There’s no escaping the fact that unless you have your website optimised for mobile devices, no matter how good the rest of your SEO tactics are, you are going to be playing catch up when it comes to rankings. Since mobile overtook desktop for online searches in 2015 Google has made it clear the emphasis of their search engine results would be moving towards mobile sites.
With them producing their first mobile search indexing, it means if you have both a mobile and a desktop version of your website, (and if you don’t, why not?), the mobile version will be considered the primary site over the desktop version.
What these means that just as we have had to ensure that our content was everything it needed to be in terms of quality and keyword relevance on desktop, the mobile version needs to be likewise. The key here is that it’s not enough simply to make your website mobile compatible but that the content used is more appropriate for being consumed on a mobile device such as a phone or tablet.
We mentioned consumed there and this should really be the first thing to discuss because you need to be aware of how content is viewed or read on a mobile device. There is a tendency for a user to read or view content in a more evenly distributed way than eyes being drawn to the top-left or F-shaped reading pattern of desktop users.
In terms of making content on mobile devices more accessible and readable, there are some key principles to follow when creating it. The first is to make the headline snappy and able to grab the reader’s attention immediately. Bear in mind mobile users will have more distractions than desktop, so the headline needs to be ‘heard’ above all the background noise, even if it is written words.
A short summary can be used to give the reader more information about what the content is going to be about. At this point, you need to really hook them by giving a very powerful reason to continue by having the summary pique their interest further.
Next the reader gets to to the main core of the content, which in many circumstances can be the same information as you might post for reading by desktop users. The difference can be the way in which it is formatted so that it is more easily read on the small display screens of most mobile devices. The practice of ‘chunking’ is often used, which is simply breaking down content into small chunks.
Ways that this can be done include the following:
- Using small paragraphs with just two or three sentences.
- Having sub-headlines throughout the content.
- Using images as content, and as a way to break up larger blocks of text.
- Bullet points and lists
- Formatting text with italicised and bolded words.
As well as these formatting tools and techniques, it is also recommended that wherever possible you use shorter words to replace long words with the same meaning. Examples of this are replacing fundamental with basic, and accordingly with so. The smaller words are easier to read and make any block of text smaller than it would otherwise be.
Once you have created content, it needs to be checked on a mobile device to ensure that it is suitable. In particular, you should check it on mobile phones and if possible, check it on both an Android, and an iOS enabled device. If ok on these, then it does no harm to check it on tablet devices too.
If you spot any text sections which appear too wordy or too large, edit them as needed, even if that simply means adding a bit of white space between two paragraphs.