Writing Scannable Content Helps Hook Readers

writing-scannable-contentPeople are constantly bombarded with blog content these days, and it’s a real challenge to write copy that stands out from the rest. In order to understand how to turn content skimmers into actual readers, it’s important to understand how busy people are processing all of the information that presents itself through emails, social media, and websites all day, every day.


Set The Hook


Obviously, the first step is to present your content in a way that gets readers to give it a chance. You do this with titles and email subjects that accurately offer the reader something they want. It’s easy to write enticing titles, but if those titles turn out to be misleading or over-promising, people will quickly stop reacting to anything you send them. Sensationalistic titles that misrepresent the content break the reader’s trust, and you may never get a second chance to win that trust back.


Make Bite-Sized Chunks


When you succeed in attracting readers to open your content and they’re met with the sight of a page that’s solid text, you’re going to see a huge bounce rate for that page. People are skimming to determine whether or not a page’s content merits their time and effort, so writing scannable content is a must.


  • Short, Tight Copy – Overall, the content on a single web page should fall into the range of 400-600 words. On most computer browsers (as opposed to mobile browsers), this allows the readers to see all or most of the page’s text without scrolling. It also shows that you respect their time enough to keep your message brief.


  • Subheads – Breaking your message into short segments with subtitles helps the reader understand the flow of the message at a glance. Even if the reader is in a hurry, they’ll come away from skimming your page with the major points of your message, so you’ve still provided them value for their time.


  • Bulleted Lists – Laying your message out in a logical manner with bulleted lists helps the reader absorb even more information in a short time, and it provides valuable white space on your page, which makes your copy seem more approachable and less overwhelming than a page written in large blocks of text.


Include Easter Eggs


Ultimately, you want people to respond to your content by spending more time on your site, reading your content thoroughly, clicking through to more of your posts, and converting. Embedding links to additional, related content on your site creates a treasure hunt-type feel. Again, use anchor text that accurately represents the linked content, and don’t break their trust with a wild goose chase of a link that has nothing to do with what they’re interested in reading about.


Is Your Website Content Converting Skimmers?

 writing website content

If you’d like to see your company’s web content bring better results, Design & Promote can help. Writing scannable content that drives conversion is our primary focus. Contact us for a complimentary website audit and we’ll help you create content that builds your reputation as a valuable and authoritative source in your field.




content marketing firm chicagoAs a marketer, one of your main jobs is likely developing content that is useful to your customers, especially if you have a strong online presence. From compelling web content that first draws a prospect in, to highly-targeted email campaigns meant to close the deal, content is a vital component to the overall marketing strategy for many businesses.

Unfortunately, many marketers find that they struggle getting their sales team to use the content they created. Why? It often boils down to a lack of alignment between the two teams and a lack of communication about the type of content and messaging needed.

To get sales to use your content, you have to be on the same page about content development. Here’s how:

Powwow With Sales

content marketing strategies for businessOne of the easiest and most effective ways to get on the same page as your sales team is to meet with them on a regular basis. At minimum, get together monthly; more often for larger companies producing a lot of content. The goal is to get feedback as quickly as possible about what’s working and what’s not. The more often you meet, the more quickly you can change gears and adjust your content strategy to provide sales with the content they need – and will actually use.

Understand Your Brand’s Sales Cycle

How a consumer goes from a lead to a prospect to a buyer is different for every brand. Making sure both your sales and marketing teams understand the sales cycle each person goes through is vital to creating appropriate content at each touch point.

Be Helpful, Not Promotional

Obviously your content should promote your brand to some degree, but content that is deemed as too “salesy” is a turnoff to buyers. Instead, work with your sales team to understand your buyers’ needs and concerns and create content that addresses those in a helpful way.

Make Your Content Easy To Find

Your content should be easily accessible and organized so that your sales team can quickly find what they’re looking for. Cloud or server storage is ideal so that the content is updated in real-time and everyone has access to the most recent files.

Be Sure Your Content Meets Its Goal

If a free eBook download is supposed to result in 50 new leads per month but your email list is only growing by 20, you need to figure out what the problem is. It could be you’re not promoting it enough and an extra email campaign may provide the boost you need. If not, the issue could be with the content itself. This goes back to the importance of regular meetings to provide feedback on the effectiveness of content.

Meet Customers Where They Are

Not all of your content will be in the form of an email or PDF. Brands looking to boost their online presence and authority will use various platforms for publishing content and connecting with customers. One of the most effective is LinkedIn. With more than 400 million users in various niche industries, it’s one of the best places to find customers who are already interested in the type of solution you provide. The key is to ensure your LinkedIn profile is well-optimized so that your brand and content receive good exposure and traffic.


Design & Promote Can Evaluate Your Content Marketing Strategy

If you’re struggling to align your sales and marketing teams around content, a content marketing firm like Design & Promote can help evaluate and update your Chicago business’s strategy. Call 630-995-7109 to learn how we can help you create content that your sales team will actually want to use!

how to write blog titles


Your blog titles are like news headlines. That’s important to understand because research shows that six in 10 people move on after reading headlines; they ignore the stories attached to them.

You’re facing the same challenge with your blog. How can you ensure your audience clicks your blog titles when they see them on Google, Facebook, and in your emails? How can you motivate them to investigate further?

I’m going to outline a 6-step system below. The following should be part of your SEO content writing efforts to bring more traffic to your website.

Step 1: Use Your Target Keywords

Each blog post you write should be optimized for a specific keyword. Include the keyword in the title.

