So your websites are up and running, you have a ton of great content and are search-engine-optimized to the nines.
There’s just one question: have you optimized your site for mobile?
Because if not, you could seriously be missing out on more than half your potential site traffic.
That’s right – these days, around 52% of Google searches are done from mobile devices.
It was actually back in 2015 that the tables turned, and mobile searches overcame desktop.
All of this means one crucial thing:
If mobile optimization isn’t a serious priority, your site is going nowhere fast.
We’re here to help you prepare for the future (and capitalize on the present!) by instilling some seriously helpful practices to optimize your mobile SEO.
Google’s Mobile-First Indexing
If you want to optimize your site for the biggest search engine on the planet (which we’re assuming you are), here’s a stat to chew on:
Google is home to 95% of all mobile searches on the Internet.
Clearly, it’s vital to understand and play by their rules.
Because Google knows the majority of searches are done via mobile devices, they’ve tweaked their algorithms accordingly.
First, we saw the Mobile-Friendly Update, which boosted mobile-friendly sites – when searched on a mobile device. Meaning sites that optimized the mobile experience were rewarded and shown to mobile users.
At this point, there was no change to searches made on desktop.
But now, the tables have completely turned.
Google has run an updated called Mobile-First Indexing, which means that mobile-optimized sites will be shown first on both mobile and desktop searches.
So, if your sites weren’t optimized for mobile before, but you were still getting desktop searches… those days are gone.
Google’s mobile-first indexing update is changing everything – and is the huge reason why we are focusing on going mobile-first here at HPD ourselves.
And guess what:
While there are thousands of ways to mobile-optimize your site (a rabbit hole we won’t dive into in this article), tweaking your content can make a huge difference.
Now, let’s dive into how to actually make that content mobile-friendly.
Optimizing For Mobile
It’s important to first have a baseline idea of just how optimized your site is for mobile.
Run your site through this mobile-friendly test by simply entering your URL into the search box and seeing what results come back.
If you’re not optimized, the results area will show a few ways you can improve.
Understanding The Mobile User Experience
So what are the elements of a mobile-friendly site in general?
You’re probably already hitting plenty of them: UX aspects like page speed, clickability, menus and navigation, and sizing and visibility of elements.
Then we have image and video quality, ease of scrolling, buttons, and responsivity of the design.
And then we have optimized content itself: which is the core of what we’re getting into here.
You may be tempted to slap a responsive template on everything and call it a day – but this doesn’t necessarily make your site mobile optimized.
Yes, it may pass a “mobile-friendly” test, but there is much more to truly push your site to the top of Google’s new mobile-first index.
And one of those things is focusing on optimizing your content first and foremost for mobile.
A truly responsive, mobile-optimized site is carefully curated to show its content to mobile users in a useful and pleasing way that’s simple and joyful to navigate.
Optimizing Your Content For Different Appetites
Let’s take a minute to think about how most people consume content on mobile devices:
- Reading word-for-word
- Some combination of skimming and full reading
Okay, so we have an overview of who we’re optimizing our content for.
It’s time to break things down so your content can appeal to each of these readers – without alienating the others.
We’re going to look at this in terms of the “bite”, “snack”, and “meal” analogy of content creation.
Your bite will be for the skimmers.
Your snack will be for the half-skim and half-full readers.
And your meal will be for the word-for-word readers.
Bite: Catch Them With An Engaging Headline
Your headline should be crafted to hook in your “skimmer” readers and entice them to click on your post.
It should be clear enough so the reader knows what the content will be about, and unique enough to spark their interest and stand out from the rest of the noise on the web.
Snack: Swoon Them With A Juicy Summary
For your middle-zone readers who will spend a bit more time than the skimmers, you want a snappy yet comprehensive summary of your content.
This would be found in the opening few lines of your content piece, providing that hook or entryway for your reader to become interested enough to continue reading.
Meal: Feed Them What They’re Really Hungry For
Finally, you always want to curate high-quality content that engages and educates the reader on your topic.
This is what they’ve been waiting for; it’s the “meal” that all these headlines and summaries have been leading up to!
And if you’ve done it well, you’ll direct your first two readers all the way to the good stuff.
Think of it as using the headline and summary to draw the reader into the place where they can access the most valuable content.
Writing Tips For Mobile Readerships
After you’ve curated the bite, snack and meal aspects of your content, it’s time to dive a bit deeper.
Write short titles
Headlines that are around 6 words tend to get the most click-throughs, most likely because they aren’t shortened on mobile devices and the reader gets the full impact immediately.
Try to edit your headlines down and always test them on mobile to see if they’re being truncated.
Shorter paragraphs = more readable
Think about it: would you want to wade through dense paragraphs of text while keeping your balance on the subway or wherever else you’re skimming your mobile phone?
No, and your customers won’t, either.
Short paragraphs are visually easy to digest, and help get the point across in a more succinct and direct way.
Think of it like staying minimal, but impactful. Cut the fluff, say what’s important, and keep them engaged.
Chunk text for easier reading
Chunking is about presenting your content in a visually appealing way, that’s also easier for the reader to digest.
You can use elements like white space, headers, images, boxed text, and bulleted lists to encourage readers to stay on your page and consume what you have to offer.
Trim the fat from your words
Are you sensing a pattern here?
Minimalism is key!
Rather than using “big words” to sound more important, use simpler words to get the point across directly.
Here are a few examples:
Requires — needs
Utilize — use
Obtain — get
Inception — start
Regarding — about
You get the picture. Similarly, cut out wordy phrases and replace them with simple, one-word substitutes:
In order to — to
Due to the fact that — because
In the event that — if
A number of — some
Pertaining to — about
These hacks will make your writing much clearer and more digestible, keeping your readers on the page longer and enjoying their experience on your site.
Whitespace is key when it comes to making your content mobile-friendly.
Think about what you enjoy reading on your mobile device – it probably isn’t lots of chunky text in small print that makes your eyes nearly bleed to read.
White space gives your content on the page room to breathe and makes an overall more easeful and enjoyable experience for your reader.
Headings, bullets, and frequent line breaks are all ways to use whitespace to your advantage.
As long as they’re optimized for mobile (and don’t slow down page loading time), images help break up content to make it more readable.
They also add visual appeal and even extra content value if in the form of an infographic or other informative piece.
Just make sure that if you’re using a chart or infographic, that the small data is still readable on mobile – otherwise, take it out completely.
And the most important part of mobile-optimizing your content…
Whatever tweaks and changes you make, you must always test them out yourself by previewing on mobile.
Don’t rely on the mobile preview feature of your website theme – actually open up your page in a mobile browser, and go through your content as a reader would.
Imagine you’ve never seen the page before, and ask yourself how readable it is, how engaged are you, and how enjoyable is your experience on the page?
This is a practice that worlds best copywriters goo through online and offline.
Remember: people want to read what you have to share while out in the world on their mobile devices.
Make it easy and enjoyable for them, and you’ll have new raving fans in no time.