When it comes to online marketing, there are two major challenges that every site must overcome: attracting users to your site and making your site attractive enough that users stay on your site. Unfortunately, it is the second half of online marketing that gets overlooked most often. You could have a million people looking at your site every day, but it won’t help your bottom line unless these users see an attractive, user-friendly site once they arrive. Ultimately, people won’t use your site if navigating through your pages is a painful, stressful, or frustrating experience.
In order to make your site as attractive and user-friendly as possible, it is important to remember to format your content.
Why should I worry about the way my content is formatted?
If content is king why are some sites, with all their content, still not catching users? The answer is that getting searchers to your site is only half the battle. The other half is enticing them to stay long enough to understand what you have to offer. The truth is, sites with blocks of content that are lacking media are slowly disappearing from the web. Why? Because users are fast-pace: they want to know right away why they should stay on your page instead of going back to Google and clicking on the next result!
What is the user looking for?
The truth is that most users will not even read the content you have on your site. What they are more likely to do is scan the content, looking for quick, useful information. Because of this, it is important that your content is formatted in a way that supports and encourages a fast-pace user.
How do I give the user what they want?
First of all, your content should catch the eye and entice users to read it or at least scan though it. Blocks of chunky text will not do the trick. No matter how valuable the information is, the users will often hit the back button and find more user-friendly information elsewhere.
These two example pages have the same content, but one has user-friendly format, and the other does not. We will break them both down separately and compare why one will succeed and one will fail.
This first example page is not formatted in a way that will entice the user to stay on the site long enough to understand what it has to offer. Why is this content not user-friendly?
- Chunky block of content
- Not easy to scan
- Nothing catches the eye
This second example page is pleasing to the eye and entices the user to not only scan it, but also read through it. Why?
- Content is broken up
- It can be easily scanned
- It contains media that draws the eye and creates curiosity about what your content says.
What is the key to breaking up bulky content?
Achieving this formatted effect with the content on any webpage is easy. Use the following content formatting points for any page of your site that contains content:
- Clear Headings
- Short Paragraphs
- Bullet points
- Media (Images, Graphs, Video Snippets)
- Highlighted text (Strong, Emphatic, Anchor Text)
Ultimately, your goal is to increase your profit and make your site more successful. If you can show users that you are providing them with value, they will be more likely to trust and use your site. In order to make users trust and use your site, isn’t essential to format your content in a way that makes your site easy and enjoyable to use—that’s what the user wants, and it’s what the search engines want. It’s just good SEO!