11 Actionable Blog Tips You Need to Be Mobile-Friendly
Understand that the characteristics of mobile usage affect how readers access and engage with your blog. Specifically, this means the screen size of the device and the bandwidth available to access your content.
3 Reasons to make your blog mobile-friendly
Mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets, are increasingly found where people spend their time and consume content. Therefore, that’s where you must be too. (Here’re fifty-three mobile research facts with charts.)
- Increased mobile device ownership. It’s not just smartphones. It’s tablets, e-readers and other connected devices. (Check this research for other connected devices.)
- Expanded time spent consuming content. With more content options and devices, consumers have increased their content intake. This behavior encompasses both legacy devices such as televisions as well as new mobile options.
- Changed content consumption habits. Expanded use of mobile devices has influenced how, when and where consumers choose to read your blog. Specifically, consumers use connected devices sequentially and simultaneously via four distinct behaviors: focused use, dual consumption, information snacking and time shifting.
How to mobilize your blog content
Given the expanded mobile device ownership and increased use, your blog must be able to be viewed on a variety of mobile devices. Because they tend to have smaller screens than a computer, consumers use pinch, scroll and zoom actions to see different information elements.
- Add a mobile plug-in to your blog theme. This piece of code translates big screen computer formatting for a smartphone or tablet device based on activity. (BTW—I use the WPTouch plug-in. You may also want to check out Ian Cleary’s detailed How to Make Your Blog Mobile Friendly.)
- Use responsive design. This functionality determines the visitor’s device characteristics (most important is screen dimensions) and browser type. Based on this information, your content is reformatted appropriately for that reader.
- Consider how mobile blog post emailings render. Understand that some readers will sign up to receive your posts via email (regardless of device) because it reduces navigation. Unlike a blog post, an email can’t be edited once it’s sent out so it’s important to test how it presents on as many devices as practical.
Develop blog content for mobile consumption
When creating content, how you format the information is more important for a mobile device than it is for a computer because there’s less screen real estate. (Note: This also applies to your post emailings.)
- Craft short attention-getting titles. As the hooks that pull readers in, titles shouldn’t wrap. If possible, keep title tags less than 45 characters for Safari or 65 characters for Chrome to ensure that they appear in search according to SEOmoz.
- Make text stand out. Skip the fancy fonts and teeny type sizes. They’ll make your readers abandon your site because they’re unintelligible when shrunk down for smaller screens and too much work to read.
- Select colors to facilitate content consumption. While your brand should be your guide, use color to help draw readers in and through your posts. This includes use of headlines and headings.
- Avoid heavy background patterns. Realize these designs can be compressed beyond recognition on a smaller screen and detract from readability.
- Keep paragraphs short. Understand that long paragraphs appear longer on a mobile device since they’ll take up more space. This can scare readers away.
- Structure information for easy consumption. This applies to post organization as well as outlining to guide readers through your post. It also allows readers to scan your content quickly.
- Pay attention to image size. Large images increase download time, use up device power and data allocation. Therefore properly size images for optimal download.
- Include large call-to-action buttons. Understand that finger gestures on a mobile device are imprecise. Think fat fingers! Therefore make your call-to-action buttons bigger to account for this factor.
The bottom line is that your blog readers must be able to find and access your content on the device of their choice when, where and how they want to.
What have you done to make your blog more mobile-friendly and what has your experience been?
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Based on Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content by Ann Handley.