Is the Future of Content Mobile? How Does Your Brand Prepare?
If you’re among the 2.7 billion mobile users across the globe, chances are good that you’re reading this article on your phone. But have you thought about how your own brand’s web content works on a mobile phone? If you want to have effective content marketing in 2019, you must care about where and how you engage your audience. Recent statistics show skyrocketing content consumption on mobile devices – and that means you owe it to your brand to take this into consideration as your content strategy evolves.
The best way you can adapt to increasing mobile usage is by ensuring your web presence is mobile optimized. Keeping your content mobile-friendly can involve such topics as website design and structure, page loading speed, visual elements, metadata, and more. Although there are many components to mobile optimization, many of them simply require a bit of common sense and website know-how to implement.
Mobile Optimization – What Does it Entail?
One thing’s for sure: you need your web content to work on mobile devices. Part of this issue can be addressed by making sure your site loads and functions properly on smaller screens. But truly optimized content isn’t just about having a responsive website.
Responsive design typically describes a set of parameters with which websites adapt content sizing to different devices. This is important, but mobile optimization also means adjusting the way that menus, pop-ups, coding, and formatting work to create a mobile experience that feels natural and easy to use.
Your content will be judged not only by whether it fits onto a small screen but in how it’s presented and (hopefully) what purpose it successfully serves. Not only that – your brand’s audience will decide whether or not to engage with your content depending on whether their experience is easy and rewarding. It’s time to dive into the most important components of how to make that happen.
Common Sense for UX
There’s so much that goes into web design, so it would be a shame if your content wasn’t tailored towards the best possible user experience (UX) for your audience. Keeping a few important guidelines in mind will go a long way towards improving UX and optimizing for mobile users.
- Use easy-to-read fonts set at sizes that don’t require zooming. This may require some coding to help get size ratios right.
- Incorporate reasonable amounts of white space between different content elements to prevent visual fatigue.
- Reduce “clutter” by hiding, resizing, or even eliminating banners and pop-ups for mobile users.
- Promote easy navigation with well-placed links, buttons, or calls-to-action
Modern Readers, Modern Copy
With so much content consumption happening online these days – and with such a high percentage of that consumption taking place on mobile devices – it’s important to understand the foibles of modern readers. Distraction and shorter attention spans are common concerns.
Your content must be tailored to capture the reader’s attention and keep it for as long as possible. Keep your writing concise, impactful, and to-the-point. Digital guru Neil Patel emphasizes the importance of short headlines that won’t be cut off by mobile screens. He also underscores the way that short chunks of text and streamlined information can help your readers feel comfortable with your content – and make them want to keep reading.
Pictures and Plugins and Flash, Oh My!
Well-placed pictures and images can add so much interest and panache to your content. But watch out: if file sizes are huge, your content may lag when loading – a major reason why many readers may move too quickly. Keep your images optimized by compressing them when possible.
Another contributor to slow load speeds can be excessive plugins or the use of Flash. Unless these elements perform key functions in your content, remove them wherever necessary.
Making Sense of Metadata
An important topic in its own right, metadata can seem like an intimidating aspect of web content optimization. For the purpose of mobile-friendly content, you should seek to keep your links, titles, and metadata descriptions short and sweet. Try to include the most key information about your content as concisely as possible without losing the inherent meaning.
If one of your business goals is to rank high for local searches, make sure your website includes city and state in different standardized elements of your web pages. This could include your URLs, your image alt tags, and even in headers and subheaders.
Leave a Trail to Follow
Unless the information in your content is somehow completely self-contained, you probably need to add a few links here and there. Linking between various content pieces can help build longer engagement times with your audience. According to Forbes, links are also a key to good SEO rankings for mobile content.
That said, make sure that links do not overwhelm your message or its presentation. Peppering your copy with excessive links (no matter how relevant) can result in reader overwhelm, confusion, and increased click-off rates. When it comes to linking content, context and common sense matter!
Trends to Keep an Eye On for Content Marketing in 2019
Mobile tech is still in a state of evolution and flux, so mobile-optimized content must also continue to evolve with time. Stay on your toes by keeping on top of new mobile trends and paying attention to content marketing thought leadership. Content marketing in 2019 and beyond may be affected by further developments such as:
- Gesture and touch navigation on mobile devices
- Changes in checkout options and functionality for websites
- iOS Dark Mode features
No matter what lies ahead for mobile optimization, you can’t afford to keep your content structured around outdated structures or lesser-used tech. Start by adapting your web presence and current content to make it more mobile-friendly, then use key optimization techniques to ensure that your future content creation efforts are as impactful and effective as possible. This may seem like more work, but your ROI will thank you in the end!
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