Overcome the obstacles of reading on the small screen
You’ve read the numbers. You know that more than half of your audience members are receiving your emails, visiting your webpages and engaging with your social media channels via their mobile devices, not their laptops.
Problem is … reading on a smartphone is as different from reading on the web as reading on the web is different from reading print. Reading your web content on a smartphone cuts comprehension by 48%, attention by 50% and reading speed by 20% to 30%.
In this environment, how do we reach readers online?
“Simply life changing!”
— Jose Romero, technical product manager, NXP Semiconductors
Read more rave reviews
The good news is, best practices for web and mobile copywriting can help. In fact, just three simple tweaks have been proven in the lab to boost usability more than 124%.
In our web writing workshop, you’ll learn how to write online content that:
- Gets to the point faster: Because web visitors spend 74% of their time on the first two smartphone screens, according to the Nielsen Norman Group.
- Taps the 5-notes Web Page Structure: It’s been proven in the lab to be more effective than the form you’re using now
- Cuts Through the Clutter Online: Because “short is too long for mobile”
- Lifts Ideas Off the Mobile Screen: Reach nonreaders with display copy
What you’ll learn in our web-writing course:
Get to the point faster
Web visitors spend 74% of their time on the first two smartphone screens — just 26% on all of the other screens.
So how can web writers write web copy that reaches readers where their eyes are? In this session, you’ll learn content strategies to:
- Pass the 1-2-3-4 test to put your message where web visitors’ eyes are. Tip: Try this simple test on your smartphone for best results.
- Write effective web heads. (Tip No. 5 is the most important thing you can do to improve the ROI of your site.)
- Optimize webpages for search engines and humans. Note: If you’re still using search engine optimization tricks you learned in the ’oughts, Google may be penalizing your pages.
- Steal headline-writing tips from the source of the best news heads on the web.
“All writers of mobile content should attend.”
— Cean Burgeson, senior content creator, Whirlpool Corp.
Master Mobile Web Page Structure
The good news is, there’s a structure that’s been proven in the lab to grab readers’ attention, pull them through the piece and leave a lasting impression. The bad news is, chances are, you’re not using it.
In this session, you’ll learn how to:
- Start your webpage with a bang with four types of web leads to try.
- Avoid three leads that reduce online reading — including one that’s been proven in eyetracking studies to make people skip your first paragraph.
- Tap three secrets of successful subheads. This “may be the most important thing you do” to improve usability of your webpage, according to the authors of How People Read on the Web.
- Get mobile visitors past the first screen of their smartphones with best practices for mobile menus.
“How to shape writing for mobile — very concrete take-aways for evaluating my program’s communications.”
— Aimee Fasnacht, associate director, alumni relations, Franklin & Marshall College
Cut Through the Clutter Online
What’s “slightly annoying” on a desktop can be “overwhelming” on a smartphone, according to the authors of User Experience for Mobile Applications and Websites.
- It’s 48% harder to understand messages on a smartphone than on a laptop.
- People read 20% to 30% slower online. But they read about 30-milliseconds-a-word slower on mobile devices than they do on desktops.
- Attention spans on mobile devices are 50% shorter than on laptops. So while mobile reading takes longer, people spend less time on a page when reading on their phones.
How do you avoid overwhelming mobile visitors?
In this session, you’ll learn proven-in-the-lab best practices for increasing webpage usability up to 124%. Specifically, you’ll learn how to:
- Pass The 1-2-3-4-5 Test for online paragraphs. Tip: Test it on your smartphone for best results.
- Increase usability by 58% with one simple step.
- Make long webpages easier to read on a smartphone with three quick tips.
- Use a cool — free! — tool for testing your webpage’s clarity. Get a paragraph-by-paragraph analysis of ways you can measurably increase readability.
“This was the best writing workshop I’ve ever taken. It was packed with best practices backed up by research.”
— Liz Carmack, senior communications specialist, Texas Association of Counties
Lift Ideas Off the Mobile Screen
People spend 96% of their time on websites looking, not reading, according to a Xerox PARC critical incident study.
“People read paper,” says TJ Larkin, Larkin Communications Consulting. “They use the web.”
Indeed, web visitors read, on average, 20% of words on the page, according to an analysis of 50,000 page views of European computer scientists, psychologists, sociologists and engineers.
So how do you reach nonreaders on the small screen? In this session, you will learn to:
- Pass The Palm Test. Improve reading time, comprehension and satisfaction with one quick trick.
- Write links that get scanned and clicked with five simple steps.
- Transform your bulleted lists into freestanding information packages that lift key messages off the screen for nonreaders.
- Bust the myth of page view time: Measurably boost understanding, memory, satisfaction — while costing readers 50% less time.
- Pass The Skim Test: Make sure even flippers and skimmers can get the gist of your message — without reading the paragraphs.
“Not a tiny tweak but a new form of writing.”
— Eve Gelman, APR, director of marketing, communications, events and business development, Peddler’s Village Partnership
Formats for Writing for the Web
Choose from these formats for web-writing workshops:
- In-house training programs: Bring Ann in to train your whole team with on-site or online courses
- Public Master Classes: Build your own web-writing skills when you attend one of our writing workshops near you.
- Association workshops: Bring Ann to your conference or chapter for a keynote, breakout session or professional development program.
I’m ready to boost my web-writing skills!
I’d like to:
- Book Ann for an in-house or association workshop.
- Attend Reach Readers Online, Ann’s master class.
- Learn about our corporate communication trainer, Ann Wylie.
Questions? Contact Ann.