You may have designed a really nice website and put some flashy animations on it, but the clicks aren’t picking up, and the bounce rate keeps on spiking.
These are the symptoms of something we call the “no or low user engagement syndrome.” If you find your content showing signs of having low engagement, have a look at the tips mentioned in this post.
How Can You Make Your Content More Engaging?
Now that we’re done looking at the above let’s move on to discuss some of the steps and tips that you can follow to make your content more engaging.
1. Write the Right Stuff for the Right People
That little play on words is more than something to just chuckle at. This is actually a very important element that plays a role in how engaging your content will come out.
Everything has a foundation, and the foundation of content is research. If the research is solid, the content will be interesting, informative, and likewise engaging. On the other hand, if the research is weak and speculative, the content will come off as boring, dull, and likewise unengaging.
There are two main things that you have to take care of when it comes to the research phase. And those things are:
- Finding out who your readers are
- Finding out the things they want to hear
Firstly, you have to determine who your audience is going to be. This is something that we call audience research. In brief, audience research is the process of establishing the characteristics of your audience. (You can click on the link if you want to find out more about it.)
We’re not going to go into too much detail about how you can properly do your audience research. Rather, we want to point out how important it is.
Something that you’ll write for a middle-aged audience isn’t going to sit well with teenagers, and vice versa. I mean, come on. How many 50-year-olds do you think are going to like their jackets “whacky”?
If you manage to get your tone and style right, i.e., according to your audience, you will be able to make the content engaging.
Moving on, the second point that we mentioned above was figuring out the things they want to hear.
This point will be better illustrated with an example, so let’s just get to that.
Think of a company that sells computers. One of their audiences is teenagers, while the other is professional graphic designers.
For teenagers, they can market their computers as “Ultra-fast” and “Stylish” because that sort of stuff appeals to pimply kids. On the other hand, if they use the same language and words for their professional segment, it just won’t work. Rather, they will have to go specific and tell the audience about the “Core i7 11th Generation Processor” with “16GB of RAM”. That sort of stuff.
2. Spot and Remove the Grammar and Spelling Errors
Tihs is aslo a good tips to keep in mind.
Was that sentence readable? Was it engaging? No, it wasn’t because you were probably looking at all the errors that it was riddled with.
If you want to improve the engagement of your content, you have to take care of literally every imperfection before you publish it. There are, of course, other imperfections that you have to take care of other than grammar and spelling errors, but we’ll look at those afterward.
The reason that you have to be extra careful of grammar and spelling errors is that they spare no one. Even the most expert of writers and the most professional of linguists can make such errors in their content since, well, humans err.
Plus, another factor that makes these types of mistakes likely to sneak past your normal proofreading routines is their furtiveness. During the proofreading phase, you can skim over the errors if you aren’t careful.
So, the takeaway? You have to do more than just simple proofreading if you want to spot and remove grammar and spelling errors from your content. You can try doing the following as well:
- Hiring an editor or getting an acquaintance to read your content before you finalize it
- Using an online grammar checker to find the mistakes in your content
- Leave your content for some hours before going at it again (this tip is helpful since you can forget about the finer details of your content in the hours-long interim, which helps you to look at and for the mistakes more objectively).
3. Readability is Key…No One Wants Shakespeare
The inclination for sophistication maketh itself manifest on many the heart of a youthful writer, but giving vent doth bringeth the scorn of one who peruses.
If you want content engagement, you have to avoid making your sentences a linguistic debacle, much like the atrocity I wrote above. Mind you, I’m still having difficulty keeping my sentences simple, but there you have it.
Fancy words are good and all, but everything has its time and place. If you feel like giving expression to your 16th-century literary lingo, a blog post or a website page is not the place to do it.
To keep your audience engaged with readable content, here are some tips that you can try following:
- Keep your sentences short. Twenty words are the limit for a single sentence.
- Don’t use hard words. Instead of writing “quisling,” write “traitor.”
- Break a hard descriptive phrase into words. Instead of saying, “he was vacillating between the two decisions,” say, “he was having trouble making his choice regarding the two decisions.” (This one is an example, though. There are probably a lot of other ways in which this sentence could be better worded.)
- Use a paraphrasing tool like Rephrase.info to simplify any sentences that you may find difficult to clarify yourself.
Of the four tips that we’ve mentioned above, the first three are somewhat understandable, but the fourth one could be a little confusing.
Online paraphrasing tools are actually a good way to make your content more readable. They can rephrase your sentences by changing different words with appropriate synonyms. They can also shorten long phrases for better clarity.
However, all of these benefits are only acquirable if you find a good tool to use. We did mention one in the list above, but you can also look for others if you want. Just try your selected tool a couple of times to see if you like it’s working or not.
4. Get Rid of Plagiarism
To understand this point a little better, let’s step into the shoes of a typical online user looking for an answer to a particular query.
Imagine you type your query into the search engine and then click on the first result that pops up on the SERPs. You find the date to be 12/12/12. So far, so good.
Then, you find yourself wanting to explore more answers and perspectives, so you back out of the page and then head over to the second website listed in the SERPs. And here, you find the date to be 12/12/22.
As you start scrolling down, you find that this website has the same type of content published on it as the first one. In some places, the wording is exactly the same, whereas, in other spots, the content very obviously appears to be lightly changed.
Would you want to continue reading? You probably wouldn’t, and you’d just press the back button with a bit of a dismayed expression.
So, that is how plagiarism can affect the user experience. Even if the plagiarized content isn’t a lot, it can still be detected by careful readers, and it can negatively affect your site’s reputation as well as immediate engagement.
If you want to get rid of plagiarism, you first have to find out where it exists in your content. This can be easily done with a standard plagiarism check using an online tool.
And once detected, you can do any of the following:
- Cite the plagiarized part(s)
- Put it in quotations
- Delete it altogether
- Remove the plagiarism by using an online tool
When we say “cite the plagiarized part(s),” we mean using the standard in-text citations and references (Some Dude, 2023). Yes, like this bracketed thing we’ve just put here.
Putting the text in quotations, i.e., putting the “marks around it is also a good way to neutralize plagiarism.
You can also delete the plagiarized part altogether. But, of course, this won’t be very feasible if the content in question happens to be necessary for the overall content.
Last but not least, you can also try taking the help of an online tool to remove plagiarism. There are dedicated plagiarism removing tools available, such as Plagiarism Remover, that you can use for this purpose. In theory, these tools merely reword the content. But, the reworded version, due to the changes, does not get recognized as plagiarized.
5. Add Visuals
You’re fighting a lost battle if you’re trying to increase user engagement without putting the right visuals in your blog. Visuals are the elements that add color to your content.
Of course, if you’re writing in rainbow-colored font, then this doesn’t apply literally. But nevertheless, you have to make sure that your content has sufficient visuals in it. If your content is some sort of guide or tutorial, then this tip will apply to the screenshots that you will insert in the different steps.
In other words, there is no particular method or way in which you should add visuals to your blog. You can do it as per the content that you’re writing.
If you want to unlock the true potential of your content, you have to optimize it properly. To get started with that, you can follow the tips and steps mentioned above.