Interesting couple of snippets I’ve seen (sourced from Jakob Nielsen‘s usability group) about how people use the web which echo the significance of a multiskilled approach to content production of any kind.
According to them 79% of users scan web pages rather than read word-for-word and 51% of users click the top search result, 16% the second and 6% the third. And only 5% click a result outside the top 10. And many only read the title in a search result.
All of which elevates the need for properly expressed and constructed content in order to communicate key messages quickly and effectively. Simple things like putting key information not only in the first sentence of a paragraph but the first words, using lots of lists, formatting devices (bold, spacing, bullets etc), smart linking. And also – speaking your audiences language. Don’t forget what they might type into a search engine.
But this advice is of-course universal and not just for marketers and editors. After all, we all create content of some kind. And the functional lines between writer, producer, webmaster, marketer are blurring rapidly. Judging by this post I seem to be ignoring all of that good advice 😉