'Mobilizing' your newsroom
An essential part for a smooth running global newsroom is optimizing it for mobile visitors.
How to Optimize your Newsroom for International Audiences Part 4 of 4
In 2016 it finally happened…mobile traffic overtook the desktop as the primary method used to access websites. Inevitably this also means that most of your newsroom’s traffic will also come from mobile devices. This article presents essential tips on ensuring a solid modern digital comms strategy does not fall apart on mobile unfriendliness.
In parts 1, 2, and 3 of this series on ‘optimizing your newsroom for global audiences,’ we discussed the importance of ensuring your newsroom was accessible, providing approachable contacts, and ensuring you localize content as much as possible. Part 4 dives into web technology; and the first essential part for a smooth running newsroom is optimizing it for mobile visitors.
The need for a mobile-friendly newsroom
As a communications professional, you are in constant competition to get any second of attention from your target audiences. This means catching them on-the-go during their commute home or as they flip through the phone during a brief moment on the couch. When you are lucky enough to actually get their click, a slow download or unreadable page will be a disaster for your news conversion rate.
With mobile traffic growing at an incredible pace (see comScore’s Global Mobile Report 2017), having a mobile optimized newsroom in and of itself still sets you apart from almost half of your competitors. Many organizations still work with PDF based newsroom repositories, that besides not being mobile-friendly, also deliver poor SEO results. Even those that do have have HTML newsrooms often lack a responsive design resulting in a cumbersome (if not impossible) readability experience.
The solution for your newsroom is to follow a few simple rules as you plan for your mobile environment.
Main pointers for ‘mobilizing’ your newsroom
According to Google, there are three main points that are essential in ensuring your newsroom’s responsiveness will be beneficial:
First of all, and like any other webpage, blocking search engines from accessing your page files will not help your cause. The search bots need to be able to index web content, but also understand it is designed for mobile (see point 2).
Clearly indicate in the page’s code that it is designed for mobile. If Google is signalled that a page is mobile-friendly, it is able to index the page better for mobile searchers. Effectively increasing your SEO results.
Ensure your page design works on a mobile device. This is not so much a technical requirement, but is more about the user experience. Think about pop-up ads that completely block a screen and essentially freeze navigation, unplayable videos, and touch elements that are too close together and ultimately frustrate the user you are trying engage.
All in all, a better mobile newsroom will immediately increase your chance to reach the influencers you need to spread your message and the journalists you want to report on your story and return for future updates.
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