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5 Ways Your Website is Driving Away Mobile Readers

Can people easily read your content on their phone? If not, then your website is driving away mobile readers.

5 Ways Your Website is Driving Away Mobile Readers

There’s a good chance you’re reading this blog post on your phone.

Nearly 40% of our readers use a mobile phone to read our content. If I were a gambling man, then I would wager your website has similar percentages or higher.

This number will continue to rise.

You see, more than 75% of Americans own a smartphone. And they check their phones their phones eight billion times per day.

Now, Americans are not only checking their email, taking selfies, and scrolling their social media feeds. They’re increasingly using their phone to read eBookslonger articles, and your blog posts.

When it comes to writing a blog post people will actually read, you need to think through how well your words can be read on a phone.

Your words and your mobile readers

Words do not exist in a vacuum.

The way you read a book, newspaper or magazine, or blog post is different. From holding a hardcover book in your hand to flipping through the pages of a magazine to scrolling an article on your phone, you will have different experiences in every setting because how you’re reading is different.

This distinction is important to keep in mind when it comes to web writing.

What works well for readers in one medium does not necessarily work well for another. In other words, your font, layout, and design play an important role in how well your words can be read.

To help you along your way, here are five ways your website may be driving away mobile readers. Avoid these landmines at all costs.

1. Your font size is illegible 

The size of your font matters.

A small font translates into an eye-straining experience for your readers.

Create a great reading experience for your readers by using a reader-friendly font size.

Google Developers recommend a base font size of 16 CSS pixels. As they point out, the best font size for your website is determined by the font you’re using and the device being used.

Now, when it comes to buttons and calls to action on your website, you can get away with a larger font. In the words of Kristina Cisnero of Hootsuite, “the bigger the button, the better.”

For calls to action, a larger font and button will make it easier for your readers. It will help them to see the next step you would like for them to take.

To figure out the best font size for your website, compare the view of your website on your phone to a book. Adjust your font size until the words on your phone from your website are similar in size to a book.

5 Ways Your Website is Driving Away Mobile Readers

Your readers should have the ability to hold their phone at a distance to read your content—not directly in front of their nose.

2. Your font is not readable

All fonts are not created equal.

Some fonts are optimal for print, whereas other fonts are better for reading online.

A quick search online will provide you with a plethora of options.

This article will help you to get started, and my friend Mattox Shuler, the founder of Fort, creates breathtaking fonts.

The main thing for you to remember is to choose a font that meshes well with your brand and one people can read on a phone.

3. Your website’s background is distracting

The background of your website should support your font—not distract from it.

Fancy images, designs, and colors may look dreamy on a desktop. But they can turn into a nightmare on a phone.

Fight the temptation to add everything thing to your website. It’s best to maximize white space. Using white space is a powerful technique a writer can use to optimize their copy.

According to Treehouse, an online web design and coding school, white space is “the portion of a page left unmarked, the portion that is blank, or the empty space on a page.”

You see a great example every day and you probably don’t realize it. Take a look at this screenshot:

5 Ways Your Website is Driving Away Mobile Readers

Google has successfully maximized white space.

“That only works for Google,” is a common refrain.

But remember, Google hasn’t always been Google. They had a beginning, too.

What I’m trying to say is just because Google is the default search engine for many people doesn’t mean you can’t use white space. That’s not the case at all.

To give you a better idea of using white space, here are some great examples to consider:

Michael Hyatt:

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Observer:

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Copybot (shameless plug):

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Jeff Goins:

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These websites make it easy for people to read. They help readers to focus on reading by reducing distractions.

These websites make it easy for people to read. They help readers to focus on reading by reducing distractions.

Again, in principal, you want to mimic the reading experience of a book for your mobile readers.

4. Your website is cluttered

Busy pages create a terrible reading experience on a phone.

Think about it this way: What if you were reading a book on your phone and the page you were reading was littered with opt-in forms or advertisements? Would it be hard to focus on what you were reading? I’d think so.

The same holds true for your website. A cluttered website is a huge turnoff for readers.

What looks great on your laptop, desktop, and even tablet may not work well on a mobile phone.

A great example to consider is NPR (National Public Radio).

NPR provides a ton of news and programming.

If anyone’s site can be cramped with information, it’s theirs.

Check out this screen shot from my phone to see how they arrange their material:

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They have a smooth single-column layout.

Their menu in the top left-handed corner creates easy navigation for their readers.

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Now, if you click on the radio icon in the top right-hand corner, then their website will drop down the option to listen to their radio program.

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NPR creates a great user experience for their readers and listeners by optimizing white space, providing quick access to their radio program, and easy navigation.

5. Your website is not responsive

Does your website look the same on a desktop, tablet, and phone?

This is not a good thing if it does.

Your website needs to be able to look good on any device. It needs to be able to adapt to whatever a user is using to read your content. This is called responsive web design.

Instead of building two websites (e.g., www.thecopybot.com or m.thecopybot.com) or creating an app only for mobile users, it’s best for you and your readers to use a responsive design. This way your website will automatically adjust its display to fit the screen your reader is using.

This will create a fluid experience for your visitors and keep them coming back for more.

Your Turn

Does your website read like a book on a phone?

Can people easily read what you’re writing?

Is your website littered with distractions?

Do you have to pinch your screen with your fingers to zoom in and out?

These questions will help you to get started.

If you still have questions, then check out Google’s free mobile-friendly test. This free tool will quickly let you know whether or not your website is mobile friendly.

I hope your website is mobile friendly.

I’d hate for you to spend hours writing great content that cannot be read on a phone.

Have a mobile first strategy. Visualize your content being read on a phone.

This simple exercise will help you to best connect with your mobile readers.

Want to blog better?

Whether you’re a new writer or a proven veteran, you have to be good to rise above the clutter.

Hone your skills with our free email course “5 Days to Writing Blog Posts that Demand Attention.”

Click here to enroll in the course for free!

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The Copybot

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