Shimon Sandler

Strategy for Mobile Websites

I went to the Mobile Marketing Forum in NYC a couple of weeks ago, and ever since, I’ve been desirous of, and wondering how to monetize a mobile website. Obviously, it needs to be WAP enabled, and written in a language like xhtml.

One of the mobile ad networks thought very highly of the Walled garden strategy within a category. Mobile users typically don’t like typing websites into the browser. So, this strategy keeps them within their topic of interest, and due to limited time of a business traveller (typical demographic), will either convert or leave the mobile web session.

So, I decided to choose Chocolate as my mobile topic. Perhaps, I can enter into an arrangement with a local chocolate store similar to an affiliate agreement.

So, now to choose my mobile domains. I decided to use the .mobi extension. But, needed to buy a few domains.

To assist me in choosing which mobile domain names to buy, I used the Wordtracker keyword generation tool. Then I pasted the Wordtracker results on a Spreadsheet. Added a column for the domain. Then, concatenate the two columns. I created this simple spreadsheet to use as a Domaining Tool.

Next, I pasted the cocatenated results on a Notepad, and removed the spaces using the “replace” feature. If you follow these steps, now you’re ready to see if those domains are available. Go to a bulk domain buying tool. I used the Go Daddy Bulk Domain Registration tool.

You can further strategize your decision on what to purchase by the number of searches on the keyword provided by Wordtracker.

I haven’t decided how to use these domains yet. Chocolate, Software, Ringtones, Wallpaper, Games, and Music are all options. The thought crossed my mind that they could be used similarly as MFA (made-for-adsense) sites. Or, to actually sell chocolate gifts. Here are the domains I purchased:

CHOCOLATEBUNNIES.MOBI
CHOCOLATEBUNNY.MOBI
CHOCOLATECAKERECIPES.MOBI
CHOCOLATECOOKIES.MOBI
CHOCOLATEDREAMS.MOBI
CHOCOLATEFOUNTAINS.MOBI
CHOCOLATEHEAVEN.MOBI
CHOCOLATEJESUS.MOBI
CHOCOLATEMILK.MOBI
CHOCOLATEPIE.MOBI

I know…they don’t seem like really great domains. Of course, the good ones were already taken. So, I chose these based on monthly keyword searches, and the premise that the mobile site should be easy to find, and remember. This is similar strategy as non-mobile sites. Use short memorable URL’s. Pehaps use a .mobi domain rather than something like: wap.mysite.com, or .com/wap. Of course these mobile sites should be treated like any other site, and optimized. A Mobile website Optimization is essential.

According to Telephia, the size of the Mobile Internet Population is 34.6 Million. Most downloads on Mobile are from ringtones, wallpaper, and music….not chocolate. But, I’m targeting a niche market. The busy business traveller, or busy mom, student or anyone with a busy lifestyle on the go.

If you already have a great website, you can mobilize it. However, mobilizing a site does not mean compressing current content to fit a smaller screen, or detecting the useragent and serving a version of the site based on it. Most long pages of content are a nuisance on the Mobile Web. Instead, mobile design requires matching user needs with the content that is directly relevant to their mobile goals. A few short sentences with links. That’s all that’s needed. Think of the mobile user as having a 30 second attention span.

When it comes to deciding on which language to code your site, you can choose among four different language technologies. You can code a mobile Web site in XHTML, or develop a comparable application using Flash Lite, Java ME, or the .NET Compact Framework for Windows-based devices. Java applications that reside locally on a user’s mobile device speed interactions because they only rely on the network for data. Adobe Flash Lite, can give users access to client-side data that can be accessed even when network connections get dropped. I personally like xhtml for it’s simplicity and search engine friendliness. And, make sure the code is 100% valid.

Once your sites are up…Drive traffic to your site. You can use ad networks for text & banner buys on a CPC, or CPM basis. Also, use search engines like Google to create a mobile adwords campaign. Enpocket states that mobile CTRs are higher than those in most online campaigns.

Use a call-to-action through banner ads, and search… to your WAP enabled site that could feature downloads, screen savers, viral ‘send to a friend’ and other options.

Mobile functions that prompt user actions include click-to-call, click for a coupon, click to subscribe, click to locate, click to win, click to download, and click to buy.

The thing I love the best is that some mobile purchases (eg: ringtones) don’t require a credit card. Making it extremely easy to purchase. The cost is reflected on the customer’s next phone bill.

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Comments

  1. Rachan Malhotra says:

    One big reason why SMS campaigns didn’t take off in the US, while they did in Europe and Asia, is that phone companies don’t want others to make money using their networks (aftermath of the 90′s boom). So they’ve tried to do one of two things – 1) kill mobile business models that don’t make them money or 2) keep control of billing so they can watch and control who makes how much. This also allows them to make a significant chunk of the revenue.

    I wonder how that would affect mobile search campaigns.

  2. I never understood why people think you need to buy a special domain name for the mobile web. If you are a smart enough programmer you can simplely redirect mobile phone traffic to your existing .com to a special mobile section of your site. If you are a better programmer you wouuld have just developed using the WURLF protocal in your existing site.

    I work on the KushCash mobile phone payment system. Go to our site via your phone or our downloadable app and start sending sending your buds some cash.

    http://www.kushcash.com

  3. I like your strategy!
    Steve: I think the difference with a mobile specific domain is that it’s immediately distinguished as a mobile website and mobile browsers automatically know that they can comfortably view it on their mobile phone.

    I work on a free service called http://www.zinadoo.com that allows anyone to really easily create a mobile website/mobile advertising landing page (that is also fully .mobi compliant). We also provide some handy site sharing features.

    So perhaps now that you have all these domains you can set up a mobile website for them!

  4. I was trying to many of your blogs Shimon, and found this as an interesting learning chapter. However, this blog you posted quite a long back but was still curious to know if .MOBI extension works better than .COM on mobiles.

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