Create an effective mobile site

People who use high-end mobile devices, like iPhones or Android phones, can see standard AdWords ads and standard websites. Just because potential customers can see your desktop website on a mobile phone doesn't mean that it's mobile-friendly.

To reach the most mobile customers, it helps to create a mobile website that's tailored to the small screen and makes it easy for people to make a purchase or take other action on your site.

When designing your site, keep in mind mobile best practices, like simple navigation and highlighting local options of your business. If you'd like to reach customers with WAP phones, you'll also need to use mobile-friendly code to create your site.

Reaching mobile customers using an HTML website

Regardless of whether you have a mobile website, AdWords will let you show text ads to customers using Google Search on a high-end mobile device, like an iPhone or Android phone. These "smart phones" have a full Internet browser (like a desktop computer), so a customer who clicks your text ad from the search results page can visit your standard website.

Keep in mind

If you opt in, make sure that your landing page doesn't contain Flash content. Flash is currently not supported on iPhones or iPads, and has only limited support on Android and other high-end mobile devices. If our system detects that your landing page has lots of Flash content, we'll automatically limit your ads from running on high-end mobile devices.

Target a device

Nowadays, many mobile devices have standard browsers, but some feature phones lack a full browser and can only view mobile-specific webpages. To reach customers on these devices, you'll need to create a WAP mobile ad and a WAP-friendly mobile website, which we'll talk about more below.

Best practices for designing a mobile site

When creating a mobile website, you'll want to keep in mind a few strategies that best take advantage of the small size of mobile screens and the behavior of mobile users. These strategies can help make sure your mobile site is a great experience for customers and direct them to take the desired actions on your site.

Keep it quick

  1. Reduce large blocks of text and use bullet points.
  2. Compress images to keep them small for faster site loading.

Make it easy to buy something or contact you

  1. Reduce the number of steps needed to complete a transaction.
  2. Keep forms short, with the fewest number of fields possible.
  3. Use check boxes, lists, and scroll menus to make data entry easier.
  4. Use click-to-call functionality for all phone numbers.

Simplify navigation

  1. Minimize scrolling and keep it vertical only.
  2. Use a clear hierarchy in menus and avoid rollovers.
  3. Help customers navigate between levels with clear back and home buttons.
  4. Use seven links or fewer per page of navigation.

Help people find and get to your local sites

  1. Have your address or store locator on the landing page.
  2. Include maps and directions. Use GPS to personalise when possible.
  3. Allow customers to check stock at nearby stores.
  4. Make sure your mobile website is being indexed for web search.

Designing sites for WAP mobile phones

While desktop websites typically are written with HTML, a landing page for a WAP device will need to be written in a different coding language. WAP-friendly mobile websites can be written in a few different markup languages, including XHTML, CHTML, and WML. Each language is compatible with different mobile devices.

By considering which devices you'd most like your ad to appear on, you can best plan which language or languages you should use to create your mobile website.

Detailed instructions for creating a website in mobile-friendly code are available in the Webmaster Help Center.

Note

Once you're all set with your mobile website, make sure that the WAP mobile ads you create are set to display in the correct markup language(s) in which your mobile site is written. You'll see this step while you're creating or editing a WAP ad, under "Specify the markup language in which your mobile website is written."

Next steps