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Grain of SEO Gold: Mobile Domain Name Usage

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Mobile websites are rising in popularity and it seems like many jewelers have the same few questions about mobile websites. We're going to answer one today.

Over the past 2 weeks, our team here has activated a bunch of new mobile websites and the #1 question was whether or not the cell phone user would automatically see the mobile version of the site when visiting the jeweler's website.

According to our own research, it's a bad idea to force users of mobile devices to see a mobile version of a website automatically, without warning.

First, the mobile version of your website should NOT use the same URL as the full version of your website. Sure, you could use fancy programming show the full/mobile website after sniffing out what type of computer or mobile device someone is using, but this eliminates choice.

We all like to have a choice.

Users of smartphones sometime like to view the full versions of websites, especially since smartphones do support it, and even more because not all full site information is available on every mobile site. If you force a cell phone user to the mobile website, you could make them upset because you've limited their choices.

On the other hand, all those tablet devices look like smartphones in the eyes of fancy programming. If you force a tablet user to your mobile website they will likely get upset that their view is limited.

Instead of forcing users into the mobile and causing potential frustration, you need to find a very obvious way to tell/show the mobile user that a mobile site exists, perhaps a big link that only appears on the mobile devices.

It's better to come up with a different URL for your website that can be used in your marketing.
For Example:
www.jewelrystore.com is the full website.
m.jewelrystore.com could be the mobile website.
jewelrystore.mobi could be another URL for the mobile website.

Using the "m" prefix or the ".mobi" domain name extension are both common and the tech savvy user will recognize either one as a mobile website.

When a mobile user navigates to a mobile website, don't forget to also give them a link to view the full site again.
AT: 12/22/2011 10:59:40 PM   LINK TO THIS GOLD NUGGET
Confused and worried about your mobile website options? Click here to find out how to get your own website evaluation and a game plan to make it better.

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