Your Website Visitors Scan (Don’t Read) Your Webpages
And What You Can do About This
People “read” your blog posts by scanning them. To demonstrate the truth of this to yourself, consider how YOU read webpages.
To be more specific, a study conducted by The Nielson Norman Group concluded 79 percent of us scan webpages, while only 21 percent of us read them word for word.
To increase reader engagement with what you publish on your website, create blog posts that are “scan friendly”.
That being the case, how do you make your blog posts “scan friendly”?
Highlight Keywords and Important Phrases
Such as I did above in the prior sentence. That helps them stand out.
Use Informative Subheadings over “Cute” Ones
Headings and subheadngs stand out even more than bold text, so ensure you both use subheadings and ensure your subheadings convey information. I myself am guilty of sometimes creating subheadings that say “The Next Step Is…” but that is only meaningful if they read the preceding paragraph or sentence, and the chances are they did not.
One Sub Heading Conveys One Idea
As people scan the headings and subheadings, if it catches their interest they will then read the words under it. Make sure the one idea conveyed in the subheading is expanded upon in the post section, and do not stray from the one idea.
Start With the Conclusion
Since we’ve learned to read this way (newspapers trained us) use it. Your heading conveys the big idea of the post. Lead with it. People who have an interest in the idea will scan further.
This is called the inverted pyramid. It’s a concept used by journalists to help them structure stories.
Link to Other Websites
These are called outbound links, because they are outbound from your website. Studies show being willing to link to reference information on other sites increases your credibility with readers. Search engine spiders also consider pages with outbound links to be more useful than pages without.
Do NOT Talk About Yourself
Except at the very end when you provide a way for the visitors to learn more.
Increase Credibility: Hold the “Sales” Stuff for the CTA at the End
Credibility is increased when the article provides useful and interesting information. Having said that, you do sell stuff through your website, so by all means provide a CTA (Call to Action) at the end, just don’t be overly “salesy” in your request for people to take that action.
Learn More About Inbound Marketing…SEO Needs Link Building