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April 05, 2017
One aspect of reader engagement that many content writers get wrong revolves around how the content is laid out on the page. Many seem to take an “if it’s good, it’s good” kind of approach, then proceed to jam it all in together in massive blocks of text. If you unfocus your eyes and stare at it as a whole, it often resembles a large square or rectangle made up of words.
And since engaging readers has everything to do with keeping them on the page and reading your content, you need to pay attention to how that content looks on the page. Whether it is the content writer or the SEO guy causing the trouble, it has to stop, or your message will be lost.
The main reason that content needs to be spaced out properly on the page is because of the overwhelming feeling a prospect or customer gets when she first sees it. When the content is all in one big block, it looks like too much to read, and we automatically feel like we’re doing work, rather than reading something useful or relevant.
Poorly spaced content also leaves no room for the reader to take a rest if they so desire. You don’t want them to stop once they’ve started, but just the perception or belief that it’s possible will help guide them into the content and get them reading.
Landing on a website or blog post with bunched up content creates the same type of feeling you’d get when you walk into a cluttered store. It’s almost a suffocating kind of feeling; you’re trying to find something you want, but you can’t get past all the junk lying around.
And just as in a cluttered store, when you space out your content on the page, that claustrophobic condensed feeling dissipates and you feel like you can take a breath. Of course, your online content is different from a cluttered store because visitors will come and go without reading your message and without you knowing. At least, in a physical store location, you have the opportunity to win them over in person before they leave.
It would be wonderful if there were a secret formula for content creators and SEO experts to follow to make content pleasing to the eye. However, there is not. Some people prefer to make paragraphs no more than two or three sentences to ensure the “easy on the eyes” element remains intact, but there are no hard and fast rules. You will have to monitor the engagement factor of your content layout and create guidelines to follow moving forward.
One way to figure it out is to take a step back from the page and look at the content as a whole. If it seems cluttered and bunched up, then it probably is. Most of the time, a little too much spacing is better than not enough. When the content is spaced out it looks as though there is less of it, and most people prefer to read less than more.
Spacing out content is hardly a sexy or even exciting aspect of improving the engagement factor, but if you get it wrong, it will affect you just as much as writing poor quality content; maybe even more because no one will read it at all. If you need an expert’s touch with this element of your content creation, or any part for that matter, contact The Content Company today because we can help.
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