INBOUND ACCELERATOR

A blog dedicated to advancing inbound marketing and PR

Optimize Your Business Blog for Greater Reader Usability

June 23,2016 |BY: Kristin Jones

Optimize Your Business Blog for Greater Reader Usability

Using a business blog as part of your digital marketing strategy has the potential to generate results like these:

  • 55 percent more website visitors

  • 88 percent more leads per month for B2C companies

  • 67 percent more leads per month for B2B companies

But to get the greatest benefits from a business blog, it needs to keep readers engaged and coming back for more. You do that by enhancing the readability and usefulness of your blog.

Try these tricks to optimize your business blog for greater reader usability.

Utilize reader-friendly formatting

Reader-friendly formatting will help your readers get the most information from your blog posts, and also keep them coming back because they know that your content is easy to read, rather than being a chore.

Think of the difference between a magazine and an academic text. Which would you rather read? The short, punchy paragraphs, broken up with easy to scan formatting, or the big blocks of text that seem to go on for page after page?

 

Use the following formatting tools to make your business blog posts easy to skim, digest and read.

Subheads: Break up your text into sections with informative and eye-catching subheads that give readers an easy way to find the material most relevant to their needs.

Bulleted lists: Rather putting a long list in a sentence, separated by commas, use bullets to make it more eye-appealing and easier to read.

Tables: Present schedules, pricing, features and other comparisons in a table format, rather than writing everything out.

Ilustrative images and graphics: Make data visual. Timelines, flowcharts, and pie, bar or line graphs all help readers understand and relate to statistics and figures at a glance. You can also provide visual examples to make your point more clear.

 

Offer additional information:

Along with being easy to read, your business blog will perform its primary job of attracting website visitors and generating online leads even better if you use it to help your readers dig even deeper into the information you provide. Your blog posts may be written as introductory material, but by providing links or calls-to-action that lead to landing pages for your more in-depth content offers, you benefit both your readers and yourself.

There are two primary ways you can provide readers with access to more information about the topics they are interested in.

Contextual hyperlinks:

Contextual hyperlinks are subtle clues to your reader that there is more available. They are typically a single word, or a short phrase, hyperlinked to the landing page of a related offer or blog post. They are not actually calls-to-action, which would specifically tell the reader to “click here,” “download” or “read more.” Instead, the text is highlighted, most often with a different color of text and an underline, indicating the link. (Hint: I’ve used two in this paragraph.)

In-text calls-to-action

Unlike the contextual hyperlinks, which are meant to be easy to read over, yet still obvious enough that an interested reader will notice them, in-text calls-to-action may stop the reader and ask them to take additional action.

For example, at the end of each of our Inbound Accelerator blog posts, you will notice a paragraph that includes a statement similar to “Find more tips on creating your own business blog in our Introduction to Business Blogging ebook. Download it now to get started.”

These in-text calls-to-action are more obvious than contextual hyperlinks, and also include the key elements of an effective call-to-action: active verbs and benefits.

Another example of an in-text call-to-action is a listing of related posts and offers. Such as this:

Find more tips on writing lead-generating blog posts:

What other formatting or literary devices do you use to keep blog posts engaging and easy to read?

Find more business blogging basics in our free ebook —download it here: Introduction to Business Blogging.

Topics: Website, Business Blog

intro to business blogging ebook
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Keeping up with Kristin

KristinBW4.30.15I enjoy traveling the globe to meet with clients, educate companies about all things PR and Inbound Marketing, and speak at industry events.  Meet up with me when I’m in your city.  Where will I be next?  Meet Kristin

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