Smartphones are now the primary way that people access the internet. In addition to having a responsive website, you must think about what you’re going to say using the small screen as your reference point.
Google announced in May of 2015 that searches happen more on smartphones than desktops in the United States, Japan, and 10 other countries. Speaking of smartphone reading, even email is impacted, as 68% of Gmail and Yahoo email opens occur on a smartphone. While we have already blogged about the importance of a responsive site, that by itself is not enough. You must also create and edit your content from a mobile first perspective.
What is Mobile-First Content?
Mobile-first content is when you think about everything you want your site visitor to see, but you structure and organize the presentation of that content so that it’s easy to see on a phone. No squinting to read tiny text and no pinching to make things larger.
A great mobile-first content analogy is like planning a presentation to a large audience. Everything you’re going to talk about isn’t on one slide. At the outset you have broader scope and less-detailed overviews. You begin by briefly summarizing what you’re going to talk about. As the presentation moves along you bring your audience into greater detail about each topical segment that makes up the whole presentation. Just like that presentation is planned in bite-sized chunks, Mobile First Content is bite-sized chunks meant for the small screen. If it’s easy to read and understandable on the small screen, your larger-screen audience will also find it easy to understand.
Smaller Bits at First
Mobile First Content is best incorporated when we present smaller bits at first and allow the reader to choose when to read the larger amounts. Research shows that people are comfortable this way. Also, consider that the above-linked research was done before the personal computer’s existence, and that other research shows that people have an easier time reading in print than on screen.
Mobile First Content makes tremendous sense for the reader when it comes to understanding, remembering, and becoming accustomed to what you have to say. This will lead to trust in your message and trust in your organization.
Your Whole Site Will Benefit
Contrary to what you may have heard some people say at parties, Google actually prefers larger chunks of content, but Google also prioritizes mobile-first approaches to design. Planning and writing your site’s content so that it’s mobile-first is the first step you should take in planning your responsive site.