How high is the content engagement on your website?
One of the hardest tasks in content marketing and blogging is to keep your readers engaged when reading your content.
- No comments.
- No shares.
- High bounce rate.
- Low dwell time.
These are just a few of the effects when you fail to keep your website visitors on your site.
But what if there was a way to hook your readers as soon as they land on your website and keep them reading your content?
If you are tired of publishing boring content, continue reading below as I share 8 amazing techniques for increasing content engagement.
Let’s dive in.
The Ultimate Guide to Content Marketing for Business
1. Use proven headline formulas that fulfill a promise
On average, 8 out of 10 people will read headline copy, but only 2 out of 10 will read the rest of your content.
You already know that your headline is the first chance that you get to capture someone’s attention. So, it’s important to use headlines that make a promise and increase clicks to your site.
The question is how do you craft headlines that are proven to work?
No need to reinvent the wheel.
Here are some formulas that you can use to capture attention and get more clicks:
[X] Steps to [Goal or Achievement]
- 12 Clever Ways to Get Clients to Refer You (Without Even Being Asked)
- 10 Little-Known Ways to Become Famous in Your Niche
- 25 Sneaky Tactics for Getting Tons More Traffic to Your Website
Get [desired result] in [desirable time period]
- Master the German Language in Record Time
- How to Increase Website Traffic in 60 Days or Less
- Fix Your Poor Conversion Rate with a Simple 2-Hour Procedure
How to [Blank] and [Blank]
- How to Win Friends and Influence People
- How to Save Money and Retire Rich
- How to Save Time and Get Things Done
The key to a great headline relies on 5 important factors. It must:
- Be Ultra Specific
- Evoke Emotions
- Be Urgent
- Be Useful
- Make a Promise
Use these 3 questions to ensure your headline is ready to capture your audience’s attention:
- Is your information Useful and Unique?
- Are you being Ultra Specific with your Promise?
- Is it presenting an Urgent reason to engage with your marketing?
2. Write a compelling intro that keeps readers hooked
You have a killer headline… now what?
It’s time to write an intro that hooks readers as soon as they read the first sentence of your content.
Here’s the truth:
If your content intro is boring your reader will assume the rest of your content is the same.
Once you get someone to read your blog post headline the next step is to keep them hooked on your content and there is no other way than to write an intro that keeps your readers engaged.
One of the easiest ways to do this is to use the “APP” Method.
This is a technique by Brian Dean from Backlinko.
Here’s how it works.
First you “Agree” with your readers on a common problem that your topic is about.
For example, at the start of this blog post, I agree with you that it’s hard to “keep your readers engaged when reading your content.”
This helps you to demonstrate that you understand your reader’s frustration and pain.
Next, you have the “Promise”. The promise is where you highlight the solution that you are promising the reader.
In other words, you’re telling them that you can help them solve their problem.
Finally, you give them a “Preview” of how you are going to help them solve their problem.
At this point, you want to show your readers that you know how to solve their problem with either screenshots of results you have achieved or by telling them how you will help them overcome the obstacle.
Here’s why this intro works so well; it is short and to the point and it also gives the reader a reason to keep on reading your content.
3. Turn skimmers into active readers
Most content on the web never gets read. Instead, readers skim through the content and then leave.
And there is data to prove this, according to a study done by HubSpot 43% of people admit to skimming blog posts.
With that, here are some tips that you can use to turn skimmers into readers.
Short sentences and paragraphs.
Using short sentences and paragraphs helps break up your content and make it easier to read.
Images and illustrations to explain complicated concepts.
Most concepts are technical and boring… So, if you want to keep a reader’s attention you need to get creative. Take a look at this illustration from GotchSEO blog where Nathan breaks down 301 redirects.
Longer content tends to have multiple subtopics and chapters, the best way to break up the chapters and increase the readability is to use section banners.
For example, in my 3000+ word email marketing guide I use section banners for each chapter.
Using subheadings is one of the easiest ways to increase your content readability. Adding subheadings after every 200-300 words can make a huge difference in the way readers consume your content.
Speaking of subheadings…
4. Write curiosity-building sub-headings
Subheadings are useful because they increase readability, but more importantly, they create reader curiosity. Most readers will scroll through a post, glancing at the subheads to decide if they want to read the entire article.
So, each subhead should “sell” the content that follows. You want your readers to skim through your post and think, “Oh, I’d like to read that,” and “Hmmm, what’s that about?” and “Oh, I want to read that, too.”
