People don’t want to work too hard for their information. It is so easy to find new sites on Google which means that users spend less time visiting individual blogs. To avoid this and increase the time visitors spend on your blog, you must create a better blog post experience.
Following are the simple yet powerful guidelines to creating immersive reader experiences on your blog posts, making your communication effective and drastically increasing the blog stickiness.
First 10 seconds are critical
Visitors are very skeptical as they have suffered a lot of bad content and poorly designed sites: many bounce right away, most leave within 10-20 seconds. The probability of leaving is very high so first 10 seconds or so are critical for the decision to stay or leave. It is possible make your blog posts hold visitor attention for much longer. Blogs that are successful in making visitors linger for far longer than few seconds have a clear value proposition. So how do you communicate a value proposition? Read on.
Credibility is important
Credibility and trust are very important. A blog must be trustworthy and it should be clear who is behind the blog post. Many blog designs look pretty amateur, so by being professional you can put yourself ahead and earn trust. To make your blog credible make it look, feel and sound professional. Have a great header image, high-quality pictures inside the articles, clear navigation, personal information and links. Good writing is also a big part of the credibility building. Read on.
Simplicity is key
Majority of people rarely read blog posts word by word. They scan and pick out individual words and sentences. They don’t like scrolling down the page either and rarely reach the end of the article (are you still with me?). Eye tracking studies have shown that only 20% of the time spent on site and 20% of total clicks happen below the page break. And the longer the article is, the less time the visitor spends on it.
Because of this you should keep the word count as low as possible. Use definite, specific and concrete language. Blog post writing has to be very clear, focused and tight to arouse and hold the attention of the blog readers. Revise, rewrite and learn to edit yourself. Omit needless words to make your writing concise. Simple is much harder than complex so do practice perfecting this.
Employ scannable text
To make your visitors stick to your content for longer than few seconds, you should also employ scannable text.
- Internal links. Clicking links remains the most-used feature on a blog. Including internal links within your blog posts helps get people stay longer and introduces them to your content archive.
- Paragraphs. Readers are reluctant to tackle large blocks of text. Break blocks of text into paragraphs but do not write single sentences as a paragraph as too many short paragraphs in succession is distracting.
- Idea per paragraph. Concentrate on one point per paragraph. Readers skip over additional ideas in a paragraph if they are not attracted by the first few words.
- Subheadings. Split your paragraphs with keyword-rich subheadings.
- Multimedia. Integrate images, videos and other multimedia elements.
- Highlight. Highlight important parts and keywords with typeface variations and color to make them more eye-catching.
- Lists. Format parts of your content into bulleted or numbered lists to make it easier to scan.
- Contextual callouts. Place specific and relevant links to key places of interest at the end of the post to offer a deeper or follow-up information on the topic. Related Posts WordPress plugin makes this simple.
Watch this quick video I created to show you how I style and edit a blog post for a better user experience:
Your turn to create a great blog post experience
These were my lessons learned on writing great blog posts. I hope they help you improve the stickiness of your blog. If you need more blog writing advice see 10 Elements of Style of Blog Post Writing.