Create Awesome Mobile-Friendly Content in 7 Steps

Is your content mobile-ready?

Are you creating mobile-friendly content? The world is rapidly moving to mobile-first communications. And you don’t want your brand to be left behind in this revolution.

In the U.S today, we have more customers that visit via mobile devices than via desktop. Chances are that soon your customers may only look at your site on a mobile device.

Is your content mobile-ready?
A recent comScore study – More than 50% of users use various mobile devices in the U.S

Some quick and simple steps to easily make your content stand out and look awesome on mobile devices:

#1. Invest in responsive design

This may sound like a no-brainer for most, but you’ll be surprised at how many people don’t know that responsive design is taking over the internet. The best part about responsive design is that you don’t need to direct a user to a special mobile site. The site is designed to adjust to your mobile device so that the content is presented to you in the most pleasing way. For example, if you visit my homepage via a laptop, you should see two columns. If you visit via a mobile device, your will see a one-column layout for maximum reading ease.

Investing in a responsive site need not be expensive. WordPress responsive themes can cost you as little as $40. You get many free responsive themes on the market as well.

#2. Keep headlines short, punchy and less than 10 words

No one knows the value of a short and punchy headline better than content creators. With mobile content, it’s best to keep headlines short and sweet, preferably less than 10 words. Some mobile marketing experts advise keeping them between 5-8 words. Whatever length you choose, the old rule of copywriting – speaking to your customers’ needs applies even more for mobile content. And woo your audience with benefit-driven headlines.

# 3. Create links and icons that are touch friendly

In the absence of a cursor, clicking on an exact element on a smartphone screen can be difficult. Users can get frustrated if links are too close together to select the link they intend. And this means they will stop reading your content.

Designing best practices for mobile content requires increased space between different touch targets within your content. If you are trying to attract viewers to a product page, it’s preferable to include your link as a call-to-action at the end of your para. This makes it easier for your users to tap on your calls to action and links to your additional content or to your social media channels.

When designing your content and landing pages, follow guidelines provided by different mobile platforms to decide on the size of the touch targets you should use. For example, iOS Human Interface Guidelines recommends a minimum target size of 44 pixels wide 44 pixels tall.

#4. Create content that is snackable – in easy, bite-size pieces

Studies show that people are task oriented on their mobiles. They come in, want to finish their task and leave. Simplify their time by providing them with these conveniences:

  • Use big fonts that are easy to read
  • Give your audience the most important info first. Use the inverted pyramid style of journalism, where the most important info is first.
  • Use:
    • bullet points
    • numbered lists
    • lots of sub-heads for scannable text

#5. Keep your tone conversational – Use plain language principles

The good news is that the use of plain language is spreading. Most corporate and government websites are now embracing plain language as their preferred style of writing.
Here’s how you can keep a conversational tone:

  • Write as you speak
  • Avoid jargon, even if your industry has a lot of jargon
  • Use more action verbs
  • Keep sentences short

#6. Design a mobile app for customers

Even though a mobile app is not yet a must-have for every retailer and industry, creating the right one may lead to more conversions. You need to research and see which mobile apps are traffic drivers for your industry. Studies show that certain industries have more than 80% of their users coming in through mobiles apps. For example, Pandora, Yelp and Twitter show substantial traffic via mobiles.
Is your content mobile-ready?
80% of Pandora users listen in via mobile devices

#7. Measure and research what’s working with your mobile audience

Measure, measure and measure. Your analytics report will give you a breakdown of what your mobile customers are looking for when they visit. The greater the depth in understanding your audiences’ mobile habits, the more compelling your content will be. And understanding their needs will help you to create content they want to see.
Is your content mobile-ready?
Webcontentblog’s mobile audience statistics
Looks like a lot of my crowd uses IPhones. My bounce rate is higher with my mobile audience. This tells me that they are coming in, reading the article that they came to read and leaving. If I was engaged in selling, I could set-up conversions to get an accurate sense of how many mobile visitors are converting into paying customers.

There are many mobile content marketing strategies. Choose what suits your business needs and will help convert the most prospects to customers. With mobile device usage becoming predominant, it’s time to start creating a mobile-first content marketing strategy — and then work backwards to cater to your desktop visitors’ needs.

Your Turn

Do you have a responsive site? How are you making your content mobile-friendly? I’d love to hear form you. Please share your thoughts in the comments below. Thanks.

Comments

  1. says

    It’s interesting isn’t it? There are some things which I quite like doing on my phone (reading blogs etc.) but there are others that I can’t imagine doing. I mean I would never write this comment via my phone – it would take far too long to do and that would put me off, and this is just a few lines, imagine something longer.

    Likewise, actually buying something online seems far too much hassle at the moment on a small mobile screen. Are there apps that make the purchasing process more mobile friendly?
    Adi Gaskell recently posted..The 8 step guide to a social workplaceMy Profile

    • says

      You’re right. it does seem a bit of a hassle to buy online. But I’m sure with things moving as rapidly as they are today, it’s going to get much easier to buy from mobile devices. And if screen sizes weren’t so small, it would actually be fun to type into your smart phones. I think that tablets and pens are also slowly becoming more prevalent and they are also counted as mobile devices. I don’t personally know of apps that help the buying process but they are bound to be out there. Thanks for your feedback, as always.

