For better or worse, mobile phones are an integral part of life and are the most popular way of accessing the internet. Mobile usage officially overtook desktops in 2017 (ComScore) and according to Ofcom, 78% of adults now own a smartphone, checking them every 12 minutes. This equates to a grand total of two hours and 28 minutes spent on smartphones every day.
Most brands now adapt their existing content for mobile, and the most successful companies create content mobile-first. Nearly a quarter of all ad spend now goes on mobile (Ofcom). By evolving your content strategy to match user behaviours, your readers will thank you for it with views.
Here are our five top tips for ensuring your content is mobile ready:
1. Consider reading patterns
There is a lot of research into how we consume content on our screens. Heat maps trace where our eyes and mouse travel as we navigate through a website or app. In most cases it follows an ‘F pattern’, where users focus on the top left-hand side. The first few words and sentences are important for these types of readers. Others may only scan headlines and subheadings. Think carefully about the placement of key content and make it easy for users to take the next step.
2. Format content for the small screen
Keep content short and simple so it can easily be scanned. Shorter headlines attract clicks too. If you need help, tools like Hemingway Editor can show how to improve your writing. Don’t forget simple tactics like bullet points and headings to break up longer pieces of content.
It’s important to check how your content actually appears on mobile – does it fit onto the screen? Are the images too large? Is the copy easy to read? Something as simple as the fonts and background colour can affect legibility.
So much content is shared on social media now – the average person has eight social accounts with most of them connecting via mobile. How ‘shareable’ your content is on mobile devices is increasingly important. It can provide a great opportunity to increase views if you make it as easy for people to share as possible.
3. Optimise for Google
Optimising for Google featured snippets is becoming more important due to the changes in the way we search for content. These snippets have higher CTRs than regular organic search results. They also feature on the first page of the SERP and aim to answer queries as specifically as possible.
Can you make summaries of your content or numbered lists that answer the most common search queries, so they are more likely to appear as featured snippet?
4. Use images and video to add value
Images and videos have become the key drivers of attracting users’ attention online. This isn’t limited to simply using more photos or pictures of your product. Infographics or appropriate GIFs are a great way to enhance your message. Be wary of size and avoid taking up too much space, as large media makes content hard to read and can distract from the main purpose of the content. Too many images can have an adverse effect and cause users to switch off.
5. Finally, make sure it loads quickly!
The optimum time for a web page to load is three seconds, according to Google. Any longer and users lose patience very quickly and click away. 53% of mobile website visits are abandoned if a mobile site takes longer than three seconds to load. For every one second delay in site load time, conversions fall by 12% (Google, 2018).
Getting your content to perform well on mobile is no longer optional, it’s essential to improve your user experience and increase your views. A few simple tweaks and optimisations can pay dividends in the long run.