We, people, are visual creatures. Give us the info, and we’ll remember only 10% of it three days after reading. Add pictures to it, and we’ll remember 65%. Any visual content helps us process the information 60,000 times faster and memorize it better. The four tricks below will help you engage users, hold them, and make them read your content to the end.
- Start With a Hook
A headline of your content makes users click, while its introduction paragraph lets them see if the content meets their search intent and decide if they want to stay and continue reading. How to write effective intros for your content? First, it’s short. Remember that reading online is 25% slower than print, let alone the fact page visitors read only 20-28% of the words on your page. They won’t spend time reading your text sheets, so you need to hook them right away. Second, it’s eye-grabbing and relevant. Use writing hooks like questions, surprising facts, or pain points to engage readers. You might also want to add a content preview to your introduction for readers to understand they are in the right place.
- Organize Content in Blocks
According to a study from Nielsen Norman Group, people scan a page before reading it. Scientists confirmed that well-formatted texts (those with subheads, images, and lists) are more engaging, while sheets of texts get ignored. Organize your web content in blocks for a more comfortable read. Put the core information in headings and subheads. And don’t be afraid of repeating the already said information through lists: Readers are more likely to pay attention to a list than a citation of facts via commas.
- Add Audio and Video If Applicable
Users don’t have to read the article word by word. If the article is long, they’ll get tired, and neither pictures nor emojis or illustrations will be able to hold their attention. Will you read that whole article at once? We don’t think so. You’ll get tired after 15 minutes because it’s a definite guide sharing tons of content types by categories: for sales, building brand reputation, handling customer objections, promoting a personal brand, building a network, and so on. When writing such long reads, use audio and video clips to redirect the user’s attention and give them a break.
- “Play” With Text
Say you can’t craft graphics or choose illustrations for your content. Don’t give up and don’t publish a text sheet for users to scramble through it in search of meanings. You have alternative instruments to piggyback on its short, structured paragraphs:
Use emojis and icons. They make text content more visually attractive and grab a reader’s attention, whether you write a blog post, thank you notes, or promo content on social media.
Consider bold and italic formatting. It helps a reader “catch” fundamental principles while scanning and then stop to learn more details.
Add examples. They allow you to communicate a message and diversify content to make it more substantial yet digestible.