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How to Keep an Online Reader Engaged?

Research is still emerging on the subject, but initial reports suggest that there may be a link between our technology laden environment, replete with computers, smart phones and electronic gadgets galore, and shorter attention spans. Therefore, perhaps it should come as no surprise that folks scouring the internet for information expect instant gratification and that the material they’re searching for will be immediately available. Because our culture values the ability to quickly find what we’re looking for, websites must be designed with visitors’ impatience and short attention spans in mind. The following tips will help ensure that the content on your site is packaged in a way that’s convenient for readers so they’ll come back for more.

Make it Easy for Readers to Find You

In order for you to captivate a reader’s attention, the reader has to find your site first. For readers who already have a web address in hand, the address must be clear and easy to understand. When web addresses have overly technical language, a mixture of words, letters and symbols, or unusual spellings or odd words, people are more likely to make mistakes when typing them in. In some instances, they may give up and never find the site at all. But most people encounter websites through search engines. SEO, or search engine optimization, refers to the strategies involved in increasing a website’s search engine results page, or SERP. For example, you can increase the chances that a viewer will find your site via a search engine if you make sure to include important keywords in the content on every page of your website. In short, the relationship between a reader and a website begins at the moment he first tries to find you online, so making that as simple as possible is important in developing that relationship.

Efficiency Must Trump Appearance

Because, as mentioned above, web viewers are a fickle and impatient bunch, you mustn’t compromise your site’s speed by incorporating design elements that could slow things down. Large flash graphics or animation, for example, may take time to load. To avoid having viewers leave your site before they even get a taste of the important information you have to share, make sure your site is designed with an eye toward maximizing loading speed.

But Appearance Does Matter

Unfortunately, the old adage “don’t judge a book by its cover” does not apply to the internet. Because so much information is available online, and chances are much of the information you have to share may be available elsewhere, you must ensure that your website is attractive and visually pleasing to viewers. The ideal style for a site’s design will vary dramatically based on your content and your audience. For example, those with websites geared toward teenagers and younger audiences may take more creative license and incorporate whimsical images and fun colors, while a site devoted to serious news should probably be designed with more restraint to look very professional. A site’s graphic design should connect the audience to the content and make them feel comfortable.

Easy Navigation

Viewers are sure to leave your site and never return if getting around on it is too difficult or confusing. Using design elements like colors and graphics can aid in making your site easy to navigate for users. And while conventional wisdom suggests that the longer visitors spend on a site, the better the site is, an unfortunately large percentage of long visits to websites can be attributed to viewers getting lost or stuck. If a viewer hops around from page to page on a site looking for information that remains elusive, he probably won’t return. Making the viewing experience for a reader convenient and easy is crucial to a website’s success.

Convince Viewers that You’re Credible

Even the most attractive, organized site will ultimately fail if the content doesn’t convince readers that you’re a credible source. One sure way to lose a viewer’s trust is to publish inaccurate or inconsistent information. And although we all make mistakes, including content with misspelled words or grammatical mistakes may be unforgivable to readers who are looking to your site as an authoritative source.

Make the Content Easy to Read

If someone wants to read a long narrative explanation of a topic or dissertation-style discussion on a subject, chances are he’ll go to the library and get a book. The internet is generally used as a resource to find quick, easily digestible information for people on the go. Therefore, avoid presenting extremely long passages that are dense and time consuming to read. Instead, focus on crafting attention-getting, information-packed headlines to get the reader engaged. And consider breaking up the content with subheadings in bold font to make scanning easy. Internet viewers are also typically drawn to information presented in lists.

Author Bio:- Tim Eyre works in the self storage industry, regularly traveling to see locations like Miami self storage. In many locations, like Las Vegas self storage, Tim helps his customers store seasonal equipment when it is not being used for outdoor activities or home improvement projects.

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