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Comparing Mobile Blog Designs: What Works Best?
One area of mobile site design that is particularly important for mobile SEO is the blog. Blogs get special treatment in search engines, as sources of fresh content and easily-digested RSS feeds.
In the mobile space, blogs are also one of the few areas where users expect to find lengthy text — so, the pressure to abbreviate content for a small screen gets dialed back, making blogs even more useful for mobile SEO.
To take a closer look at the different approaches available to mobile marketers, I decided to look at the blogs of mobile phone manufacturers. As a writer covering the space, I visit these sites pretty often, especially when they discuss future trends in the mobile Web.
Today, we’ll look at four companies, and how they illustrate the full spectrum of investment that you can make in a mobile blog.
Starting At Number Five
Apple: One would expect that the leading innovator in mobile phones would have an excellent blog, especially when viewed on my iPhone 4s. But, that assumption gets dashed on two counts: 1) Apple doesn’t have a blog (!) and 2) their closet match, the news room, is a pinch-to-zoom nightmare, even by pinch-to-zoom standards. Also, the title tag is a rather terse “Apple – Hot News.” Thanks to this astounding effort, Apple earns a #5 in our list of four companies.
Samsung: As the runner-up in most conversations about mobile, Samsung has the next-worst mobile experience of the group. At least they have a blog for the company, and even one dedicated to their mobile developers. But once again, it’s time for a magnifying glass. Perhaps the large screen on Samsung’s Galaxy Note would be useful here.
Nokia marks the tipping point. Not only do they have a blog, but it’s formatted for mobile! And, it’s frequently updated with a wide variety of topics. Their posts also get piped out to Google News, and show-up when searching for info about the company or specific phones. Areas for improvement? The headline-only home page discourages exploration, and the post titles aren’t well optimized. A post about “mobile maps” that just mentions “maps,” for example.
And The Crown Goes To…
Motorola produces a mobile blog that is not only friendly to searchers, but the bottom line as well. The home page shows full-length posts, right-sized images, and titles with product keywords prominently displayed.
The big surprise is how easy it is to get from here to actually buying a phone. Models mentioned in these posts are linked to product pages, and from there, you can click through directly to Verizon (in the case of Droid models) and see pricing. That’s content to transaction in two clicks! That’s money in Motorola’s pocket (and kudos to Verizon for not throwing-in a zip-code request to spoil the party.)
It’s really about a willingness to cater to your customers. All these companies obviously know the mobile space, and know the limitations of the mobile Web. And ironically, all of them are deeply involved in mobile search, via products like Apple’s Siri, Nokia Maps, and Samsung’s S-Voice.
But, knowledge without intent results in missed opportunities. Nokia and Motorola see the opportunity to reach customers through their own devices, and that speaks volumes about their willingness to provide a good user experience – not just for their blogs, but in their actual products, too.
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.