People move fast online. Their eyes skip over the screen, scanning and filtering for the information they want.
Web reader behavior studies show they don’t want to read as much as 80% of your web content.
This presents a major challenge for content marketers. How do you make sure the people you have worked so hard to attract to your website actually read your content?
Provide web content that is useful, valuable and interesting
If you want your reader to stop and pay attention to your content, you have to offer him something worth his time. To do that have a really clear picture of who your reader is. If you don’t know your reader well enough to buy him a thoughtful and meaningful gift, then you have work to do.
Put the most important information at the top
Eye tracking studies show most readers will look at the first paragraph but by the 4th paragraph, as many as 70% of your visitors have stopped reading.
Use headlines and subheads as signposts
Use good design to draw the eye to the most important information and summarize sections with well-written headlines. Readers like to get the gist of the page and home-in on what interests them.
Use short paragraphs and lists
Long slabs of text are difficult to scan read. To make information more accessible break large paragraphs into multiple smaller ones, or better still use bulleted or numbered lists.
Use digits for numbers
When scanning a page, the digit “5” stands out more than the word “five” and draws in the reader’s eye. In addition, numbers indicate there is hard, factual information and can be accesses quickly.
Keep to the point
Know the purpose of the page and keep your web content focused and on-topic. Avoid sidetracking your reader.
Jargon and highbrow words have no place on most web pages. Instead, select simple and familiar words.
endeavor / try
formulate / work out
ascertain / find out
locality / place
The Goldilocks principle
Respect your readers’ time and keep the length of your copy just right. Ruthlessly remove wordiness. My personal rule of thumb is to write and then try to edit the copy down by 50%.free gift / gift
with a view to / to
adequate number of / enough
Don’t use ambiguous links such as “Click here” or “Support”
The best links act as navigational signposts that describe what the user will find if they click. Informative links such as “Chocolate recipes” or “Application forms” help the reader choose where to go next.
Put your reader first
To draw your readers into your web content you need to talk to them not at them. Replace terms such as “our customers” with “you”. And because your readers are only interested in what you can do for them highlight the benefits of your products and services instead of providing a list of features and use an educational and informative writing style.