10 Ways to Keep Your Website from Going on Vacation this Summer

If you’ve managed and/or owned a website since the Internet’s inception, then you’ve probably noticed that your website’s traffic declines during the summer months. Some causes of decreasing traffic are obvious:

  • People are on vacation
    • Your audience is stepping away from their computers and mobile devices, and are instead jumping into their local swimming pool
  • A website that is not responsive or mobile-friendly is a recipe for strong audience abandonment. No one wants to waste time on their vacation trying to figure out how to stretch, turn, and twerk a page to fit their mobile device.

However, it’s still important that you don’t encourage visitors to abandon your site. Here are 10 ways that you can keep your website from going on vacation this summer.

1. 86 PDFS.

If you aren’t familiar with the term ’86’- you’ve never waited tables through school like we did. This to us is easily number one our list. There are so many reasons why PDFs need to be removed from your website vocabulary.

  • PDFS can be slow to navigate and download from mobile devices, and they do not allow your audience to truly engage with your content.
  • PDFS do not provide easily digestable, scannable content.

If you are concerned about people needing the ability to print, please don’t be. Accordingly to Contently, 95% of people do not print web content anymore. That. Is. Huge.  Still need convincing?  Please see this excellent, excellent, excellent Benchmarking Report that was just released from Contently.

2. Just because you’re on vacation, doesn’t mean that your content should be.

We all should decompress and take some down time in the summer. Before setting off for your vacation, make sure that you’ve taken advantage of tools that allow you to prepopulate content. If your content management system (CMS) enables you to preset content, do it. Blog tools such as WordPress will allow you to generate content in advance. And for social media, turn to great tools like Hootsuite to upload numerous messages, and then schedule their automatic delivery across your various social networks over the summer.

3. Make the worst time for fundraising, the best time for fundraising.

It’s no secret.  Non-profits struggle with fundraising in the summer. People feel much more generous during the winter when they know that the colder weather is impacting someone’s ability to stay warm.  Or, that a child may go without a holiday dinner or gift. However, it is a good time for your non-profit to evaluate new trends and tactics, as well as to review what’s worked well for your organization in the past. Take this time to plan early for critical end of year fundraising.

However, if your nonprofit can build an effective campaign related to the summer, do so. For example, the United Service Organizations (USO) recognizes the six week period between Memorial Day and the 4th of July as the Patriotic Six, and does key campaigning in this time frame.

4. And the survey says!

With less customer service inquiries, and smaller audiences- the summer is a great time to test the strength of your website. Consider hosting some user testing and focus groups where you can hear from your audience.  How easy is it for them to truly navigate your website?  Do the navigational headings you came up with best suit their needs?

5. Check in with stakeholders.

Take the quieter summer months to check in with the stakeholders that contribute content for your website. Along with your vital audience, ask them if they like the content organization and navigational headings. Is the appropriate amount of real estate being given to the most important resources? Don’t wait until a website redesign or refresh to listen to what your staff truly thinks of the site.  If they don’t’ believe in your site, they won’t use it or promote it to your current and prospective audience. But don’t forget critical website governance. This should not be a free-for-all process. A majority voice still needs to prevail as the lead in managing your website, and this voice should be the gatekeeper of what revisions and enhancements should be considered, and which ones are just griping.

6. Peep in on your competitors.

A competitor analysis is a great way to evaluate what your key competitors and comparable organizations are doing well and not so well online. It’s good to check in with them to see if your site is keeping up with the Joneses.

7. Paper or plastic?

Think about the packaging that your content is in on your current website. If it’s all just web pages, stop. Stop now, and start thinking of something new to offer that enables your audience to truly engage with your content. Replace boring, long passages of content with infographics, polls, quizzes, and slideshows. And don’t forget video! Which brings us to number 8.

8. Make a video.

So many of our clients have fully embraced content strategy, and are now seeing the tremendous value of video. Please refer back to that great benchmarking study we referenced in number 1 to see more about the power of video. Use the slower summer months to begin evaluating video production companies, and begin developing a video strategy for your content.

