optimizing content for smartphones

The Click & Bounce: Content Marketing & The Importance of Mobile

Yes, it’s that time of year, and no I don’t mean winter, I mean here come the annual reports businesses like to publish and distribute. Consider this an open letter to all my homies who release annual, quarterly, or whatever time frame, reports.

Introduction to The Click and Bounce

The click and bounce is most easily explained in this conversation I have in my head when I follow a link posted on social media:

Sees link.
“What is this?”
Clicks link.
“Oh, this is brutal, Imma bounce.”
Back button.

We’ve all done it before, it’s almost as popular as the “bend and snap” (Reese Witherspoon, Legally Blonde movie mention) except we’re not attracted to something, we’re the total opposite. A website’s content doesn’t render readable on our phones so we hit back and forget about wanting to read your content. Or the video is 8 minutes long and we know we’re going to fall asleep because the logo bumper reel was at the beginning of your video and took up more than 5 seconds.

So, how can businesses and marketers combat the click and bounce?

Mobile vs Desktop Users

This is especially important to think about when posting to social media. Is the majority of your audience using social media on their smartphone or on a desktop? When you’re marketing your content on social media, you need to know the answer, and when in doubt, assume mobile.

web traffic by device

When I talk about ensuring your content is mobile friendly, I don’t just mean your homepage. This also includes the content you’re producing on your website, including, but not limited to:

  • blog posts
  • news updates
  • industry reports / market research findings
  • images
  • videos
  • contact forms
  • social feeds

How to check if your audience has more mobile vs. desktop users:

Google Analytics

From your GA dashboard, click: Audience / Mobile / Overview and it will break down the devices for you.


Head to your Facebook Business Page then click: Insights / Page Views / Under the second visual graph, select “By Device”.

Pretty Doesn’t Cut It Anymore

Let’s be real, sites like Uberflip and Issuu make your company reports look fucking sleek and schexy, right? When flipping through reports that have been published on similar platforms, it’s almost as good as holding the actual printed report in your hands. Much shiny, much glossy, running your mouse across the page to flip to the next… But it’s a smartphone audience killer. Navigating to an Uberflip or Issuu document on a phone is almost a guaranteed click and bounce.

See below, this is an example of what I’m talking about… This image is a screenshot taken off my phone, if this was on your actual phone, you’d have to zoom in to read the paragraph, then scroll down to read the rest, then scroll back up to read the next column. Scroll, scroll, scroll… Click and bounce!

screenshot of report on mobile phone

Test out what I mean: Grab your phone if you’re not reading this on it already, go to THIS link (I just searched “Annual Report” and this is the first that came up, so it wasn’t chosen for any specific reason). Read the first couple paragraphs. Did you have to use two fingers to pinch your screen to make the text readable? If the answer is yes, then try reading the rest of the report and tell me how annoying it was.

Ewww. Total click and bounce!

Don’t Forget About Skim Readers

If you think about how long reports usually are, a quarterly is 20 around pages and an annual report is usually around a wonking 150+ pages depending on the business. Regardless if it’s imagery or copy, that is A LOT of content… I know that if you have an invested interested in a company, you might legit want to sit down and read the entire thing… But most people consume content on the internet by skimming it and picking out the parts that matter to them (which is why I always put headers in my blog posts, you’re welcome).

Why not do a summary website page with the most important elements from your reports you know the majority of your audience cares about? Take a look at ATB Financial’s annual report page. Target people with the information that you know matters the most to them.

Offering a PDF version of the entire report underneath highlights is smart. It’s tactical and knows that readers who actually care will take the time to download a PDF. They’ll download it, read it later on their desktop or they will print it out. (And on ATB’s end, they can track those click rates!)

Train Your Team to Share Content the Mobile First Way

I get it, not all team members are BFF with social media. Maybe they post 1-2 times a year and it’s only when they have something about themselves or their business to share. Large corporations who have employee advocacy programs in place will usually send their employees an email containing information they can share out on their own social media accounts. This is AWESOME, and I love when companies do this… But some don’t. So employees take it into their own hands to do so… Which again is AWESOME, keep doing that if you’re one of those people…

You’ll see it most commonly on LinkedIn, a connection will share out a quarterly report and it will send the user to a PDF or a site like Uberflip or Issuu. Lemme just say this, you can’t send a user to a PDF without telling them they’re getting a PDF. Why? Because it’s intrusive. People cherish their phones like babies and when they click to a PDF on mobile, depending on the settings, it will either open up the PDF automatically or automatically start downloading it to their phone. People don’t like automatic downloads. Half the time the user may not even see the download taking place or the download starts going and makes them think it’s spam or a virus (true story)… Or they download it to their phone but don’t know where or how to access the PDF file to read.

Click and bounce! Don’t put PDFs on my phone.

Moral of The Story: Be Like Big Sean… Bounce Back

In the end, think about creating content for mobile first. This has been the moral of the story like every year for the past couple of years and it’s heartbreaking to not see this implemented by such large companies. You can bounce back!

A website's content doesn't render readable on our phones so we hit back and forget about wanting to read your content. Or the video is 8 minutes long and we know we're going to fall asleep because the logo bumper reel was at the beginning of your video and took up more than 5 seconds.


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