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EVENT PHOTOS: Writing for the Mobile Web

Event Recap: Writing for the Mobile Web

Did you know mobile readers bounce away from sites in 1/3 of the time compared to a desktop?

Your first impression online is more important than ever and it needs to be quick. That means your visuals and your writing need to be on point and easy to digest on mobile screens.

Here are some tips from freelance copywriter Barbara Chaney. She gave us some advice on how to adjust our writing for the mobile web during our March meeting.

First, Check Your Posts on Mobile

To start off, check your posts on mobile. She suggested we make it part of our regular review process to check all blog posts on mobile.

It’s all too easy to write and publish on a desktop and walks away. But you need to see what your readers are seeing when they view it on mobile. Try to improve that experience as much as possible.

Grab attention

Your home page headline should give them a reason to stay.  This is prime real estate on your website. Is it fully visible on mobile? More importantly, does it tell readers what to expect on your site? Does it give them a reason to stay and read?

Please don’t use “Welcome to Our Website.” That is a waste of important space and doesn’t tell them why they should read your content.

If you don’t have a static home page, make sure your blog page has a slogan, tagline or subhead in the header that tells them what you’re about. Remember, your blog headlines are constantly changing, so try to have a consistent message at the top or in your header. (Don’t rely on the sidebar. It’s now at the bottom on mobile.)

Front-load blog post headlines for mobile.  Keep the most important information in the first 40 characters in case the headline is cut off in the screen view, in emails or in social.

Use copy elements that grab attention on the page. These are often the first things visitors read – headlines, subheads, and photo captions. Sure, you’re using headlines, but what about subheads and captions? Try them. Some bloggers even put links in captions.

Other eye-grabbing elements: block quotes (or tweetable quotes), bullet points or lists.

Make the first sentence count. Try to hook your reader in with an interesting first sentence. As copywriter Joe Sugarman said, “The primary goal of the first sentence is to get readers to read the second sentence.” You want them to keep reading!

Keep it short

Use shorter sentences and shorter paragraphs in your body copy or text.  You’re writing for people who skim or scan text on mobile and even on a desktop. Keep paragraphs to 3 sentences or less.

The post itself doesn’t have to be short, just the text. Try to keep your writing tight and concise. And don’t be afraid to break a few rules of grammar to do this. It’s OK to start sentences with contractions, for example. Use a tool like Grammarly to check grammar.

Avoid a screen full of text on mobile. Readers are turned off by huge blocks of text. Use shorter paragraphs and don’t forget subheads and other elements that break things up and add white space.

Get or “Sell” the click

Are you using a call-to-action (CTA)? Every page should have one, even if it’s just “sign up for my emails” or “follow me on Instagram.” Be careful with using pop-ups for this. They don’t always work well on mobile.

Where is your CTA on mobile? Double check the placement on mobile. Remember, sidebars move to the bottom and things get repositioned.

Long links are better for mobile clicks. Users shouldn’t have to zoom in to click a text link. So, avoid one-word links like… “See her post on mobile marketing here.” Instead link whole phrases or even sentences, like… “See her post on mobile marketing.”

“Sell the click” in the Meta description tag of your page too. What tag is that? It’s the short description that shows up under each page name in Google search results.

If someone sees your site in a list of results, they should be enticed by the description to click on your page. In other words, “sell” them on the click with your words. If you use the Yoast SEO plugin, click “edit snippet” to edit this.


When writing, grab their attention, keep it short and sell the click!


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