  2. says

    Mobile Content is probably the hardest thing for me to produce for my blog. I tend to enjoy writing things that are long and things that will keep people on my blog for a longer period of time. These past few years have been more of a challenge for me to actually write shorter things than longer things, which is quite odd.
    These tips should prove to be very helpful, and I’m starting to notice some of these by myself (enjoying reading less on my phone), of course, I am very cautious when purchasing things on my mobile device and would normally avoid doing it.
    Thanks for sharing this, I will try my best to remember,
    Andrew
    Andrew Cook recently posted..How Web Design can help with SEOMy Profile

    • says

      Yes, I’ve received a lot of feedback in the past few days. The consensus is that bloggers in particular find it difficult to write for mobiles. And I can see why. We like to create in-depth content and this content is harder to read on mobiles. Thanks for your feedback. All the best.

  3. says

    Hey Gazalla,

    I guess since I’m more of a desktop person it’s hard for me to imagine that people enjoy blog hopping on mobile devices because you have to type the darn URL’s each time. I haven’t gotten use to texting yet.

    I know though that so many people who read blog posts though are constantly on their mobile devices so we have to keep them in mind because that’s the way it will continue to go.

    I don’t have a responsive theme but I do have a plugin. I’ve checked my blog on several different devices as well as some of my friends and it looks fine. I checked a friend of mines the other day and he has a responsive theme and I didn’t care for the layout at all. Maybe that’s just me and others like that but I think for now I’m good.

    I don’t keep my posts in mind for mobile users I admit. I guess for me the majority of the people I personally know that visit my blog are on their computers and not mobile devices so it’s hard for me to remember.

    Thanks for the reminder though because it’s definitely coming and I hope I’m no longer on the internet when they do away with my computer or laptop.

    ~Adrienne
    Adrienne recently posted..Does The World Really Need Another…My Profile

    • says

      Yes, Adrienne. You’re right – the mobile revolution is definitely coming. It reminds of the time when the print world was getting used to content on desktops and writers had to learn new skills to be able to create content for the web. It takes time getting used to a new medium. But I agree with you. I hope that I don’t see the day when desktops and laptops are completely extinct. Thanks as always for your continued feedback and support.

  4. says

    I think one area marketers need to focus on with mobile is with newsletters. Since January 2014, there are now more people accessing emails and newsletters via a mobile device than desktop, in the US. Yet, so many newsletters are sent in old-school, desktop format, pissing off at least 50% of the consumers who receive the information. Lost opportunity for many, but a great ones who do have a responsive approach, as you recommend here.
    Great post, Gazalla. Cheers,
    Frederic Gonzalo recently posted..The (Sorry) State of Social Marketing in 2014My Profile

    • says

      You’re right, Frederic. Newsletters and blogs are the fastest growing content distribution channels according to recent studies. And blogs have email subscribers that tend to read via mobiles. I agree with you – it’s a lost opportunity for brands who are not prepared for mobiles and the ones that are, are sure to see rewards in the form of more engagement. Thanks for your feedback, as always!

  5. says

    You’ve covered some useful tips there Gazalla – thanks!

    Unfortunately I learnt the hard way. I purchased a responsive theme but it became none responsive due to css changes when customizing my site.

    Luckily, I had Google Analytics installed so I soon noticed the problem when my bounce rate suddenly shot through the roof.

    It took a painstaking 3 days to fix the problem but it paid off because now my bounce rate is just 2.9%.

    Almost 50% of my blog traffic comes from mobile devices so it’s SO important to have a responsive theme like you say. :)

    Have an awesome day!
    Kerry
    Kerry Russell recently posted..How To: Google Analytics Ip Address FilteringMy Profile

    • says

      An all too familiar story. I’ve had to go look at more CSS a few times to fix some persistent problems. I’m glad you found the problem and could take care of it and you certainly have an amazing bounce rate! Yes being responsive is important for user experience, especially today with so many coming in through mobiles. Thanks for your feedback.

  6. says

    It’s very true these days more people accessing website through mobile devices. Desktop is falling behind even laptop using percentage is falling short as well. Thus it’s highly important to make website content mobile browsing friendly so that consumers don’t have complication to browse a website content. I really like the meaningful 7 steps shared here to improve and make awesome mobile contents. Thanks.

  7. says

    Thanks Gazalla for the article! Responsive design is very important. I have shifted to a mobile first mindset, understanding the use of mobile devices are indeed growing. Although there will always be a large percentage of folks using larger screen sizes at work and such. But that is the beauty of responsive design, we can prepare for all screen sizes :)

  8. says

    As we all know, the mobile technology has brought a great change in our life. Today most of us are using the internet through mobile, tablets and other portable devices. So it has become very necessary for email marketers to create a mobile compatible email campaign…