Smartphones, laptops, tablets, and other advanced handheld devices have significantly increased the volume of mobile Internet traffic using either cellular network or WiFi systems. Mobile platforms and cloud storage options continue to develop rapidly, increasing the mobile user’s ability to access more content, including videos, on their mobile devices. By the end of 2012, the number of Internet-connected mobile devices is expected to surpass the world’s population, leading global mobile content traffic to dramatically increase over the next five years.
Online business owners need to include a mobile content strategy in their internet marketing plans, a strategy that can be very different to their current IM thinking.
Content for mobile users
Mobile users are often on the go and need to access desired information quickly. They tend to spend less time searching for information – they want to find mobile content on demand. Content these days must therefore be created with the mobile end user in mind. Word count is ideally much less in mobile content and website owners are encouraged to review, edit and re-write existing content with mobile users in mind.
There has never been a better reasons for being succinct in the messages you are conveying online – mobile users do not want to keep scrolling to get to the information they’re looking for!
Videos remain popular even among mobile users and increasing network speeds and capacities are making mobile video content access easier. Videos help keep advertising messages short and sweet.
Page loading times
Mobile site speed is still an important factor in traffic generation particularly where cellular data charges are much higher and WiFi access is limited or congested. Mobile users will leave a web page if its contents don’t appear on their screens within a few seconds. Optimise site speed by trimming written content and using low file sized images appropriately.
Mobile web design
User experience and SEO also apply in mobile content so mobile versions of existing websites must be navigable and contain keywords for better search rankings. Mobile devices are handled uniquely with tapping and sliding actions of the thumbs. Screen size and dimensions also impact mobile user experience and must be considered in the creation of a mobile version of a website. When constructing new websites in WordPress, choose a Responsive theme – one that adjusts to suit the device it is being viewed upon.
Tabs enclosed in rectangles and visibly marked can help mobile users navigate a website. Links must also clearly describe their contents to promote ease of use and improve SEO.
Track mobile analytics
Mobile analytic tools help site owners identify mobile visitors and the mobile platforms they use to access their websites. Mobile devices such as smartphones, laptops and tables use platforms which can process content and display them differently to end users. Knowing which devices are often used by visitors will help website owners and developers adjust technical and design features to suit the most popular platform or ideally, many platforms.
Tablet and handset users can have different access behaviours. Analytic tools can also show at which hour site traffic is highest for particular devices and the type of content which are popular among the different devices. Mobile content strategy can include the timing of delivery and the content format required by site visitors.
Repeat visits and duration on site
Site stickiness remains a desirable factor for mobile websites and analytic tools can track the number of unique visitors, returning visitors and how long they stay on the site. Content development must consider the needs and desires of the target user in order to create compelling content which will promote longer and frequent visits.
For purposes of SEO, mobile content must (subtly and naturally) include the website’s targeted keywords, as determined through research into mobile searches. Mobile analytics can also show what terms mobile visitors use to find a mobile site.
Analytic tools can track the pages where site visitors leave a website. Exit pages can provide valuable insight on the kind of information that site visitors need and can become the bases for developing future mobile content.
If yours isn’t built using a Responsive them, then your website must have different versions for fixed Internet and mobile access users. Mobile users may be further segmented according to profile type, i.e. those who use their mobiles to find quick information and those who spend more time accessing social networks on their mobiles. Content must be tested and viewed using different platforms and devices to ensure correct display and functioning links.
Mobile technology continues to develop and platforms are being improved constantly. Cloud storage, increased 4G mobile access, mobile technology convergence, and the increased availability of less expensive smartphone technology will result in a huge demand for mobile content. Consequently, mobile user behaviour will evolve and websites must cope by continuously improving mobile content strategy, implementing more creative types of content, enhancing mobile user experience while keeping an eye on search rankings and increasing traffic.
Website owners now need to acknowledge the need for creating content that works for both fixed access Internet users and for the highly segmented wireless market.