Mobile app or Mobile site?

As the growth of the smartphone market continues, more people are now accessing the web on their mobile phones. This has started people asking the question “Should I make my website mobile friendly? and if so,
“What does this involve?”

Mobile seo is the practice of improving a website’s visibility on the mobile phone. It is search engine optimisation on the mobile client.

There are two schools of thought how to make your site mobile seo friendly.

1. Build a mobile site
Some argue you should have a completely different mobile site with a different domain, eg .mobi instead of .com at the end. However, this can be costly and it is harder for people to remember the different URLs. It also removes the risk of creating duplicate content.
Some mobiles such as the iPhone and Blackberry Storm load images the same way as desktop pcs do and so can handle large images so some argue you do not need to have a mobile site.

Traditional SEO methods are valid for “mobile SEO” as mentioned in my previous post How do I start mobile seo There are a couple more steps to make sure the site is mobile friendly.:

* Submit the site to mobile search engines.
* Create dynamic mobile pages by combining your website’s content database with user agent detection. This will avoid the need to transcode pages on the fly as this is very complicated.
* Search results from your mobile you will see nearly the same search results as from a desktop PC. I have tried this and it was true. What does this mean? Google mobile search doesn’t list mobile sites preferentially.

2. Create a mobile app for the site
The other argument is that there are so many different smart phones in the market place and they all have a different browser experience. Therefore it is very difficult to make a mobile site to fit each of the different browsers. It would mean simply testing against all handsets, a very costly job. The solution is to make a mobile application that users can download. The developers create an app and it is handset agnostic, so every mobile phone will treat the application in the same way and the user gets the same rich experience.

Let me know what you have experienced and what you have found works best for you. Mobile seo is still new and developing so the more information about it, the better.

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