As mobile traffic consistently surpasses desktop traffic online, it’s essential to adapt content to the requirements of mobile devices and the needs of mobile users.
The trend is set to continue in the same direction as emerging markets in Asia establish themselves as mobile-first countries. Users skip traditional computers and go straight to smartphones and tablets.
This means that online content creators and publishers need to be aware of the changing patterns in usage and start optimizing their content for mobile first instead of just being mobile-friendly.
Luckily, optimizing content for mobile is a lot easier than presumed.
Headline, Summary, Body
When optimizing content for mobile, you should start from the premise that mobile users skim through content a lot. This doesn’t automatically mean that your content should be all bullet points. That would turn away users who still carefully read online content.
Instead, focus on optimizing the structure of your content to make sentences and paragraphs easier to read. Follow this basic content structure:
Headline: Start with a short and catchy headline that doesn’t take a lot of screen space, ideally around 5 words and 30 characters.
Summary: A summary is a handy element for mobile readers as it gives an overview of what to expect from the article.
Body: Finally, your body contains the full-fledged content.
Walls of text have never been appealing to anyone, even less so on a mobile screen where space is scarce.
In order to enable a pleasant reading experience, you need to break the content in parts and alternate between text and white space. There are a few different ways to go about this.
Subheadings: Besides breaking the content into chunks, subheadings also help readers navigate to sections they’re interested in when skimming.
Images: Images are also a great tool in breaking text apart. It also adds context to the topic being addressed in your content.
Bullet Points: Bullet points are a simple but effective way to capture the essence of snippets of content.
Use Short and Concise Sentences
As already mentioned, walls of text should be avoided. Write short paragraphs to avoid boring the reader and creating a more pleasant reading experience on a mobile screen.
An 80 word paragraph might seem short on a desktop, but on mobile it will appear longer. Still, this doesn’t mean the writing style should suffer. The key is to alternate between short and long sentences.
Another way to control the length of your paragraphs is by writing concise sentences.
Of course, the first and most important factor for effective content will always be quality. Mobile visitors are always more willing to consume your content as long as it’s good.