[Advanced – 112] Why a Mobile-First Content Strategy is Your Competitive Edge

Above, you’ll see the increase in total time spent on devices, by platform, from 2010 through the end of 2014. The growth trend in mobile device usage is clear.
Some additional facts that should grab your attention:

  • More than 75% of Americans who use the Internet are now using multiple platforms to do so – both desktop and mobile.
  • 21% of Millennials no longer use desktops at all.
  • Among those Americans who use multiple platforms, seniors (age 55+) comprise the fastest growing demographic. (No more tech jokes about grandma).
  • Overall U.S. retail commerce via all platforms grew 14% during 2014, but mobile retail commerce grew by 28%.

Trends for both traffic and conversions has gone mobile.
Keeping that in mind, if your competition has already positioned itself with mobile-friendly content, then you’ve been left at the gate. If they have not, then this is your opportunity to gain some major ground.
Here are three reasons why mobile-friendly content is no longer just an option, and how you can gain the competitive edge.

MOBILE-FRIENDLY CONTENT IS IMPORTANT TO SEO

Google, Facebook, Yahoo, and Twitter have gone “mobile first.” Seeing as those are heavy areas people frequent online, your audiences are already getting accustomed to a better user experience. Not only that, if your content isn’t
specifically designed for mobile, your SEO rankings will most certainly take a hit. Think of mobilegeddon as a warning shot.

Google even has a “mobile-friendly” label on sites that come up from a mobile device search, letting users know which sites have been optimized for mobile use. Find some the specific criteria to help you design or re-design your content with the mobile-first mentality in mind:

  1. You have text that is readable without zoom
  2. The size of your content is screen-friendly, so users don’t have to scroll horizontally to read it
  3. Links are spread out physically, for easy tapping
  4. You have no software that is not mobile friendly
  5. Your site or app loads quickly

If that little label does not appear on your site, you are losing traffic. So, how can you ensure you get that label?
Some tips:

  1. Once you have your design or redesign for mobile, conduct an SEO audit by using Google’s mobile friendly test tool. You’ll receive an analysis and report, telling you what needs to be fixed.

  2. Ensure that your content is structured correctly for all three platforms – PC, tablet, and mobile. Use image compressors, with larger fonts and buttons. As each screen becomes smaller, have fewer tasks for the user to perform.

MOBILE-FRIENDLY CONTENT PROVIDES A BETTER USER EXPERIENCE

The most important thing to remember for UX on mobile is that the content has to be readable, shareable, actionable, and fast. This means more than just “downsizing” everything on your site for a smaller screen. You have to adapt your content for mobile users, so they get what they want, not what you think they should want.
You have to become an expert in content creation for mobile users.
Here are some tips to do this:

  1. Personalize the user experience. When users access your site via mobile, give them opportunities to personalize the content that they want to see, just as you do on their PC’s. You can also use technology like “Maxymism” that operates alongside a mobile device to track what content is accessed and at what time that access occurred.
  2. Accumulate aggregate data using analytics and metrics to learn when and where your mobile customers are accessing what content. Ensure that this content is most easily accessible and delivered at the right time. Remember, the content they want must be provided in small chunks – lists, images, etc.
  3. Design as much interaction as possible but don’t overwhelm – they are usually in a hurry.
  4. For brick and mortar retailers, adaptive content may mean things as simple as having a map of your floor plan, allowing users to search for items. Or, providing a self-checkout feature.
  5. Adaptive content is about knowing when it should change based on the individual user. Where is that mobile user when the content is accessed? Where is that user in the cycle that leads to a purchase? What is your user’s buying history? What is the date and time of access? Are there any “indirect” (micro) conversions such as a user who zoomed in on a product or accessed a description?

MOBILE FRIENDLY CONTENT MUST BE WHERE ACTIVE AUDIENCES ARE SEEKING NEWS, USING SOCIAL MEDIA AND BUYING

One thing we do know about mobile users is this – they access news, social media, and their emails via their devices. So how can you capitalize on this usage?

  1. Make certain your emails load well and quickly – you have 2 seconds at most!
  2. Make sure your Facebook page is engaging, descriptive and has shareable content.
  3. Make announcements on social media – sales, new products, coupons/coupon codes.
  4. Make it easy for users to scan your content quickly and engage with them as they do.
  5. Be certain that your content is meeting user needs on any new device. Use analytics to determine which new devices your target audience is using to access your content, at least every 6 months.

It takes a talented webmaster to make that UX just as “sweet” via mobile. And the more value you give to users, the more they will return. Effective mobile content is continually evolving, and you will have to evolve with it. Put in the right work and gain the competitive edge.

Give Us Your Feedback: Are you mobile-friendly? Share your experience with responsive or adaptive design and how it has impacted your business!

This article was written by Andy Preisler. Andy is an active content marketer and passionate blog writer. He enjoys to share his experience and to uncover new methods and approaches. Also Andy loves trying new techniques and features in the digital marketing.

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