In the battle between desktop and mobile, the victor is clear. Mobile users have won. And as with any new winner on the web, we have to tweak, adjust and change our web marketing strategies to accommodate the victors.
In the realm of content marketing, we have to adjust our content strategies, not just for mobile devices, but for desktop computers as well. More precisely, we have to change how content is presented on the desktop to make it more mobile-like.
Before I go too far here, I want to make sure we understand that making desktop content more mobile-like does not mean making the desktop version of the website operate like it does on a mobile device. Many “mobile-firsters” have jumped on a bandwagon that they don’t even understand. To display your desktop site exactly as a mobile site demonstrates that you truly don’t understand web marketing and giving visitors what they want.
But that’s not to say we can’t learn a few things from mobile content display that can (and should) be ported over to the desktop.
Hidden & Chunked Content
For years, web marketers have been saying that it’s a bad idea to hide content from visitors. And this was true for many years. Even today, hidden content is deemed less relevant content.
But not all content has the same relevance and value.
On mobile devices, you have to chunk and hide content. The screen space is extremely limited, and the best way to give your readers full control is to allow them to decide what to read and when.
Web marketers have been touting the values of making content skimmable and scannable for a long time. Chunking content on desktop, just like mobile, adds to that concept.
Let’s use a product page as an example. What type of information does the visitor need? Some or all of the following is pretty typical:
- Detailed description
- Available options
- Usage / Instructions
- Corresponding documentation
- Product Reviews
- Related Products
All that can add up to a lot of content–and a lot of scrolling.
On mobile devices. this is often handled by making each section of content available on demand. The visitor sees a list of the headings above and selects which one they want to read. On command, the text expands on the page so the visitor can read it and close it again at their leisure.
This same concept works on desktop as well. Why do you have to show all of that information on the page at all times? Why not give the visitor control over what information they see?
You can start with the most important content open and viewable, but also collapsible. The visitor then clicks around so they can access the content they want or need in order to make a purchase decision.
Enhancing the Visitor Experience
Presenting chunked content is a great way to reduce the amount of scrolling necessary while giving readers the opportunity to see what content they are most interested in reading. This is the ultimate in making content more skimmable and scannable and you give your readers full control of the information gathering process.
As with all good ideas in one area, we can apply what we learn to another. Mobile content consumption changed the way visitors expect their content to be presented. To ignore this on the desktop is foolhardy. As web marketers we have to adapt to our visitors preferences. And in this case, making desktop content more mobile like not only makes for a better user experience but also makes for less cluttered pages.