7 Tips to Formatting Content to Engage Readers
Creating a continuous stream of new digital content is important to the success of your company’s online presence. Search engines, such as Google, like new and up to date information, which means you have a big job on your hands. However, in a world with so much content to consume, how can formatting content help set you apart? Good question.
Creating new content is no small feat and there are plenty of do’s and don'ts when it comes to content creation, but today I want to focus on one aspect - formatting content.
Here are seven tips to format your content to engage readers!
1. Write Short Paragraphs.
Shorter paragraphs encourage reading. Individuals have short attention spans, so when faced with lengthy articles, people will most likely say “Pass!” Instead of writing a novel, keep your readers’ attention by formatting your work into shorter paragraphs.
2. Create White Space.
People want to read less, yet they still want to know more! When you incorporate shorter paragraphs, you simultaneously create more white space within your blog post or online article. More white space creates the illusion your content is shorter, ultimately encouraging your audience to read your content from the first paragraph to the very last.
3. Incorporate Visuals.
If whitespace is not your jam, do not hesitate to break your content up with other options including subheads, bulleted lists, or visual images. Tip: Bullet points are a great way to format your content and promote scanning. Speaking of scanning...
4. Make Content Scanner Friendly.
Most readers do not read information, instead they scan. (Maybe we should be called scanners instead of readers!) If individuals see long dense paragraphs of content, they will most likely skip reading your content all together. Who has time for dense descriptions and packed pages? Not many people, so keep your audience’s attention and keep it short!
5. Keep Your Writing Short.
The human brain can only process so much information at one time, so keep it short and sweet by making each of your main points their own paragraphs, that way the brain can fully focus on one thing at a time and hopefully absorb all your nuggets of knowledge you are sharing with your audience.
6. Add Emphasis.
Point out important parts of your work by adding some emphasis! Do not be afraid to drive your point home with sentences that are typed in bold, underlined, or italicized font. It will capture your reader’s attention quicker and draw them into the most important message of your content right away.
7. Don’t Skimp on Content.
Even though a shorter format is recommended when creating content, this does not mean this is an excuse to skimp on content! Search engines, such as Google, like digital content that provide a sufficient amount of information that will satisfy an individual’s searching needs. No need to write a novel, but keep your content comprehensive. Research show that content with over 1,000 words or more tend to be favored by search engines. If you don’t have that much to say, make sure you at least make it to 300 words, otherwise the chances of it getting picked up by search engines is super slim. Just a friendly FYI!
Bonus Tip: (Because who doesn’t enjoy a little something extra). People like lists! Who doesn’t want to know about the top ten tips for creating a successful blog post or the 7 tips to format your content to engage readers? Formatting content via lists is a great way to organize information and is easy to understand!
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Ashley SEO Copywriter
Ashley Martens is a SEO Copywriter at Brainchild Studios, a boutique, full service web design and digital marketing agency. With five years of marketing experience and a flare for copywriting, Ashley loves getting creative with the written word. Connect with Ashley on LinkedIn.more posts by Ashley →