How to write better content and improve website visitor retention.
The good old fashioned book used to provide an escape for the masses. But times have changed and book stores are struggling, libraries are closing and people simply do not read as much any more.
This change in attitude is because people lead busy lives and have been seduced by modern trends which use technology to deliver information in short summary form and is quick and easy to digest.
These new trends reflect how visitors to a website consume information and as a result, how you should approach writing editorial content. The articles should be short, informative and use plenty of bullet points and uncomplicated words. Not because people are less intelligent nowadays, but simply because they will be less likely to look up the meaning of a word or phrase than previous generations.
nowadays less is more and you have between 60 and 90 seconds to grab and hold their attention.
One excellent trick is to humanise your content inside your head. What type of person is reading it back to you. Is it one of those boring people you often meet at parties who rambles on without ever making a point? Or is it a decisive person who says precisely what they mean in a few words then tells a joke?
Another is the use of plenty of white space. Marketing experts do this with excellent results on a regular basis. People switch off when they see a huge block of text but when this same text is broken down into shorter blocks with white space above and below, the information is easier to read and absorb.
Make it engaging, informative and interesting. Make sure you give the information people want instead of being the person who babbles facts and nonsense at them. If the information is useful they will read it, absorb it and retain it.
Tips to make writing clearer.
- Keep your sentences short
- Use uncomplicated words
- Use plenty of white space
- Avoid big blocks of text
- Use bulleted lists where appropriate
- Humanise your writing and read it back
Look up the Plain English Campaign. They oppose the use of gobbledygook, jargon and legalese. Their website is full of excellent information on how to improve your writing so it is easier to read. They have some excellent free guides to writing plain english which you may find useful.
Once you start writing using simpler, plain english, your website visitor retention is likely to improve. You may find yourself reading articles written by other people and becoming frustrated at their writing style. You may then want to consider further developing your skills by attending workshops and further training so you can write editorial content for a living. Or you may simply want to use these skills in your everyday life to write more engaging content.