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8 Ways to Get More People to Read Your Content

Thursday, April 9th, 2015

8 Ways to Get More People to Read Your Content

8 Incredibly Simple Ways to Get More People to Read Your Content - 8 content design tips

Your precious words. You know they’ve got to be right to attract the audience you want.

You’ve slaved over them, carefully crafting each phrase. You finally hit “publish,” and what happens?

Nobody reads them.

No comments, no tweets, no sharing on Facebook.

It’s enough to send a writer into deep depression, and wipe out motivation to keep producing great content.

Think you need to spend another 10,000 hours perfecting your writing skills? Probably not.

Actually, the solution may be a lot easier than you expect. Writing less and styling your text so it’s easy to read could be all you need to do to attract and hold attention.

Impatient searchers

Jakob Nielson’s seminal web usability study from 1997 showed that 79% of web users scan rather than read.

Think about how you use the web. You’re in search of information. And if you don’t find it on the page you’re visiting, you click away and look elsewhere.

The web is a “lean forward and participate” medium. Television, by contrast, is a “lean back and let it wash over me” medium.

What can you do to engage your readers so they lean into your content, stay on your pages and interact with your information?

Make it snappy

To write successfully for the web, you need to forget some of what you learned in English composition class.

Accept that people scan web pages rather than reading them in detail, and work with this reality rather than fighting it.

If you want to cover a complex topic, consider breaking it into a series of posts. It’s a great way to keep people coming back for more, and your reader will find it easier to digest your content if they get it in portion-controlled sizes.

Structure your paragraphs in the inverted pyramid style. This means stating your conclusion first, then supporting it with the sentences that follow. This helps scanners to move from point to point, and decide where they’d like to dive in deeper.

Once you’ve done that, use the following easy design techniques to make your content much more reader-friendly. It takes just a few minutes to turn a post from an overwhelming mass of gray text to something that engages the reader and pulls her in.

1. Embrace the line break

There are few easier ways to make your content more readable. Even complex content can be made much more reader-friendly with the simple introduction of lots of white space. Feature one idea per paragraph, and keep them short — three or four sentences at most.

And try writing some paragraphs with one sentence only.

2. Break up your content with compelling subheads

One technique taught here at Copyblogger is to write your headline and subheads first.

A strong headline (and therefore a strong premise) is vital to getting readers to come check you out in the first place. And solid subheads keep the reader engaged, acting as “mini headlines” to keep them moving through the rest of your content.

Make your subheads intriguing, but informative, too. Web readers have well-honed BS meters, so don’t exaggerate or you’ll lose credibility. “Compelling” is not the same as “hypey.”

Once you’ve written your subheads, review them to see what your reader/scanner will understand if he or she reads only that part of your article. Is there a compelling story? Will they get the gist of your information?

3. Use bulleted lists

  • They create fascinations your readers can’t resist
  • They’re an easily-scannable way to present multiple points
  • They look different from the rest of your text, so they provide a visual break for your reader

4. Use deep captions.

Studies have shown that image captions are consistently some of the most-read copy on a page. Try pairing a strong image with a “deep caption.”

Deep captions are two to three sentences long. That’s long enough to intrigue your reader to dig in to your whole article.

5. Add highly relevant links

Internal links back to your own cornerstone content will keep people on your site and reading your best material.

External links demonstrate that you’ve researched the topic and want to highlight other experts.

Good content uses both to expand your reader’s understanding and add value.

Another advantage of internal links is they make it less frustrating when some dirtbag scrapes your content (cuts and pastes it to their own site without attribution).

6. Use strategic formatting

Add emphasis to your web copy by bolding important concepts. You reader will be able to scan through and pick out the most important information at a glance.

Don’t highlight everything (which would have the same effect as highlighting nothing). Instead, emphasize the key points so the scanner can quickly pick them out.

7. Harness the power of numbers

Think those numbered list posts are tired? Think again. Numbers are an incredibly effective way to both capture attention and to keep the reader oriented.

