2020 wasn’t just the year of work from home, it was also the year that businesses went virtual. Hundreds of thousands of brick-and-mortar business owners realized that they had to adapt to an incredible change in the market or risk losing their businesses entirely.
They went virtual, creating virtual stores and websites to serve their customer base from a distance. For some, the change was monumental because they had never been online before. For others, the change was a chance to refine something that was already there but needed work.
And for many, that work is still needed today.
Why you need to be mobile-friendly in 2020
Going virtual is one thing, but being mobile-friendly is another. Getting online means that you have a website that people can see when they browse the internet with their computers, whether a desktop or a laptop.
When you go mobile or become mobile-friendly, then that website can be browsed via any smartphone or tablet. Given how many people solely use their smartphones and tablets to connect to the internet these days, being mobile-friendly is essential.
According to Statista, more than 50 percent of the website traffic worldwide came from mobile devices in 2018. That number has only skyrocketed in the last few years.
What this shows is that if customers are mobile and you want to be where the customers are, then you need to be mobile too.
Making your website mobile-friendly
Luckily, most web design apps offer a mobile-friendly option for all of their themes. Sites like WordPress have themes that also include a mobile theme to go with it. If you’re using WordPress or a similar site, then going mobile will be simple.
If you’re using a web designer, then you need to check with that web designer to make sure that your website is mobile-friendly. In today’s day and age, odds are it is, but you should ask just to be sure.
Test, Test, Test
No matter what you use for your website, you should always test it out. Use your smartphone to access your website and start clicking around to make sure that everything works.
Ask someone with a different brand of smartphone (i.e. Android if you have an iPhone) to also test your mobile website. If you can, test it on a few tablets as well.
Test your site on as many different mobile devices as you can to make sure that it works exactly the way you want it to. You want to make sure that no matter who the customer is, he or she can not only access your website but use it in whatever way they need to.
Tips for creating mobile-friendly content
Now that your website is ready to handle all that mobile traffic, what can you do to make sure that your content offers the same great, mobile-friendly service?
Prime Real Estate
One of the things that you want to remember about content on a mobile device is that the front page is prime real estate. Think about opening an article on your tablet or smartphone. How many times have you clicked on a link, took one look at what it led to, and then decided it was not for you?
You have a very small area to draw the viewer in and get him or her to start scrolling down the page. You need to make sure that your content draws the reader in from the get-go.
Keep that in mind as you’re creating your content.
Short and Sweet
One of the ways you do that is with a short and sweet headline. Never make the mistake of allowing the headline to fill the page. If there’s too much headline and no text or no compelling images, then readers lose interest.
A short headline will allow other content to shine through and it’s more likely to keep the reader on your page longer.
When creating a headline, remember it’s the hook to draw the reader in. Not only does it have to be short and sweet, but it also has to be enticing.
This tip is from Neil Patel, a marketing pro. He says you want to be very specific in the words that you use in your headlines so that you’re more likely to show up in the right internet searches.
“The reason for targeting keywords that are specific to a particular product, event, course, industry, topic or news item is because mobile users often have prior knowledge of the item before using their devices to search,” writes Patel.
Patel goes on to say that people who search using their mobile devices are more likely to take action.
Small Text Blocks
Maybe I’m dating myself, but when I was a kid, I was taught to write paragraphs with three to five sentences in each paragraph. When it comes to writing for mobile, that’s wrong.
You want your text to appear in small, easy to navigate blocks. That means short sentences and short paragraphs.
Keep your sentences to fewer than 20 words.
Keep your paragraphs to just one or two sentences.
Divide these paragraphs by white space.
All of this will make it easier for the mobile user to read your content and will make him or her stick around longer.
Bigger Isn’t Better
You’re a smart writer and you know some big words. Who cares? When it comes to mobile-friendly content writing smaller is always better.
Small words are easier to read and they’re easier to process. Amazingly, they make your content better.
If you’re wondering if a word should be used, it probably shouldn’t.
If you’re on the fence, read your content out loud. If it sounds stilted or awkward, find a better way to say it.
Short and Sweet Part II
Just like smaller words are better, so are smaller phrases. What you see on the screen in front of you, isn’t what I originally wrote. Some of the words have changed since draft one.
Partly, that’s because I’ve read the entire thing out loud and decided that it doesn’t sound right. Partly, it’s because I’ve run the article through a site called Grammarly, which told me that I was too wordy with some of my phrases.
Sometimes we get too wordy and we need to fix it. I’m okay with it and you should be too.
Edit with Caution
That said, I use Grammarly and all editing software with caution. Just because a word, sentence, or phrase is underlined in blue or red in Microsoft Word, it does not mean that I change it.
I always look at the suggested edits and decide for myself whether the edit is necessary, still makes sense in terms of the content, and if it makes my content better.
While editing software is helpful, your brain is the biggest and best resource for making sure that your work is edited well.
This compilation of ideas is by no means the be all, end all, but it’s a good jumping off point as you’re moving your business onto the internet and the mobile space.
You need to look at things differently once your business goes online. What looks good on a flyer may or may not look good on a small 2.5” x 4” screen. You must remember that as you work out your mobile advertising strategy.
Written by Erika Towne