The future is truly mobile. In 2016, Smart Insights looked at the total time spent online and discovered that 51% of the time, people used a mobile device to browse the web. By comparison, users only accessed the internet via desktop computer 42% of the time.
The shift to mobile has affected all facets of web design, including the content on your site. Due to the reduced screen size, content that may look good on desktop likely isn’t visually engaging or appealing to mobile users. Fortunately, you can make a few easy changes to improve your content strategy for mobile. Here are six simple ways to make your content mobile-friendly.
In the world of 140-character tweets and clickbait, it’s clear that readers’ attention spans are shrinking. Nobody wants to scroll through superfluous, meandering text to get to the point of the article.
When writing for mobile, make your point, make it early, and make it clear. Mobile users are surrounded by distractions around their phone. If you don’t get your point across succinctly, their attention will likely have shifted elsewhere.
Put Your Great Content First
When readers view your content on their mobile phone, the text visible above the fold is drastically less than on a desktop. You need to present your visitors with as much information as possible right away.
While more than 90% of mobile users will scroll in the first 14 seconds of landing on your article, only one-third will read beyond the first one-third of your article. Make your users scroll meaningfully, not habitually. Capture their attention in the headline, subhead, or first paragraph with targeted, direct-to-the-point content.
Use Short Paragraphs
Reading long paragraphs on mobile devices requires concentration, which mobile users likely don’t have. A split-second distraction could draw your reader’s focus away, causing them to lose their place in a long paragraph.
The solution is simple: Break up your content into short, easily digestible paragraphs that readers can fluidly scroll through without losing their place. Paragraphs that look standard on desktops are transformed into large blocks of text on mobile.
Create Short, Powerful Headlines
We mentioned earlier that users spend most of their time looking at the first one-third of your article. What does this mean for your headlines?
If you have a long headline, it could potentially take up three-quarters of the screen in mobile, limiting the above-the-fold content to just the headline and a short subtitle. As a result, you’re relying exclusively on your headline to capture your reader’s attention.
While we sometimes can create that killer headline that captivates readers, often the first paragraph is equally important for encouraging a visitor to continue reading. By keeping your headline short and sweet, you allow space above the fold to show off your first paragraph.
Use Images Sparingly
Eye-tracking studies of how users view mobile content demonstrate that the eye is drawn to images over any text on the page. Think of how you interact with content on your phone – a bright, engaging image is likely to draw your attention over lines of black and white text.
However, the eye’s tendency to be drawn towards images means that your content is getting skipped over. Don’t overload your post with loosely-related images. Instead, choose a few quality images that add value to your content, and let your prose take center stage.
Focus on Formatting
When designing your content, it’s important to keep in mind that formatting that may look shipshape on desktops could look drastically different when viewed on mobile. A good rule of thumb is to preview your post on mobile before publishing to ensure everything on the page is readable on the smaller device.
In general, images in your blog should not be left- or right-aligned next to the text. Mobile view will cause the image to break up the text until there are only one or two words per line, squished next to the image. Instead, opt to center your image on a line between paragraphs.
While crafting content for mobile may seem like a daunting task, these tips should help optimize your content for the growing base of mobile users. If you’re still overwhelmed, send us a message – our team of mobile content experts is here to help!