How can you engage online readers with engaging web content? When people visit your website, blog, etc., you have an extremely small window of time to “hook” the reader before he or she moves on. With multiple distractions tempting internet users, including Netflix, news, games and social media, you need to clearly communicate the point, and you have to do it fast.
The key to attracting and then retaining readers is with engaging content. Online readers are particularly prone to skimming, which means that what your site “says” must be succinct, yet informative. Large blocks of text causes some readers to zone out, which means that the beginning of the paragraph or sections of text should begin with a sentence that hooks the reader, convincing him or her to continue reading.
Bulleted points or lists are a fantastic way to provide a quick overview of what can be found in the content. The popularity of articles and blogs with list-based content, such as Buzzfeed, speaks to the benefit of small amounts of content provided at a time. In a time where most Internet users are multi-taking or distracted by another site, it can be beneficial to communicate with readers in short bursts of information instead of large blocks of text.
The use of key words in web content is important for SEO purposes, but the use of these words throughout the text could be bolded or link to other sections of your site. Drawing the readers eye to a certain word or phrase can initiate further exploration of the site, which offers you an extended opportunity to communicate with new site visitors. Web content should be visually stimulating in order to capture the attention of people who tend to skim.
Engaging and captivating web content is a critical component when pushing to increase site traffic or retain people who visit your home page. First impressions count, and in a world of ever increasing competition and distraction, the power of the written word cannot be overstated. It’s not just about saying things but about saying the right things. If your site isn’t “hooking” readers, it’s time for an honest evaluation of your site and content.