In a world that is rapidly going mobile, content experts are needed to make the experience of interacting with a mobile website as easy and comfortable as reading a well-designed traditional 'PC' website.
The limitations of mobile devices such as smart phones require that special attention be given to how content can be adapted from the big screen to the little screen, so to speak. If content is king then it is natural that it should be given equal priority in the creation of mobile websites. Here are some key points to consider for creating good mobile web content.
Image Download Times – Images are a large source of delay in the performance of mobile websites. Convenience is a major factor in keeping the potential customer interested, so page download times should be as fast as possible. This means images should be smaller and a 'less is more' approach to content in general e.g. video, image slideshows etc.
If the potential buyer is being delayed and to a degree annoyed by your bulky, slow website, then it is likely that they will visit the competition. This is especially true of new visitors who have yet no sense of loyalty to your brand or to you.
Copy - Too much text is also slower to download but in itself it is a turn off for users, especially users ‘on the go’, as it seems like a chore to read - it might seem obvious that it needs an editor to extract the important details. You should consider having a minimised version of large pieces of text for the mobile phone audience. The delays can also be avoided by putting the essentials of a product or service on one page and the details on another. So, the 'browser' type customer gets to see the short version and he 'researcher' can click for the longer version. Also, dividing the text into short paragraphs will make it easier to consume. Minor page titles should also improve the browsing and reading experience.
Navigation - Navigation should be easy and intuitive just as it should be on a traditional site. If the visitor gets lost on your site because of poor information architecture then you can't blame them if they go and try the website of one of your competitors. Website navigation aids include a button that will take the web visitor back to the top of a page and a logo that will take them back to the home page. Users should be able to surf with their thumb or index finger so increasing the size of buttons could be necessary. The conversion process from the first page to the last should be made up of as few stages as possible. Content and navigation should be clear and simple so that the user gets the information they want quickly.
Social Media - It is natural that mobile devices should tap into the social media systems that are Facebook and Twitter. Sharing text, links, comments and images is the essence of these sites. All the 'share/tweet' buttons should be in place for someone who wants to share some of your web content with friends, family or colleagues.
SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) - Mobile phone searches are a major growth area on the internet, especially local searches. This is why a good keyword strategy is essential if you want to get on the first few pages of a search engine’s listings. The SEO best practise for regular websites is quite similar to that for the mobile web, so speak to your web designer to implement a system where you have good SEO tags in place for the mobile website and PC website at the same time. And a responsive website will help you out here in that it is the PC website and the mobile website at the same time.
Location - A visitors location can be discovered from the smart phone itself, allowing you to provide relevant information such as local services, inventory, appropriate content for the time of day etc. This lends a sense of familiarity to the browsing experience which will increase the chances of that visitor returning to your site.
Context - The context of someone’s visit can also be determined. It can be a search, in which case content relating to the search keywords should be provided. It can be an email click, in which case you should know the incentive that made them get in contact and take them to the next step of conversion to a sale. Context is important as it helps you to understand and meet the user’s needs.
Language - As with traditional websites, the style of language you engage the user with is important. Generally, a conversational tone works best but adapting it to mobile means making some changes. The language should be clear, direct and concise – more so than on a regular site. It is more to the point and immediate than conversational language. Of course, this is only one type of language. There are many different audiences and if you want to reach one you have to adapt your voice. However, simple and concise is generally good for mobile device reading.
Testing - Your mobile website needs to be tested thoroughly to ensure that it does what you want it to do as quickly and smoothly as possible. Your designer should test the site on different mobile devices in order to check for anomalies that will need fixing. Lastly, you should try the site yourself and make sure you are happy with it. If there are any problems or issues, talk to your web designer.
These are some of the essentials of creating good mobile content. Together with the right design, the right content can make a mobile site a thing of beauty – admired by users and envied by the competition. It can also make a site a powerful business tool - this is why investing in good mobile content is a must.
Contact MyIT Web Design Naas Road if you have any questions and we'd be happy to answer them for you.