The news that from April 21st, Google is going to penalise websites that are not mobile-friendly should focus the minds of website owners and their responsibility for mobile readers and consumers. And this applies to content too. While you may not be penalised for a lack of user-friendly content, mobile content is different from web content and this must be addressed. Make this date your target to sweep your existing mobile content and ask yourself, is this easy for a mobile user to read or even access? In the context of this upcoming change, today we’re looking at the best way to write mobile digital content.
- Get to the point – think about the last time you accessed info on your Smartphone or tablet. Where were you? Were you in a queue killing time? Looking for a restaurant, hotel or similar service? If your content is targeted primarily at mobile users, your message must be brief and engaging. There is no room to carry ‘passenger’ content here. If it is not performing a function, it needs to go. Try and stick to less than 100 words per mobile page at the most.
- The mechanics of writing – when writing any content, always try and mimic the space that you will see in the finished product. And if it’s for a mobile platform, adjust your word processing platform (Open Office/Microsoft Word etc) and write in a space no wider than ten centimetres and in font size of ‘14’ or so.
- Collaborate with the design team – before you write the content, try and get as many mock-ups of page templates as you can before you start. This will show you what canvas you have to work with and will enable you to envisage the final draft and how it will be read.
- Bullet-proof layouts – it’s true that mobile users like lists and bullet points but do not be a slave to this format. Use bullets where appropriate and if you can categorise those lists in groups of three or four, that makes accessing the information even easier for people on the move.
- Heads up – keep in mind the primary focus for mobile content readers. They want information and they want it fast. By using headlines and sub-headings intelligently, you can guide your readers to the content they need with ease.
- Call – to –action – you need to give your readers clear direction on what the next step is. These might be buttons or forms to fill in or simply relevant links. Whatever it is, it must be crystal clear what is to be done next. Hesitation is your enemy when producing mobile-friendly content. If your reader is not clear what they should do next, they will simply get distracted and go back to enjoying that coffee break, get chatting to a friend or colleague or get busy on Social Media.
Writing content for the mobile user is all about context. In order to prepare information that they will access and engage with, you need to consider the environment they’re viewing your content in. Keep the above points in mind and make an effort to ensure your content is mobile-ready by April 21.
If you’re undertaking a content project for any platform and need a hand out, don’t hesitate to get in touch with me, an experienced copy and content writer.