Sadly, it just isn’t that hard to turn the average reader off of an article.
One way to do it is to offer them a big block of overwhelming black and white text. The sheer appearance of line after line of unending words is enough to visually encourage a reader to move on, no matter what the content actually says.
Another way is to provide boring content that doesn’t grab the reader emotionally. Or is laughably inaccurate. And doesn’t include any keywords for SEO and to clue readers in to what you want them to know.
Luckily, there are plenty of things that writers can do to make their articles more approachable for readers and keep them engaged until the end.
We’ve got some ways to boost engagement and be sure that your content uses SEO well enough to attract and retain the audience it deserves.
Tip 1: Break up text into smaller paragraphs
One of the easiest ways to improve readability is to break a larger paragraph up into several smaller ones. Aim to have a paragraph that’s not longer than 80 to 100 words, about two or three lines.
While you’re visually editing the text, be sure to give some thought to where you’re breaking up the paragraph, ending it in a place that’s most logical. Check that each section includes a full thought that the reader can digest in its entirety before moving on.
Tip 2: Strategically use photos and text features with keywords
Sometimes your best aids for readability can be a great headline, regular subheadings that include keywords, and some photos. These help keep the writer’s written concepts organized, clear, and interesting. They also orient a reader to what they’re going to learn.
Like any strong opening, a great title keeps readers introduced to what they can expect from the remainder of the article and hooks them into the topic.
Does it tell the reader a unique fact?
Is it humorous?
Is it shocking?
Any of the elements of the title should be what the reader will find as they progress further down the page.
Subheadings are probably the second thing that readers will engage in once they’ve digested the title. Like paragraphs, they help to break up larger blocks of text.
They also help the reader to understand the structure of the article and where they should scan in order to understand what they need to know.
The thoughtful use of compelling, interesting photos is one of the final ways to break up the text on a page and keep readers engaged.
Be sure that these are high-quality, well-edited, and are integrated into the article so they support the main thought in each section where they’re placed.
Tip 3: Deliver well-researched content that’s creatively presented
While a great page and paragraph layout can go a long way to helping a reader move through an article, the right content and details are just as crucial.
Are there statistics that support a paragraph or story? Is there a true to life example that illustrates your point? Be sure these get into your story.
With research, you’ll know what to talk about and have a better sense of what emotionally-charged details will engage your readers.
Then you can use your creativity and strong writing to insert these details into the most logical place to keep a reader wanting to know more.
In addition to contributing to great paragraphs, keep in mind that this research should infuse all of the other elements of your article including your title, subheadings, blockquotes, and paragraphs.
The end result: Articles that keep readers engaged
The goal of every article is to keep readers engaged so that they’re better informed about a topic and want to take further action.
These tips can help with that. Do you have tips that have worked for you?
Let us know by including them in the comments below.