The six Cs of killer Web content

Web writing must inspire immediate interest or you’ll lose your readers. Here’s a quick guide to attracting—and keeping—them. Video

Web writing must inspire immediate interest or you’ll lose your readers. Here’s a quick guide to attracting—and keeping—them

Results of research on one of the world’s largest Web sites showed that 99 percent of people who came to the Web site visited 1 percent of the content, and 35 percent of the Web site’s content had never been read.

That 1 percent was the killer content that people really cared about and needed. The 35 percent was the deadwood that should never have been published in the first place. Of the remaining 64 percent, some may have been useful, but most of it was filler content.

People read quickly today, like they do everything else. They scan-read emails, Web sites, newspapers and magazines. People read particularly quickly on the Web. They read everything in the way they read road signs as they are driving down a motorway— if it’s not obvious, they don’t see it.

“Most people just look at the first couple of words—and only read on if they are engaged by those words,” according to Eyetrack III, a fascinating 2004 study of how people read on the Web. All my years’ experience on the Web validates this finding.

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