Above the Fold: How to Quickly Capture a Web Audience
There is no point in writing content for a web site if you do not have an audience to read it. If you target your content toward a specific group of individuals, then your target audience is more likely to read your article.
Knowing your audience will assist you creating a better rapport with your readers and hence, allow you to speak more directly to them and increase the effectiveness of each of your articles. Also, remember to place the most important information at the beginning of each article – above the fold, a phrase used to describe the content on a physical newspaper that is above the crease.
Search Engine Optimization
Since most people use search engines to find articles that they may find relevant or useful, it is important to use specific keywords and phrases to acquire optimal traffic to your page. Your title, as well as any subheadings, should be specific and consistent with your content, as these are what draw your audience the most.
Search engines use keywords and titles to determine your article’s relevancy with the search criteria provided by the user. Properly catering to the techniques used by popular search engines will increase your article’s appearance within your targeted audience’s search results.
Maintaining an interesting look to your webpage will attract new readers to your content. If your website looks dull or unprofessional, you can lose many would-be readers. Even if your content is relevant to your intended audience, you still have to get them to read it. Internet users are more likely to read your content if they think it is reliable and fresh.
There are five design principles that you can use when designing a website to attract your audience: Contrast, Grouping, Consistency, Balance, and Alignment. Your text should contrast with the background, your content should be grouped by common relevancy, and your font and design should maintain consistency. Make sure text, images, and video are all properly balanced on the page, and correctly aligned. Each principle will help your audience read and understand your page and content.
You should also try to maintain consistent updates to your web page, as old posts may quickly lose relevancy. Readers that find your content interesting may be back for more, but you will lose them if you do not continually offer new content.
It is important to build a rapport with your readers. Avoiding redundancy, grammatical errors, typos, and generalizations will improve your credibility as a writer. Make sure you proofread everything before you publish it, as spell check may not catch every error. Personally reading over your own article can solve some of the simplest errors, and having someone else read it prior to publishing will decrease the likelihood of errors. Keep your content clear, concise, and professional to maintain readership.
Keeping your article short and specific will make it easier for your readers to understand your article, which gives them more reason to read on. There are a lot of articles on the web, so try not to bury your main points deep in wordy, imprecise paragraphs. Making your content short and snappy will not only make your content easier to read, it will also make it more interesting to your audience.
Reading from a screen, rather than from print, tends to take more time. Readers naturally make up for this lost time by scanning content, rather than by reading each sentence carefully. Keep the most important information at the top of the article, above the fold – a term used to describe content on a physical newspaper above the crease, or at the top of each paragraph so your article is easier to scan. Each following sentence should expand upon your title and, subsequently, each topic sentence.