9. Grow and clean your list.

While looking at an article about Mike Tirico’s departure from ESPN the other day, I saw a brilliant overlay on a sports website that encouraged me to follow them on Twitter. While I had never considered following this particular brand, the overlay was so clever that I signed up. Take advantage of the quiet summer months to do some purging of old data, and to prepare campaigns for loyal subscribers, as well as those baddies who you haven’t heard from in months.

10. Get your customers offline.

What?! Yes. We. Did. If your business model allows, recognize that your clients aren’t online in the summer, and have them meet you in person. Have a great client that you connect with solely through email? Ask to meet them for ice cream or gelato, and game plan work, post-summer. Have a non-profit that serves the environment? Get your constituents to meet you at a local park to help you with a clean- up. And then of course, blog or Tweet about it afterwards. Do you have staff of writers and designers that churn out incredible work inside of their cubicle all day? Take them to an outdoor farmer’s market or festival to inspire creativity.

We can help you with all ten of these items this summer. Be in touch about how we can help you!
Enjoy your summer!

10 Ways to Keep Your Website from Going on Vacation this Summer

If you’ve managed and/or owned a website since the Internet’s inception, then you’ve probably noticed that your website’s traffic declines during the summer months. Some causes of decreasing traffic are obvious:

  • People are on vacation
    • Your audience is stepping away from their computers and mobile devices, and are instead jumping into their local swimming pool
  • A website that is not responsive or mobile-friendly is a recipe for strong audience abandonment. No one wants to waste time on their vacation trying to figure out how to stretch, turn, and twerk a page to fit their mobile device.

However, it’s still important that you don’t encourage visitors to abandon your site. Here are 10 ways that you can keep your website from going on vacation this summer.

1. 86 PDFS.

If you aren’t familiar with the term ’86’- you’ve never waited tables through school like we did. This to us is easily number one our list. There are so many reasons why PDFs need to be removed from your website vocabulary.

  • PDFS can be slow to navigate and download from mobile devices, and they do not allow your audience to truly engage with your content.
  • PDFS do not provide easily digestable, scannable content.

If you are concerned about people needing the ability to print, please don’t be. Accordingly to Contently, 95% of people do not print web content anymore. That. Is. Huge.  Still need convincing?  Please see this excellent, excellent, excellent Benchmarking Report that was just released from Contently.

2. Just because you’re on vacation, doesn’t mean that your content should be.

We all should decompress and take some down time in the summer. Before setting off for your vacation, make sure that you’ve taken advantage of tools that allow you to prepopulate content. If your content management system (CMS) enables you to preset content, do it. Blog tools such as WordPress will allow you to generate content in advance. And for social media, turn to great tools like Hootsuite to upload numerous messages, and then schedule their automatic delivery across your various social networks over the summer.

3. Make the worst time for fundraising, the best time for fundraising.

It’s no secret.  Non-profits struggle with fundraising in the summer. People feel much more generous during the winter when they know that the colder weather is impacting someone’s ability to stay warm.  Or, that a child may go without a holiday dinner or gift. However, it is a good time for your non-profit to evaluate new trends and tactics, as well as to review what’s worked well for your organization in the past. Take this time to plan early for critical end of year fundraising.

However, if your nonprofit can build an effective campaign related to the summer, do so. For example, the United Service Organizations (USO) recognizes the six week period between Memorial Day and the 4th of July as the Patriotic Six, and does key campaigning in this time frame.

4. And the survey says!

With less customer service inquiries, and smaller audiences- the summer is a great time to test the strength of your website. Consider hosting some user testing and focus groups where you can hear from your audience.  How easy is it for them to truly navigate your website?  Do the navigational headings you came up with best suit their needs?

5. Check in with stakeholders.

Take the quieter summer months to check in with the stakeholders that contribute content for your website. Along with your vital audience, ask them if they like the content organization and navigational headings. Is the appropriate amount of real estate being given to the most important resources? Don’t wait until a website redesign or refresh to listen to what your staff truly thinks of the site.  If they don’t’ believe in your site, they won’t use it or promote it to your current and prospective audience. But don’t forget critical website governance. This should not be a free-for-all process. A majority voice still needs to prevail as the lead in managing your website, and this voice should be the gatekeeper of what revisions and enhancements should be considered, and which ones are just griping.

