Content creation is a process that requires a significant investment of resources. Because it takes a lot of work to produce quality content for the web, it’s important to get as much mileage as possible out of every post or page your Omaha business publishes. In order to accomplish that goal, it’s important to ensure that there aren’t any issues with your website design that are sending visitors away before they have a chance to see just how good the content is on your site.
Based on all the data that Big Red SEO has collected and analyzed, here are the most important things to address if you want to maximize the number of visitors who read your website content:
Content Creation Should Include Optimized Formatting
Whether it’s an article, landing page or blog post, a piece of online content needs to be optimized for the behavior of online users. Although a page may contain tons of valuable information, if it’s in the form of a wall of text, most visitors will feel overwhelmed and click the back button before reading it.
Countless eye-tracking studies have shown that people’s most common behavior online is to scan through a page and then decide if they’re interested in reading it. The prevalence of scanning is why it’s important to break up posts into fairly small paragraphs that are separated by subheadings. The same goes for including relevant images. By using this format with any content you produce, you’ll be able to keep a larger number of visitors around for longer.
Make Sure Your Site Loads Quickly
The most common reason that people leave a website without reading it or taking any other action is because it takes too long to load. Keep in mind that creating a site that loads fast doesn’t mean that the website design needs to be boring. Instead, it means the design process needs to be handled by professionals who can create an attractive design which is also optimized to load as fast as possible.
Don’t Annoy Visitors with Elements Like Aggressive Pop-Ups
If your Omaha business has a blog and you publish a post on it with a great title, people are going to want to check it out. If the post is formatted well and backs up the promise that the title makes, most visitors will spend time reading through it. However, if your site suddenly bombards visitors with elements like aggressive pop-ups, you’re going to lose a lot of people.
Over the last six to twelve months, you may have noticed an increase in the number of “lightbox pop-ups” that appear when you’re reading a blog post or similar piece of content. Some of these lightboxes not only have an initial pop-up, but also a secondary pop-up that appears when you close the first one.
Although some site owners swear that this is the best method they’ve found for growing their email list or accomplishing a similar goal, it’s easy to understand how this type of experience could cause a visitor to completely abandon a site. So before jumping on this bandwagon, there are two alternatives to consider that can get visitors to take action without causing them to abandon your site without reading its content.
The first option is to put an optimized call-to-action section at the end of your blog posts. Some businesses use a standard offer (like offering a free ebook in exchange for an email address) across all of their posts, while others customize this section for each individual post. The second option does involve using a lightbox pop-up. However, instead of interrupting someone while they’re reading, this element can be configured to only display when a visitor’s mouse moves away from the actual website. Additionally, this element can be limited to a single pop-up instead of back to back ones.
Keep in Mind That Visitors May Come on Small Screens
One aspect of content creation that’s changed significantly in recent years is acknowledging that not everyone who comes to a site to read a post is going to be looking at a laptop or desktop screen. Instead, both mobile and tablet usage have continued to steadily grow over the last few years. Even though phones and tablets have smaller screens, plenty of people like to use them for things like reading while on the go. In order to ensure people choose to read your content instead of leaving your site to go read somewhere else online, your content needs to look just as good on a small screen as it does a big one.
The most effective way to create a consistent reading experience across screens of all sizes is to utilize responsive web design. What makes responsive design special is it allows a website and all of its elements to automatically adjust to a screen of any size. So whether someone visits a blog post you publish on a device with a 3.5” or 24” screen, responsive design will display your content in a format that’s super easy to read.
Be Honest About the Quality Level of Your Content
Content like landing pages should be fully focused on what’s being offered to a potential customer. But for content like blog posts, it’s important that the subject goes beyond just your business and focuses on providing value to the reader. Offering value to readers is a very effective way to build trust and ultimately convert a visitor into a customer. Periodically reviewing your content creation efforts to ensure they’re in line with this approach is the best way to identify any changes that need to be made.
Author: Kimberly Treacy