9 Pointers to Get People Reading Your Online Content

Posted by wendyama

  • Get em' hooked from the start

  • Use lots of bullets

  • Pictures, please

  • First words matter

Those were 4 quick ways to increase the chances of your copy getting read. 5 more tips later ... keep on reading!

Frantic Searching According to web usability guru Jakob Nielson, people aren't scrutinizing  your copy. Instead, they skim through it for keywords. The first paragraph of an article is the most likely to be read in addition tol the first few words of a sentence. In fact, the average person reads just 20% of what you write!

I hope I at least got you to read that paragraph

You also need to break up your copy with info, graphics, photos and visuals -- especially video when applicable.  If YouTube has taught us one thing, it's that video works.

The B2B world presents more of a challenge since our content doesn't  have the inherent attraction of consumer content. With that being said, it can still be snappy and engaging. B2B marketing company HubSpot is extremely proficient at this. They effortlessly combine blog posts with exciting visuals (including plenty of video) and lead generation tools, all in a nice, easy to read package.

Here are five tips to help drive positive attention to your copy while keeping your readers engaged and ... reading.

1. Avoid jargon and acronyms. No HSAA, NCA, NMA, DSP, RTB ... .However specialized the field you are working with, delete inside slang and acronyms. Never underestimate the ability of insider buzz-words and jargon to pester and turn away your target audience.

2. Avoid over-promotion. It is far better to aim to inform and engage rather than self-promote in order to gain interest.

3. Be yourself. People respect authenticity. If you use your own style of writing, you can expect much more of a response.

4. Use the proper keywords. Keywords are important words or phrases that rank highly in search engine results. Although you should insert keywords throughout your copy, make sure that they appear natural.

5. Address your customers' needs in a conversational and approachable way. Ask some of your customers if they wouldn't mind taking a look at the content you plan on posting. If they are interested in a certain idea, theme or writing style, others most likely will as well.

Remember, digital content for the B2B space shouldn't be boring and dry. By making your message relevant, useful, thought provoking, keyword friendly and simple, you'll be well on your way to gaining an audience.

This article originally appeared in a slightly different form on

Apr 22, 2011

Wendy Marx

Wendy Marx is the founder and president of Marx Communications, a boutique inbound marketing and public relations agency. An award-winning B2B public relations pro, she has helped many small- & medium-sized firms (SMBs) become well-known industry brands and transform their businesses, going from Anonymity to Industry Icon™.

Her business articles have appeared in The New York Times, InformationWeek, Inc., Advertising Age, & Fast Company, among other outlets. 

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