So, your website has managed to come out of “Mobilegeddon” with a badge of honour under its name. But the coast is not completely clear, will your content pass the mobile test?
We previously discussed the tech side of Google’s new update, but amidst of all the excitement and code, businesses should not neglect the bread and butter of their website – the copywriting. Let’s face it, your website could look like Michelangelo hand-crafted it himself, but if the copy doesn’t work well on mobile it won’t engage anyone.
The Content Marketing Institute’s Neil Patel wrote an article claiming that there were six golden rules to follow if you want to ensure your content’s success via mobile. Before I touch on his pearls of wisdom, I will just point out that even though you are optimising your content for mobile, it shouldn’t decrease the value of your desktop content in any way. It may seem difficult to find a happy medium, but you need to find the sweet spot that will keep both desktop and mobile users engaged.
So, how can we ensure that our content will be mobile friendly without ruffling the desktop users’ feathers? Well I’m so glad that you asked…
We all know how it is, you smash out a 500-word article before the deadline and add the title as an afterthought. Or draft a title to fill the blank white space before your creative juices are flowing, but forget to alter it before you hit publish.
Ultimately, the headline is the first chance you get to sell your idea to the consumer, so it really does pay to spend a little extra time crafting a killer title. This is especially important for mobile users, as lengthy titles won’t translate well. Short headlines work better on mobile and try and add in subheadings where appropriate to break up the text.
As Neil Patel highlighted in his post, mobile users are more drawn to images than text. This reiterates the need for good quality images throughout the text, especially if it’s a longer piece.
Remember that relevancy is key. Don’t litter your content with images for the sake of it (we all love a good pug shot, but is it really relevant in an article about hazardous waste?) and ignore the all-important copy.
A 1,000-word article takes up much more screen space on a mobile than it does on a desktop. We all like a good waffle now and then but think about the attention span of your reader, what will keep them scrolling?
Now, I’m not saying mobile users are averse to reading anything over 500 words, but nobody likes to read long-winded copy and more to the point, nobody will. Ensure that the user is hanging on your every word by making your writing as concise and interesting as you can.
As a copywriter, one of my biggest pet peeves are articles that contain virtually no paragraph breaks.
Who decided that huge chunks of text were reader-friendly and what possessed them to use font size 9?! If reading un-paragraphed text causes me so much pain on a laptop, imagine what an emotional wreck I’d be seeing it on a mobile! On the flipside, while it’s important to use bullet points and subheadings in order to make your copy digestible, it is possible to take things too far and your content will read like a badly-crafted shopping list.
Use paragraphs wherever you can to break up the text, be liberal with them if you wish, as long as you don’t end up spacing out every single sentence, your content will continue to make sense and look good.