The structure of your text is among the most important things to consider when creating content for your audience. A strong structure will help to engage your readers and improve the page’s search engine ranking.
When coming across an article or blog post, potential readers tend to scan the text before deciding whether they want to read it. Readers are encouraged by an attractive and easy(ish)-looking text. We’ve put together the top tips for achieving the best structure to engage your visitors.
First Paragraph – Lay Out Your Intention
When scanning a text, the first paragraph will be the first thing drawn into question. Readers will be looking for clues as to what your post will offer them, so briefly summarise the purpose of your blog post. If your reader is told nothing about the upcoming content, they will be less likely to want to read on.
In some cases, writers may want to leave some mystery in their first paragraph in order to pique the reader’s interest. This is sometimes effective; however, the nature of internet readers is to want to gain information quickly. Remember that most internet readers will become frustrated if they aren’t getting what they came for – so, introduce the subject of your text at the earliest opportunity.
Headings and Subheadings – Break Down Your Text
The second thing that the reader will look for when scanning is headings. These help to break up the text and form clear sections related to different topics. Including headings not only helps to make a longer text look less daunting, but also give the reader the option to read sections they think are most relevant to them.
Google also looks at your headings when considering your ranking. It is a good idea to use a Focus Keyword (the main subject of your post) within your headings. This helps Google to understand the subject of your post and gives it a higher chance of ranking for your chosen keyword.
First Sentences – A More Concentrated Summary
The third factor that will come to the reader’s attention is the first sentence of each paragraph – particularly the first paragraph under a new heading. Follow the same advice from earlier and provide the reader with a brief summary of the contents of the paragraph. The rest of the paragraph will then elaborate on this initial statement.
Again, it is a good idea to use any keywords that you want to associate with your article. Here, they will attract the eye of your reader, and assure them that your text is relevant to what they are looking for. The use of keywords will also help you to rank for your chosen subjects in search engines.
Conclusion – Sum Up the Important Points
Providing a collective summary of the whole blog post can help readers decide which sections of your text require further reading, for their benefit. This won’t be necessary for all blog posts; however, it really depends on the message you are trying to get across.
Paying attention to these simple points should help you to put together a more reader, and search engine-friendly blog post. Remember, it is the initial impression your text will determine whether your reader will continue to engage with your site. After that, it is the quality of the content that will make them stay.