Tips for Writing Engaging Web Content
It can be disheartening to run a website that few people visit.
It’s even worse if the few who visit don’t stick around to see all the great content you offer!
While your website speed and design can play a part in your bounce rate, it’s more likely that people are leaving because they don’t find your content engaging.
Luckily, you don’t have to be a writing expert to learn how to craft engaging web content!
If you follow these 10 tips for writing engaging web content you’ll start getting visitors who will read your whole blog post and keep coming back for more!
1 – Make Your Topic Relevant
When writing engaging web content, you always have to keep your audience in mind. If you know that 70% of your audience is male, then don’t write something that only women can relate to. If your audience is tech savvy, don’t write about simple, obvious tech tips. If people don’t feel that they can relate, they’ll get bored. And if they get bored, they’ll leave your website for one that better understands their beliefs and interests.
2 – Answer a Question
One of the best ways to keep your audience engaged is to answer a question! People have tons of questions every day, and they turn to the Internet for the answers. The great thing about someone coming to your website to find an answer is that they’re likely to read the whole article that answers that question. Unfortunately, after they find their answer, these people are then likely to leave your website and go on with their day. The trick is to help them answer their initial question, but then make them discover more questions, which you also happen to have the answer to! Within and at the end of your posts, include links to other related topics that you’ve covered. If you wrote a post about SEO link building tactics, link to your other article on SEO mistakes to avoid. If you have enough content and are clever with your links, you can get a person to read several articles all in one sitting! And if each article is helpful, they’ll be more likely to want to subscribe or follow you for more useful content.
3 – Keep Sentences Short
When writing engaging web content, you have to keep in mind that people have short attention spans. This is especially true nowadays, when people have dozens of sources fighting for their attention at all times. So if you want to keep your readers from getting distracted, you have to keep your sentences short. For web content, the best sentence length is 20 words or less. Anything longer and readers may begin to feel that your thoughts are too long-winded. And there’s a higher chance that long sentences will be poorly crafted, making their messages harder to discern. Keep your thoughts simple and your sentences short.
4 – Be Specific
People read online content for specific reasons, so don’t let your content sound vague! No one wants to read about “how to be better at doing social media things,” but they do want to read about “how to use hashtags to get more social media engagement.” Also, no one will believe your authority if you continually use vague terms that make it seem like you don’t know what you’re talking about. Be specific and direct and use technical terms or specific names when possible.
5 – Use Lists
I could have written this whole article as a block of text, but I didn’t. Instead, I made a list. Why? Because lists are always much more engaging than blocks of text, for several reasons. First of all, at first glance a list is much less imposing than several chunks of dense paragraphs. While a list and a wall of text may have the same word count, someone in a hurry is more likely to believe that they can read a whole list quickly. Lists are also engaging because they’re easier to skim. Nowadays, everyone is trying to do everything as fast as possible. People like to know that if they want to, they can just skim your list to quickly find the information they need. And lastly, lists make it easier to highlight points in your article. They call out major ideas in a simple, engaging way.
6 – Include Visuals
Humans are visual creatures. While we can just sit and read a wall of text, we prefer if there are visuals every once in a while. While visuals of any kind help to keep your audience engaged, the most helpful kinds are those that support your text. See if you can include charts or diagrams every now and then. Since pure data diagrams can often look boring, consider making your data into a helpful and appealing infographic. Not only will an infographic help keep your audience engaged, it will also become a highly sharable image that will help drive more traffic to your website!
7 – Use Text Formatting
If you’re writing engaging web content, then you must also be using text formatting to your advantage. This includes using headers, making text bold, separating quotes from the main text, and all the other ways you can make some words stand out from the others. This is engaging to your readers because it looks visually interesting. Just as an artist wouldn’t make everything in a painting look the same, so should you keep all your text from looking the same. Readers also like text formatting because it helps them find out what parts of an article are most important. This helps when they’re skimming, or when they’re just trying to process what they read.
8 – Invite Readers to Participate
Just as you should answer questions, you should also ask questions! We live in a highly social world, and people like it when you make them feel included. People are eager to share their own thoughts on topics, and are happy when you ask them questions that give them the right to do so. Readers like to feel as though they have a sort of relationship with website content creators. This type of feeling is what leads people to become brand loyal.
9 – Follow the “Show, Don’t Tell” Rule
If all you do with your web content is tell people things, it won’t be engaging. No one wants to hear you tell them that the new iPhone is better than the previous model. They want you to show them why the new iPhone is better than all the other phones on the market. To do this, try not to write your content like an analytical report. Instead, tell a bit of a story. Include some of your personality and opinions. Try to imagine the article you’re writing is an email to a good friend, and use that storytelling, conversational tone. That will make whatever content you’re creating seem much more interesting and engaging.
10 – Use Strong Verbs and Adjectives
Quality engaging web content does not use words like “good.” It uses “great,” “fantastical,” and “best ever!” This list isn’t just about 10 tips for writing good web content. These are ten tips for writing engaging web content. When crafting content for the web, strong verbs and adjectives are your friends. People are more likely to click on links that explain things you “must read” or “should never do.” They are more likely to read a list of “10 wonderful resources” or “5 helpful secrets.” Use strong verbs and adjectives to make your readers choose your article from all the others that come up in a Google search. Your title and content should be worded in such a way that readers feel that if they don’t read what you have to say, then they’re going to miss out on some wonderful info!
If you follow these tips, you’re sure to see an increase in reader engagement!
What have you done to try to make your web content more engaging?