As we increasingly look to the internet to deliver our daily news, answer our most pressing questions and entertain us, it’s become even more crucial to focus on the quality of content we deliver. How do we ensure we’ve staked our spot amongst the Internet’s Battle Royale for reader’s attention? We have a few tips that may help get you started.
Think first impressions
When writing web copy the same rules apply as with interviews and coffee dates… first impressions matter. You have a limited amount of time and space to grab attention so it’s pretty important to make that headline and those first few sentences really count! Attention spans are rapidly approaching extinction, and it’s been said that for every app created, another ounce of attention span sadly evaporates. Well…not quite, but in all seriousness, in an article by Time Magazine, it was reported that 55% of readers spent fewer than 15 seconds actively on a page. Which leads us to our next tip…
Know your audience
If you truly understand your reader and the audience type you’re looking to engage, the better the odds of nailing a strong initial hook and creating content that truly resonates. Knowing your audience also means developing the kind of content they’re actually looking for: specific problems that need solutions and industry questions that need answers. Take the time to do the research. The last thing the internet needs is another over generalized article just for the sake of adding more traffic to an already overcrowded space. Use your expertise to create interesting, solution-based or thought-centric copy that satisfies the web’s desperate cry for good content…and generates useful insight for your audience that keeps them coming back for more.
Make it digestible
Here’s the catch: you have to use those details strategically. Too much and you lose your audience, too little and, well, you also lose your audience. Well-researched and/or effective detail works best when it’s formatted in a way that’s easy to read. Unfortunately, even the best written copy is still going to be scanned by the majority of readers (if it’s even found at all, which is were SEO comes in, but that’s a topic for another day), so it’s important that you strategize your layout for scannability. Highlight the key points, use headlines, or call out hard-hitting facts in quotes. If you do anything at all, at least make sure to arrange your content in short, easy-to-read paragraphs.
Keep it simple
Most readers are just looking for articles and content they can relate with. You don’t need to be unnecessarily complex, fancy-sounding or academic if that’s not your style. Typically, readers just want information that’s accessible and real. Focus on using your natural voice and sharing the unique ideas, knowledge and experience (in the way only you can) with your audience. Don’t overthink it, but do make sure your copy is well- proofed. There’s nothing more delegitimizing to your word than grammar and spelling errors.