6. Peep in on your competitors.

A competitor analysis is a great way to evaluate what your key competitors and comparable organizations are doing well and not so well online. It’s good to check in with them to see if your site is keeping up with the Joneses.

7. Paper or plastic?

Think about the packaging that your content is in on your current website. If it’s all just web pages, stop. Stop now, and start thinking of something new to offer that enables your audience to truly engage with your content. Replace boring, long passages of content with infographics, polls, quizzes, and slideshows. And don’t forget video! Which brings us to number 8.

8. Make a video.

So many of our clients have fully embraced content strategy, and are now seeing the tremendous value of video. Please refer back to that great benchmarking study we referenced in number 1 to see more about the power of video. Use the slower summer months to begin evaluating video production companies, and begin developing a video strategy for your content.

9. Grow and clean your list.

While looking at an article about Mike Tirico’s departure from ESPN the other day, I saw a brilliant overlay on a sports website that encouraged me to follow them on Twitter. While I had never considered following this particular brand, the overlay was so clever that I signed up. Take advantage of the quiet summer months to do some purging of old data, and to prepare campaigns for loyal subscribers, as well as those baddies who you haven’t heard from in months.

10. Get your customers offline.

What?! Yes. We. Did. If your business model allows, recognize that your clients aren’t online in the summer, and have them meet you in person. Have a great client that you connect with solely through email? Ask to meet them for ice cream or gelato, and game plan work, post-summer. Have a non-profit that serves the environment? Get your constituents to meet you at a local park to help you with a clean- up. And then of course, blog or Tweet about it afterwards. Do you have staff of writers and designers that churn out incredible work inside of their cubicle all day? Take them to an outdoor farmer’s market or festival to inspire creativity.

We can help you with all ten of these items this summer. Be in touch about how we can help you!
Enjoy your summer!

Spring Cleaning for Your Website

044

Spring has sprung.

The snow has gone (at least we think), and people, plants, and animals are beginning to emerge from hibernation to step into the sun. And if you’re lucky enough to be in the DC area like us, it’s time to check out those incredibly amazing Cherry Blossoms!

We all are aware of spring cleaning for our homes. But this time of year is also a great time to do some spring cleaning for your website.

Here are our tips on how to do it:

Get rid of what’s R.O.T.ten.

Just like you remove spoiled food from your refrigerator, you should be doing the same with your website through a ROT Analysis. A ROT (Redundant, Outdated, and Trivial) analysis entails a full audit of your site’s content to determine what should be purged from your website. If you don’t have a content strategist who can dedicate time to this effort, consider completing a ROT for your homepage, and the top five most traveled pages on your website based on your analytics. We have done ROT assessments for sites that are 30 pages, and sites that are 20,000 pages. Let us help!
 

What’s New?

If your news section is promoting something that’s more than 90 days old, or you’re advertising an event that’s already occurred, it’s time to spruce up your news/events section of your website. Consider sharing a case study of a client you’ve served, the announcement of a new offering or product, or if you’re a non-profit, don’t underestimate the power of sharing a great story or testimonial. If you feel that it’s difficult to promote current, relevant news on your site, consider removing the News section, and instead, turn to social media to keep your audience abreast of your latest information.
 

Consider a Makeover:

In a previous post, we shared the difference between a full site redesign and a refresh. The spring is a great time to assess the look and feel of your website. Ask yourself and your team if the site’s design truly communicates the style and personality that you are intending to convey to your audience. If not, it may be time to do a light refresh of your homepage and frequently-traveled areas of your site.
 

Make 404s into 411s:

A site audit conducted in the spring can determine whether or not you have broken links on your site. Unavailable site content displayed through 404 page errors will do nothing but lead to site abandonment as well as poor SEO results. Identify the broken pages and work with your site’s administrator to correct them.
 

Mobile Too:

Spring cleaning for your website must include a look at your mobile presence too. Is your site truly responsive? If you have a unique mobile site, has the content been updated?
 

