In William Faulkner's novel, Absalom, Absalom, there is a sentence in "Chapter 6" that is 1288 words long, credited with being the longest sentence in literature. While this monstrosity of a passage is generally considered genius in writing circles it just won't pass for the clear and concise writing need for today's mobile website content. As a writer you have to ask yourself, "How do I squeeze all my valuable content into that small space?"
Mobile Website Content - The Writer's Dilemm
You are faced with several issues when you sit down to write content for mobile websites. One is the already mentioned small viewing screen that readers are working with. They just don't have a whole lot of area to view. Another is that, as the writer, you don't get to pick out what platform, or device, readers use to view your words. This means your writing has to be very clean and concise, conveying your thoughts and ideas in as few words as possible.
Tips On Writing Great Mobile Website Content
Let's look at a few tips on writing great content for mobile applications. Keep in mind that your words need to work on devices as small as old, archaic flip phones and as large as tablets. This may challenge you as a writer but it's a task that can be done easily enough with a few time-tested tips.
Focus on what readers really need
It is not really a good idea to have a mobile site that is just a condensed version of the primary website. When a reader is on the go they may not need the "About Us" page, but they may want to read about a particular product or service. Keep the content on the mobile site tailored to people on the move. Include the length of videos or word counts of articles so people can decide if they have time to watch or read.
Cut what you can
On a regular website you have to write clean and concise content. That means limiting the use of puns, wordplay and other journalistic features. It's also better to cut words when you can. On a mobile site, this is essential. Limit your words to the bare minimum. Remember, you still have to get your meaning across.
Do you really need that "welcome" page?
When you consider writing content for any mobile site leave out the pages that are not really necessary. A welcome page is a waste of precious space on a regular site. On a mobile site ... it's a crime. Readers need you to get straight to the point. They don't need to read how happy you are that they got there!
Leave some white space
It's easy to have the "fat-finger syndrome" when using a mobile device. Leave some spaces between links when you write your content. Try to give the reader a nice target to aim at. You may have to make sure the website designers don't edit out your white space. It's there for a reason.
Don't forget those keywords
Even on mobile devices a large percentage of people use search engines to get to a site. Keywords are still very important. Even though you have less space to write don't forget those ever important keywords.
Don't make readers look
Try to keep all relevant information right where your readers can see it easily. Making them look to the left or right, or up or down can be a big mistake on a mobile device. Sites are displayed differently on varying devices, often very differently. What you think see on your brand new smartphone with the latest technology might not display the same on someone's five-year old dinosaur.
Link to the full site on each page of content
Sometimes readers will have to access the full site for what they need. Provide a link to the site on each page of content. This is just good customer service to begin with and a great aid for many readers.
Mobile Website Content - Squeeze It All In
Mobile devices are all the rage today. From old time flip phones to ultra-modern tablets people use them extensively. The biggest issue with them is their screens are not 21" monitors!
As a mobile content writer you have to squeeze your words into a much smaller space. Write in a manner that's easy for readers to see and understand. Be concise and fit it all in!