Mobile internet usage is exploding, and it's changing the way we search for local businesses. Roughly one out of every seven Google searches now comes from a mobile device, and between a third and half of those mobile searches are related in some way to the user's location. Yet even the web-savviest businesses often rely on websites that are painful for smartphone users to navigate.
To help reach these customers on the move, we've developed the Mobile-Optimized Microsites platform. Our first partner, Saskatchewan directory publisher DirectWest, will be rolling out their Microsites product this week. They're calling it Mobile Business Pages; an official announcement is expected soon.
Microsites highlight the information customers are most likely to be looking for when they search from their phones - contact information, a map, and hours of operation.
A menu of large, easy-to-click buttons provides access to more detailed content, which could include images, videos, and coupons.
Microsites can also include feeds from Twitter and Facebook. Partners can turn on or off features as required.
DirectWest's Mobile Business Pages will be linked from Saskatchewan's premier online search portal, mysask411.com. Being extremely search friendly, and designed to adhere to the latest principles of search engine optimization, they'll also turn up near the top in local mobile searches.
The sites are easy to set up, merely requiring advertisers to choose from a handful of basic style and colour options. They're simple and hassle-free, yet they offer local small and medium businesses a rare chance to be ahead of the technological curve.
In short, these Microsites are going to be huge.
Brendan, Jeff, and Ches are down in Denver this week for BIA/Kelsey's Directional Media Strategies summit, and they'll be talking Microsites to everyone they see. Keep an eye on this blog for more Microsites news in the days to come...