GPS for your Site:

During a website redesign, we focus in on strong navigation throughout the site. But after a site, it’s easy for web administrators to create links within content which is great for SEO, but the main and sub navigation should also be adjusted from time to time to ensure that your audience can find your vital content through both search and navigation.
 

Say Cheese:

Spring cleaning should include imagery too. Your web launch may have included an array of stock images which are now consider outdated, or off-brand. One thing we often notice in site assessments are images that include dated technology such as older versions of smartphones or gasp, flip phones. Speaking of stock images, think about investing some time and budget into having some professional photos taken. Audiences have grown very savvy to stock imagery and may cause them to view your brand as lacking authenticity. Try employing talented members of your staff and audience to provide real, candid photos for your website that truly reflect what you do and the people you serve.
 

Make the Call on Call to Actions:

It’s easy for a website to tell someone to buy now, or donate now, but does your website really make it possible to do this? Caught in the Web Consulting recently tested six political campaign websites (on both sides of the political aisle) to see how easy it was to donate $10.00 to their campaign. The results varied from extremely seamless, to – wow- we still can’t believe we couldn’t give… If you’re not sure what it takes to make a good donation page for your non-profit, check our past blog post for our tips.
 

Testing 1, 2, 3:

During the spring season, take some time to test what truly works on your website. Go beyond analytics and conduct vital A/B testing. For example, which rotator/carousel treatment gets more click-thrus:  One with a picture of your CEO, or a more emotional one with a picture of a family?  What gets more clicks: Donate Now, or Support Our Troops? What gets more downloads: A PDF or a video recap of our latest testimony to Congress? This information will be a critical driver in solidifying your comprehensive website strategy.
 

We hope that these tips help you with your website spring cleaning this season. And if you need assistance with your website, any season of the year,
we’re here to help. Happy Cleaning!

Content’s Vital Role in Successful Website Development: An Interview with Full Circle Communication’s Paula Whitacre

Happy New Year!

We have decided to take a different approach with our first blog of the New Year. We are very excited and honored to feature a blog interview with Paula Whitacre. Mrs. Whitacre is an amazing writer, editor, and owner of Full Circle Communications which she began in 1996.

We have had the pleasure of working with Full Circle Communications on an array of projects including the USO website redesign, Goodwin House Incorporated, The Childhood League Center, and many more.

We. Love. Paula.

Not only is she an excellent writer, she is an exceptional listener, respects and adheres to client’s deadlines, and our favorite thing- she loves good missions and projects as much as we do!

We wanted to get some insight into the vital marriage between content, content strategy, and web development. See our interview with the wonderful Paula Whitacre below.

Content and Design
Q) More and more of our clients are coming to us with a solid understanding of the importance of content strategy. Yet, they’re not exactly sure how to engage a copywriter. In your opinion—what role should a copywriter play in developing content strategy?

A) Content strategy is what you should do with everything your organization produces, whether online or in print: that is, create useful information for your target audiences.

A writer can ask you questions to define your target audiences, then help you determine what to share with them. Very important is to figure out what not to share so the audience focuses on your primary messages without a bunch of other stuff fighting for their attention.
 

Q) Our clients always say that they want a writer who ‘gets us.’ What should our clients be sure to tell you so you can “get” them, in order to capture the essence of who we are, what we do, how we help people?

A) A few things that immediately come to mind:

  • What distinguishes you from your competition?
  • How does your organization want to present itself to the outside world?(for example, hip, authoritative, compassionate—this helps in setting tone and word choice)
  • What are turn-offs for your organization?(certain words or ideas not to use)
  • What are some examples of other websites that you really like or don’t like, and why?

Writers can learn a lot from reviewing existing materials, but we can’t read minds.
 

Q) I think we have all had it with jargon such as value-add, break the Internet, unicorn, curate, rockstar, and authentic…How can web copywriting set clients apart from others without sounding like a cliche-filled broken record?

 
A) Provide examples that show you are authentic, or a rock star, or whatever more generic claim you want to make. Relevant stories and strong images help get away from the jargon. A writer ensures the copy is tight, easy to read, and not too self-promotional.
 

