You know they’ve got to be right to attract the audience you want.
Writing less and styling your text so it’s easy to read could be all you need to do to attract and hold attention.
Jakob Nielson’s seminal web usability study from 1997 showed that 79% of web users scan rather than read.
Think about how you use the web. You’re in search of information. And if you don’t find it on the page you’re visiting, you click away and look elsewhere.
What can you do to engage your readers so they lean into your content, stay on your pages and interact with your information?
Make it snappy
To write successfully for the web, you need to forget some of what you learned in English composition class.
Accept that people scan web pages rather than reading them in detail, and work with this reality rather than fighting it.
Structure your paragraphs in the inverted pyramid style. This means stating your conclusion first, then supporting it with the sentences that follow. This helps scanners to move from point to point, and decide where they’d like to dive in deeper.
1. Embrace the line break
There are few easier ways to make your content more readable.
And try writing some paragraphs with one sentence only.
2. Break up your content with compelling subheads
One technique taught here at Copyblogger is to write your headline and subheads first.
Make your subheads intriguing, but informative, too. Web readers have well-honed BS meters, so don’t exaggerate or you’ll lose credibility. “Compelling” is not the same as “hypey.”
Is there a compelling story? Will they get the gist of your information?
3. Use bulleted lists
- They create fascinations your readers can’t resist
- They’re an easily-scannable way to present multiple points
- They look different from the rest of your text, so they provide a visual break for your reader
4. Use deep captions
Studies have shown that image captions are consistently some of the most-read copy on a page. Try pairing a strong image with a “deep caption.”
Deep captions are two to three sentences long. That’s long enough to intrigue your reader to dig in to your whole article.
5. Add highly relevant links
Internal links back to your own cornerstone content will keep people on your site and reading your best material.
External links demonstrate that you’ve researched the topic and want to highlight other experts.
Good content uses both to expand your reader’s understanding and add value.
6. Use strategic formatting
Add emphasis to your web copy by bolding important concepts. You reader will be able to scan through and pick out the most important information at a glance.
Emphasize the key points so the scanner can quickly pick them out.
7. Harness the power of numbers
Think those numbered list posts are tired? Think again. Numbers are an incredibly effective way to both capture attention and to keep the reader oriented.
You can often make a post more compelling just by numbering your main points. Give it a try.
8. Check your dual readership path
Once you’ve used subheads, numbers, bulleted lists and other formatting to highlight the key elements of your post, read through it again — looking only at the text you’ve called special attention to.
Does the reader get the gist? Have you pulled out the most interesting and relevant words, the words that will pull your scanner in and turn her into a reader?
See on www.copyblogger.com