This is a guest post by Tom Walker, who blogs at The CreativeCloud.
So you have created a fantastic blog that you are passionate about and your traffic is increasing each and every day. Congratulations and welcome to the wonderful world of blogging! Now you need to ask yourself a very important question: can your blog successfully reach the unlimited number of potential visitors that are now using their mobiles to search online?
I used the word ‘successfully’ because your blog may still show up in a mobile search and reach potential mobile visitors, however the success of this will depend on how well your site appears on their somewhat cramped mobile screen and how user friendly it is at that size. People are impatient and often time-poor these days, and if they don’t find what they are looking for in an instant, they will simply go to a different site that does. You may have the best blog in the world, but if it is not mobile friendly, then you will be unable to convert potential visitors into subscribers and you will be missing out on the increasing number of people who use a mobile device as their primary means of browsing the internet.
Don’t fall behind your competition – lead the way! Here are some useful tips to help get your blog ready for the long term trend towards mobility.
1. Optimize Graphics
If you want your blog to appear on a mobile screen within seconds, it is crucial to consider the page size and graphics. Although most blog posts mainly consist of text, many do have a number of images as well. If your pages are bogged down with images they will take a lot longer to open, especially if they aren’t optimised, and this will cause you to lose quality traffic as the viewer will simply move on out of boredom. This doesn’t mean you need to delete the images you already have on your blog, you simply need to choose a service or plugin that will remove the images when your blog is viewed in the mobile form or, alternatively, highly optimise what images you have on your blog.
2. Review Your Blog’s Content
When you think about the amount of text visible on a large desktop or laptop screen and then compare that to the size of a mobile screen, it is obvious that an entire post when viewed on a mobile device will involve scrolling through numerous pages. This may not be a problem for some, or it may not be possible, or worthwhile, to edit some of your posts. However, if you have reviewed your content and have found that it is not as concise as it could be, consider making some changes to trim back the size of your posts. These small changes will improve the accessibility of your blog and make it much more mobile friendly.
3. Consistency of Theme
Whether your blog is being viewed on a PC, mobile or any other device, it is important that the basic elements of your brand identity are carried across no matter what version of the site is being viewed. It is this consistency that will help build the brand and authority of your blog, regardless of the device used, and will also make it a lot easier for interested viewers to find the information they are looking for.
4. Blogging Platform
WordPress and Blogger are the two most popular blogging platforms, but unfortunately neither offers the inbuilt capability for automatic mobile detection. However, if you are using WordPress as your blogging platform then you can easily add a plugin to detect what device is being used to browse your site and adjust its appearance accordingly.
5. Create a Dynamic Mobile Version
If adding mobile device detection isn’t an option then take advantage of one of the dedicated services that will serve up a mobile-friendly version for people browsing on iPhones and other devices with small screens and slower connections. There are some good ones, freely available to bloggers around the world, and they include:
Have a look at the specific features offered by each tool to find the one that will suit you the best. Some will be easier to customize than others and some will allow you greater control over creativity and your blogs mobile appearance. If you are looking to get your blog mobile immediately and you are not too fussed with creating your own look, then it might be an idea to choose the Google Mobile Optimizer.
Tom Walker, author of this promotional guest entry, designs and blogs for an online supplier of HP 343 ink cartridges, toner and other printing supplies for the creative industry. To read more of his posts about design and advertising, visit the CreativeCloud.