In 2018, mobile traffic accounted for 52.2 percent of all Internet traffic, up from 50.3 percent in 2017.
Traffic from mobile devices is expected to surpass desktops even further, as emerging markets in Asia establish themselves as mobile-first countries—places where users are leapfrogging traditional computers and going straight to smartphones and tablets.
For online content creators and publishers, the direction of our Internet usage habits means content has to be optimized for mobile first instead of being mobile-friendly.
Mobile-friendly content is readable on mobile. On the other hand, content optimized specifically for mobile is a joy to read on any mobile screen.
The good news is that optimizing content for mobile is a lot easier than you think.
In fact, the tips below should help you optimize your next blog post for mobile screens.
1. Write a Snappy Headline, a Summary, and Body
One thing you need to know about mobile Internet users: most of them skim through content, a lot.
That doesn’t mean your content should be all bullet points. That would ignore users who still read online content word-for-word.
Instead, tweak the structure of your content to make sentences and paragraphs easier to read. This will help your content adapt to a mobile web design, as seen below.
Follow this basic content structure:
- Headline – Start with a short headline that takes up a fraction of the screen. According to web usability expert Jakob Nielsen, the ideal headline 5 words and 34 characters.
- Summary – A summary is the TL;DR of your article—a brief paragraph that outlines the premise of your article. This helps the reader know what to expect from the content asset.
- Body – Finally, your body contains the meat and potatoes of your article.
2. Break Content into Separate Chunks
No one likes to read through a wall of text, more so on a mobile screen where real estate for content is limited.
What you want to do is to break your content into chunks, allowing the white space to separate paragraphs and make the text easier to read.
There are a few different ways to do this.
a.Using subheads – Subheads don’t just break your content into chunks, they also help readers go straight to sections or key points they’re interested in when skimming.
b. Using images – Images break text apart and add context to the themes or subtopics being discussed.
c. Using bullet points – Bullet points are a simple but effective way to distill important key points into digestible snippets.
3. Write Concise Sentences and Short paragraphs
Writing short paragraphs will help avoid walls of text and force you to focus on one point per paragraph. In turn, this creates a pleasant reading experience, particularly on a mobile screen.
In fact, a 70-word paragraph may seem short on a word processor, but on mobile, it will definitely appear longer.
This isn’t to say, however, that your writing should be lacking in style. The key is to alternate between short and long sentences, creating a rhythm to your writing.
As Author Gary Provost explains:
Another way to control the length of your paragraphs is by writing concise sentences. When writing, limit your use of these common filler words:
As mobile traffic continues to account for the majority of all traffic on the Internet, marketers need to adapt their content to the requirements of mobile devices, not to mention the needs of mobile users.
Of course, the first and most important ingredient of effective content will always be quality. Mobile visitors are always more willing to consume your content as long as it’s good.