May 09, 2019
/ by Rocky Parker
See the original post on Beyond Bylines.
You’ve done it. A reader has clicked a link to your article or blog post and is on the page.
But how do you keep them reading and engaging with the content?
Readers have short attention spans, so creating a visually appealing, easy-to-read piece of content will play a part in its success.
Once you’ve done the work of crafting a strong headline and writing a compelling article, don’t forget about optimizing your text structure to keep a reader’s attention.
Ever notice your eyes glazing over when you come across a large block of text in an article?
Many readers scan or skim articles rather than read them word for word. A wall of text makes this habit difficult and can quickly turn readers away.
An eye-tracking study by the Nielsen Norman Group found that the F-shaped scanning pattern is still relevant in both desktop and mobile reading.
Credit: Nielsen Norman Group
According to the study, there are multiple ways to deal with this scanning behavior and direct readers to the information you want them to see.
Including relevant links, whether internal or external, is important for multiple reasons:
Placement of links also is important. About half of readers won’t make it past the halfway point in the article, so include a useful, engaging link high up in the text.
User experience should always be a priority and when it comes to links -- think quality over quantity.
Eyes are drawn to images and videos, there’s no getting around it.
Spicing up your content by including multimedia can give it a big boost online.
In a study of press releases on prnewswire.com, analysis showed that when compared to text-only releases, views increased 1.4x when an image was included and 2.8x when a video was part of the release.
According to Hubspot, Facebook posts with images receive 2.3x more engagement than text-only posts and tweets with images are retweeted 150% more than those without multimedia.
Since 65% of people are visual learners and social media platforms increasingly favor visual content, this isn’t something to skip over in your writing.
If you need visual elements for your article, PR Newswire for Journalists provides journalists and bloggers access to a library of multimedia assets for editorial use.
Did you read everything up to this point, or just scan your way down? Either way, thanks for staying with me.
With so much content out there, you need to make sure yours is formatted in a way to keep eyes on the page.
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