With so many people using a mobile device to surf the net, it’s important to know how to write and organise the content on your site so it’s user-friendly.

When was the last time you checked how your site looks and reads on a mobile device? This is not something to be ignored as the number of users getting their daily dose of web information on the move is constantly increasing.

This article aims to help you do a better job at writing content for mobile. It’s not scientific, just a few tips that can really make a difference.

What do mobile users really need?

Most people believe that the mobile version of your site should just condense all the information from your current site. In my opinion, that’s totally false! Why? Because condensing so much content in an effort to make it look better on a mobile device can actually act against you. Users might have an even harder time finding what they’re looking for.

The purpose is to keep it simple and give your visitors exactly what they need. You might need to do some research and determine what exactly these mobile users are looking for on your site. Instead of just copy and pasting the content you currently have, work around it and only include the information that’s relevant to mobile users. Focus on their needs rather than on a good-looking site.

Remove the unnecessary

For mobile users, time is of the essence. They need to find information fast, so be sure they won’t have time to read the About page if all they want to do is buy a train ticket, or check if there’s a delay on their flight. Instead of including redundant content and using a small font so it all fits in, focus on filling that little space with useful information.

Don’t overlook SEO

It might be a mobile device they’re using to access your site, but search engines work the same regardless. This means that you shouldn’t forget about optimising the content on your mobile site with strong and relevant keywords.

Make links visible

With so many accessing the web using a touchscreen device, it’s important to make it easy for them to just tap on a link to get on a page. Work with your designer so that links are visible and can easily be clicked.

In conclusion, when writing for mobile always think about your visitor’s needs and find ways to make their stay on your mobile site as enjoyable as possible.

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9 Responses

  • Daniel

    Thanks for a great article about web usability on mobile devices.

    The one drawback is that I viewed this article on my Blackberry and was expecting to be directed to a mobile-friendly version where I didn’t need to scroll, sadly though, this wasn’t the case and I had to zoom in as the font was too small. This in turn required me to scroll horizontally on every line!

    I wonder if there’s a mobile-friendly version of the 123-reg website, and if not, whether one is planned?

    In any case, the content of this article was a great read.

    October 31, 2011 at 5:09 pm
  • Dave Brighton

    I have mobile streaming facility for our Station on Various Mobile Internet Directory sites, e.g. “Internet radio” “TuneIn Radio” “Tuna Radio” MP3 and AAC streams plus a couple of others as well as Nokia caplable phones.

    I have a Blackberry Phone and I use that to monitor our Station when I am not at home or need to restart anything or delete tracks.

    The Big Buttons on our Website are easy to see.

    So anything that might be useful would be welcome. I have several http://www.rockabillyradio. domains waiting, I could use one of those for a mobile site dedicated to the Streaming and display purpose.

    Dave Brighotn

    October 31, 2011 at 6:27 pm
  • ian ripper

    This is interesting but how about some definitive guidelines for a web for mobile? How many pixels wide? Image sizes? Etc. Would be useful to have that sort of guidance for thos like us who DIY their sites.

    October 31, 2011 at 7:08 pm
  • bigsands

    Wow, what a coincidence. I had just sent an email to my web developer about this after seeing the webgrader report.

    October 31, 2011 at 8:06 pm
  • David Torrens

    Sorry but I did not find the above very useful.

    I have seen one or two good examples of websites designed for Mobile use and they seemed to somehow automatically detect that a mobile was being used and display in a completly different way.

    How does one do that I wonder?

    October 31, 2011 at 8:06 pm
  • Tim

    Thanks Ian. We’ll be providing an article as you’ve requested within the next couple of weeks.

    November 1, 2011 at 9:22 am
  • Tim

    Thanks David. We do try and render our sites for mobile but appreciate we have some way to go and continue to work on it.

    November 1, 2011 at 9:25 am
  • Tim

    David, this article was more about the actual writing for mobile but we do have planned an article on the intricacies of designing for mobile in the coming weeks, which will hopefully help you.

    November 1, 2011 at 9:28 am
  • Tim

    Perhaps others in this community can help Dave?

    November 1, 2011 at 9:30 am