inbound marketing, business blogging, lead generation, how we read webpages, website visitor engagement

Writing Articles to be Easy to Scan Increases Your Website Engagement

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”?

This has implications for your Inbound Marketing success.

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.

inverted pyramid, journalism story telling

The Inverted Pyramid

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…

Download the eBook: The 7 Fundamentals of Being Found Online

 

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