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How to write mobile-optimised content

16 May 2018
People using phones | How to write mobile-optimised content | Neon

The world is mobile. Once upon a time, we were chained to our computers and had to wait until we got home, booted up our laptop and opened a browser before we could find the information we were looking for.

Not anymore. A study by Deloitte has found that 91% of the people surveyed had used their mobile device in the last day, while only 68% said they had used a laptop and 61% a desktop tower computer.

With 91% of mobile users saying that access to content is very important to them, the onus is on businesses to create content that works for the mobile experience. So how can you do that?

Here are our three top tips…

Keep it concise

Substance and length are often confused. Just because your content is long doesn’t mean it’s necessarily offering depth; just because your content is short doesn’t necessarily mean it isn’t.

When they’re out and about, audiences want key information delivered to them in a manageable way. This stands to reason: if you’re on public transport or moving from place to place, you don’t have long to keep your eyes on your phone.

So write in short paragraphs, use sub-headers to break up your copy, and don’t waste words. Work out what you want to say, find the most concise way to say it and keep editing your copy until its clean and lean.

Mind your multimedia

Images, videos and infographics are useful ways to present complex information in a simple and easy-to-digest format. However, the size of a mobile screen poses a problem.

On a small screen, images are reduced, infographics can seem a jumble of numbers and colours, and videos are sometimes incompatible with the technology they’re viewed on. Suddenly these useful content forms become frustrating.

If you’re using any of these formats, make sure they work on mobile as well as desktop. Crop your images so detail can be easily seen, don’t clutter your infographics with too much information, and use video formats that work across all devices.

Better yet, upload to a site like YouTube and embed the video on your page.

Offer efficiency

There’s an ocean of content out there, and the reader can likely get the information they’re looking for somewhere else.

First impressions are vital on mobile. The moment they access your content, readers are asking questions and making decisions: is this the information I need? Am I going to get what I want quickly? Is it clear enough for me?

So give them what they’re looking for right from the off. Read times can help your audience understand how long it’ll take to process the article, and a summary at the top of the piece contextualises it and lets the reader know that it’ll offer genuine insight.

In a nutshell

The art of writing good content isn’t just about crafting beautiful words loaded with meaning; it’s about how those words look on the page as well.

Laying out your content in a way that’s easy to digest means you’re putting the reader first, and that can be the difference between keeping them on your site and seeing them fall away.

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