some mobile sites have an ad for their app and can potentially get caught in a redirect trap and is bad for UX. Irrelevant cross linking is common too. Stop making mobile pages all redirect back to the desktop homepage if accessed on a desktop.

Page Speed is another issue. Ensure you’re on top of it. No need to explain why page speed is important – just get it sorted. One last tip is not to use JavaScript redirects – they kill page speed loading time.

richard-quickRich Quick – Arnold Clark

Rich Quick has been a web designer for over 14 years and specialises in helping businesses of all sizes make money online. He has worked for the likes of the BBC, Eden Project, NHS, WWE, Waitrose, John Lewis, Keep Calm and Carry On, Pot Noodle, MTV, Nestlé, Hipp Organic, Which?, Argos, ABB, Fidelity Investments & the Government of the British Virgin Islands.

When Rich joined Arnold Clark 18 months ago the site was extremely traditional and in his opinion shockingly bad. In 2011 7% of ecommerce sales were mobile. 2012 saw 25%. Feb 2013 saw 41% of email checks were from a mobile. This shows that you need a mobile friendly email marketing strategy (58% of companies ignore this) and is a massive opportunity.

When it comes to emails – ignore PC’s. Email viewports are smaller to begin with so just design them for mobiles and forget traditional PC’s – the rest will follow. When it comes to websites, responsive design is your friend. It saves on resources both on your server and Google but is also a great resource for people (considering the issues Pierre mentioned earlier).

Arnold Clark’s old site was a great example of spaghetti marketing – too much information. Now they focus on what really matters – selling cars – so you need to make it easy for people to search for one! They’ve not implemented responsive sitewide but instead use internal resource to use responsive for more important landing pages and go beyond generic responsive design and optimise the design even more. Starbucks is a good example – on my mobile I want a map or nearest location, not a video of how coffee is made!


Written By
Alex Moss is the Director at FireCask, an online marketing agency in Manchester specialising in Search, Content and WordPress development. Alex is also the Co-Founder of Peadig, a WordPress framework powered by Bootstrap.
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