Virtually everyone is using smartphones and tablets. But maybe you’ve noticed that your mobile traffic tends to be pretty unimpressive. You need to appeal to your audience wherever they find you. So how do you get them to actually read your content on their smartphones and tablets?
The answer lies in writing that caters to the mobile experience. People reading content on mobile want straightforward answers and quick solutions, but they’re going to be more willing to stick around and keep reading when the writing is conducive to the mobile experience.
The average adult currently spends about a third of their online time on mobile devices. By 2018, that’s expected to jump up to 54 percent, according to Marketing Insider Group. 2018 is less than two years away, so it’s high time your writing reflects how and where people are reading it.
The following writing tips will get you started on the right path:
1. Get to the point right away.
Frontload your content with the answers you’re setting out to provide. No one wants to wade through a sea of text to find the answers they need, especially when searching for fast results on mobile. A recent Think With Google infographic pointed out that that 82 percent of smartphone users will use their phones right in the store to help assist with a purchase decision. Your content could be the marketing lynchpin that sways a customer to buy your product or walk away. A well-written post could convince them to buy your product, but one that hides the value they want might cause you to lose their business. And that goes for B2C as well as B2B businesses.
If you hide the key takeaways at the end of a long article, readers are not going to scroll down and down and down to find it. They’re going to go back to the SERP and find a better source to help them make an informed, quick choice.
TL;DR – Make sure the key takeaways are highly visible throughout the article for easy access to answers.
2. Don’t be afraid to dive in deep.
Don’t stay on the surface of a topic just because your readers are viewing the content on a smaller screen. While people do want fast answers, they don’t necessarily bounce away once they’ve gotten them. Think With Google found that 90 percent of smartphone users spend their time “on the go” to research long-term goals. This is especially going to be true for prospects who are reaching the end of the buyer’s journey, and are actively interested in more detailed content.
Consider the fact that more people are buying on mobile while desktop sales are slowing, as reported in Custora’s Ecommerce Pulse. It’s not that far-fetched to assume buyers are probably not researching on desktops and then picking up their phones to buy. It’s much more likely they’re doing it all from one device, so your deep-dive writing should cater to mobile readers.
TL;DR – When you follow the first tip, you can still dig deeper into the advice you’re giving without alienating top-of-funnel readers.
3. Write easily readable content for busy readers.
Present thorough information without overwhelming mobile readers to keep them engaged. Avoid the temptation to nerd out when you’re writing those immersive pieces, and instead stick with conversational language. In-depth content does not need to be as complex as a Joycean novel.
A conversational voice is the spoonful of sugar that helps people read your content on their phones and tablets. More often than not, they’re not going to be sitting at a desk when they read. They could be questioning their purchases in the checkout line, or in need of a quick fix while working on a project. When you answer the question the way you would in conversation, they’ll be more satisfied than if they have to dissect the writing to figure it out themselves.
Write shorter sentences using less complex words to keep your readability at or around the sixth- or seventh-grade level (the ideal for online writing). Trying to load too much into one sentence can disrupt the reading flow and make readers give up or lose interest.
TL;DR – Write content that is easy to read and understand, so readers won’t get lost or confused.
4. Format your words with mobile screens in mind.
An easy-to-browse layout makes your content more accessible. A solid wall of text can scare readers off before they find the value in your content. Smaller paragraphs are preferable to longer ones – they are easier to scan and less intimidating. When the writing is too dense, it doesn’t matter how many gold nuggets you tuck into it. Your readers won’t want to hunt for them, and they shouldn’t have to.
Break your content into easily scannable sections with bold, descriptive subheadings so readers can swipe through the article and find what they’re truly interested in. Where logical, inject bullet lists that do some or all of the following:
- Highlight key points you want to get across.
- Provide bite-size takeaways from the article.
- Include actionable advice or directions.
TL;DR – When content looks welcoming and easy to read, people will stick around longer than if you put up a solid wall of words.
Even if your site traffic isn’t mobile-heavy now, odds are it will start leaning that way soon enough (2018 is on its way!). Rather than waiting for that shift, start writing mobile-friendly content now. It will encourage your current customers and prospects to visit more often and in new ways. It will also open you up to a potentially untapped market of first-time visitors.