By: Sian Hobday
Getting content to perform well on mobile is no longer optional – it’s essential to improve user experience and increase views.
For better or worse, mobile phones are now the most popular way of accessing the internet. In 2018, 62% of total time spent online was on a smartphone, according to Ofcom. The average UK person spends more than a day online each week, with 78% of the population now checking their smartphones within five minutes of waking up.
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 notes. 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:
Consider reading patterns
There is a lot of research on how we consume content on our screens. Heat maps trace where our eyes and mouses 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.
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, such as 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 seven 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 as possible for people to share.
Optimise for Google
Optimising for Google featured snippets has become more important due to the changes in the way we search for content. These snippets have higher click-through rates than regular organic search results. They also feature on the first page of the search engine results page and aim to answer queries as specific 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 a featured snippet?
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.
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 and click away. More than half of mobile website visits are abandoned if a mobile site takes longer than three seconds to load. And for every one-second delay in site load time, conversions fall by 12%, according to Google.
Sian Hobday is an Account Manager in Allison+Partners’ London office.