6 Simple content tweaks your readers will love you for
You’re a great writer! And your blog posts are both interesting and valuable… but, when people hit your site are they overwhelmed by text and formatting chaos?
There’s a whole heap of easy tweaks you can make to structure your blog posts so that your readers both stay on your site, but also scroll far enough to click through to more of your tantalizing content.
You want to make sure readers are not put off by walls of text, or poor layouts. And you want to make sure your valuable readers can easily access the info they were looking for! Right!?
How to structure your blog posts to delight your readers
#1 Create white space for breathing room
#2 Develop clever headers that tell a story
#3 Quit the mindless chatter
#4 Add a table of contents
#5 Include images, tables and graphics
#6 Answer their questions
Create white space for breathing room
Ahhhh doesn’t that feel better! YES! … Nothing worse than hitting a wall of text!
A reader will not usually read all of your content on any one page.. No matter how brilliant it is! They will dart around trying to find the bits and pieces that are most interesting. Give them room to breathe! Give them a sense of space and relaxation.
A massive amount of your audience will be reading your content on their phones. Think about these poor people! And make their lives easy by blocking out your words into manageable snippets with plenty of white space in between.
Think about how you read your Sunday paper (if you still do this!) or an online magazine…
You skip ands skim and your eye moves around all the interesting bits.. Sucking up a tid bit here, a delightful snack there… give your readers the space they need to build up an appetite!
Remember, you’re not writing for the local newspaper. White space is not a luxury! Take what your 12th grade English teach taught you and THROW IT OUT THE WINDOW.
Develop clever headers that tell a mini story
Take your time with your H2 headers!
You want to make sure your article is skimmable…And headers create breaks in a post that allow the reader to regroup.
But, you want to make sure your reader isn’t skimming ALL your headers and not finding the juicy bits!
Headers create hierarchy and it’s this hierarchy that draws your reader through your content and onto the spots that are of interest to them and that will hold their attention.
Quit the mindless chatter
Nothing worse than finding a great article in Google or Pinterest, clicking the link then having to wade through paragraph after paragraph of chatter before I hit the meat of a blog post.
Do yourself and your followers a favour and edit your writing to make sure that you are not filling space with words instead of writing useful content.
Is that sentence necessary? Are you creating value with that intro? Or are you just filling space?
An intro and a wrap up needn’t be long or monologinous! Say what you mean to say, and be done with it.
Flavour is great! But the same old tired cliches over and over again, not so much.
Above all, give the reader what they came to your blog post for. An answer to their question or query.
Add a table of contents to your blog posts
Your reader has hit your page for a reason. Maybe a catchy social link, or you’ve been clever and created the perfect metadata that has meant Google has found your little gem and highlighted it in the SERPs. Yay! …
Whatever the reason your reader has hit your site, rejoice! And, make sure they can find exactly what they have come there for.
Create a table of contents that allows the reader to skip into sections of interest.
This is the perfect example of a great table of contents.
The blog post is a biggun and chock full of great tips and ideas, but some are probably irrelevant to some of your readers. A fashion blogger for instance isn’t interested in travel blogging ideas. So, this table lets them instantly find what’s relevant to their search.
The other great thing about creating a table of contents for your posts is that Google loves it when you make it super easy for them to know exactly what is on your page and what is relevant! …. Great for SEO.
I use LuckyWP table of contents… And love it … simple to set up and use.
The table can be added by shortcode, widget or block and is customisable with options for font, colour and size. One of the coolest things about this though is that it generates a #in the URl for a particular section. For example in the post above… the Beauty Blogger section has its own URL:
Long? yes… Useful? ummm super yes!
If that’s not enough, creating a useful table of contents may increase your likelihood of getting a featured snippet on Google search results. Featured snippets are most likely to be returned when a question is asked on Google.
Therefore… ensuring you have questions as headers may help your SEO, if you provide succinct and meaningful answers to those questions.
For instance- the search query, why is a table of contents a good idea in a blog, return the snippet below. With a short and concise answer.
Best yet! … (but wait there’s more!) – If you click the snippet it will take you to the highlighted section on the post! This could be YOUR post! So, use them headers right!
Include images, tables and graphics
No brainer here right. But, so many people miss the opportunity to do this right.
Images and graphics do two things.
- They add a level of metadata to your site that Google can search. Just make sure you add alt text and title attributes that are meaningful!
- They help the reader stay on the page longer, provide a relief from text and help to convey the answer to their search query.
Types of visual components you can add to your blog post:
- Relevant high resolution JPEG or PNG images
- Tables that make it easy to compare facts or stats
- Infographics that tell a story or explain a process
- Pinnable images
- Graphs or charts that show a visual representation of statistics
- GIFs or memes that break up your page and add a layer of humour (if approps)
- Opt ins and giveaways relevant to your article
Answer their questions!
Nothing more frustrating than hitting a search result, expecting to find one thing and instead you stumble upon something quite different. The result. Bounce! Not good for you or your reader.
Deliver on your promises.
Make sure that your catchy title or snippet allows for the reader to get a feel for what they can expect on your actual post. And, when they click through make sure you answer that question – also, making it abundantly clear where the answer to their question is with headers and a clear, easily navigable layout.
Delighting your readers is just as much about ensuring they have a great experience on your site as it is delivering them great info.
You want to make sure that when a visitor hits your site, they instantly feel at ease! … that they can find what they are looking for… that your posts are scannable… that they are not overwhelmed and that they are enticed to click onto more of your fabulous posts!
Let me know what’s working for you in the comments below!
I’d love to hear what strategies you find make a big difference for you.