How to attract readers with blog text formatting?
You put a lot of time and effort into writing a blog post, and in the end, the average time spent on a page is still barely a dozen seconds. Many of us, unfortunately, are familiar with this feeling.
When we write a post, we want to take 10 - 20 minutes of our daily time from readers so that they read our post and learn something from it. I know that we still will not achieve our goals, but if even 10% - 15% of readers read my post from cover to cover, then I will be very pleased.
On standard blogs, only 2% of users spend more than 2 minutes reading a post.
There are even fewer of those who read the record word for word.
The good news is that your blog doesn't have to be typical - it can be better and attract readers.
There are many factors that affect how long the average reader will spend reading your posts:
- Site loading speed.
- Interest in the topic.
- Recording quality.
- Record formatting.
- Record length.
These are elements that we can basically control, so it is very important to understand each of them.
In this post, we will focus on content formatting. I will give you a few tactics on how to attract readers with the right post presentation.
These will be the most relevant and often overlooked content formatting tips that can have a very big impact on the average time readers spend on your site.
1. Pay attention to the width
Imagine that your application will be placed on a huge movie poster.
As a reader, you must spend a lot of time reading it, not to mention turning your head from left to right to find the next line of text.
This is very annoying and makes it difficult to focus on the text.
The same thing happens if your entrance is too wide. Surely you have already noticed that even in Word, the text does not take up the entire width of the screen. For the same reason.
Now imagine that you wrote one word on one line. Now, not only is it difficult to write sentence after sentence, but you scroll endlessly through the record.
In this regard, the optimal solution is somewhere in the middle.
Let's leave our thoughts and move on to serious research.
Studies (let's just focus on the results as they are the most interesting) regarding fast and slow reading have summarized the following:
- A slow reader will prefer 55 characters per input line.
- A fast reader will prefer 100 characters per entry line.
When creating a blog, it is important to take into account the interests of slow and fast readers.
Because only a small part of readers will read the post from A to Z.
However, most of your readers are of the so-called scanning type. These readers will read 20 to 30 percent of the content of a blog post, even if they really like it.
Every day we read dozens of posts on the Internet that are additionally clickbait. In this regard, "scanning" of articles is necessary in order to check whether we are interested in this or that article. If so, we often save an article and come back to it later to read it in its entirety.
If you optimize the content of your posts for "crawling", they will be able to understand them better, which will give you a better chance of attracting readers for a long time.
What is the reason for this, what is the optimal width of the entrance?
I think it's safe to say that each line of an article should be 55 - 100 characters long.
Remember that each letter, space and punctuation mark is also a symbol and must be counted.
Here are two additional factors to consider:
- Font size.
- Font type.
The larger the font, the fewer characters will fit on one line. There are also many types of fonts - some are wider, others are narrower, and this is also something to keep in mind.
2. Rethink the role of the sidebar
The sidebar is a hallmark of blogs that is often overlooked and left in the default position or form. This is mistake.
Most readers almost never use the sidebar. According to statistics, the click-through rate for sidebar items is only 1%.
Why is the sidebar so important?
The problem is that your sidebar distracts readers, especially new ones. When a new reader lands on your post, it takes them 4-5 seconds to decide if it's worth reading.
The sidebar will get their attention very quickly, so there is actually 2 seconds left to attract readers.
For this reason, we decided to remove the sidebar from one post, leaving it on the rest of the blog pages.
Test your sidebar and see if the number of readers and time spent on the site increases if you remove it.
3. Use photos
I'm a big fan of adding photos to posts, but you need to be careful about this and add them in the right way.
A good selection of images has a positive effect on the time users spend reading a message.
Even if you don't choose particularly eye-catching photos, text line spacing will have a decisive impact on readers' time on the site.
How do you select images for the contest?
(a) use the appropriate image type
First of all, any photo is better than no photo to break up text.
However, there is a fundamental difference between these types of images.
If you browse the best blogs in your niche, most of them will have photos in the form of color images, charts, infographics, and stock photos.
Some of these images are not realistic. In this regard, someone has to create them in modern graphics programs. Do you have enough time and budget to create such images? Most likely no.
Charts? They can be created very easily and you can add a citation and research source to each chart. The diagrams are not only interesting, but also make the reader take a few seconds to understand what is being said.
Stock photos? I don't recommend using standard stock photos, but if you don't have a choice, I suggest you read this post, which features 22 free stock photography sites.
(b) use an appropriate number of photos
Imagine you are using one photo for a 5,000 word entry. It might help to some extent, but I don't think it will help much.
On the other hand...
Imagine an entry consisting of 1000 words and 100 photos - it will be unreadable. Unless the entry was, for example, about a trip to Chernobyl and your feelings about this wonderful trip.
According to our independent research, the best articles had an average of one photo for every 350-450 words.
Keep in mind that this is just an average. Some records had more of them, and some had none at all. Please note that our work often has nothing at all other than the main photo.
In addition, you need to take into account the loading speed of the site. If you overload a post with photos, the page will load indefinitely.
With a large number of photos, you should use a CDN and fast hosting. Also don't forget to optimize the size and size of your photos, this is very important.
4. Break up text into different elements
The reason why photos are an important part of any message is, of course, that they can break up raw text, which certainly increases the chances of attracting readers.
No matter how good a blogger you are, no one wants to read a wall of text because it's boring.
While images may be your primary way of punctuating text, there are many other ways to achieve better text formatting.
The first way is lists
Most of them are easier to read than plain text. Also remember that you have many list options to choose from:
bulleted lists are great for breaking up a block of text
numbered lists provide variety
each list can be modified at will
How to change list view?
/* List CSS */
The second way is the social media button
What could be better than a content-breaking element? An element that can increase your likes!
Embedding social media elements networking is becoming more and more common because it just works, especially if your site isn't saturated with them yet.
How do you do it?If you want to frame your posts from your Facebook page, just fill in all the fields in this tool. As a result, you will receive a code with which you can include the Facebook profile field in your posts
The third way is tables
Although the use of tables is much more limited than in previous options, they provide a combination of image elements and
Tables are very useful when writing an article that compares many things
If you are using WordPress then check out the TablePress plugin If your WordPress theme is written using the Bootstrap framework then you don't need to use plugin, but first take a look at how the HTML code for the tables is built.
Don't forget to test every table on mobile devices as not every table will display correctly.
How to attract readers? - summary
The average time a reader spends on your posts is one of the most important metrics you need to take care of.
In addition, this is another mechanism that will show you if users really like and appreciate what you write for them.
If you've made it to the end of this post, please share which of these tips was the most helpful for you and helped you attract readers.