If you don’t believe me, take a quick look at the “Popular Articles” on the right hand of this site. You’ll get a mini-tutorial in some of the ways you can use numbers (and other techniques) to make a post more inviting.

You can often make a post more compelling just by numbering your main points. Give it a try.

8. Check your dual readership path

Once you’ve used subheads, numbers, bulleted lists and other formatting to highlight the key elements of your post, read through it again — looking only at the text you’ve called special attention to.

Does the reader get the gist? Have you pulled out the most interesting and relevant words, the words that will pull your scanner in and turn her into a reader?

How about you? What are your favorite techniques for getting readers to lean in to your web content? Let’s talk about it in the comments.

Article Provided By CopyBlogger

If you would like Mojoe.net to discuss developing your logo, web site, web application, need custom programming, or IT consultant, please do not hesitate to call us at 864-859-9848 or you can email us at dwerne@mojoe.net.

Five Content Marketing Metric

Thursday, January 29th, 2015

 

Five Content Marketing Metrics-Five Content

On September 24th I had the opportunity to participate in a webinar hosted by David Malmborg from Right Intel. We discussed five important data points that are really good leading indicators of your eventual success (or unfortunate misfires) in content marketing. These are important metrics, but too many companies don’t pay any attention to them.(Five Content Marketing Metric)

First off, I want to mention a caveat that these are not the most important metrics to track – revenue, leads, and metrics that directly impact a business’s bottom line clearly outweigh these metrics. The metrics I’m covering here are some fun and rarely-used metrics that are fascinating to track and can have a powerful influence on the quality and direction of your content marketing.

We covered them all in detail, which you can hear in the webinar replay, but I thought it would be valuable to go over each metric here to provide an overview and suggest some strategies for using them to build your campaign. Here are the Five Content Marketing Metrics You Don’t Know But Should.

1.  Social Momentum of Your Website

The most common measurement of social growth and engagement is through a snapshot of how many shares/likes/+1s/etc. any given content piece receives. There are a lot of tools that can help you gather that information, and many companies use them regularly, but the overall social trend is where you will find some really valuable data.

Five Content Marketing Metrics-Social Media trend

By looking at your content on a URL-by-URL and month-to-month basis, you get a real feel for the actual momentum of your content strategy. You don’t want to focus strictly on your homepage or your latest blog post, though. Look at it site wide, as an aggregate, to see the big picture.

This will help you discover what is stagnant and what is getting the most attention. You can then use the data to determine why some things are performing better than others, and then make the necessary changes to improve your overall campaign. This will help you ride the wave, find the momentum, and really see a difference.

There are a couple simple steps to determine how the social engagement with your website is trending.

  • Compile Website URLs (using tools like Screaming Frog, XML sitemaps, etc)
  • Store Website URLs (see the presentation for suggestions on the best tools to use)
  • Repeat the analysis on a monthly basis

2.  Social Momentum of External Content

While it’s important to know how users are responding to the content on your site, it’s just as important to know how they’re engaging with the materials you’re publishing all over the web. You can go a step beyond that, though, and look at how the competition is using content to reach the same target audience.

Five Content Marketing Metrics-Competitive social momentum

Most of the process here is much the same as it was for tracking social trends on your own site. It begins with:

  • Compile URLs (Right Intel, Screaming Frog, BuzzStream, and other tools are useful options)
  • Store URLs (same as above)
  • Analyze for new opportunities every month

3.  Competitive Blog Content Strategies

Sometimes you need to track more than your own content and pay attention to the share metrics of competitive URLs. Take note of their blog post frequency and the times of day and week when content is published and compare it all to your own content strategy to determine if you’re missing some opportunities.

You can track many of these metrics using tools like RSS Feed Social Share, Right Intel Content Curation, or SEO.com RSS Feed Chrome extension (coming soon).