Q) The web continues to evolve on a daily basis. Why does SEO still matter?

 
A) SEO (search engine optimization) matters because people search online constantly, each and every day. Many aspects of SEO are beyond what the writer does. But we can help by understanding how a potential target audience seeks information related to what your organization does, then write to maximize the chances they will find you through their searches.
 

Q) How does your writing approach change as more and more people turn to their smart devices to access content?

 
A) We used to write with lots of clickable links and subpages. Now we want to make sure people reading on their smart devices, especially phones, can easily scroll down a page to read the most important content.
 

Q) In creating websites, we feel that we do our best work when our clients speak up in discovery with examples of loves, loathes, likes and dislikes. How can we make sure our clients are ready to work with a copywriter? Is there any prep work we can do that helps you do a kick-butt job?

 
A) It’s great to use discovery to guide the client to consider what they need in website content. But, in the name of efficiency, don’t screen the writer from the organization. If practical, ask the writer to visit on site. If not, at least include the writer in phone conversations or online chats.

Another useful preparatory step is to ensure everyone understands the process and schedule—how many drafts will be passed back and forth, the schedule for providing feedback and making changes, and the like. There is no “right” way to do this, as long as everyone is working under the same assumptions.
 

Q) What is one, must-have for providing the best online content possible in 2016?

 
A) Put the needs of your audience first. Everything on your website will flow from there.

10 things we want you to know about web content strategy in 2015

april 2015 blog post

Web aficionados like me are loving the fact that content strategy is now seen as a must-have for a great website. It is no longer a fad or a phase two luxury item based solely on budget.

I see more and more of my clients understanding why key themes, topics, and messages need to have a strategic home on their website. They also understand more than ever that no matter how well their content is written, it doesn’t matter if people can’t find it through strong SEO.

Yet, there are 10 things that I would love for our clients and prospective clients to know about web content strategy this year.

1. If your analytics are telling you that the majority of your audience comes to your site via a mobile device- it’s time to develop a unique mobile site, or offer a responsive design. No matter what approach you use, a mobile-optimized website must deliver content that creates a positive user experience.

2. If someone is telling you that people don’t read content anymore, walk away. Better yet- run. Here’s the truth: People are actually consuming more content today, they just are doing it through myriad channels as opposed to more traditional models. These models include video, infographics, ebooks, webinars, email, blogs, and social media. Web audiences are savvier than ever before. They will know right away if they feel that your site is trust-worthy just from the look, feel, and headlines of your content.

3. Forrester coined the phrase: mobile moment in late 2014. Mobile moments are ‘a point in time and space when someone pulls out a mobile device to get what he or she wants immediately, in context.’ Along with texting, more and more people have started turning to voice search to locate their favorite restaurant, directions to their mechanic, or to locate health information from a reputable site. It is imperative that your content is presented in an adaptive format so voice search tools including Google Voice, Siri and Cortana can find answers to their questions from your site.

4. Storytelling is still the ideal way to build rapport and trust with your audience. Don’t underestimate the impact of an email or a call your customer service team received. The contents of those stories are often times relatable to the rest of your audience.

  • Are you looking for a great way to share your story through mobile and social channels? Check out the Paper app from Facebook: Beautiful IA. I’m in love.

5. The rules for SEO on mobile differ than those on standard websites and change frequently. As a comprehensive SEO strategy should (no, MUST) accompany your overall web content strategy, please refer to: http://moz.com/ugc/the-definitive-guide-to-googles-new-mobile-seo-rules about Google’s latest and greatest SEO mobile guidelines.

6. Mobile users are fast browsers. They are looking for information, quickly. Every mobile headline should clearly state what they’ll find in each particular section. Best practices should include headlines that are no more than five words.

7. In 2010, I would have shouted (I’m actually not much of a shouter) from the mountaintop for clients to build a sleek microsite for their campaign or new product. Today, content management systems (CMS) are much more flexible and allow you to create the pages you want directly from your website, at low to no cost. And, let’s face it: old skool microsites were all about desktop computers and flash. Today, people are on mobile devices and social media. Microsites have been replaced by mobile landing pages which still provide a rich, unique platform to present your campaign- or product-specific content.

