How to catch your reader's eye – and keep it 'caught' - The value of visual engagement


You know what catches my eye?
Young children with umbrellas.

OK – not the best joke, but hey – it got your attention … which is what you aim to achieve whenever you write a blog, a social post, an email or a newsletter.

Capturing and maintaining our reader's interest online is a challenge we all face. How often do we start reading a webpage only to lose interest before reaching the end?


The Challenge of Digital Reading

According to Forbes, website visitors spend on average 5.59 seconds on any web page – just about enough time to get past the punchline of the dreadful joke that opened this blog


Digital content, lacking the tangibility of the oriented word, presents unique reading challenges. Scientific American highlights that screen reading can exhaust mental resources, requiring us to actively manage our focus on the text and navigation. Unlike the finite pages of a book, the endless scroll of web pages can overwhelm our readers, leading to skimming and skipping essential points.


The Importance of Digital Design

Effective digital design is crucial for establishing trust and authority in our content. We must make the best use of visual elements to make online reading more manageable and engaging for our audience. Here are four approaches that work well -


  1. Incorporate Images
    Begin posts with relevant images to captivate your audience. Include an image every 350 words to maintain interest. Present information via infographics. Inject humour with memes or cartoons. Use 'buttons' for Calls To Action rather than 'Click here' or 'Contact Us' text.

  2. Craft Engaging Headlines and Subheadings

    Use concise, catchy headlines and subheadings to structure your content and empower readers to navigate through information relevant to their needs. Make use of humour and alliteration (e.g. Powerful Product Promotion).

  3. Use Bullet Points
    Organise information into bullet points or numbered lists. Your reader will love you for these. They'll help your busy reader to skim, subconsciously organise their thoughts, and gauge their progress through your content.

  4. Keep Paragraphs Short
    Don't swamp your reader with dense, tedious blocks of text. Maintain interest by sticking to one idea per paragraph. By breaking up the page in this way, your reader will appreciate your generous use of white space – giving your content room to breathe, thereby enhancing readability.


Remember, the appeal of your website copy extends beyond the words you write. Think about the overall layout and design. Make sure your digital content fully supports your goals of providing valuable information and guiding readers through their decision-making journey.

Visitors have landed on your website because they want information, and they'll quickly disengage if your content doesn't appeal, both textually and visually.


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Mar 3, 2024
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