Today’s world moves at a very fast pace.
This has created a culture of demand and instant gratification. The average person feels that their time is too precious to waste and they hurry along, demanding fast answers and making fast decisions.
Convincing Readers To Slow Down
Countless research studies and scientific polls have come to a generalized conclusion about the average Internet reader: They are impatient. Among the most commonly found research results is that the average reader decides in ten seconds whether your page is worth reading. They likewise suggest that those ten seconds will be spent scanning.
Scanning is when a reader glances over the page they’ve stumbled on. Their eyes flit about the screen, gathering information from headlines, subheadings, graphics, pictures, and highlighted or bold font print. They garner the basic gist of your page in ten seconds, and either settle in to read, or click back to the search engine to try again.
[captionpix imgsrc=”http://needanarticle.com/index2/wp-content/uploads/popcorn.jpg” width=”135″ captiontext=”Studies have shown that image captions are some of the most read text on a page, further encouraging your readers to grab a snack and stick around for awhile.”]
What This Means For SEO
When someone finds your page using a search engine, that search engine gauges your site’s appropriateness and value to the reader based on how long the reader stays on your page. Known as the bounce rate, the search engine keeps tabs on the amount of time that elapses between a search engine link click and the user returning to the search engine.
The longer you can keep a reader on your site, and the more pages they visit within your site while they are there, the more value the search engine places on your website’s content. The more valuable your content, the higher your search engine results.
Keep Your Reader Longer
Use these tricks to capture your reader’s attention in those ten seconds.
[list_item]Break up your text, offering plenty of opportunities for subheadings. Capture your entire point in the subheading, expecting the reader to read these first. Let your actual text serve as a supplemental explanation.[/list_item]
[list_item]Include a few bold or highlighted words to make your points stand out from your text. These bold fonts will draw attention to important details, but only if you use them sparingly. If every paragraph contains multiple words that stand out, the desired effect will be lost.[/list_item]
[list_item]Employ plenty of white space on your page. One of the most intimidating factors a reader can encounter is a wall of text. These long paragraphs feel like work to your reader, encouraging them to bounce back to the search engine and try again.[/list_item]
[list_item]Don’t overdo the white space! While it is acceptable to let the occasional sentence stand as its own paragraph, the repeated use of this makes your website feel unorganized and chaotic.[/list_item]
Readers Enjoy Simple Concepts
The simple concepts are what coax a reader into staying on your page for longer. Bullets, internal links, and captions that stand out from the rest of the text are simple concepts that you can use to draw the reader in.
Make sure that each included bullet gets right to the point. Tell your reader the fact right after the bullet. Expand your discussion in the text that follows, but don’t overdo the bullets!
[captionpix imgsrc=”http://needanarticle.com/index2/wp-content/uploads/Readable-Text-2.jpg” width=”200″]
Links, both internal and external, give your reader a reason to keep on going. Unless you provide the reader with something else to do, they’re heading back to the search engine.
Captions and quotations can be used to draw attention to any part of your site. Proper examples of this concept can be found in modern magazines. When a quote has been removed from the text, enlarged, and colored, it captures your reader’s attention.
What Readers Like To See
Your content should employ the inverted pyramid writing style at all times. A popular journalistic tool, the inverted pyramid style is showcased by placing the most important information at the top of each section. As you work your way through the section, the information becomes increasingly less important.
Allow your reader to skip down the page, reading the information closest to the subheading. The inverted pyramid style allows the reader to quickly judge whether they should keep reading, or skip to the next subheading.
You have to remember to not overwhelm your reader. Complicated subjects should be broken into different pages. This permits the reader to take in one important part at a time without feeling like they’re inside an encyclopedia.
Consider using the numbered list idea. As mundane as it may seem, readers will often pay attention to a post that offers them “X Ways To Learn Blank”.
The Finishing Touches
When you are finished applying all of these designs to your website, don’t eagerly hit that publish button. Rather:
[list_item]Go back and read your post like a scanning visitor would.[/list_item]
[list_item]Determine if your headings and subheadings explain your premise by themselves.[/list_item]
[list_item]Judge the amount of bold or highlighted text to see if it is distracting due to high usage.[/list_item]
[list_item]Consider the amount of text and white space on your page. Make certain one doesn’t overwhelm the other.[/list_item]
Most importantly, make sure you are offering valuable content to your readers. Even with all of these tricks in play, your reader won’t stick around for weak content.