Let us first take a look at some statistics.
- 62% of global internet traffic came from mobile devices in 2019.
- One of the largest consumers in the world, the United States, contributed to 63% of Google searches via mobile devices.
- 53% of global traffic to online stores in particular comes from mobile devices.
Even Google recognises this uptrend as the number of users that prefer mobile devices to access the web has quadrupled in the last 5 years. In late 2016, Google announced to begin an experiment on indexing and ranking websites based on their mobile versions.
What is mobile-first indexing?
Google has a ‘library’ of nearly all the world’s web pages, called an index. When a user inputs a query, Google’s algorithm determines which of the world’s web pages are relevant to the query by ‘listing’ the web pages from the index in a particular order called page rank.
The page rank in the search engine results page (SERP) is determined by hundreds of factors, one of which is readability. Before the days of mobile-first indexing, Google determined readability from the user experience while visiting and obtaining information from pages displayed on a desktop.
Not all websites ‘translate’ well on mobile. A few years ago, you might have had an unpleasant experience of visiting a web page with your mobile that looked exactly like its desktop version. You had to pinch zoom to read the content, and the layout remained unchanged regardless of which device you used.
The web page in this example is non-responsive, and it will be heavily ranked down by today’s mobile-first indexing. Contrast that with a responsive website displaying readable web pages on all devices. The terms responsive and non-responsive refer to how the web page ‘responds’ to the width of the browser and/or device in which the browser operates.
To check whether your website is responsive or not, simply open it on a desktop, and resize the window. If you use the most updated CMS Web Developer for website-building, chances are your website has a functioning CSS code allowing responsive design.
If you are still not sure about this, you can consult with us at Island Media Management, and we’ll be happy to help.
Simple, minimalistic designs
There is a reason why the most trending website designs tend to be simple, like our homepage, or our cool little web project. You might have guessed that precision and brevity in communication are artforms in themselves – and you’d be right.
But the main reason is that it looks good on mobile. Mobile phone sizes will be more or less the same (if we follow today’s trends) – easily hand-held, storable in a pocket, and light-weight. That means users anywhere will always have the same problem of reading content if the elements on the web page are too small.
Simple designs have other advantages. There is less data to be loaded into the browser. Mobile users tend to experience slower load times compared to desktop users due to each device’s technical capabilities. Ironically, mobile users expect a fast serving of information at their fingertips. This means a crucial part of the mobile-friendliness metrics is mobile load speed.
It’s difficult to optimise a desktop website for a mobile device, so if a website is already mobile-friendly, chances are it doesn’t have a problem appearing on a desktop-wide browser.
Mobile-friendly design is not limited to web page infrastructure. Your content can also appear unreadable on mobile devices even if it looks fine on desktop.
When writing content that accommodates all devices, you should think about how the width can affect the way your writing looks on the screen.
As a general rule, paragraphs should appear in smaller chunks. More likely than not, a paragraph may only consist of 2 or 3 sentences. Yes, this totally goes against elementary-school grammar, but rules exist to be broken right?
This chunking of information serves readers of all types – the headline reader, the skimmer and the deep reader.
The headline reader looks for a specific section in the content by reading the sub-headings while skipping over irrelevant or introductory content at the top. If the article is a list form, make it clear that it is a list.
The skimmer scans the page to look for new information within content that is already familiar. Usually they look for keywords, so important keywords can be emphasised (i.e. bolded or italicised) to provide context for this kind of reader.
The deep reader reads the content thoroughly. It would serve them well to chunk large paragraphs into bite-sized points to help them remember the flow of ideas. If the content is particularly long, and not in list-form, remember to include at least one summary on every article.
Mobile-friendly copywriting is not an exact science, and it is up to the skill and experience of the writer to create engaging, readable, and original content.
If you are looking to boost online traffic by developing fresh content every week, you can consult Island Media Management and inquire about our copywriting services. Our team of native English and Indonesian writers has a strong command on language that sells.
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