Content Marketing Blog mint

Content Marketing Blog

How We Read

Understanding How to Write for the Digital Reader

Human beings will consume millions of hours of content on a screen in their lifetime. It doesn’t matter if you don’t spend hours working at your desk with a computer. You really don’t have to look further than your smart phone to see your daily average screen time. It’s very likely to be more than an hour of your day (conservatively speaking!). We’re hooked to our screens, and it informs the way we digest new information, especially how we read online.

Print Vs. Screen

Since a majority of us read online, our reading habits as a society have shifted drastically. According to Research Gate, people take 20-30% longer to read something online than they would if it were on paper.1 English readers were taught to read print from top to bottom, front to back. The flat nature of a screen forces us to read top to bottom and then scroll, providing us with less of a shift in action and less patience, as a result.

Writer Cynthia Marinakos notes that people today read print for leisure, and online to get something done.2 For example, if you want to read at a café, you might be inclined to grab a paperback novel. However, if you want to launch a new content marketing strategy, you might want to grab your laptop!

The Fine Print

As mentioned, the way we read has changed completely since the rise of accessible internet. For marketers, it’s important to know these trends to be able to optimize your content for the highest readership. According to usability expert Jakob Nielsen, humans are “informavores” who hunt for information, and move on.3 Here are some important facts and statistics about digital reading that Nielson outlines, and will help you optimize your content online:

  • Most content online is skimmed, rather than properly read
  • Visitors only read about 20% of the text on an average web page
  • Users will spend 80% of their attention on content above the scroll. Once they scroll, they’re more likely to be distracted
  • Most readers will allocate less than a minute of their time to read a newsletter4

Nielson also notes that most content is read like a large F; we give the top section of an article the most attention, and merely skim the beginning of each row from the middle to bottom.

Writing for the New Reader

As a marketer, you have nothing to be nervous about. Take these insights as learning lessons and adapt your content to achieve the best readership possible. The Writing Cooperative offers some beneficial tips and reminders that can help you succeed.5 Here are some refreshers:  

  • Write like you talk: Using an active, conversational tone in your writing will not only make it more engaging, it will also help you with Google’s search results.
  • Best, First: Make sure you put your most important information up top, and follow with details, statistics or quotes below.
  • Write in Chunks: By splitting up your content using paragraphs, bullets and sub-headings, it becomes more palatable to read thoroughly.

Stop writing only what you want to. When you write for your audience, you’ll be more successful. Rather than letting facts jade you, embrace the insights and work towards making your content more screen-friendly.

Are you struggling to come up with new ideas constantly? Is writing not your strongest suit? We can help! Our team at MintCopy is comprised of experts in SEO and content marketing. Our writers follow digital copywriting best practices to enhance your marketing strategy and help you achieve greater business success online.

Use our online form to get in touch. You can also follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter to stay up-to-date with content marketing trends.

Share


Recent Posts

Sheetal Pinto - 7/22/2021 06:00

According to eMarketer, Google Home is the most popular smart speaker in Canada, with Amazon Echo right behind. It’s estimated that almost 20% of the population used smart speakers in 2020. Even more important, voice technology is on the rise, as Media in Canada reports. Over 88% of Canadians are using voice search. If your business isn’t addressing voice search in your SEO content, you could be missing out.

Sheetal Pinto - 7/15/2021 06:00

Imagine yourself in a real-life social situation. Will you stand around and talk to others in the room even if they aren’t listening or seem bored and disinterested? Umm, awkward. It’s no different in the online world, but many of us don’t realize it. If your Facebook posts are talking but nobody is listening, your social content is not doing a very good job.

Sheetal Pinto - 7/8/2021 06:00

What if there was a way to position your brand as authoritative? What if your content could provide social proof? What if you could show your customers how successful you are at helping other customers? The winning solution in your content strategy is case studies. You can accomplish 3 key content marketing goals with case studies—build credibility, generate interest, and encourage conversion.
Case studies capture stories of how your brand solved a problem for a real person or business. A case study lets you paint a picture through words to make your business shine. Your customers’ success stories are just waiting to be told. A case study is a valuable content piece in which readers can see themselves getting results.   

Sheetal Pinto - 6/24/2021 06:00

Recognizing the value and importance of content marketing, you’ve decided you need help. Professional copywriting delivers the results you want. So, you’re now looking for a content agency. There’s no shortage of options. Sifting through the different agencies in a simple online search can be time consuming. You need a plan to find the one that fits your needs and is up to speed on the latest content best practices.
Here are four questions you can ask to help you sort through the field to find a content agency that will drive results.

Sheetal Pinto - 6/17/2021 06:00

Small business owners wear a lot of hats. As an expert multitasker, you’ve probably learned that there are times when you can manage two or three things at once. Then, there are those jobs that need your full focus. We are thinking, bookkeeping, inventory, and content editing and proofreading. If you’re involved in both creating and posting content, wearing both hats at the same time can cause confusion in the final output. With years of experience creating content for a range of industries, here are proven tips from our SEO copywriters for editing content and then proofreading content; because they aren’t the same thing.  

Sheetal Pinto - 6/10/2021 00:00

In the lean, mean structure of smaller businesses, in-house copywriters often don’t specialize in copywriting. It’s just one of many hats they wear as part of their overall duties. Creating high quality digital content isn’t easy. Consumer behaviours change, Google’s algorithms change, search trends change, and all of this means content must adapt. Copywriters who work on their writing skills and keep up with the user experience will be more effective. Here are four tips from great novelists that can take your content writing to the next level.

Sheetal Pinto - 6/3/2021 13:19

Thirty years ago, we were using desktop-based PCs with dial up connections. Today, smartphones fit in the palm of our hands, allowing us to be connected from literally anywhere in the world. Wearables go a step further; you just strap a smartwatch on to your wrist and it packs a punch. People consume content differently, too. Instead of reading long documents, most people skim content for quick answers. Your content strategy must keep up with your audience. Using pillar pages and cluster posts to organize content is an efficient approach that benefits your readers and your SEO rankings. And oh, your writers will thank you profusely, too!

Sheetal Pinto - 5/27/2021 06:00

You are an expert in your field, which gives you a lot of credibility and authority when creating content for your business. You don’t have to be a copywriter to share your story. You simply have to know how to tell it to your reader. Here are some of our best tips to help you create high-quality website content.

Sheetal Pinto - 5/20/2021 06:00

Search engines organize content to help users find information easily. As people get increasingly adept at using online search, the rules for indexing and ranking content keep adapting to accommodate user trends consumer behavior. It’s no longer enough to have backlinks and keywords, two of the main elements in SEO. Your content must stand out by being relevant and engaging to the reader. As the top search engines change their algorithm to reward high-quality content, it’s your chance to set your site up as one that people love.

Sheetal Pinto - 5/13/2021 06:00

For a long time, it seemed as if SEO favoured large, nationwide brands with huge websites and massive online presence. Small businesses were finding it difficult to compete against these deep-pocketed digital brand marketers. Enter Local Search, which helped level the playing field a little. Now, if the user was looking for a local business, it became easier to find one. Today, users use search not just to find brands, but to find information. Search engines are constantly changing to give users relevant information, at whatever stage they are in their journey. We’re seeing another trend in search, that of search equity to give more businesses a chance to show off their expertise.