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By Mark Haunton | Monday 12 March, 2018

Optimising content for Mobile

Visiting sites on mobile is more popular than ever – marketers must maximise on every opportunity presented by mobile visits. With small devices content needs to be delivered quickly, efficiently and unique challenges must also be met.

We visited the Marketing Live conference in March 2018 and found out tons of useful advice. Here are a few points we noted about optimising for mobile:

Mobile visits are quick

The average length of a session when a user visits on mobile is shorter than on desktop devices.
You are essentially fighting for the customer’s attention against all the various apps on their phone – which can include:

• incoming calls
• messages
• emails
• notifications from apps

You also need to bear in mind distractions from outside of the phone. You user may be visiting your website while…

• watching TV
• talking to a friend
• riding a bus
• water-skiing

Added to this, you also have to fight against unwanted distractions the user may be experiencing in their phone environment…

• movement
• noise
• screen glare
• traffic

So basically you need to deliver the most important content, as quickly as possible before something else grabs their attention!

Deliver the content quickly

Sentences need to be easy and short. Try to keep your paragraphs down to 2 sentences to deliver short punchy points.

If a user can’t grasp what you’re trying to say in the first couple of sentences… you’re waffling – just get to the point!

Current statistics suggest that 15% of British adults can only read at the level of an 11 year old, so if you’re trying to communicate with the masses, then keep your words simple.

If you write your content as if you’re talking to a non-English speaker and want them to understand, then you’re going along the right lines.

Unique challenges

Unlike on desktop machines, when someone visits your site on mobile, they are usually looking at a portrait, tiny little window with very limited viewing space.

This means they have to scroll more often and constantly remember what they were reading above the screen. They also have no hover states.

Help the user

So we need to make everything as easy as we can. 16px font size at least, make the links obvious and break your content down into easy chunks.

Keep it concise, serve the important content first – give a basic explanation and then give more detail afterwards so the user can invest more if interested.

Remember… with a screen this small, any targets for clicking need to be 1cm X 1cm at the smallest.

Remember – not all users are leet!

Some users will instinctively use gestures, click the burger for the menu, swipe galleries, double press to zoom etc – but a lot will not know to do this!

Any functionality you add for advanced users must have a suitable fallback for the uninitiated:

• Semi-open navigation
• fallbacks for gestures
• arrows
• magnifiing glasses

If it’s not obvious, then some users will not find it.

Finally… keep it consistent!

Make sure your branding and messages stay on point throughout all the channels and platforms your user experiences.

You can use this to your advantage… by linking content between your mobile experience and other platforms you can help guide and reassure the user and deliver what they are looking for as quickly as possible.

If a user likes to view the football goods on your website then there’s a good chance they want to see them in your mobile site.

If they have subscribed to your ‘toddler products’ monthly newsletter then again, they probably want to see that on their mobile.

Link together the experience – show the same brand values, categories – colours even. The more familiar they find the mobile experience the easier they are going to find what they are looking for.

And it doesn’t have to end when they close the mobile browser. If they were looking at trainers, why not email them with the latest offers on those? Maybe even a simple ’thank you for checking out our mobile site’ next time they visit the desktop store will help reassure them they went to the right place 😉

Much of this content was inspired by the talk by Tim Fidgeon at EConsultancy at the Marketing Week Live event

twitter.com/timfidgeon | twitter.com/MWLive18

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