You have 8 seconds to grab your readers’ attention. In those 8 seconds you better have some amazing words to hook them.
You truly need to seduce them: use great language that will create a powerful attraction to your content. And when you have seduced them into reading your article, follow it up with some amazingly helpful content to keep their attention and earn their continued readership.
So how can you seduce your readers?
Focus your attention on the words that are read by most readers.
When you only have 8 seconds to get their attention, you need to make sure that the words that are read the most work the hardest.
Readers scan: 79% of readers scan web pages and only 16% will read your content word-for-word. Make the parts of your page that they read extra strong and engaging.
Of all the words on your pages, there are 3 text elements that are the most read:
- Button Text
Focus on making these 3 elements the most powerful pieces of text on your page. They are the main pieces of text that readers will see as they scan your page.
Use power words to engage readers’ emotions.
Let’s face it, we reach readers via their emotions first and their logic second—it all goes back to basic psychological and marketing theory. Use words that make a big emotional impact.
Don’t waste time with overused words like great, best, or even awesome. You need to be using true emotional power words that will engage your readers and entice them to keep reading.
Appealing to happy emotions will seduce far more readers than negative emotions. Content that appeals to happy/positive emotions get more shares on social media (a key indicator that the readers were engaged).
Keep it short and sweet.
You only have 8 seconds to grab readers’ attention. Most readers read about 1 word a second. So you have about 8 words to get their attention.
Being concise is critical.
Beyond the 8 second/8 word rule, there are other guidelines you should take into account when creating concise text:
Titles: Aim for your titles to be 70 characters or less. Keeping your titles short, 70 characters long or less, will help your article show up better in Google search results and make it easier to tweet. Depending on the length of your words, 70 characters means about 10 or so words.
Subheadings: Subheadings aren’t governed by any restrictions like titles; so technically they can be longer than your title. But you should still work to keep them more concise so that they are more easily scanned. Aim for about 7 words in your subheadings.
Buttons: The text on your buttons should be no more than 5 words long. Use an extra line of text on a button, if necessary, to encourage readers to click through.
Brainstorm multiple options.
Your title, subheadings, and button text must work hard. Never, ever settle for the first option you come up with. When you start writing your content, use a working title. After you are done writing, brainstorm your options. You will come up with must better options for your titles, subheadings, and buttons after the rest of the content is written and your concept is fleshed out.
If at all possible, get input from others, especially for your titles and button text (have co-workers, your spouse, friends, whoever you can get), read over your list of potential titles and button text. You should do this for EVERY article or page you publish on your site.
Content is a powerful tool and you will give your writing even more power when you work to make it seductive to your readers!