Google Update Puts Emphasis on Mobile-First Content Strategy

Google has spoken, and now brands around the world are shifting to mobile-first content strategy. In late 2017, Google announced that beginning in July 2018, searches will take page speed into consideration when determining the ranking for mobile websites and keywords. Simply put, if your website takes longer to load, it won’t rank as highly as others in a Google search.

This initiative from Google rewards those brands or websites that incorporate an exceptional mobile user experience or adopt a mobile-first content strategy. In a time in which ranking as high as you can make the difference between making a sale or not, it’s time for brands to start thinking about mobile-first content strategy.

So much has changed in terms of using mobile devices as a true computer over the last decade. As technology grows, that change and growth will only put an increased emphasis on mobile-first content strategy and the overall user experience.

What makes the difference in a mobile-first content strategy? Well, on a surface level, mobile devices present two major “challenges” that desktops do not.

  1. Phones screens are smaller, and with that comes smaller text and a smaller depth of field to view content in.
  2. 99% of mobile devices are now keyboard free. Website navigation relies solely on the user’s will to thumb down.

Those two issues completely change the user’s web browsing experience, and as such, so should the content your business displays on its website change.

Fear not, as we here at Timmermann Group are happy to offer you some advice that can help you get in Google’s good graces.

Visual Content is Important in Mobile-First Content Strategy

It is no secret that pictures are more appealing than words, no matter what kind of marketing materials you are producing. That theory applies especially to mobile-first content strategy and mobile-first web design.

When designing websites mobile-first, you must incorporate things like infographics, charts, graphs and simple animations that can tell the same story as a 500-word paragraph.

We’ve already talked about the challenges mobile devices bring and how things like screen size and lack of a keyboard determine how a user consumes content.

A 12 sentence paragraph on a website isn’t user-friendly or easily consumable. Nobody will take the time to read larger pieces when they can look at a graph and understand the same information in under a minute.

Now, this is not a call to eliminate copy blocks entirely, but rather a call for businesses and brands to put an emphasis on how to best display and tell their story. By breaking up large chunks of copy, or substituting them out for simple infographics, graphs or videos, you ease the burden for consumers who view your content on their mobile devices. The need for aesthetically appealing and easily-consumable visual content is of the utmost importance when developing a mobile-first content strategy.

Mobile Text Content: Keep it Simple, Stupid

When creating website content, it’s incredibly common to get into a headspace of “there is not enough copy on this page,” or “we’re not talking enough about this.”

The funny thing about that is, it’s probably not the amount of copy causing your frustration, it’s the context of your copy, or what you’re saying within those short copy blocks that is the problem. You need to be able to deliver the most important concept on every page in quick hits, not in paragraph after paragraph of information. Chances are if it takes you that long to explain your product or service, you really don’t have a good grasp on what it actually is or the value it provides to your target audience.

Here are a few tips to help guide you on your copy quest:

  1. Write headlines that are hard-hitting and encapsulate the overall premise of the page.
  2. Keep separate ideas in separate paragraphs. Four to five sentences typically should cover what you are trying to explain.
  3. Make copy actionable, not passive. Using an active voice compels the user to convert or navigate deeper.
  4. Keep your most important information in the top two-thirds of the phone screen. Research shows that nearly 90% of users’ attention span focuses on the top two-thirds of their phone screen.
  5. Don’t be afraid to incorporate SEO. Just because you’re making things concise doesn’t mean you have to ignore search engine optimization. Break those blocks up with subheadings and make sure to include your focus keyword(s).

Remember, Less is (Usually) More with Mobile-First Content Strategy

The message behind a good mobile-first content strategy is simple: Less is more.

Sure, there may be instances in which you have a complex client that has a product or service that needs to include a lot of legal jargon or technical specifications, but that in no way has to disrupt your overall content strategy.

By incorporating excellent visual content and writing concise copy, your mobile-first content strategy is off to a solid start. You will have pages that load faster and, as a result, your brand will be rewarded with better rankings on Google moving forward.

As always, if you want to talk more about mobile-first content strategy, website design, or how to get better results out of your digital marketing efforts for your business, we at Timmermann Group would love to help.