Thanks to the high-speed world introduced by the internet and social media, website visitors don’t read – they skim. Unlike a good novel whose purpose is to allow the reader to wander through lines of elegant prose, online content works best when short and to the point. Brevity is the tactic, but not at the expense of valuable content or structure. Readers want answers as quickly as they can be delivered. To hang onto your readers and motivate them, you need to have strong copy. What are some ways you can strengthen your online content to retain readers?
Make it personal!
The most important trait to being memorable is personality. As humans, we naturally gravitate towards interactions that are personal over impersonal. Creating a personality which facilitates a personal connection with your target audience resonates better with them. Your brand’s personality differs from yours, as the business owner, and should come through in your business communications. How do you create this personality? Think about your brand message and who your brand message reaches. Are you writing for a professional business? If so, you’ll want to use professional language. Are you writing for teenagers? Copy that is informal and even playful will do. Also think about your pronouns: using second person (you/your/yours) speaks directly to your audience and draws them in more directly than third person (she/hers, he/him, they/them).
Make it readable!
As mentioned earlier, online readers have a tendency to skip across the surface when reading. Websites with copy that works against scanning are, by default, going to lose readers thanks to this trait. What are some ways you can aid your readers in scanning your information? Consider adding headers, bullet points, and shortening your sentences and paragraphs.
Make it connect!
Another way to retain readers is to include relevant hyperlinks in your content. This allows readers to jump from one article or blog post to another, linking related subjects in a way that draws them deeper into your content. For business websites and blogs, the frequency of links doesn’t need to be so high, but including them will encourage your readers to spend more time engaging with your content.
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