8. Stop running from infographics. And here’s an infographic that will tell you why!

9. Don’t forget the power of a good image as it relates to your web content. Not only is it a best practice for design, but incorporating imagery increases your chance to share content. Sites like Pinterest and Instagram can be platforms for extending your message. Infographics and videos have very popular, very SEO-friendly homes on social media. And as image-based social media sites grow more and more popular, consider taking a step back from stock imagery and invest time and money into professional photography.

If it’s not in your budget, call on your audience to be your photography team and encourage user submitted imagery. You’d be surprised how savvy people can be with photos taken from their smartphones. Don’t forget to include diversity in your imagery as well. People want to see visual portrayals of customers and information seekers that are relatable to them.

10. Take time out for a content audit. During tax season, no one wants to hear the word; audit. However, a robust content audit can help you get rid of the old, moldy, redundant, and trivial content that is negatively impacting your brand, your message, and your SEO rankings. No one likes a content hoarder. Especially not your website/CMS administrator. A good audit with help you focus on the creation and management of good content.

We’re here to help you tackle any or all of these content strategy items on our list.

Contact Caught in the Web Consulting today to get started.

Writing for Mobile Devices: Part 2

mobileBest Practice Guidelines

In my last blog post, I discussed things you should consider when writing content for mobile users. Here are some best practices that you should implement when writing for your mobile audience.

Brief But Powerful

Mobile should not signify “web-lite.” Today’s smartphone user is tech savvy and expects an experience that mimics what they can do on their desktop or laptop. However, relevant brevity is key. The process of writing content for mobile should not be considered the same as “trimming down the fat.” All content, whether it’s viewed on a mobile site or desktop should be relevant. If it’s fatty, it should go, period.

Best practices for Web content say to keep page length around 500 words. Keep in mind that the average mobile device will only display 80-90 words before you have to scroll. Therefore, word count for mobile count should hover around 80-110 words per page.

Call-to-Action

Similar to a typical desktop experience, the end of content passages should use clear wording, buttons, short forms, and native phone functionality (map integration, direct links to phone numbers) to provide straightforward calls-to-actions.

Draft for Mobile

Web copy writers can have a rough view of what content may look like in a mobile using the following format:

Set your document creation platform (Microsoft Word, etc.) to a page width of 4.4 inches as this closely models the width of most Smartphones. Writers should type content in a 15pt font to gauge the fit of the content within a standard mobile device view.

Font

Font styles such as the popular Verdana and Trebuchet have high readability and are easy to scan on mobile devices. For easy scanning, best practices include utilizing a larger font size on mobile, typically 13pt font for body text.

Go Local

Mobile users often use their phones to identify local resources. Think about how many times smartphone audiences use their device to find the perfect restaurant for date night, or a doctor within 10 miles of their home? When possible, content should include an option for mobile browsers to access localized content.

Involve Developers and Designers

Along with the creation of mobile templates within your content management system (CMS) as well as SEO configuration, developers and designers should be included during the content creation process to confirm feasibility within the design and content management system.

Linking

The inclusion of re-direct links means more work in mobile-ready content creation. This also means longer load times as smartphones do not load as fast as a typical desktop device. This could slow down a user’s process or cause abandonment. Menu options can be placed away from the top of the page with a simple link to the selection at the top of the page. Alternatively, the your site should utilize Meta navigation on top of the page with simple text links to key sections of the site.

Navigation Savvy

Screen Shot 2014-06-13 at 2.24.20 PMKey areas of content can benefit from their own, unique navigation structure. Nationwide Children’s Hospital’s mobile website (left) provides its mobile audience with an individual navigation area for those who are searching through the Hospital’s extensive list of career opportunities. This approach allows for a quick, easy-to-follow approach for accessing sought-after information.

