4 Easy Rules to Mobile Friendly Copy

mobile friendlyEvery day there are more iPhones sold than babies born.

Yes. More iPhones than babies.

If you’re a business or agency owner, then we’re overdue for a conversation about mobile-friendly website content. Not only are mobile sales skyrocketing, but experts anticipate mobile web usage to increase by 66% each year for the next five years.

Optimizing your website for mobile is crucial. There are plenty of online resources that can help you with the technicalities of this process (Search Engine Journal and NTEN offer good guides.), but I want to help you with the actual content writing.

Not even halfway through 2013, mobile content, what it should look like, and how it should work, is still in “beta” mode. That being the case, these 4 “rules” are guidelines. Consider them as contemporary “best practices.”

#1 Condense your message – without sacrificing it.

As mobile Internet usage becomes increasingly common, people become better at sticking with it. In other words, don’t be duped into believing that mobile attention spans are radically shorter than traditional, PC-user attention spans.

In truth, they’re both short.

That being the case, your website content should be short and to the point on all platforms. Shorter mobile content is more convenient and easier to read. Chances are, you don’t have to sacrifice your message to deliver it.

#2 Line breaks are your friend.

Lots of line breaks makes content

really easy to read –

especially on a mobile phone.

So use them! This principle is a fundamental of blogging, but is just as – if not more – important for mobile content. See the next rule for an example…

#3 Consider non-traditional written content.One

Not all verbal website content has to go in a text field. Consider the One.org homepage, which uses powerful text (and very little of it) in a compelling, visual arrangement. Now see how it appears on a mobile phone to the right.

This website content is fantastic for the mobile phone because it keeps readers engaged. As a mobile user, there’s nothing more irritating than having your screen dim or black out because you’re trying to read 100 words within the confines of a tiny screen.

With the One.org homepage, users can read the content in a couple seconds, scroll down to the next section, and repeat 6-7 times. They stay engaged with your brand’s message the whole way through.

#4 Mobile browsing is active. Not passive.

When you’re browsing on a PC, it’s easy to open up 10 tabs or more, flick between them, move up and down the page, etc.

People don’t behave this way with mobile content. You either engage or you check out. We want your visitors engaging.

Engagement occurs when you constantly ask your visitors to do something through a CTA. Content that is static and passive is a turn-off. It’s up to you to provide that sense of purpose, that urgency of action, through your mobile website content.

Possible CTAs include:

  • Downloading an app
  • Taking advantage of a mobile-exclusive offer
  • Sharing company content through social media channels

You will know the right CTA for your business when you find it. Just make sure it’s there!

Mobile website content is still in its infancy, though it’s already made rapid advances in the last couple of years. What do you see as essential to writing mobile content?

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Ben Richardson is a writer based in Nashville, TN. While he loves writing on a variety of subjects, he's our go-to on all things related to branding and the creative aspects of content marketing. Follow him on Twitter!

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