What Your Content Must Quickly Convey to Readers
Building a steady and reliable audience takes time, energy and dedication. Through a variety of content marketing and SEO strategies, you can accrue a large number of loyal members, visitors, subscribers or readers who value your opinions. The creation of quality content is absolutely essential to this process – no amount of strategic marketing or technical SEO can produce results alone – and so it is important to understand what your content must provide to the reader. Today, we’ll review a few simple things that your content must convey to readers as soon as they begin reading in order to keep their attention and gain their loyalty.
A Sense of Relevance
Not everybody who will stumble across your content is interested. Perhaps even more important, not everybody who stumbles across your content will feel compelled to continue reading. In the opening paragraphs, you need to be sure to establish a personal and relevant connection with readers in order to continue maintaining their attention. Many people think about this in terms of targeted and intended audiences, but from the reader’s perspective, this revolves more around the question of “does this piece of content interest/pertain to me?”. By pinging your website with subtle indicators early on of what the content is about and who will benefit from reading it, you’ll be more likely to connect with your target audiences.
A Sense of Benefit
Readers want to know early on what value there is in reading your content. While the title may give a hint as to what the content is about, readers want to find out more early on – or else, they may drift away. In order to establish a meaningful connection with the reader that will keep them reading, you want to be sure to outline what benefits they’ll gain from reading. This could be a brief summary of the elements you’ll be covered, what new ideas they’ll learn from reading, or what resources you include in the post to provide them with value. Ultimately, people don’t waste time reading content that has no benefit unless it is thoroughly entertaining or funny. If this is not what you’re offering, then be prepared to provide a summary of value in the opening paragraphs.
A Sense of Brevity
In the age of the internet, it’s very easy to get distracted. Most people don’t view browsing the web like they would reading a book or watching a movie. In other words, the shorter, the better. If your content seems overwhelming to readers – it is either too long, too complex or otherwise difficult to follow – then a large portion of your readers may very well decide not to continue reading, sharing and engaging. It all depends on the specific audience, but you have a much better chance at keeping the attention spans of your readers if they know that you’ll be getting to the point in a concise fashion. By pinging your website content with basic summaries that tell people what they’ll learn by reading in full, you can often hold their attention for a bit longer. However, you want to explain any concept in as few words as possible if the name of the game is keeping their attention.
It can be hard to know how people are going to react to your content. There are many different guidelines to consider depending on the audience. By being short, offering benefits and a sense of relevance upfront, you’ll be more likely to keep readers engaged through the entire post.