The best way to write persuasive, curiosity-building subheads is to treat each one like a miniature headline. You can use any of the headline templates discussed above if you need a place to start.
Specifically, your subheadline should evoke some form of curiosity in the reader’s mind which will get them reading the rest of your content.
Try to avoid these three major subhead blunders:
The Plain Label Subhead
Don’t use a subheading just to put a boring label on your next section of text. Labels don’t invoke curiosity, and they won’t make your readers stop scanning and read your text.
Instead of using the subhead, “Bonding with Your New Puppy,” you could use “3 Fast Ways to Get Your Puppy to See You as His Pack Leader.”
The Spoiler Subhead
Don’t give away the punchline in your subhead. Instead, tease your readers a bit so they will want to keep reading.
A subhead that says, “Use Pre-Speech Exercises to Calm Jangled Nerves,” gives away too much. Instead, go with something like; “The One Thing You Can Do to Make Every Speech Better (in 5 Minutes or Less).”
The Cryptic Subhead
Your subhead needs to be crystal clear to the reader. Don’t confuse them by being mysterious with your language or concepts.
If readers read your posts and ask themselves, “What the heck does that mean?” you need to revise.
5. Use this classic copywriting technique
If you are still reading this post, it’s because of many writing techniques that have been used throughout the content.
And one of those techniques is a classic copywriting technique called Bucket Brigades.
Bucket Brigades are short statements that keep readers hooked on finding out what’s coming next.
These are statements like “Here’s the deal”, “The truth is”.
For example, when I use “The truth is” before making a statement it makes a reader want to know what the truth is, so they keep reading.
Here are some bucket brigades you can use in your content to keep your readers glued to your content.
- Why is this important?
- Keep reading…
- Here’s the deal:
- The best part?
- This is the truth about X:
- You might think to yourself:
- Let’s be honest…
- Check this out:
6. Integrate the use of data, statistics, and references
Here’s the truth about Statistics and Data.
When they are used in your content it increases your credibility and shows that your content is well researched.
Besides… who wants to read content that is full of theory and opinion? That’s why you should use data and statistics to back up your points and show readers that you know what you are talking about.
It’s no secret that people like proof.
If you want to get fancy with this, you can create custom graphics to illustrate data that you use to reference your points.
For example, you can turn vague data and statistics into bar charts and graphs which will make your content more visually appealing and easy to digest.
7. Write on topics people actually care about
You’d think it would be obvious.
For example, let’s say I’m writing a post targeted at bloggers. I’m teaching them how to use guest blogging to get more traffic.
It seems obvious why they should care, right? All bloggers need more traffic!
Or actually, they don’t.
If you talk to most bloggers, they don’t actually struggle to get traffic.
They struggle with getting quality traffic. People who sign up for their email list and engage with their content. This type of traffic is hard to acquire. But wait…
Guest blogging is great at reaching those people. By appearing on a huge blog, you instantly have more credibility.
You’re also putting yourself in front of a much more sophisticated audience, and a percentage of them would be good email subscribers.
So, the post isn’t about teaching bloggers how to get more traffic. It’s about how to get quality traffic that converts.
Now we’re talking. That’s why bloggers should care.
See what I mean?
Your content is perceived to have more value when it’s on a topic that your readers truly care about.
8. Tap into interactive elements
Most readers are just passively scrolling through web pages and leaving them without actually doing anything.
Adding interactive elements to your content can help you capture your audience’s attention.
Now, what are interactive elements?
Interactive elements turn passive users into active participants… Or in other words, anything that is clickable.
There are a few different types of interactive elements that you can add to your content to increase reader engagement and interaction.
- Click to tweet quotes.
- Quizzes or Questions.
- Interactive Infographics.
Here’s a great example of interactive elements used in content where a short poll is added to get readers to interact:
The key to getting website visitors to read your content and subscribe to your email list is all about keeping them hooked and engaged from the very first sentence.
The average human attention span is 8 seconds so if your content doesn’t take advantage of that short time frame you have already lost the interest of a reader.
The 8 techniques outlined in this post will help you make small changes to your content that will keep website visitors coming back to your blog and reading your content.
Guest author: Floyd Johnson is a freelance writer and content marketer, he is also the founder of Conversions Lab where he helps bloggers and content marketers grow their email list with actionable email marketing strategies and tips.