Copywriting for the Mobile World

The whole world is going mobile – well, it seems like it.

According to Ofcom, 27% of UK adults and 47% of teenagers own a smartphone.  So it’s hardly surprising so many companies are looking to the mobile market and tailoring their online marketing accordingly.

You could be forgiven for thinking that users will simply browse your website through their handset so there’s no need for additional investment in a mobile website. But that’s not what a recent study would suggest.

The study by the marketing technology provider Unica (link to PDF), suggests that according to their research:

  • 33% of companies are already using mobile messaging, applications and websites as part of their marketing strategy
  • 24% plan to use these tactics within 12 months
  • 13% plan to use them in more than the next 12 months
  • 20% had no plans
  • 10% didn’t know

The need for mobile websites is created because of the way mobile users use their smartphones.

 Creating powerful mobile website copy

 I, as a copywriter, know all too well that readers can get very easily distracted. So the copy has to be succinct, precise and easy to understand.

The problems are that mobile users are even more distracted than PC browsers. They will be interrupted by phone calls, texts, and push notifications. So your information has to be fast and easily absorbed.

They are probably surfing for research, for specific information or to compare products. But whatever their reason, they will need information quickly.

Because of the small screen size they’ll be viewing your content on, your copy has to be:

  •  Tightly focused
  • Short
  • Easy to understand

Although all copy should have these traits, you have more leeway on a normal website. Your mobile copy must concentrate on the goal of that page and strip everything else out. A short paragraph on your computer screen may cause a mobile user to scroll for eternity to reach the information they need.

Writing mobile more copy is more akin to Twitter or texting. You have to get your message across quickly and in as few words as possible. Of course, you must never forget to include your call to action.

More and more people are browsing the web through their mobile devices so it’s imperative your marketing strategy takes this into account.

Over to you

Do you already have a mobile website? Are you thinking about investing in one soon?

Whatever your experience of mobile browsing, leave a comment below and share it with us.


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#1 MobileComputingNews - Bringing Mobile Technology To You on 09.27.11 at 4:52 pm

[…] Comments About The AuthorSally Ormond is a UK based freelance copywriter (and SEO Copywriting specialist) who works with businesses of all sizes and industries to create eye-catching, persuasive copy. But her writing doesn’t stop there – also a self-confessed Twitter addict (@sallyormond) and blogger, she offers a wide range of useful articles about copywriting, marketing and social media in business on her blog, Freelance Copywriter’s Blog. […]

#2 Judith on 09.29.11 at 3:45 am

A mobile website would be a great investment for companies as consumers readily check information via their smart phones.

There have been companies taking advantage of the many features of smart phones including its ability to scan QR (quick response) codes for coupons, discounts and even more information – only to be led to a website that is not compatible with mobile browsing. Thus turning away an otherwise interested (maybe ready to buy?) customer.

#3 admin on 09.29.11 at 9:39 am

Hi Judith,

Yes, more and more people are now using smartphones and tablets to browse the net, so mobile websites are fast becoming a necessity as opposed to a ‘nice thing to have.’ Keeping up with advances in technology is no longer something reserved for the ‘geeks’ of the world (yes, I love my gadgets therefore I fall into this category). If you want to remain ahead of your competitors, new technology has to be embraced.

Thanks for your comment.


#4 Ivan Lutrov on 10.24.11 at 5:06 am

Good advice which highlights that you can’t just apply a “mobile” template to your existing site and then claim that you’re mobile ready.

How do content management systems handle the issue of using different content for mobile devices? WordPress, for instance, has a number of mobile themes which address the visual interface. It also has a number of plugins which do things like browser auto-detection, but do any of these plugins allow the site owner to specify different copy for mobile devices? If they don’t, they have limited usefulness if you’re using WordPress for a business website.

Real mobile design is expensive because there is much more to do than just addressing layouts for the small screen.

#5 admin on 10.24.11 at 10:32 am

Hi Ivan,

Thanks for your insight – mobile websites are definitely become more of a must-have than a wish.


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