Writing Content for the Mobile Reader

By: Jake

How can you captivate the mobile reader? Is the way mobile readers approach content different from that of desktop users? Here’s one important distinction: on a mobile screen, this would be the last sentence a reader sees before having to scroll down to read more. Have you adequately captured his or her interest to get them to read on?

We recently gave you 10 Steps for More Mobile-Friendly Web Content. Today, we’ll be focusing on some specific tips on writing content better suited for the mobile reader. Try them out and you should see your mobile engagement metrics rise accordingly.

Focus on a strong introduction.

As you saw from the example above, you have a limited number of characters to captivate the mobile reader. Scrolling takes work, so make sure that whatever text is immediately visible on the screen makes the reader want to find out more. Stories, analogies, asking the reader a question, and the use of humor are classic techniques for writing a strong, engaging introduction.

Use lists, bullets, and short paragraphs.

Organize your content for easy comprehension on a small screen by visually dividing up your points with white space. Avoid long paragraphs that create a “wall of text” feeling in the reader—too often, if something looks like too much work, he or she will just move on.

Keep posts shorter, and use more links.

Avoid giving your readers a thumb workout, by making mobile pages focus on a single, short topic. Instead of elaborating on certain sections in the body of the post, add links that point to that information on other pages. That way, interested readers can follow the links to drill down into the content, but those looking for the short version can get through the page quickly.

Don’t be afraid to use images.

You might think that because of the space limitations of mobile you should keep images to a minimum, but research shows that posts with images universally receive more views, Likes, and engagement. If you have multiple images accompanying your post, offering them in a slideshow format that makes use of swipe-type movements can further improve the mobile experience.

Integrate calls-to-action with mobile functionality.

Calls-to-action are meant to induce your readers to engage and do something. Take advantage of the functionality of mobile—one-touch calling, emailing, swiping, sharing—by linking the call to action to these easy functions.
The great thing about mobile-friendly content is that it doesn’t only work for mobile. Working within mobile’s constraints will actually help you create better content across the board, because it makes you focus on the basics: a great story, told in a to-the-point manner, and made actionable. What more could a reader want?

 

About Jake Taylor

Little Jack's resident wordsmith since 2010.

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