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Top 5 in Mobile Web

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Life in Mobile by Seth Kaplan

RISMEDIA, July 29, 2010—According to Nielsen, U.S. Mobile Web increased 4% in January 2010 from 67 million users to 69.6 million users. However, more important than how many people are using the Mobile Web is for how long they are using it. The average user session increased from 4 minutes, 57 seconds to 5 minutes, 14 seconds in January. It seems that the old adage—time flies when you’re having fun—holds true!

The increase in Mobile Web usage for longer periods of time is a direct result of content providers tailoring their sites specifically for the mobile device. For example, sites like Google and Facebook, two of the most popular mobile websites, have done a great job when it comes to streamlining and formatting their content and user experience for the mobile device. As the Mobile Web continues to evolve as the preeminent destination for Internet usage, making sure your brand is positioned properly for that medium is becoming increasingly important.

To ensure we stay ahead of the learning curve here at “Life in Mobile,” I thought it would be a good idea to look at the Top 5 things to consider when creating your mobile presence, a.k.a. your mobile website:

1. Make sure your mobile website is built for mobile delivery. Some companies will tell you they’ll build a mobile website that should work on some phones, and what you get is really just a small website. Mobile websites are officially their own entity. When built properly, and delivered properly, your mobile website will display perfectly on every mobile device.

2. Phone detection. With over 6,000 mobile Internet browsers for all of the Mobile Web-enabled handsets on the market today, it is important to make sure that your mobile site recognizes the particular handset model on the fly and formats the site accordingly. One of the ways to determine if your provider is truly able to do this is if they can provide you detailed mobile analytics.

3. Content conversion. Similar to phone detection, ensuring that your content, such as audio, video and pictures, is converted appropriately for all mobile devices is extremely important. Once the phone detection takes place, content can then be converted for viewing on that particular handset.

4. Understanding the mobile user. When creating your mobile website, think about what you would want to have access to on your phone. Mobile websites should be streamlined with regards to content and features for a friendly user experience. For example, in real estate, people will want an easy way to search for properties and contact you if they find one they like. In contrast, they may not need detailed area information at that point.

5. Drive traffic. Users should be able to access your mobile website by going to your existing URL. You have spent a lot of time building your brand and online presence and should continue to drive traffic there. Using a site with built-in phone detection will allow you to keep the same URL and send back the mobile version to users on a mobile browser—to them it’s just your website.

Furthermore, work with a company that provides other mobile services, such as SMS/text messaging programs, which can provide a good call to action to get people to text in and drive additional traffic to your mobile website.

The number of people and the time they’re spending on the Mobile Web is going to continue to increase. The quicker you transition your brand, the better off you’ll be.

Seth Kaplan is president of Mobile Real Estate ID.

For more information, visit www.mobilerealestateid.com.

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