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Ruth Walker

A Content Marketer’s Guide To Surviving Mobilegeddon

14th May 2015 Content Marketing 7 minutes to read


A Content Marketer’s Guide To Surviving Mobilegeddon

On April 21st 2015 the world’s most popular search engine updated its search algorithm to favour sites that are mobile-friendly. Those that aren’t will be left behind, fighting for their search results. If you’re responsible for a site or the management of online content that isn’t optimised for mobile use, fear not; this post is designed to equip you with the essential skills and tools you need to survive Mobilegeddon.

Why Has Google Made These Updates?

On 26th February 2015 Google announced that they would be implementing changes to their search algorithm that would make it “easier for users to find mobile-friendly web pages.”

Essentially Google want to provide their users with the best experience possible. Sites lacking the correct formatting and text for mobile devices will no longer be deemed valuable, and so their search rankings will plummet.

This calls for SEOs and Content Marketers to carry out an urgent review of their sites. Those with standard text and unresponsive elements just aren’t going to cut it anymore.

Time For Change

60% of online traffic now comes from mobile devices. Google have followed the consumer trend and changed their focus from stationary computers and laptops, to the mobile computer in our hands.

According to Google “This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimised for their devices.”

Google will rank high quality sites with valuable, responsive content. So it’s vital to update your site and online content to remain competitive.

Just because your site can been viewed on a mobile doesn’t mean it’s as effective as it could be. Optimise the potential that’s sitting in your customer’s palm.

A poor mobile site will have an impact on your bottom line. Create the best user experience possible and you will soon see the associated benefits.

Responsive Vs Dedicated Mobiles Site – Which Is Better?

There are multiple options to choose from when optimising your site. But before you go ahead and take the plunge, stop to consider how this will affect your content. So which is better, why?

Let’s look at the available design options:

Responsive Design

One of the most popular methods to make content mobile-friendly is to make sites responsive. This design method provides users with a seamless user experience by changing its format according to the device it is being accessed from.

Using a responsive content management system means that you can keep on top of any changes, ensure your content is fully optimised.

There are two options available, you can download a CMS like WordPress.org or Joolma, or alternately you might want to go for a hosted service for example WordPress.com or Squarespace.

Fully-Hosted Mobile Site

If you haven’t got the capacity to optimise your existing site then a fully-hosted site might work for you. Fully-hosted mobile sites provide the same functionality as their desktop-based counterparts. There’s no lengthy installation process to go through. It’s simply a case of uploading the application.

However, it’s worth noting that any content you create and upload to your desktop site will also need to be replicated on your mobile site.

The Winner Is…

Responsive Design

Due to the ease of use and quality of the outcome, responsive design comes up trumps again and again.

What Content Marketers Need To Do

There’s no need to panic if you haven’t optimised your content for mobile. Take Google’s Mobile Friendly Test to establish how your site is performing in its current state.

The test analyses the URL and produces an instant report detailing how mobile-friendly your site is, and what, if any, changes need to be made.

Mobile friendly image

Keep your audience in mind at all times. Before completing the advised improvements consider, ‘Are they the type to be on mobile devices?’

Got your content up to scratch, but wish your site was quicker? Google’s Page Speed Insight works hard to retrieve information on ways to make your pages fast on all devices.

Content Marketing

In a post-Mobilegeddon world making your content mobile-friendly is vital. All content needs to be optimised.

Picture this. You go to your favourite website on your mobile. It’s slow, unresponsive and you have to double-tap the screen to see the content in all its glory. Chances are that you’re not going to make an effort to pay them a visit again.

You only have a few seconds to grab someone’s attention so make it worthwhile. Ensure that changes to your content won’t negatively affect its functionality.

Here’s our top tips to get your content up to speed:

  • Blog posts – Format and structure your content to gain maximum impact and engagement levels. Catchy titles and attention-seeking headings are a must. But most importantly make sure it will work and look good on mobile.
  • Infographics – Ensure your infographics are optimised for mobile. Do they fit the screen or do you have to zoom in to see them? If you can’t clearly read your infographic then it’s worth considering if they are the right content choice for you.
  • Images – Remember to make your images responsive otherwise your all-important content will get lost in a sea of pixels.
  • Surveys – Test, test and test again. Make sure that your surveys work properly on mobile. They should be responsive, clear and to the point.
  • Quizzes – Usability is paramount for online quizzes, even more so ones being displayed on a mobile device. They need to be responsive, to the point and attention-grabbing. Ideally the quiz should give real-time results to make it a personalised user-experience.
  • Interactive content – Effective content encourages people to spend more time on your site. This means that interactive content needs to be responsive and optimised for mobile to succeed.

How To Create Mobile-Friendly Content

  1. When creating or updating your content to make it mobile-friendly ask yourself these three questions:
    How does the content display?
  2. Is it readable?
  3. Is it engaging, or just a toned-down version of the original?

Additional points to keep in mind:

  • Create catchy headlines
  • Keep it to the point
  • Include clear call to actions
  • Ensure that your links are clickable
  • Always add keywords and meta descriptions in your content
  • Optimise your content – from content and images, to buttons and interactive features

Optimised Sites: Good and Bad Examples

Whilst there are some fantastic examples of brands that have fully embraced the mobile-friendly update, there are others that have shied away from it.

Good

Google Maps – The site’s responsive user interface works on all devices. It’s easily optimised by touch and boasts a reliable load speed.

Google screenshot

Amazon – The online retailer has undoubtedly played a big part in the evolution of the online shopping experience. Amazon have created a mobile version of their site, with the user at the heart of it.

Amazon screenshot

Buzzfeed – Online quizzes and numbered lists have become synonymous with the brand. Their bite size news stories and interactive content are perfect for today’s hectic lifestyle so it’s no surprise that they have made their content mobile-friendly.Buzzfeed visual

Bad

Twitter – Unfortunately Twitter seem more focused on you downloading their app than making a mobile-friendly version of their site. The mobile version of Twitter is clunky and visually uninteresting.

Twitter screenshot

Stumbleupon – You can’t continue to the site until you actively close the ad for the Stumbleupon app which isn’t an example of great UI.

The nature of Stumbleupon is that it includes content from multiple sources. But this is its downfall when you’re viewing the site on a mobile device. The design isn’t consistent, content doesn’t fit the screen, the load time is tiresome and you can’t zoom in or out.

Stumbleupon visual

Next – The leading retailer are normally ahead of the trend but that isn’t the case with their mobile site. It doesn’t automatically detect if you’re on a mobile device so you’re taken to the full site on a smaller screen, meaning the majority of the buttons aren’t clickable.

You have to actively search for the mobile version to use it and when you do it’s basic and awkward to navigate.

Next image

Let me know your thoughts on mobile content. Do you have any good or bad examples to share? Leave a comment below or tweet me @ruthawalker.

For more tips on surviving Mobilegeddon get in touch today.

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Ruth Walker
About the author

Ruth Walker

Hailing from the Midlands, Ruth is our resident film buff and cake maker. She wakes up every morning at 6am, so naturally we think she’s crazy but she brings us baked goods so she can stay.

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