Mobile readiness is no longer the future; in fact, it arrived in full force in 2015. Now that there are more smartphones than people in the world and the vast majority of Americans use mobile devices rather than desktop devices, it’s no wonder that getting mobile ready has become a resolution for many businesses in 2015. However, as a blogger, how can you ensure that mobile engagement is a priority and that you’re reaching all those readers hovering over their mobile devices?
Mobile readiness can mean a few different things depending on whom you ask, but it’s usually a subcategory of responsive design. Responsive design is a means of designing a website so it responds perfectly on any device (mobile or not) or browser. Mobile readiness usually refers to an app, a mobile version of a site, or both. However, mobile “engagement” can mean a number of things such as sending SMS texts to your customers or otherwise being part of the picture when someone is engaging with their mobile device.
Here are a few ways bloggers can get into mobile readiness and ensure their blogs enjoy readership growth:
1. Keep it short and sweet
Though satirical, when The Onion featured a story about readers shuddering at the sight of long blocks of texts, that wasn’t far from reality. People get intimidated by big blocks of texts, and the reality is they probably won’t be able to read your one blog entry in a single sitting. Keep blogs to under 500 words when possible, no more than four sentences per paragraph, and trim the fat wherever you can. Chances are, you’re able to convey the same information just as well (or even better) with fewer words.
2. Consider a mobile version of a site
One of the mainstays of mobile readiness, a mobile version of your site or blog isn’t a bad idea. Luckily, some of the most popular platforms such as WordPress have this built into the themes. Otherwise, you can let viewers choose between a mobile version and the regular web version when they visit your blog. There are pros and cons to having separate sites, and Smashing Magazine gives a good reason to question it, but when done well it works.
3. Format images correctly
When images are too big or otherwise formatted strangely, they can show up (or not!) in a number of ways on different devices. This is especially critical when mobile users are your main demographic. An image can slow down a site, make it look like there’s no text, or otherwise have people leaving your blog. Images are crucial for blogs, but keep the size around 600 square pixels.
4. Think like your readers
Your mobile audience might be perusing your blog while in line for coffee or while sitting on public transportation. They want entertainment and/or information in bite-sized nuggets. They also don’t want to be embarrassed to get caught looking at a seemingly seedy blog because you chose a graphic image to draw them in. Make it easy for them to share, comment and like your blog, too.
5. Choose a good web host
Site speed is critical for bloggers, especially those who have a lot of mobile readers. Not only is it important for search engine optimization, but mobile users are even more demanding of speed than others. A web host can play a huge role in site speed, so shop around and choose one with great reviews and guaranteed uptime.
Blogging isn’t easy, especially in the mobile movement. However, make sure you cater to your mobile users’ needs and they’ll return the favor.