Forget the Rules: 6 Ways to Write Naturally for Mobile Users
Team Fueler

04 Sep, 2023

Forget the Rules: 6 Ways to Write Naturally for Mobile Users

Have you ever tried reading an article on your phone only to give up halfway through because the text was too long-winded or formal?

As a mobile user, you want snackable content, not a five-course meal. Forget uptight writing rules - it's time to get casual and conversational.

In this article, we'll show you seven tricks for crafting mobile-friendly copy that speaks to readers like a friend.

Let's Dive In.

1. Speak Conversationally, Not Formally

Speak like you would to a friend. Use “you” and “we” instead of “the reader” or “one”. Say “gonna” instead of “going to”. Contractions are your friends! Keep your tone light and casual.

For example, instead of “One must ensure proper hydration by drinking eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day,” say “You should aim for drinking about 8 glasses of water a day to stay hydrated.”

Keep your sentences short and punchy. About 15-20 words max. Break up long sentences into shorter ones. Use fragments for effect.

Some short tips:

  • Write the way you talk.
  • Use simple words and phrasing.
  • Avoid five-dollar words when a fifty-cent one will do.

Relate.

2. Get to the Point Quickly

When writing for mobile, get to the point—fast. Readers want content in quick, scannable chunks. So:

  • Keep sentences short, around 15-20 words.
  • Use simple words and phrases. Skip the $10 words.
  • Break up long paragraphs. Mobiles have small screens, so keep each paragraph to 2-3 short sentences.

Keep your mobile copy tight, impactful, and concise.

3. Use Short Sentences and Paragraphs

When crafting content for mobile readers, keep things short and sweet.

Short sentences and paragraphs are key.

Mobile users want bite-sized chunks of info they can read quickly. So keep your sentences around 15-20 words and paragraphs to 2-3 sentences. This makes your content skimmable and easy to follow on a small screen.

For example:

The fox jumped over the log. He was hungry and looking for food. In the forest, he searched under bushes and behind trees.

Not:

The quick brown fox eagerly leapt over the rotting, moss-covered log that had fallen across the narrow winding path in the deep, dark forest as he was ravenously hunting around looking for some small woodland creatures to prey upon in order to satisfy his gnawing hunger after not eating for the entire day.

See the difference? Keep it simple and avoid verbosity.


4. Include Relevant Images and Graphics

Including visuals in your content is key for engaging mobile readers. Images, graphics, GIFs, and video are highly scannable on small screens and help to break up blocks of text, keeping readers interested.

Use Large, High-Quality Images

Choose high-resolution images that are a minimum 600 pixels wide. Images that are too small won’t display well and won’t capture attention. For the best results, use images that are at least 1000 pixels wide.

Also, make sure your images are relevant to the content. An image of a random object may be eye-catching but won’t provide value if it has nothing to do with the topic.

Images that visually represent your key messages or main points are most effective.

Finally, use captions or alt text for your images. This helps readers understand the relevance and improves accessibility. Keep captions and alt text short, around 1 to 2 sentences.

5. Write in Active Voice

Write like you talk. Drop the formal tone and adopt a casual, conversational style. Using “you” and “your” helps readers relate. For example:

“When writing for mobile, you need to keep things short and sweet.”

Instead of:

“For mobile copywriting, an informal and concise style should be adopted.”

Keep your sentences short, around 1 to 15 words. This makes them easy to read on a small screen. For example:

“Write short sentences. Keep things scannable.”

Avoid complex words and phrases. Simple, everyday language works best. For example:

“Use simple words. Keep it casual and easy to understand.”

Rather than:

“Employ colloquial vernacular and eschew superfluous verbiage.”

Writing naturally for mobile means crafting copy that’s optimized for small screens but still sounds human.

6. Test Your Copy on Mobile

To ensure your mobile-optimized copy is working, test it out on an actual mobile device.

Pull up your content on your smartphone and read through it, checking how it displays and making sure everything is easy to read and engage with. Some things to look for:

  • Are buttons, links, and CTAs still visible and working? Tap through to make sure they go where they should.
  • Is text scrolling smoothly or are there formatting issues? Double-check that headings, lists, and images are displaying properly.
  • Is the content easy to read or do text columns need adjusting? Tighten up line spacing and increase font size for small screens.
  • Do images and videos load OK or do they need optimizing? Compress files and re-size anything too big for mobile data plans.
  • Are there opportunities to improve the overall experience? Look for ways to simplify the layout or call important actions to the top of the page.

Testing on mobile is key to creating a great user experience. Don’t just assume your copy works for mobile—see it in action for yourself. Make any changes needed so your readers stay engaged, and then you'll be all set with mobile-first content that delivers.

Conclusion

So there you have it, 6 simple tips to help you loosen up your writing style and connect with today's mobile readers. Forget about being overly formal or stiff - write as you talk, keep things short and sweet, and speak directly to your audience.

Happy Writing.

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