Engaging your Audience and Keeping them Reading

By Jakk Ogden on April 29, 2013 in Content Tips
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A blog posts headline is the first thing that grabs the attention of a reader, but simply because you hooked a reader with your headline does not mean that they will stick around on your website.

In fact, your job is far from over.

You see, a website visitor will give a page around 5 seconds of their time before they decide whether it is worth their extended attention. Around 1 second of that time will be spent reading the title of your page, and the remaining seconds will be used to scan the first paragraph of your content and scroll down the rest of the web page for key phrases.

If no key phrases are found during the scanning phrase of your reader, chances are they will go elsewhere.

So what can you do to ensure that you keep your audience engaged and reading?

Killer headlines are not all they are cracked up to be

We need to tackle the elephant in the room.

Killer headlines are headlines which go viral or are crafted in such a way that they compel readers to click. The truth is that whilst best practice dictates that catchy headlines are the key to content success, they often give way to a poorly written article underneath.

A case in point would be an article published online with a great headline which promises one thing yet never delivers on its purpose.

Sadly, many bloggers and professionals think that creating a brilliant headline will automatically gain them entry in to the world of viral success. This simply is not the case. If anything, your headline should lead a reader on to find content writing that is equally as creative as the headline. By doing this, you offer the reader a desire to read on.

Scannable content writing

The majority of human beings have an incredibly low attention span. This, coupled with the desire to seek out information which directly relates to them, equals a website visitor who scans a web page instead of digesting the full amount.

You can make content scannable very easily. As basic practice you simply have to bold, underline, italicize or use CAPITALS to draw a reader towards key phrases. Headings, as used in this post, serve to break up portions of a post in to seperate – yet related – subjects.

You may find that your readership is made up of rare visitors and common visitors.

A rare website visitor is one who wants to read the full 1000 words of your blog post. A common website visitor is one who will scan your content for a paragraph that interests them. You can aid the common website visitor – which will easily be 80% of your readership – by making your content scannable.

Do you have trouble keeping your audience engaged? Do you have any content writing tips or tricks you would like to share with us? Please be sure to throw us a line by commenting below or through Twitter @content_hero.

Get in touch with the team at Content Hero today to maximise your content marketing strategy with engaging, relevant and searchable content. Email us at info@contenthero.co.uk.

About the Author

Jakk OgdenView all posts by Jakk Ogden
Jakk Ogden is the founder and managing director of Content Hero. Jakk's background lies in marketing, advertising and publishing. He is partial to the clever infographic, Mark Twain, golden age comic books and Johnny Cash. He has written over 3,000 articles that have been published online. Connect with him on Linkedin, , or buy him a coffee in Leeds to talk about how high quality content can grow your business.

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