Creating Mobile Friendly Content: A Hitlist

The discussion about how traffic is trending toward mobile users is a thing of the past. 

We’re there. Mobile surpassed desktop traffic back in 2015 and in internet time, that’s eons. 

Since then, Google has introduced mobile first indexing and the tides have seriously shifted in favor of optimizing toward the mobile experience. 

It’s time to start crafting our content to follow suit!

Mobile responsiveness and page speed certainly are topics important to this discussion but as we’re going to focus on the actual on-page content, we’ll save responsiveness and speed for another time. 

In summary, here are the things you need to be mindful of when crafting mobile-friendly content: 

  • Be Concise
  • Be Organized
  • Use Optimized Images
  • Don’t forget to test!

 

Be Concise

Have you opened a page only to find a wall of text? I’ll guess your first thought was, “NOPE,” and you promptly navigated away from said wall. Being concise means taking Marie Kondo’s advice and cutting down the clutter. Say what needs to be said, and use the copy necessary to effectively say it. 

Marie Kondo's advice to declutter

Remember, in SEO it is important to have rich, informative, and robust copy on the page. Don’t compromise your SEO by gutting the page’s copy thinking you’re being brief.

Marcia Riefer Johnston gave the following advice:

“Concise does not mean short. Short tells us nothing. Like a piece of string, text should be as long as necessary.

Concise does not mean robospeak, as in “push button” instead of “push the button.” Keep the the.

Concise does not mean gutted for mobile. Don’t think, “Smartphone users won’t need that.” They will.

Concise means minimal: enough to meet your audience’s needs and accomplish your purpose. No more, no less.”

Understand that skimming is a popular way readers consume content. Utilize headlines and summaries to start things off, then include your full post. 

A helpful rule: Use short words and fewer idioms to make your content more mobile-friendly. They take up space. Use single word substitutes for often used, wordier phrases. Here’s a helpful link to use: Use simple words and phrases 

Be Organized

Good mobile content is well-curated content. A word commonly used to describe this is “chunky.” This means to break up the content into manageable chunks. 

There are many ways to make content chunky, but some simple suggestions are: 

  • Headings 
  • Subheadings
  • Bulleted lists
  • Images
  • Whitespace 

Get creative. Content should never be placed arbitrarily.

Headings and subheadings are useful for scanners. Headings organize content by topic or theme and act as bullet points to the full article. Keep your headings short, 6 or 7 words, so they don’t weigh down the page.

Whitespace is created by writing shorter paragraphs, using shorter sentence fragments for emphasis, and hitting “enter” more often. This breaks up the typical paragraph format and makes things more interesting. It also forms visual chunks, which makes content easier to digest on mobile.

Use Optimized Images

Images are an effective tool in grabbing interest as well as breaking up content into chunks making for easy reading. 

Use relevant images to enhance content, and not distract from it. Studies show that readers’ eyes are drawn to images so take advantage of this by including the most important information directly after an image. 

The key to this is using optimized images. While images are interesting, serve to break up content, and can add to an article, they can also severely damage page speed. 

According to Think with Google:

Page load time's effect on user bounces

Mind your load times! To manage this try using image compression and responsive resizing tools, or creating pre-optimized images. 

Some helpful tools:

 

Don’t Forget to Test!

It’s surprising how often this step is overlooked. Prior to publishing, put on your reader’s cap and act as a reader would. Are you going cross-eyed or are you able to enjoy going through the content? 

Remember to take a few steps back, scroll quickly through the content, peck and browse like a normal reader, and make sure it all still makes sense. 

Take a few notes and tweak things as needed. If you notice that your text doesn’t wrap images well or that blocks of content are too long, take the time to edit so they flow.

Breaking paragraphs into shorter chunks and using white space goes a long way. 

Conclusion 

Remember that more than ever, mobile is dominating traffic to websites. The importance of crafting mobile friendly content cannot be overemphasized. 

Creating mobile-friendly content does take work and a careful eye, but by being concise, being organized, and using optimized images it can be easily accomplished. 

And never forget to test!

Stay tuned for the next two posts from Hadley. She’ll continue on the topic of mobile-friendliness by discussing Mobile First Indexing and Page Speed!

Contact Ecreativeworks for help with your mobile website needs!

Written by Kyle Warner, Digital Marketing Specialist at Ecreativeworks

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