How to Improve Website Readership by Re‑Structuring Your Writing

Improve Readership on Web with New Content

Posted on November 11, 2015

You’ve done a great job at publishing posts on your website’s blog; but there’s something important you didn’t know…  your visitors are only reading a fraction of any given web page.

Yes, it’s true. To truly engage visitors, the structure of a webpage needs to complement the way people read on the Web. Almost all website authors and editors fail to notice this. The following provides guidance for improving webpage readability.

“People rarely read Web pages word by word; instead, they scan the page, picking out individual words and sentences.”

Jakob Nielson

Co-Founder, Nielson Norman Group

Forget SEO for a Moment… Your Writing Needs To Reach the Reader

Writing for search engine rank is half the battle when creating website prose.  What happens when visitors land on a webpage?  Do they actually read what youv’e published?  If so, do you know how much of it is actually read?

A Mere Fraction of Visitors Will Read an Entire Post

Sure, your website is worth reading in its entirety.  But yet, only 16% of the visitors read a complete web post from top-to-bottom.  The other four-out-of-five read no more than 30% of a webpage before leaving the page.  In other words, 80% of the visitors you toiled to get to your website will read just a sliver of your advice. This 16% web statistic isn’t new.  It was first written about by the Nielson Norman Group in 1997.  And for all the discourse on improving online prose over the last 18 years, this 16% number persists.

An Emerging Content Publishing Model for Audience Engagement

Chances are… you don’t need more traffic. You need your readers to actually read the important stuff you’re publishing.  The fact is, if visitors read the high-quality points you’ve researched and published, they’d be more likely to read further and perform a conversion.

But, how is readability improved?

Moz recently published a video explaining how calculated word-count and thoughtful deep content positioning can improve average visit time and conversion counts.  Bottom-line, positioning deep content early on a webpage and in the form of pop-outs or drop-downs, will increase readership and conversions.

Written by Peter La Fond

Having lived most of his life in Northern California, Peter consults for organizations of all sizes on Internet marketing engagement, strategy and execution. He regularly speaks on website design techniques and WordPress. Peter is a graduate from California State University, Sacramento, and practices the ancient art of eating sushi with nose-hair-curling wasabi.

About My Internet Scout

Based in Wilmington, North Carolina, My Internet Scout, LLC is an Internet Marketing firm for small- and medium- size businesses. We specialize in WordPress website design, marketing and related services that include e-commerce, event registration, maintenance, content creation and search engine optimization (SEO). We service a variety of clients across the United States.

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