How big is your audience on mobile?
(Do you know?)
It’s okay if you don’t! It’s not something most of us actually think about that often, to be honest.
And that’s exactly why it’s so important that you think about it NOW.
Because on the one hand, mobile browsing isn’t exactly news in and of itself. (That would be so 2007.)
But on the other hand, it’s easy to forget about!
After all, you probably don’t create much content on mobile. No matter how nimble your thumbs may be, writing a 1000-word blog post on a 5-inch screen would be kind of a challenge. If you’re scheduling your social updates in advance, you don’t have to constantly whip out your phone while you’re out and about to fire off a fire tweet.
While you’re not necessarily creating on mobile, though, your audience is definitely consuming there.
For example, 62% of Facebook’s monthly active users only access Facebook via mobile. (That’s a lot!)
Mobile matters more than you might think – and that means it should never be an afterthought.
Here are a few little things you can do to make sure your mobile audience isn’t getting neglected.
Yes, making your website mobile-friendly is important.
(In fact, we’ll talk about that more in a second.)
But just as important is making sure that your offsite presence is mobile-optimized, too. Remember – 6 out of 10 people who use Facebook at least once a month are only using it via mobile!
That in mind, one of the easiest things to do – and one of the easiest things to forget to do – is to make sure your status updates make sense on mobile.
A Facebook link, for example, doesn’t always look the same on mobile as it does on desktop:
The update on the left, taken from desktop, includes a meta description for the link. On mobile, that same update leaves the description out – which means if you were relying on the description to attract interest, and not writing a thoughtful update to go with your link, you’re out of luck.
Social Media Examiner makes its updates mobile-friendly not only by teasing the content of a post in the update itself, but by making the featured image an eye-catching title:
(Tip: you can customize the image that shows in your Facebook link preview using Edgar. Here’s how!)
The key here is balance – especially because on mobile, you don’t always know what someone might not see.
On Twitter, for example, mobile users have the option of cutting back on data usage by not automatically showing images that are attached to Tweets. If you’re relying solely on an image to capture someone’s attention (and convince them to click), they might not even see it!
Don’t forget to optimize your emails, either.
Email can be one of the best ways to get more traffic to your website – and a lot of the people on your list are probably checking their inboxes on mobile.
Here’s a peek at the statistics for our own weekly newsletter (which you can join right here):
More than a third of our subscribers read our newsletter on mobile – if we didn’t make it suitable for small screens, we’d be ignoring literally tens of thousands of people.
You should already be sending test versions of every newsletter to yourself – yes, every single time – so make sure you don’t forget to check those test versions not just on your desktop, but on your phone, too.
Disconnect it from wifi so you can really emulate that “checking my inbox in the grocery store checkout line” feeling. Does the fancy schmancy template make the loading time lag? Do the size and font of your text require a magnifying glass? Are your links easy to tap? (We’ve found that the button CTAs in our own newsletter are clicked much more frequently than our text links, for example!)
Naturally, though, making your content readable and irresistibly clickable off your website is only part of the equation. What about the content that’s on your website?
Google Analytics can tell you how many of your site’s visitors are browsing on mobile, but no matter how high or low that percentage may be, you shouldn’t ignore it.
Fortunately, mobile styling and responsive designs are common enough that even do-it-yourself site builders like Squarespace offer them – so odds are, you personally don’t have to stress out too much about things like text size.
That isn’t to say, though, that you never have to make sure your site looks and functions well on a mobile device!
Case in point: give your readers a nice, big touch target.
Touch targets are the things on your site that you want readers to click on – or more accurately, to tap.
If you’re not making yours big enough, or if they’re too close together, actually hitting them can become a point of frustration for your reader!
(If you’re reading on mobile, that example is probably frustratingly interactive. Here’s GIF #3 as our way of saying sorry.)
Keep your touch targets at least a few words long, and put enough space between them so that hitting the bullseye is relatively easy!
Another easy-to-miss opportunity for mobile optimization? Your CTAs and web forms!
For example, our blog has a static opt-in form at the bottom of every post that’s especially easy to miss on mobile.
With a hand from one of our Sumo plugins, though, we’re able to offer this:
That slide-in performs significantly better – it’s noticeable, it’s easy to read, and filling it out on mobile takes only a few seconds.
(You may have seen a version of that box on our desktop site, too.)
Everything you can do to optimize your mobile presence has one thing in common: making it easier for people to do things.
Is it easy to understand what a link is leading toward based on a status update?
Is your site easy to load and to read?
Are your text links easy to click?
Is it easy to sign up for a newsletter?
Optimizing isn’t just a matter of creating desire – it’s a matter of making it easy to act on it.
The more you can do that for your mobile audience, the happier they’ll be!
Know any websites with an especially special mobile version?
Or maybe someone whose status updates are extra eye-catching on a tiny screen?
Share your recs in the comments below!