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Mobile Content Strategy - Variations on a Common Thread

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April 17,2013

By Christina Zila, Textbroker

Your site isn’t just seen on a desktop anymore. About a quarter of all time spent online is spent on a mobile device, according to the research company GfK. That’s traffic that you can’t afford to miss.

How do you best attract and retain this mobile traffic? Just as with a regular website, you need to have pertinent content displayed in a format that fits the device. In this article, we’ll focus on what pertinent content means for mobile visitors.

Mobile visitors show different behaviors and search query types than desktop users, and there are further differences between smartphone and tablet users. A recent study by comScore showed that nearly three quarters of tablet users use search, whereas just over half of smartphone users do. About 40% of smartphone users searched for local business information, but only about 20% of tablet users did.

To paint with broad strokes, smartphone users are looking to fulfill an immediate need on the go. Tablet users, on the other hand, are looking to be entertained – reading news and content, watching videos and playing games are popular tablet activities.

Depending on the traffic volume you see for your site from different device categories, you can adapt your strategy to cater to these general search behaviors. As you see how your specific audience reacts, you can refine your strategy.

Since there are three audiences that could possibly have different behaviors, you could have three different content strategies: single, double or triple thread content strategies.

A single-thread strategy uses the exact same content for all versions of a site. It works well with responsive design, which adapts display elements and font sizes to the dimensions of a device on the fly. It also is a practical solution for sites with a single focus and straightforward layout. A local dry cleaner, for example, may be able to keep a single thread of content.

Double-thread strategy plans a specific set of content, different from the content for desktops, specifically for smartphones or for mobile devices in general, depending on audience needs and device usage. Here, a souvenir store may have a full product description for each item in its content for desktops and tablets but just a bullet list of features for smartphones to allow more room for a product photo.

Triple-thread content assumes that each device type – desktop, tablet and mobile – needs separate content. This strategy may be the most pertinent for large companies, but done right, it can help increase traffic and conversions for smaller players. It may even become a strength, since the majority of users that experience a badly-optimized site will leave for a competitor. A variation on this strategy is to write content in sections. Each thread then shows only the sections of the full content that make sense for the audience.

With more and more devices being used to access your site, providing the right content to the user can be a challenge. Develop a content strategy based on how your visitors currently access the site and recent growth trends. Sites with heavy access from smartphones and tablets can cater to the needs of those users by providing alternate content that matches their intent, leading to more traffic and sales.

Christina Zila is the Director of Communications at Textbroker, an online content creation company. She has more than ten years of experience in marketing and public relations. Follow Christina at @textbroker.

About Textbroker
Textbroker is a leading custom content creation company with thousands of US-based writers. You provide the ideas and specifications, and one of our authors writes unique content for you. Clients with large or complex content needs love our turnkey content solutions, which allow you to outsource the entire content process and focus on the end results.

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