Content marketing is not art and instead exists to serve a function, for the brand but especially for the end user, who wants to use the information and messages in articles, news and blogs to help them with a task or decision in their own personal or professional life. Making your content easy to use aligns with this purpose perfectly.
Before publishing a fresh article, think about how you can communicate what the experience will be like to a reader or viewer. If you are up front about what content entails, it is easier to get people on board and finish a whole piece, even if it is 1,000 words or longer. Including an estimated read time at the top of the page will encourage people to commit to consuming something in its entirety. Account for around three to five minutes per 500 words.
Breaking up chunks of writing with visuals is often repeated advice, but that’s because it works. Readers don’t want to wade through long paragraphs of prose. People like to look at pictures, but stock images or infographics also help them to process information faster.
Keep it lean
If content is to serve a function, it needs to do it fast and effectively. To ensure that your pages load up quickly, keep the image sizes as low as possible. You can also implement staggered loading or “lazy loading”, which uses cached resources (images, video, etc.) to replace a placeholder when a person scrolls down a page.
Provide at-a-glance insights
Readers want something to take away from your content even if they only briefly click through a blog or article. This is no slight on your output as research shows that people spend less than 15 seconds on a webpage before navigating elsewhere. After creative has worked their magic, you can focus on making the most important stuff easier to read. This involves effective formatting, including section headers and optimising on-page elements.
Google search looks favourably on content that delivers on usability and user experience. You can find out whether your pages are hitting the spot by analysing metrics such as page load time, responsiveness, total time spent on page, and accessibility.