Writing SEO content for mobile phone sites

As an SEO copywriter for theEword, I produce content for a variety of clients’ websites. Each of these sites has a unique target audience and at theEword we invest valuable time in understanding the readership of a specific client. We only develop content after we fully understand the desires and motivations of users.

This research is vital when writing web content which will be read using a mobile phone. Mobile content needs to be written with a specific audience in mind. Mobile users are different beasts to online browsers and there are a number of factors to take into consideration when writing mobile copy.

SEO content for the mobile user

Many users have to pay for internet access from their mobile phone. This is a huge factor in their online behaviour. Few want to spend money on mobile internet access, particularly when they may already pay for home broadband. Users want information. They want to know train times, bus schedules and answers to particularly difficult quiz questions. Unlike online browsers – who tend to graze online – mobile users are highly focused. They are hunting out specific nuggets of information.

Content should accommodate this browsing behaviour. Conveying information quickly is essential in writing for mobile sites and copy should be as clear and as concise as possible. Imagine what they want from the website. A mobile user searching for an Italian restaurant in Manchester is not going to be interested in the history of a venue. Likewise, an individual looking for film times at their local cinema doesn’t want to read about movies coming out in two months. Information needs to be ranked in order of relevance. Take the aforementioned restaurant browser. They’re going to want information such as:

  • Location
  • Contact details
  • Testimonials – Press/Individual reviews
  • Price range

Mobile copy needs to take into account these factors. Copywriting for mobile sites should be succinct and information should be presented in a logical way.

‘Top-down’ writing is one of the first skills taught in journalism and it comes into good use in the SEO copywriting arena; this means providing the reader with the basic information in the first few lines. Similarly, there is no place for literary flourishes in mobile copy. Sentences should be short and direct. Remember that a mobile user is viewing text on a screen the size of a credit card. There's no room for prose in mobile website SEO content.

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