One of the most common mistakes that people make with their web copy is poor introductions.
As humans we have very short attention spans and if you’re not capturing someone’s attention within the first few seconds of them landing on your website they are going to bounce and go elsewhere.
In this article we are going to show you how to fix the three most common article introduction mistakes. Let’s take a look at the blog article introduction below:
The introduction is from an article about invoicing software for small businesses. This intro is full of fluff and more critically it fails to address the intent of the user, which is to find out what the best apps/software are for small businesses invoicing.
This is a very common problem with writers – they are often trying to write to achieve a word count target they have been set. The consequence being that they end up writing a large amount of filler content. On the whole filler content is bad, but filler content in an introduction is heinous.
The other major issue with this article introduction is the tone of voice. It fails to resonate with the target audience who in this case is a small business owner. We can tell from the way that this introduction is written that the person writing it clearly is not a business owner.
The final issue which we tend to see quite a lot of these days is to do with formatting and the way that the article paragraphs are structured.
In the current era humans have become very lazy when it comes to reading digital texts which means that we need to make it as easy as possible for our audience to digest the content we are serving up to them. One way to do this is to break paragraphs up into small, bite sized chunks.
Here is how we would improve this introduction:
These are the exact improvements:
We’ve thinned out the paragraphs creating only single and double lines of text allowing the eye to more seamlessly consume the content.
Clearly conveying that I am a business owner who has gone through the trials and tribulations of looking for invoicing software before. By doing this I’m able to foster both credibility and trust with the audience.
Brevity over verbosity
We’ve eliminated all the fluff. Stripped it all back to only include words that are useful to the reader.
By doing this we avoid wasting anyone’s time and also improve the chances of the reader making it all the way to the end of the article. A rather rare occurrence these days considering how bombarded we are with content from every corner of the internet.
We do this by making reference to different numbers in the article, essentially whetting the appetite of the reader to drive them on and read more.
Have you told yourself as you close your laptop at the end of the working day, “Well that’s it. I’ve read all the content there is on the internet today. Hopefully when I wake up tomorrow there will be some new content I can consume”. If only that were true.
We live in a content saturated world where in order to keep up we are forced to carefully select which content we are going to consume. As a result of this, the content you choose to publish really needs to be exemplary in order to keep the reader’s attention.
The first opportunity to set the precedent is in the introduction. Make sure your introduction is both compelling and succinct. Follow the adage of “brevity over verbosity”.