In an era where the number of Internet users has accelerated beyond the year 2000’s wildest imagination, reader attention is perhaps the most difficult thing to attract and retain.
Reader’s in 2000 had a pretty limited set of websites to turn to.
Most users weren’t broadband, mobile was a word used to describe something’s movement, and online video was a thing of the imagination.
Apps didn’t exist in the way we think of them today, and the iPhone was many years in the future. Things have obviously changed since a time when online images were a luxury, not a given.
SEO Brisbane services help businesses from around the world to learn how to better create content so that it attracts reader attention.
That’s only half the battle, though, as once you’ve got that attention, you’ve got to put on a show to compete with all of the other content out there competing for that precious attention.
How is retaining reader attention possible?
Well, despite being difficult, it absolutely is possible to create content in such a way that it increases your chances of bringing your audience back time and time again.
Here are 7 quick tips to give you an idea of just how you can keep your readers entertained and looking forward to the next content you put out.
Start with the fact that studies show people read web pages in an F-pattern, and you have a great starting point for design and how you put your pages together. That’s not the only thing that can help.
1. Make A Strong First Impression
From the aforementioned F-pattern studies that researchers have documented, they’ve shown us a very important way to capture and keep reader attention.
The first two paragraphs of your content will mean more than anything that follows.
Unless the first two paragraphs are engaging, they may lose interest altogether and simply find another article on your content subject.
The moral of the story is that first impressions often count in life, but they’re often live or die on the web. Without engaging introductions, readers may lose interest and move on to greener pastures.
2. Make Your Primary Points Bite-sized
People read online in a different way than they read offline. They’re often easily distracted. Making your material readable online includes the use of bullet points and sub-headings that break everything up into bite-sized chunks of information.
Pick out your important points and make them bite-sized for finicky readers who have wandering minds.
3. It’s Okay To Play Dumb
The Internet isn’t an academic journal, and unless you’re talking to professionals in a particular industry, it’s okay to simplify what you’re saying.
Conversational articles are often some of the most interesting online content, not because it’s “dumb” but because it’s pleasant and quick to read.
Simplifying a highly complicated concept for an audience is often the only way it will be accessible in an online format. It’s okay to dumb it down!
4. A Picture Can Say 1000 Words
Today’s content often benefits by having accompanying images, captions, and even video if it’s appropriate. Sometimes words with video and images blend together nicely and form a cohesive picture for your reader. If it’s a long article, a video of something that demonstrates your subject can be a nice intermission that adds to your reader’s knowledge or entertainment, and 9 times out of 10, it enhances your content. This helpful infographic demonstrates why.
5. Let Your Users Share Your Content
If we’ve learned anything from the explosion of viral videos and social media, it’s that the Internet is the ultimate landscape of sharing.
People love to share.
If you’ve got a great topic on your hands, or even if you’re unsure, give your users the opportunity to share your content with others.
This alone can sometimes result in a viral phenomenon that can give you a flood of new users in a very brief period of time.
It’s also a rewarding experience to see other people loving your content so much that they want to pass it along to the next person.
6. Create Headlines With Zing
Every headline you create should have some life to it. One strategy to do this is to employ the Four U’s Formula.
Those four U’s amount to urgent, unique, useful, and ultra-specific headlines.
The more unique the headline, the better, and it should have a sense of urgency, like you know that what you’re about to share with your readers is incredibly important to you.
Believe in your headline, and good things are to follow.
7. Share Your Story
Even if it’s a true story, it’s still a story. Sharing personal stories in your blog posts is sometimes a great diversion from all the industry jargon and more serious subject matter.
People love to hear about the lives of others and appreciate those bits of vulnerability where you share some of yourself and become more than just a faceless, voiceless instructor on your particular story.
Don’t forget the power of a good story sometimes when you’re writing your posts.
Your Readers Are Yours
When you create content, and someone finds it, you have a captive audience only for a brief moment. Clicking to another website or app is so easy these days.
Remember that your readers will read in an F-pattern and design for that reality. Throw in personal stories sometimes to keep their attention.
Allow readers to respond and share your content as well.
Interaction is what the Internet is all about. We’re all here reading, watching something, or listening to something.
Make sure that when your readers find your content, they’re not going to lose interest immediately. You can do that by creating high quality, highly unique content that really hits home with your readers.
If you love what you’re writing, chances are that your readers are going to love it too and come back for more.