Build a Reader-Centric Online Experience

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One of the misconceptions of online businesses about their website is that as soon as it is launched it must start getting the right traffic. Well, this approach is not a good one and may even backfire. Why? This is because one must think of their website as an online portal to share information to their target and potential audience at the right time.

This also means that a website is not a mere decorative business itinerary laid out to grab eyeballs. It is much more than that. Your website must be informative, entertaining and interesting. It must offer the best content it can to anyone and everyone across. It must put your customer in the same shoes as yours.

A website must have a relatable personality and speak the language of its audience. Only when a visitor finds something valuable will they stick to the website for a longer time and take the right actions.

A website is your business card. An elaborate one though, that which invites the users and guides them to take the right actions. In this process benefitting the business and the user, alike, without being distracted.

The thumb rule says, a website must be reader-friendly. If a user visits a website to read its content and simply to learn more; then he/she must be able to do just that without being asked to sign up/login or bombarded with numerous ads/pop ups/side bars. Such an experience creates disinterest and annoyance in the user and he/she may abandon the website, sometimes forever.

The idea is to create valuable content — for every reader. Only then will the user be willing to stay on and take the next step.

For instance, when a user clicks a link of an article say from Twitter or LinkedIn just to be able to read that article, they must be able to do just that, without being asked for subscription offers or flooded with author profiles/bios. Over-promotion not only kills the interest of the reader but leads to a bad online experience and zero profits, in the long run.

So, how to offer a reader-centric online experience?

  • Keep it simple. Use an easy to grasp title with less or preferable no SEO keyword stuffing
  • Offer insightful content set in a column with optimal number of characters (a CPL of 50–70 for an ideal experience set in a well-space typeface.
  • Indicate clearly what a reader can do or where to go to after he/she finishes reading the article. Such as share, read more, subscribe for similar articles.

And nothing much.

Do not worry about your subscriber list, mailing list, likes or shares on your social media platforms. Trust me, these are secondary.

Focus on serving your online readers the best and unique content and rest will automatically follow. Build trust by offering a clean and quick user experience to ensure interested readers keep coming back to you for more.

One of the apt and best example of an interesting reader centric blog is — The Educational Initiatives Blog

By Hemang Mehta — Graphic Designer/Social Media Editor (Member of Marketing Team)

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Originally published at blog.ei-india.com on January 4, 2016.

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