Mobile is an increasingly important consideration for small business online marketing strategies, according to one industry commentator.
MediaCoach.co.uk director Alan Stevens said small businesses are missing out if their websites are not optimised for mobile users. In addition, online marketing strategies should explore mobile apps or they risk "missing a trick".
Mr Stevens suggested apps can be developed at a very low cost and that the outlay will be worth it if it is relevant and valuable to the target audience.
"The old advertising model doesn't work anymore," he added. "You have got to be working with your customers to find out what they want and [small and medium-sized enterprises] can do that as well as anyone else."
Mobile content for websites
Internet users browse websites in different ways depending on their device, so it is important to approach each type of content production in a different way.
Last year, Microsoft group search manager Colm Bracken said only 17 per cent of websites cater effectively for mobile users at a time when smartphone and tablet adoption is growing rapidly.
Web usability expert Dr Jakob Nielsen has pointed out that simplicity is a crucial factor to bear in mind when creating mobile content for websites. He noted that it is nearly twice as difficult to understand complicated content when reading it on an iPhone-sized screen than on a desktop.
The study he referred to was conducted in a lab, so doesn't take into consideration real-world distractions mobile users face, such as noise and other outside interferences.
Here are some top tips for creating content for websites that are mobile-friendly:
Only present the critical information on the first page. Be ruthless and cut to only the content that is likely to be seen as crucial for the majority of your audience. Give those interested in more information easy access to it by means of easy-to-click links that take them to secondary pages.
Make content scannable. This means using bold text, sub headings and bullets to highlight important elements and show clearly and at a glance which bits the reader should pay attention to.
Use simple language. Web copy should always be as simple and to the point as possible, but this is even more important when writing for a mobile audience. The clearer your language, the better your message will be understood.
Don't forget about SEO and social media. Mobile users still use search to access the information they want, so SEO remains an important consideration. When it comes to social media, mobile users are among the most active tweeters, likers and +1ers, so make it easy for them to engage with your website content and share it with their connections.
What are your top tips for adapting content for websites for mobile? Share your thoughts below.