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You're Reading:How to Write Content for the Web?..Is there any Golden Rule?

How to Write Content for the Web?..Is there any Golden Rule?

by Tasos

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Nov 1, 2015

I was attending a Whiteboard Friday on Moz , one of my favourite weekly escapes , where quite often interesting studies come to light.Dan Petrovic was investigating ways to improve our content’s structure and appearance in order to satisfy all types of online visitors.

The research’s results were disappointing.500 people were asked how they read online content.

  • 200 out of 500 skip the content – 40%
  • 175 just scan it through , enjoying images or titles. – 35%
  • 80 read the article – 16%
  • 40 read only the headline – 8%

I want to stay on the fact that only 80 read all the content while 40 read only the headline.

 

Now don’t get me wrong , but I am doing the same , and I bet you have a similar behaviour with me.Whenever I come across online articles I first scan the whole page till the end to understand the size , engagement metrics (comments , questions) and then if I find that information interesting I move on and read the whole post.

That is happening with new sites that I visit.With the sites I am familiar and know what to expect just from the title I know if the subject is interesting to move on.

For example when I read my mails and alerts I first scan the headlines , then I follow those that sparked me the most.

 

 

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Dan had to deal with an experiment – How to Write Content for the Web?

 

 

Can we satisfy visitors that only looking for quick answers and don’t have time or they don’t want to read much?

Can we do the same with those searching for in depth information on a subject? … On the same post?

 

He applied a journalists’s technique (inverted pyramid) , he erased or removed big parts of a particular “Test Page” using plugins , working like a madman to reshape the final format of the page.He came up with a conclusion that we may follow these rules when writing

  • The first paragraphs should contain all the important information for those in a hurry
  • Then somewhere in our body content we can use the “Hypotext”…That helps people scan the content and click on any piece they find more interesting , like a link for the same page , a mini redirect.

The results after this test were somewhat satisfactory but not great either.

 

But in the comments section I found out that a lot of webmasters are not in compliance with this technique as it may interrupt search engines , causing problems in proper indexing.

 

 

Now I want to Ask you … Should we Worry so Much about all These?

 

 

Should we install plugins , mess up with Java or CSS and HTML in order to make the content suitable for All?…

Should we write 2 posts for a subject?…One short version for those who can’t read and a second part interlinked for those that are interested?

Shall we go so far?..Time is passing by anyway.

 

I believe no one can satisfy everybody.If only the 16% of people do read my whole content , I will give my best for them.They need deep information and I agree , I don’t want to write incomplete articles for the sake of writing.

I want to write free and with an open mind , if I choose the other way , I may end up frustrated and confused.When you write content this has to come naturally , not being forced by endless queries inside your mind.

No , I can’t satisfy everyone , that is a dominant rule.

We can use the first 2 paragraphs as an overview of what is going on and then we may write without worrying about any details at all.

 

What we can do Further?

 

I believe the times have changed.Technology marches on and so we are pushed to absorb high amounts of information in a blink of an eye.Written content is time consuming but at the same time it can provide the Highest Quality.

But people are looking for light speed answers.

What about in using more videos and images on our posts?…At least for the moment Video is dominating the marketing world.It is not an easy concept but if we focus and practise we can make something worthy.I have just started in experimenting with various software solutions and I hope I will publish my first video soon.

But who knows , in 2 years from now may be even Video is obsolete and new marketing trends will take its place.We have to stay updated and keep on improvising with new techniques as we progress.

Marketing constantly evolves , as we already discussed , people evolve , everything does.

 

I hope you enjoyed this article.I am waiting for your thoughts , what do you think?…Which road should we follow?..Would you suggest a proper way to approach All online visitors? … Till next time , here on Web Market Support.Your online partner.

 

 

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10 Comments

  1. Riaz Shah

    Hey Tasos,
    Cool I didn’t know you watch Moz’s whiteboard Friday, that’s one of my favourites too and man those statistics really blow me away. I know not many people read content as they usually skim through but 16% is really below my expectation.