4.  New Links Generated (Monthly)

Most companies will work hard to keep track of the total number of links pointing at their site, but you can learn more about the current conversation going on around your company by focusing more on the links that have appeared in the last month. This way you can stay on top of developments and find new opportunities for social outreach and content partnerships. The process for determining the newest is quite simple:

  • Export your links every month with your favorite tool (Site Explorer, Majestic, SEO.com Insights, etc. are all valid choices)
  • Dedupe this month’s report with last month’s to separate the new and old (check the webinar for tools to help dedupe)

5.  Site Speed

This might be one of the most underrated metric s, despite regular reminders that it is an important website ranking element. According to Searchmetrics, it’s only getting more important. We’ve already discussed some of their other conclusions about content quality, but one of the more technical aspects that they get into is the loading speed of the site.

Five Content Marketing Metrics-Sites speed metric

Just remember to look at the site as a whole, not just the home page. Make sure that every page – even the ones that are completely full of graphics and content – are loading as fast as possible.

Some good tools for getting on top of the speed are:

  • Google Insights for Search
  • Google Analytics
  • Quicksprout Site Speed Score

There are some simple things every website can do to start optimizing for speed, which can include caching, minification, image optimization, and optimizing for browser caching.

It actually doesn’t take much to get better speed out of your pages, but many companies let it slide. In the webinar we go over some examples of pages that let things get out of hand and how a couple changes made a huge difference.

The Extra Work is Worth It

One reason many companies fail to track these metrics is simply because there aren’t a lot of automated ways to do it. Most of the things we discuss in the webinar will involve a lot of manual work to derive the necessary stats. While there are some tools that can get you started, it’s still going to take some effort to get in there and put this information together. It can be a little daunting, especially to sites with a lot of pages, but the results will be worth it.

If you would like Mojoe.net to discuss developing your logo, web site, web application, need custom programming, or IT consultant, please do not hesitate to call us at 864-859-9848 or you can email us at dwerne@mojoe.net

Article Provided by SEO

The blog is up!

Friday, April 3rd, 2009

Oh man, we did it! So a few months ago we launched the Mojoe.Net site, and since then we’ve had great success! We’ve already had a number of projects come straight from the site and from our online search engine rankings. Of course, as “live” launches go sometimes you have to do other things later and for us that meant putting off the blog. After a couple of days looking at tutorials on ThemeForest and other sites, we created our own blog. 

So just like any fledgling publication, I’m sure the content of this blog will go through some growing pains. However, our aim is clear. We want our posts to be meaningful and not aimless rants. So every post will deal in some way with Web design and development. And we’ll try to conclude each post with four or five links that we’ve found helpful, which we’ll call “Stuff We’re Diggin’. ”

So let’s get to it, shall we?

<!–more–>

For the longest time I’ve been a Firefox devotee. I was first introduced to the browser in about 2004. Since then I’ve been in love with it, but I’ve found a new love: Opera. Yes, yes, I know, Opera, the often revered and rarely used standards-compliant browser. I downloaded it about a month ago just out of curiosity and because I wanted to design for it and to add it to my repertoire. From the first time I laid eyes on it and started click on the menu options to the first time I saw the favorite sites windows that show up when you first open the browser, I loved it. It’s one of the few browser’s that has ever gotten me very excited, and I would love nothing more than to see it gain prominence in the browser world. Perhaps this may only happen in some Web design-specific utopian universe, but nonetheless, I can dream can’t I?

Another site I’ve really been loving lately is Typesites. It brings out the graphic design geek in me! As its site description says Typesites is “a critical look at sites featuring interesting typography.” Typesites’ featured sites are typography-driven Web sites or sites with superb typographic layout.  One of my favorite sites on there is for a New Zealand wine maker called Black Estate. I love their use of animated javascript, and it’s inspired me to use the scrolling text effect on some of our upcoming projects.

So those are just two of the things I’ve really been getting  into. Thanks for reading and come back soon to read more about what Mojoe.Net is doing.

“Stuff We’re Diggin’ ”

1. Opera

2. Typesites

3. ThemeForest’s WordPress for Designers series

4. ThemeForest’s Diving into PHP screencast series

5. jQuery ScrollTo plugin

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