By Ascension Perez on
Nowadays, despite all of the videos that can be found online, text continues to be the ruling factor and therefore continues to be one of our main priorities.
Whilst optimizing said content in order to maximise its visibility, we must keep in mind both types of internet user; “web bots” in order to attract traffic from search engines and regular people when creating content to inform and entertain users.
- Our main efforts will be directed towards users, writing quality, easy to read content presented correctly
- We will of course not forget to structure the text correctly and arrange the content and help efficiently ready for search engines to index and position
Content Optimization for USERS
First and foremost, we cannot create web content in the same way as we would for a printed publication.
6 Reasons to Tailor Web Text
- Users tend to be more inquisitive and eager to read online as opposed to when reading for example a newspaper in which we quickly flick from one page to another. This makes the relevance of all content published of the utmost importance.
- On the internet, there are no geographical limits, for this reason, using words or expressions local to us can lose meaning when trying to ensure that the content is understood by everyone. As websites can attract all types of user, it is advisable to not take and information for granted by using expressions such as: “it is known that” and “once again”….
- Content will be online indefinitely and for this reason, it is best to indicate the date of publication if relevant and to avoid expressions of time such as “today”, “tomorrow”, “right now” etc.
- We are content dealers, we comment on and respond to all things that provoke interest and for this reason it is essential that we adapt our texts so that they can be shared on social networks and increase traffic, using a personal tone and speaking directly to the reader.
- When reading online, a reader´s eye follows an F shape pattern (according to Jakob Nielsen´s eye track study). A user´s first look is brief and superficial, not reading all of the content but scanning the entire page. Then, after this first glance, if anything captures the reader´s interest this can be converted into a more detailed reading. From this, it is easy to deduce that the presentation of text on a page has a special importance.
Next, we will look at a few recommendations to avoid boring the reader or causing them to flee in horror at the sight of illegible content:
Present information in descending order according to importance, meaning, start with a resume of the main message as an introduction followed by paragraphs explaining the main theme and answering the questions: what, who, when, where, why and how. Finally, include the less important points.
- Divide the text into subsections with paragraphs of around 100 words.
- Use clear fonts (Arial or Verdana) in a good size (between 10 and 14).
- Leave spaces in between sections.
- Play with font size, bold and colours to make the title, subtitles and content stand out.
- Use lists and numbers, no more than 9 points.
- Use images and/or videos.
- Use clear, straightforward and grammatically correct language.
- Put simple, smaller numbers and figures and use words for figures such as: thousands, millions and billions to replace zeros.
When we read a text online we sometimes find hundreds of links, these can be annoying and disruptive, however, when they are relevant, they can be helpful and add authority, allowing a bit of investigation into the subject or even just satisfying our curiosity. This shows us not to soak our content in non-related links, yet the amount of links will depend on each text and whether it needs complementary materials to further explain. Also, due to our already known impatience and/or curiosity, it is a good idea to include links at the end of sentences to prevent readers wandering off to other pages and more importantly, to know what is on the pages that we are directing links to in the first place with clear and specific anchor texts.
We can conclude that the web, as a medium of publication differs from that or the printed media and should be treated as such, following different guidelines and always trying to facilitate the reader and offer quality content.
As we stated at the beginning, we shouldn´t forget content optimization geared towards search engines. These are also an important part in catching reader attention and improving our content´s chance of being linked, improving web traffic and search position, but we will look at this theme in more detail in a later post.