The mobile search market is still in its infancy and many advertisers are taking a ‘wait and see’ approach. This lack of competition in the mobile search space surely presents an opportunity for businesses to get a head start on their competitors.
While most advertisers are reluctant to commit, it is relatively straightforward to get positioned well in the natural search listings of the mobile search engines, and PPC programme click costs are still comparatively low. So, how do you start to market your business on the mobile web?
The good news is that a mobile search marketing campaign is relatively simple to set up. But before you can promote your website to the mobile search market you need to ensure that it is compatible with mobile screens, or you need a specifically designed site in a mobile ready format such as XHTML, WML, or iMode.
The reality is that most sites will be difficult to adapt to small mobile screens and will not have the simplified functionality that is required by mobile users, so a dedicated mobile site is preferable. Fortunately, mobile sites are relatively cheap and quick to build. You can also register a .mobi domain so that users (and search engines) will know that your site is fully mobile compatible.
Once you have your site established, accessing the mobile search market is now quick, easy and cost effective with both Google and Yahoo offering the ability to place PPC text ads on their mobile web search engines. There are also other 3rd party mobile ad network providers such as Admob (www.admob.com) that allow you to place contextual ads on selected content.
In addition, mobile websites can be optimised for high visibility in the natural search results of the mobile websites using conventional SEO tactics. You can even submit a Google Mobile Sitemap. As few business have mobile ready websites the competition for valuable screen real estate is surprisingly light and it is relatively easy to get well positioned on the mobile search engines.
While the majority of people may not yet be ready to book their holidays on a mobile handset, there is clearly a business for other travel and tourism related suppliers like hotels, restaurants, bars, clubs, golf courses, attractions, tour guides and other local services.
Very few businesses have mobile versions of their websites, so there is an opportunity to get ahead of your competitors through early exposure for your products and services on the mobile web.