Getting Eyeballs Doesn’t Mean You Get Readers
Crafting online content that gets eyeballs is not as hard as it used to be, thanks to Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques and Google’s commitment to giving searchers what they ask for. SEO has transitioned from black magic and high-priced wizards to simply connecting the dots between keyword research, web page titles, snippet previews, article subheadings and content which matches the dots you’re connecting…well, it’s a little harder than that but far easier than keeping your golf swing consistent over the off-season. Keyword research is still kind of a dark art, but that black box has some handles and knobs you can turn. If you’re a perfectionist, you might want to farm keyword research out, because you can spend hours obsessing over minutia and trying to hit the bulls-eye on a constantly moving target that usually zigs right after you zag.
However, keeping those eyeballs engaged long enough to read what you wrote is harder than ever.
Making Sure Your Online Articles Gets Read
For starters, grammatically, the internet is still like a cross between the bar scene from Star Wars, and someone who shouldn’t have started the day with a megaphone and a triple-shot espresso . You can invent words, mis-punctuate sentences, use audience-appropriate slang, images, bullet points and just about anything that keeps information-overloaded-multitasking readers from bailing before the punchline.
As a content creator, you have to be an excellent wordsmith who’s willing to color outside the lines long enough to keep the reader engaged, without diluting your message or making it indistinguishable from other content on the same subject.
It’s About The Reader, Not The Writer
Your writings will be seen on screen real estate you can hold in your hand to something as large as the flat screen in your living room and consumed by three separate types of readers:
- Software robots (bots)
- Screen reading software for visually impaired users
Simplifying Doesn’t Mean Dumbing Down
Two-thirds of your readers are extremely through, patient, and detail-oriented packages of software. They don’t care about things human writers value – capitalization, nuance, most punctuation, metaphors, simile, intrigue, or other “x-factors” that separate you from the herd.
Google bots tirelessly consume, parse, index, score and rank your article in comparison to others addressing similar or related topics and determine how far down the search engine results page (SERP) list you will be placed. Anything farther than the first two pages gets ignored by 75% of online searchers – which is effectively 100% of anyone born after 1980. Google’s business model tweaks the “bot-brains”, even multiple times per day, in ways meant to maintain their market share.
Headings and sub-headings, rather than font size or type, are used to make your words machine-understandable for software screen readers which give voice to the written word for the visually impaired. Content copied from some word processors doesn’t always render into well-formed HTML tags that make web pages look like web pages, rather than gobbledygook-infested plain text.
The final 33.333% or your audience (humans) who ask search engine questions are “skimmers” evaluating the snippets below the SERP items that describe your article. Once they click on your link, they are looking for lists and “read more” hyperlinks to determine if you’ve come close to answering their question.
That whole process from “Google it”, clicking on your article’s link and staying or moving on can take less than 10 seconds.
Findable vs. Readable
Your article may have “best in show” content, the perfect “Pick Me! Pick Me!” SEO techniques and ultrafast loading times when viewed on your laptop or 27-inch HD monitor. However, if the searcher arriving at your article is on a smartphone or tablet, the browser (or your content creation software) may have changed your carefully chosen font into Courier, turned your super-clear navigation into a stack of horizontal lines and transformed the images that enliven your perfectly wrapped text into a full-screen image that takes more than one “mobile user finger-flick” before the content appears. If that happens, you just lost an opportunity to promote your business to a potential client.
We’d be happy to help you create excellent, findable, readable content that moves your business to the top of the stack and the talk of the town.
Here’s How We’ve Helped Others
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