OK, so you’ve hooked your reader in with an irresistible headline from our previous article. But there’s work to be done yet.
We want them to read, read, read, right into your CTA. The longer the reader spends on your page, the more relevant and useful it appears to search engines.
They’ll reward you handsomely with a premium page ranking. Here are some tips to make this easier for them – and you.
Break information into bite-sized chunks
People do not read on the internet. They scan.
So break copy up into digestible chunks, or separate with an image or three. The easiest way to do this is to make the article list-based.
Obviously, a list-based structure will not work for every article, but the basic concept applies.
Use a maximum of two sentences in each paragraph
This helps avoid the dreaded 'wall of text', keeping your content non-threatening to a scanner. Each new paragraph should make a new point.
Employ large, meaningful subheadings frequently
As a general rule, use your CMS’s ‘heading 2’ setting on sub headers. The more important the information, the more prominent it should be.
Start with the most important or interesting info, and work down into the details.
Embolden key words and concepts
This technique makes it easier for skim-readers to pick out the important bits of information. Warning: if you do this too much, it can look spammy, which is a massive turn off for readers, and therefore search engines.
Increase the font size of your body copy
Your font size for your body copy should be 12pt at least. It’s more comfortable to read and looks more accessible than a giant wall of teeny tiny copy.
Add pictures and videos
Enticing images, diagrams and videos look great.
They also help break the copy up into digestible chunks, which makes your post easier to read.
They have the added bonus of increasing time on site which reduces bounce rate - two key search ranking indicators.
Add internal links to posts
An internal link is a link to a site page or blog post that links to another relevant section on your website helps boost your site’s ranking. It’s a good idea to add two or three internal links to every article.
Use outbound links
If someone else’s website links to you, this is considered an external link to your site. Similarly, if your post includes a link out to another website, this is also considered an external link.
You obviously can’t do much about other websites linking to yours, but you can add links to your own site. These are called outbound links.
Outbound links to related pages help search engines recognise your page’s topic. A recent study found pages with outbound links outrank pages without them – so it’s a good idea to use them when you can. But remember – use them sparingly. An article where every other word is a link looks spammy.
One more thing to remember before you go
Phew! They made it to the bottom. Now what?
It’s worth knowing what you want the reader to do once they have read the article, then at the bottom of the page, asking them to do it.
Remember – they might not do this on the first, second or even fifth visit to your site. But keep them coming back with brilliant content, and eventually, they will.
And remember – make it easy for your readers. Make the Call to Actions (CTAs) obvious, but non-intrusive.
Put floating share and social buttons in your post, and add a subscribe box.
Subscriptions are incredibly useful: every time you publish a blog post, your reader will get an email alert. That's an incredibly valuable reminder that helps bring readers back to your blog on a regular basis. It doesn’t improve your site’s ranking in itself, but it does get more eyes on your site.
And the better your site is, the longer they’ll stay, the more relevant it looks to search engines, the higher your post will feature.