 

The Power of the HeadlineScreen Shot 2014-06-13 at 2.25.52 PM

Mobile users are fast browsers. They are looking for information, quickly. Every mobile headline should clearly state what they’ll find in each particular section. Best practices should include headlines that are no more than five words. BBC.com’s mobile site (right) does a great job of implementing this rule. Strong, mobile headlines will empower your mobile audience to be and stay in control of their web viewing experience.

Redirects Must Actually Direct

Do not forget about search:  Have a list of the top keywords that site visitors use to access your site as well as those they use when utilizing your internal search engine. One of the biggest causes of user abandonment from mobile users is landing on redirecting links to a mobile URL when the content isn’t available on the mobile website. Mobile redirects should not break or delay the search process. They should support it.

SEO Differs on Mobile

The rules for SEO on mobile differ than those on standard websites and change frequently. As a comprehensive SEO strategy should accompany your overall web content strategy, please refer to: http://moz.com/ugc/the-definitive-guide-to-googles-new-mobile-seo-rules about Google’s latest and greatest SEO mobile guidelines.  Your web developers should refer to: http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2013/06/changes-in-rankings-of-smartphone_11.html for more information when constructing mobile page templates.

Tables and Graphs

Traditionally tables do not work well on mobile screens and may result in the user having to scroll horizontally to read them. Putting navigational links into tables may result in the user having to scroll both horizontally and vertically to see possible navigational choices. Where possible, writers should use content to depict the context of a graph/chart, or consider the use of an image or infographics.

Take It to the Top

Think about the objective of a particular page of content when writing for mobile. That should be the first line of that section under the heading. Your site visitors should not have to scroll significantly to find the page’s primary content. Introductions and opening statements should be avoided.

Ready to start writing? Contact Caught in the Web Consulting, LLC to help formulate your mobile content strategy.

 

Writing for Mobile Devices: Part 1

mobile

Getting Smart about Smartphone Web Content

Pew Internet’s 2012 Mobile study determined that 85 percent of U.S. adults own a cellphone, and that more than half of cellphone owners have a smartphone.

Recently, you may have heard about responsive design, and think that that’s the key to presenting your site for mobile audiences, right?  Well… not completely. Responsive design (I’ll tackle that in an upcoming blog) is a web tactic that enables site layouts to “respond” to a range of devices to provide an ideal, optimal viewing experience.

While responsive design speaks to how content appears on a reader’s screen, it does not address the transmission of the written message. Responsive design does not equal or replace content strategy. Instead, its purpose is to address the need for layout readability by reducing web experience deterrents such as scrolling and resizing.

When mobile content is presented correctly, the audience should never feel forced to have to venture to their desktop/laptop for content they intended to find from their smartphone. Despite a site visitor’s screen size or device, their goals and reasons for coming to a website do not change. While the presentation of content may differ, the overall experience should remain similar, regardless of the platform.

Before writing begins for your website, there are a few, key factors that you should consider:

The Mobile Content Reader:
When and How Readers Access Content from Mobile

A mobile audience’s purpose and their way of accessing content are different from that of a desktop/laptop user. Think about how you use your mobile phone. You’re lost and need directions, quickly. You have a few minutes to check on something during a meeting break. You want information, quickly. Mobile users are on the go and in a hurry.

As content is needed right away, mobile navigation and content headings need to make it easy to find. Whereas content that happens over time may be better suited as a weekly text update or a part of an email series.

The mobile experience should maintain a laser-like focus on what customers need and what your business or organization provides to fulfill that need.

Key topics should be easy to find and, in some ways, play mind reader. Content areas should include frequent questions that your audience may need to find answers for quickly.

Two-Way Communication with Readers

The mobile device obviously encourages a dialogue between its user and those with whom they choose to connect. Prior to the development of content, the individuals who are responsible for web content need to determine their audience’s necessary level of interactivity.

• Is it necessary for mobile users to fill out forms (which could lead to scrolling or user abandonment) to receive a response?

• Is it more feasible to have clear icons that encourage direct connection with your business using your established social media channels?

In 2012, Facebook released data that showed that 1 in 5 of their Facebook users (20 percent) exclusively access Facebook using their mobile device

Ready to start writing? Contact Caught in the Web Consulting, LLC to help formulate your mobile content strategy.