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Content Marketing

Going Mobile with Your Marketing

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Understanding how mobile users read your content will help you write for them

It’s been about 13 years since Steve Jobs walked onstage and introduced us to the iPhone. You’d think by now we’d all have it under control – but the embarrassing truth is that some of us still create content that’s meant for laptop and desktop computers.

Why is this a bad idea? Mobile devices outnumber computers worldwide by about three to one. Over the past year, desktop Internet usage dropped by more than 8%. Meanwhile, mobile internet usage increased by nearly 11%. In the United States alone, 63% of online traffic comes from smartphones and tablets. If you depend on content as part of your inbound marketing engine, it had better be optimized for mobile devices.

Beyond responsive

If you’re saying you’ve got this covered because your WordPress theme is responsive, so everything gets resized and fits, you might want to think again. A responsive site isn’t enough. Content that reads well on computer screens doesn’t perform the same way on mobile devices. People read differently on their smartphones.

Besides, mobile responsiveness is not the same thing as mobile-first. A mobile responsive site uses CSS to adjust the elements of a webpage to conform to the device it’s viewed on. A mobile-first site is designed to be simple. And fast. You’ll get more attention from Google, which announced back in 2018 that page speed is a ranking factor for mobile searches.

Content read on computer screens does better when it takes advantage of an F-shaped pattern. Both designers and writers can take steps to help users find the most relevant information. The smaller smartphone screen just doesn’t have enough real estate to allow for this type of design.

What you share becomes more important than how it looks. You’ve heard this before. People don’t read what’s online. According to Don’t Make Me Think author Steve Krug, most people glance at a page, scan some of the text, and then click on the first link that catches their interest.

Let’s be fair. People will read every word you write in an article or blog post if they’re deeply interested in the subject. But they do want help. They’re expecting you to highlight meaningful information, keep paragraphs short, and offer scannable lists.

As Neil Patel says, you should turn your mobile content into bites, snacks, and meals. His approach is to chunk content for mobile devices.

  • Titles are short to make them mobile-friendly.
  • Keep paragraphs short, too.
  • Use small words – meaning use fewer complex terms.
  • Add more relevant images.
  • Use whitespace to lead prospects to the most important information.

More mobile tips

With a mobile-first approach, your priority is to give mobile site visitors only the content they need, and exclusively designed – not repurposed – for touch screens. Sorry, no mouseovers here.

  • Give touch targets appropriate space. Your visitors will appreciate the extra space you put around hyperlinks, as well as buttons that don’t require precise taps.
  • Think like an app. Mobile users expect to control their experience on your site. They also expect it to behave like every other site out there they visit.
  • Test for speed by using Google’s free site. Take it to the next step by enabling Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP). You’ll remove bloated layouts and unnecessary media files, and then Google will serve these AMP versions to those who access your content using a mobile device.
  • Optimize your content by compressing images. But don’t stop there. Utilize the services of a CDN, which will load content from a cached source that is closest to your user.
  • Implement lazy loading. This will reward your user with content faster, as only a portion of the page needs to be downloaded. They’ll be able to see at least some content right away.

Mobile content creation is your new thing

Content created – rather than optimized – for mobile consumers must become your primary approach. People are looking for quick and easy digestible bites of content. They’re looking for you to get to the point as soon as possible.

Mobile-first content follows a front-loaded approach, where you offer only the most important points, which probably will be bullet points, callouts, and graphics.

Does this mean as you’ll be writing less? Absolutely not. An interested prospect will gobble up as much relevant information as you can deliver. That information requires concentration, which might not be something they can invest in on their mobile device. Let them know where they can find the unabridged edition. You’ve just moved them further along the buyer’s journey.

Do you need help with creating content for your mobile visitors? Learn how we can help.

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