Today’s web reader has a very big appetite for information. We get information from a variety of sources such as cable or satellite television, cell phones and home computers with Internet connections. We have tablets and reading devices and smart phones which make many of us suffer feelings of inferiority. In other words, our lives are full of gadgets whose primary task is to bring the widest variety of information our way. Research says that the more information we have at our fingertips, the less overwhelmed we feel when attempting to make a decision. Our human nature makes us want to explore and communicate with others in as many ways as possible. Less than 20% of those surveyed said they would mind giving up their daily newspaper, while over 80% said they would be lost without their access to the Internet’s quick, comprehensive information.
Know Your Audience
Writers whose business it is to add content to the web should have a good idea of who their true audience really is. The most engaged group regarding Internet information and technology are those who are young—average age of 22—and tech savvy. They interact with the Internet through downloading music and videos, participating in online groups and creating online content. Older baby boomers account for roughly six percent of the population; this group are very active gatherers of information while also searching for news and work-related information. This group—with an average age of 52—also spends money freely online. The 36-46 age group tends to have less online experience that the first two groups, however they are quick to embrace information, goods and services. Finally, senior men with an average age of 70 and who have been using the web for at least a decade contribute to a significant percentage of overall web users. This group uses the Internet primarily to gather information, shop, pay bills and handle finances.
A World of Fickle Web Readers
Because all these groups can be impatient and fickle, they may land on your content, take a glance and be off to the next site. If you have a good idea of who is reading your content and what it will take to make them take notice before they have time to hit the back button, your writing will be way ahead of the game. Keywords should get visitors to your content while not making the content illogical or inane. Your titles and headlines must be accurate, on-topic, snappy and engaging and your text must be delineated chunks of highly informational sentences—which should be short and concise. Throw in an original approach, information that is easily verifiable, a dynamic style and a bit of nerve and you have created content that scores of web surfers will stop and read. The “bit of nerve” part centers around throwing just a bit of attitude into your content. So much of what is on the web sounds much like hundreds of other pages so it’s critical that your content really stand out from the rest.
Keep your content interesting, never boring and give readers a real reason to come to your pages. Stay away from monotonous writing—no matter how boring your subject matter is—as well as content that sounds stuffy and academic. Pick a side when writing on a particular subject—no fence sitting allowed. When you know who your audience is and what they want, your job becomes significantly easier.
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