If you’re working on a mobile content strategy, then you are probably holding your head in your hands. Maybe you’ve got a target hanging on the wall and are banging your head against it. The changing landscape in mobile leads to frustration for all of us. However anxious you may feel, there are five major pitfalls you need to avoid when creating a mobile strategy.
The 5 Pitfalls to Avoid
So let’s dive in and avoid the frustration together:
1. Make great choices about relevant content in a mobile situation
It’s not neurosurgery. Consider your users and their actions during the moments they are interacting with your content. As Ginny Redish says, “Every communication is a conversation mediated by technology.” Try to imagine the conversation your users are trying to have with you at that moment and ONLY give them the content that’s most relevant to them now. Cut, cut and cut again, until you really only have the bare bones content posted. Your users will thank you, and you will have streamlined your content to the point where you may even consider doing the same thing on your traditional desktop site.
2. Avoid the home page dump
It’s amazing to me how similar traditional websites compare to their mobile sisters. That is bad. It means that the designers and content strategists gave absolutely no thought to HOW their users would be engaging their sites in a dynamic, shifting environment, like the mobile environment, as opposed to a relatively fixed one, like the desktop.
A great example of a company who avoided this pitfall is Kayak. Take a look at their traditional website, side by side with their mobile site. These differences demonstrate their Web team took the time to understand that interaction on a mobile device is simply different from interaction on a desktop device.
So whatever mobile content strategy you’re creating, remember that your users are looking for different types of interaction when interacting with their mobile devices. This is why it is so critical to:
3. Consider mobile user scenarios
Great Web teams (which by nature of their greatness must include content strategists) consider their users and create personas by which to design and write for them. Therefore, if you’re creating a mobile content strategy, then do the same, but take it a step further by creating user scenarios. More than profiles, these examples of what your users are doing when they’re interacting with your mobile site are invaluable for choosing the right types of content to display on those devices. For more on creating mobile user scenarios, check out: Mobile Content Strategy: Creating User Scenarios.
4. Avoid Navigation Aggravation
Would you ever jump out of a plane without a parachute? How about cross a street without looking both ways? Yet, every time I interact with a mobile website, I’m shocked at how poor link labels are, and how often I jump, to find that the page that took freakingforever to load is not the one I wanted.
So, when planning your content strategy, please be aware that link labels are absolutely critical, particularly when it comes to SEO. Generic menu items just won’t cut it anymore, as will “Click here.” You must be specific as in “5 Steps to Take When Think Your Luggage is Lost,” instead of “Luggage Lost?” This will help with SEO and will also give your users the trust they need to take the jump on the link.
5. Don’t shove it in the drawer
Your mobile content strategy isn’t the Great American Novel you work on while drunk at 3 a.m. dreaming of Paris and Hemingway. No, it’s a living, breathing document you should be consulting on a weekly, if not daily basis. The whole goal of a content strategy is to take the guesswork out of execution, but you cannot do that until you are really 100% sure what you are doing is working.
And, since everyone burns the first pancake, I suggest tinkering and aligning your business strategy with your mobile content goals until you are sure you are getting the results you need. And don’t worry. Google will send some other wild animal out here to mix it all up again, so that you’ll be right back to your head banging. But, as long as you follow these rules, all will be good in your mobile world again.
What do you think? What are some major mobile content strategy pitfalls you’ve learned to avoid?
Editor's Note: You may also be interested in reading: