Writing for mobile is quickly becoming the central focus of digital marketers and content creators alike. With so much emphasis now being placed on mobile ready sites, folks are turning their sights to a mobile first content strategy. In this article, we’ll explore a few tools that help content creators assess whether or not their writing is fine tuned for mobile.
Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0
If you think the name is long, wait till you see the guidelines. This comprehensive criteria addresses everything technology-specific you could imagine. While we can’t touch upon every point, here are the most important factors for mobile:
- Page titles—Try to make page titles descriptive of the page’s content. That way, visitors can get a glimpse of the content by skimming.
- Links—All links should be appropriate and add value to the page. Adding links just for the sake of links often does more harm than good.
- Headings and labels—Like page titles, headings should serve be meaningful and offer guidance to the reader.
- Section headings—Ask yourself, do your subheadings create organization within the content or just confusion. If they aren’t contributing to the piece, they might as well be removed.
- Abbreviations—All abbreviations should be either clearly defined or offer a link with additional information. If you’re short on space or want to keep it brief, adding an external link is usually the way to go.
- Reading levels—It has been suggested to maintain reading levels at a secondary level and to supplement complex writing with a more simplified version. Remember, you’re writing for the lowest common denominator so keeping it simple is advised.
- Word choice—Word choice goes hand-in-hand with reading levels. When people are reading on mobile they typically want to get the gist of the information and move on. Throwing in elaborate prose not only slows down the consumer’s intake but can be a turn off altogether for some.
Flesch Reading Ease Score
The Flesch Reading Ease score along with the Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level score are two measure’s for a compositions difficulty. They are based on the three elements of language including sentence length, word length and syllable count. Individuals writing for mobile need to be aware of the context that visitors are experiences while consuming the content. Typically on the go or in a dynamic environment, mobile content needs to feature shorter sentences, easy to understand language and an effortless flow.
Throw Creativity Out the Window?
These guidelines, don’t by any means require you to abandon creativity altogether. Creativity is absolutely encourage in all writing but there has to be attention paid to the medium and the audience when delivering content effectively. Content marketers have to understand that it’s a delicate balance between art and science—you want your writing to convert but you also want it to reflect your unique voice.
The full Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 can be found here.