Do you ever get impatient with your computer when it takes too long to boot up, or with a search engine for being too slow, despite the mere seconds it takes to throw up hundreds of results? It seems you are not alone, in fact the attention span of users online has been a big player in Google’s most recent changes.

Apparently 56% of us have been identified by the search engine as being more than a bit impatient when it comes to wanting a quick answer. This is why Google has introduced Answer Boxes (image below) which appear at the top of the search engine results page when you ask a question.

It’s all part of Google’s increased focus on the ‘user experience’, recognising that content is now more important than it ever has been. However, thanks to Twitter, we live in a 140 character world, and so it should come as no surprise that 47% of us find the text in Google’s Answer Box too long to read!

I'm afraid this doesn't bode well for all of the beautifully crafted copy that you are probably writing for your blog, social media posts, or maybe even for this magazine! But don’t lose heart. In my experience content simply needs to become ‘smarter’ in order to engage today’s butterfly attention span, and you can achieve this free ‘upgrade’ by using the following 6 points as a guideline when writing copy:

1. Relevancy – Ask tough questions of yourself. What will your audience want to see or read? Why should they consider your content over any of your competitors? Remember, linking your content into something recent and relevant makes it 73% more shareable.

2. Personalisation – Let users control their own story experience and make it personal to them, they’re more likely to share it and interact with it that way.

3. The ‘shelf life’ of your content – The medium lifespan for a piece of content is 2.6 days but this can improve a little with social sharing. Social Media is still playing a big part in content online with around 94% of content marketers posting it on Facebook. What’s more is that there are around 1.3m shares of content per minute on Facebook.

4. Mobile - Mobile-friendliness will be a huge focus for Google in 2015, so you need to adapt your content for mobile devices. You can do this by removing large chunks of text and make it more interactive.

5. Consistency – Good content promotes loyalty so it needs to be consistent and of a high standard. Building up a loyal readership can take between 12 and 17 months, so it is important to remember that creating a piece of content is only the starting point for providing a tangible return on investment.

6. Blogs - too long by half? The ideal length of a blog is just 450 words and 50% of people find them too long, and yet 67% of marketers this is a great way to market content.

www.varnmedia.co.uk/

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Published on: 5:25PM on 9th September 2015