There are a few keys to successful mobile content: intention, usability, brevity, and speed. Mobile landing pages need to load fast, and they need to support goal-oriented users.
Studies have found that people on mobile sites are looking to find specific information, rather than in browsing mode, and we all know that an impatient customer is a lost customer. To support all these goals, limit your content to only what is most important and most impactful.
Space is more valuable on a small screen than it is on a larger one, so your content needs to be well-crafted to be worthy of the real estate. Mobile users are often distracted and will only have time to receive and digest one message or take one action.
More content distracts them from your most important message or CTA; less content helps you draw attention to them. And usability is a primary factor when crafting mobile content.
1. Focus on usability
Since mobile users are goal-oriented, mobile pages need to follow suit. CTAs should be obvious and above the fold, while secondary tasks can be placed below the fold or in menus so as not to compete or distract.
Navigation is a must, but it will need to be simpler than desktop site navigation. Basically, every pixel of content on your mobile page needs to have a clear purpose that is relevant to what your mobile users are doing.
One way to address usability on a mobile page is to use a chatbot. Chatbots can range from offering simple menus to bots that use NLP to understand what a user is asking and provide a helpful answer.
These can be a great alternative to traditional pages because the user doesn’t have to scroll or search at all; they simply tell the bot what they want or interact with a menu of choices.
A chatbot may or may not provide the best solution, but it’s something to consider based on the information you have about your mobile audience.
Another important aspect of usability is to make sure links, whether text, buttons, or something else, are large enough and independent enough to be easily clickable. This means cutting down on both links and on surrounding content to give them enough screen space.
2. CTAs are paramount
CTAs are related to usability, but they are important enough to warrant more exploration. Because mobile users are goal oriented, they’re primed to convert. Because they’re impatient, you’ll want to make the conversion as smooth as possible. Restricting your content helps your CTA stand out.
Limiting your page to one message and one CTA will ensure that when users click, they click where you want them to. And integrating the CTA into the page rather than presenting it as a pop-up is a must, especially since Google instituted a penalty for using mobile pop-ups in 2017.
If your mobile page is for ecommerce, you might need to have a multi-step CTA. That’s fine, but make sure that you include as few steps for customers as necessary: consumers want convenience.
3. One message, not many
It’s a simple fact that not everything on your desktop page will fit on a mobile page unless you want users to spend many minutes scrolling (and they won’t). You need to pick and choose what’s most important based on what you know about your mobile users and your company’s primary goals.
Cutting down can be a good thing: it forces you to home in on the central message of your content and put it front and center. No distractions. If you’ve played fast and loose with your content marketing strategy, building an effective mobile page is an excellent time to develop content marketing for mobile.
For starters, get to the point quickly. If you must write longer content, the most important information needs to be first, so users benefit even if they don’t scroll.
4. Faster is better
While beautiful visuals can draw in users on desktop, on mobile the same assets slow down your site and take up valuable space that needs to go to messaging and CTAs.
Pictures are still important (a written description will never compete with a beautiful shot of a menu item, for instance), but less is more on a mobile page.
For image-heavy sites, consider which ones will and won’t translate well to a small screen. This is the time to crop, scale, and be choosy. Also, consider that text overlays may not work on mobile as well as they do on desktop.
Finally, you may want to reorder text and images to feature text first followed by images that support the words.
5. Time is in demand
People on their phones are standing in line, sitting on the bus, on a bathroom break, or otherwise waiting around somewhere between other activities.
In short, they don’t have much time. The more time you expect them to give your content based on how it’s structured, the less value they’ll get from the small bit they consume.
Longer content spreads information and value out (if it’s good). Short content packs more of a punch. Go for the punch.
6. Retaining value
You may think that shorter content equals less informative content. Not so. This is where a skilled copywriter comes in. Concise writing is a valuable skill that not all writers have, and it is essential for engaging mobile content.
Altering content for mobile is less about cutting out than it is about paring down, so use a writer or an editor who knows how to retain meaning while removing fluff—ruthlessly. A four-word headline will be more effective on mobile than a seven-word one. A two-sentence paragraph is often plenty long.
While it’s true that consumers still read long-form content on mobile, this is the exception rather than the rule. Most mobile content needs to support goal-oriented behavior. It can do this by being brief and immediately understandable.
The limited screen space on mobile makes every word that much more important: they all need to count. A good mobile webpage will still have meaning and message, it will just say more with less.