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.
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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