    I was expecting maybe around 50%. Guess I really have up to add in more images to attract them. Thanks for sharing your insights with us, always enjoyed reading your articles. Cheers

    Reply
    • Tasos

      Welcome Riaz , I always enjoy your superb messages.What a great resource of information this “Whiteboard Friday” is.!..Entertaining , valuable and takes only 10-15 minutes.

      Yes , 16% might seem a little disappointing but this percentage are those who are interested the most.Sometimes we don’t have time , or we are tired or the content is not exactly what we thought it would be.Displaying more images sounds interesting if you don’t overdo it.

      Times are getting harder and the competition leaves no room for resting.We have to stay alerted.Thank you for this visit and I wish you all the best.Cheers.

      Reply
  2. Evgenia Kotsifos

    Hi, Taso. I am Greek myself and I would like to express my opinion on your blog. Good Work and keep it up, it was very informative. I am new to this and I was planning on joining WA. I need your opinion and advice. I am new to web site design and functioning. I work full time and I would like to spend most of my free time on my “web projects”. A want to build a blog, a membership site, and a classified site. I live in Montreal, Quebec. Canada. Please keep in touch, looking forward in speaking with you, thanks.

    Reply
    • Tasos

      Welcome back Evgenia , I am so happy today to meet a Greek living in Montreal of Canada.That is why I love internet.

      You are very kind and I am here to help as much as I can.If you are new to this then WA should be the ideal place to get started.Yes , you can work on your website during your free time.

      I would start with only one site at a time , and as you progress you will soon realise that even with one site the potential is endless.

      I am looking forward to your ideas and your response.Feel free to contact me whenever you want.

      Is it already very cold in Canada?…All the best.

      Reply
  3. Diana Worley

    Thanks for the interesting article. The truth is you can’t please everyone and you backed that up with stats. What’s a writer to do? I like your 2 posts in one idea. A general overview for those with a short attention span and the details to follow, for those interested parties.
    Who knows, you juust may draw in the other guy.

    Thanks for your insight and keep on writing!

    Regards,
    Diana

    Reply
    • Tasos

      Welcome Diana , good points.We can improve but yet we can’t please everyone.Besides the satisfaction of an individual relies on a lot of factors and even conditions like bad mood can play significant role.

      I believe we should keep on experimenting with a lot of different resources of material.

      Additionally that idea of 2 posts in 1 as you supported , I think it sounds like one to give it a try.Who knows?…exactly

      Thank you for visiting my blog and for your kind participation.Good luck

      Reply
  4. Jessica

    Hello Tasos,

    When I was younger, I studied a lot about how to write like a journalist. I learned to make my writing as simple as possible and get everything out of the way early on in the article. It is funny how what we learned, even just 10 years ago, is totally obsolete. I have never tried the pyramid model but maybe I should experiment with at least 1 article and see if that makes a difference in getting some traffic to my website. Otherwise, I think I would rather be like you and give people more quality content that they can trust and know it is reliable than having to cram everything right into the front and spread out as you go along.

    Reply
    • Tasos

      Welcome Jessica , I believe that model of journalist’s writing that you say it is one that looks like the inverted pyramid method.If you have such experience .. your blogging can amaze people.

      I tend to think that most of our articles should be short and we have to keep the longer for reviews or other studies.

      I am thinking also posting only short videos as posts with only a few words on.

      Generally the more variety the better , what you think?

      All of that in combination with the quality and good intention might spark the interest of an audience.

      Thank you for dropping by with these awesome observations and I wish you good luck with your writing.

      Reply
  5. RuthM

    This is a fascinating article, I love your take on content writing. I have a blog myself, and I enjoy writing. You are right in the fact that if we just write for the sake of just writing short content, we lose our enthusiasm and the interest of those 16%. Thanks for putting my thoughts into words here, and backed up by some stats!

    Reply
    • Tasos

      Welcome back Ruth , oh you are so kind , your message is very supporting.I believe we move towards a common plan , I am glad you are a fan of writing content to make something beautiful for you first and for this 16%.

      Thank you for another visit and for sharing your opinion.

      Reply

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