These days, people have a very short attention span. And you need strong web copy from beginning to end to get and keep their attention. Here are some tips to grab readers attention and keep it—from the words you use to the way that you format your posts.
Write a strong headline (article title)
When I say a strong title, I mean a title that both piques interest and gives clues as to what your article will offer—without giving it all away. We humans love a bit of mystery. Actionable articles or posts often start with “how to” (like this one!).
Insert headings to segment your copy
Remember that many readers scan looking to solve a question or problem so headings are your friend. Your headings should contain key thoughts about the text and keywords (where possible). And headings should give your readers clues as to where you going in the post.
Break up long paragraphs
Edit your paragraphs into manageable segments on the web. I have a client who calls them eye-segments: Just enough to read without getting lost in a sea of words.
EDITING TIP: One main point per sentence, three sentences per paragraph – max. Break the old grammar rules and intersperse your paragraphs with one line of text.
Add hyperlinks to other appropriate and helpful content
Help your readers find all the valuable content you have to offer. Link to other appropriate posts or pages that are connected to the post you’re writing today. That reminds me “Is anyone reading your blog” will give you top tips to optimize your posts for search (SEO).
Add italics or bolded text
Use italics where you want to add emphasis – eyes are drawn to text that is “offset”. Not using italics may result in some of your most important points getting lost in the text.
Readers eyes also tend to be drawn to bolded text. But use this formatting option lightly. Too much bold means it’s all bold and important words will still get lost.
Add a call-to-action (CTA)
When readers come to the end of the post, think about what you want them to do. This is your Call to Action. Here are a few possibilities for your posts
- Invite readers to leave a comment. Encourage engagement by asking a leading question that they can respond to at the end of your post.
- Show related posts at the end of your post. Related content offers your readers more content on a topic they may want more information about. To offer related content, find a related posts plugin in the WordPress Repository or turn on the related posts feature in Jetpack (if you use this plugin).
- Invite readers to buy a product directly related to your post. Add a link or a call-to-action button to the landing page you want them to go to. For example, at the end of our LearnWP posts, we invite readers to extend their learning by taking our WordPress Made Easy Online Course.
Optimizing your posts gives your readers a better experience and will keep them reading. What tactics do you use to optimize your content for the web? Leave us a comment or question.
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