The term “ Content Marketing ” has been growing in popularity since Google made changes on recent algorithm such as Panda and Penguin. Although the idea of publishing user-friendly and helpful content is absolutely right and practical, lots of webmasters still decide to pay more attention to SEO aspects rather than the content itself.
That would cause some problems to the ability to attract natural backlinks of the content, because if the content is not user-friendly or not legible to the reader, they wouldn’t even bother to share it to their friends.
In order to increase the “friendliness” of the content to the users, we may have to consider the following useful tricks.
1. Stimulating and curiosity-tickling titles
We must admit that curiosity is the human nature. So is the feeling of being stimulated with shocking matters. From this point, if you wish to increase the clicking rate on your articles, you need to tickle the sense of curiosity of the users with your titles.
2. The keywords appear in the title and the intro part
This is the key point of SEO. You would constantly recognize this trick if you use WordPress SEO plugin by Yoast. It would be a great pity if you miss this point.
3. Appropriate use of fonts
Internet users would usually pay little attention to every detail of an article. On the contrary, they pay attention to the article as a whole. They screen the headings and a part of the content right below the headings. Therefore, an appropriate use of fonts (large and bold headings, smaller fonts for the content) is totally necessary and should be put on priority list when it comes to content display.
4. The use of sub-headings
Sub-headings are set up to give users brief description about what they will get if they read the content. Thus, sub-headings that are short, informative, succinct and attractive will surely make readers interested in the content of the article.
5. Clear fonts
Fonts used in headings, sub-headings and content play highly important roles in the way readers understand and comprehend the content. Researches have pointed out a fascinating fact that unusual and rarely used fonts can draw more attention than common and usual ones.
Nevertheless, formatting and using those fonts without a clear idea of reasonable content display can make readers immediately skip that part.
Fonts such as Impact, Helvetica are those mentioned in this trick.
6. Reasonable line spacing
The “legibility” of the content is composed of factors such as fonts, font sizes, line spacing, word spacing, paragraph width and other spelling mistakes.
One of the most important factors is the space between lines. In both of the first 2 examples, they don’t meet the requirements for line spacing as being too narrow or too broad. The third example would be the most acceptable case of line spacing.
7. Color contrast
That colors overly contrasting each other in the main content is one of the reasons readers choose to skip the part as their eyes get really tired and irritated.
The most accurate color combination for the main content would be black text on white background. There are various other ways of color combinations. However, webmasters shouldn’t be too “creative”, as they may ruin the “friendliness” of the content.
8. Emphasize the important content
If you want readers to learn or to remember something important after reading your article, help them with that by emphasizing, making that “something” bold and prominent.
9. Keep the content paragraphs short
Researches have shown that lengthy content paragraphs have high likelihood to be skipped. The standard of a content paragraph should be around 3-4 sentences, even 1 sentence can be acceptable if that information is important and needs to be written as a separate part.
10. Reduce the use of pronouns
Usually, when creating content for the websites, webmasters use lots of pronouns such as I, you, he, she… to make his idea clear and understood. However, as readers don’t usually read every word in the article from the beginning to the end, the overly use of pronouns will lead to making readers at a loss and unable to follow the original idea.
Therefore, after finishing the content, webmasters should read their own content and cut down on the pronouns, wherever possible.
11. Use image
People say “A picture is worth a thousand words”. That saying proves absolutely correct in website’s content. If your content is all text without a single picture, readers will surely skip your article and look for another one with greater visual impact and eye feast.
12. Add some necessary blanks
A content with some necessary blanks would be friendlier to the users and more easily received than one put among an army of advertisement banners.
13. Link the paragraphs together
Paragraphs should be systematically and reasonably linked to each other. The last sentence of the former paragraph should be followed, in the chain of ideas, by the first sentence of the latter one
14. Encourage feedbacks from readers
An open end that is controversial, disputable or thought provoking will encourage readers to give their own opinions and ideas. Obviously, an article that draws up so much attention is something that information bots from search engines would be seeking and love to catch.
The friendliness and “legibility” of the content are often neglected by webmasters as they are focused more on the SEO aspects. However, applying tricks and methods that help increase the content friendliness to readers will definitely pay off much for SEO works because that content will have greater chance to receive natural backlinks from users’ reading and sharing.