Doing so helps Google to determine what your blog posts are about. It will rank your pages higher in its index for searches on the corresponding phrases.

It’s also worth noting that keywords in your titles appear in bold when people search for them on Google. That draws the eyes.

Your audience will also be drawn to titles that contain words that reflect their interests. Even if the words aren’t in bold – for example, when your posts are shared on social media – they’ll still capture your audience’s attention.


Step 2: Reveal What Your Audience Wants To Read

Including your keywords is one thing. Writing blogs on topics your audience wants to read about is another thing entirely.

But it’s a crucial step to getting them to click on your titles and visit your site.

First, ask yourself what your readers are interested in learning about. Second, boil that down to a promise. Third, put the promise in your title.

Take a look at the title for this blog post: 6-Step System For Writing Blog Titles That Drive Traffic. The title makes a promise that addresses a topic you’re interested in.


Step 3: Include Numbers In Your Blog Titles

Numbers draw our attention. We’re hardwired that way.

There are a couple of simple ways to include numbers in your titles. The first way is to write your blog post as a list. Here are a few examples:

  • 4 Signs Your Stress Levels Are Too High
  • 10 Things Your Financial Advisor Won’t Tell You
  • 15 Ways To Grow Your Retirement Account

A second method is to use data. Examples follow:

  • Study Shows Ginger Tea Reduces Stress By 46%
  • How To Boost The Value Of Your Stock Portfolio By 77%
  • 1 In 3 Americans Has No Retirement Savings*

* The last entry is an actual headline for an article on Time.com.

The point is that we’re naturally drawn to headlines and titles that contain numbers. Use that to your advantage and you’ll drive more traffic to your site.


Step 4: Study Successful Blog Posts Of The Past

Look through your analytics. Find the blog posts with the highest click through rates from Google. Chances are excellent those posts have strong titles.

Try to fathom the reasons the titles struck a chord with your audience. What made people click on them? Use that insight to incorporate the same types of triggers in your future titles. blog titles that drive traffic


Step 5: Address Your Audience’s Emotions

We’re emotional creatures. We’re drawn to content that makes us happy, angry, and sad. We crave material that will astonish us, make us feel empowered, or validate our predispositions.

Tap into this emotional vein when creating titles for your blog posts.

Following are a few examples, along with the emotions they’re designed to trigger:

  • Have You Saved Enough Money To Enjoy Your Retirement? (fear)
  • 10 Secrets To Raising A Happy Child (parental pride)
  • How To Give A Show-Stopping Presentation (desire for respect)

Your audience is already experiencing a raft of emotions that reflect their concerns and aspirations. Tap into them. Create titles that appeal to these emotions and you’ll pull more people in.


Step 6: Offer A Solution

Millions of people search Google every day to learn how to do things and overcome specific challenges. Your audience is among them. Produce blog titles that promise solutions to the challenges faced by your prospective readers.

For example, suppose you’re an attorney who specializes in estate planning. Here are some of the challenges your prospective clients face:

  • whether or not to establish a revocable trust
  • how much life insurance to buy
  • the best way to divvy up their assets to heirs

Create titles that promise answers to these issues. For example:

  • 8 Situations That Warrant Establishing A Revocable Trust
  • A Simple Formula For Calculating Your Life Insurance Needs
  • How To Divvy Up Your Estate To Keep Everyone Happy

Actionable solutions to specific problems attract attention. They always have. They always will.

Creating blog titles that drive traffic to your website isn’t difficult. Nor is it complicated. It’s a matter of recognizing what people are naturally drawn to. Use the 6-step system outlined above to produce irresistible titles that compliment your search engine optimization and generate more clicks and traffic.

better mobile optimization in chicagoEarlier this year, Google launched its new AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) project. By now, mobile users should be starting to see the green “AMP” symbol with lightning bolt starting to appear on certain pages in mobile search results. These pages are specifically programmed to load lightning-fast – in fact, as much as 15-85% faster than other mobile pages, according to Google. And that’s the goal: a faster, more user-friendly mobile web experience for users on smartphones and tablets.

For marketers, this news means refreshing your mobile optimization strategy – if you choose to. Here’s what you need to know about Google AMP and the benefits to both marketers and consumers, so that you can decide if it’s right for you.

What Exactly Is AMP?

In a nutshell, AMP pages are mobile pages that are written in AMP HTML code. They have been stripped of many of the characteristics that can cause them to load slow such as JavaScript, CSS, and flash animation, to name a few. The user still gets the same content, images and ability to navigate and engage with your site as before, but the presentation is simpler.

AMP Benefits To Marketers

If you already have a fast, robust, high-functioning mobile site, you may be wondering if you really need AMP. Most marketers are finding that the answer is yes, for a few reasons:

  • Boost in site speed. The result is that pages load much quicker, reducing the number of users abandoning your site and increasing the number of page views in a session.
  • Better ad control. Not only is Google giving marketers more control over ad choice, format and placement, but there are already more than 20 ad tech vendors working with AMP to create faster-rendering ads.
  • It’s backed by Google. While Google has not explicitly said that AMP pages will rank better, we know from the Mobilegeddon update of 2015 that the more user-friendly a mobile site is, the more favorable its rankings.

AMP Benefits To Consumers

The obvious benefit to consumers is site speed. We know that today’s generation of mobile users want the information they’re looking for delivered instantaneously, regardless of device. This means:

  • Less frustration. You’ve likely heard the Kissmetrics stat that 40% of users abandon a page that takes longer than 3 seconds to load. This isn’t just bad news for your bottom line; it’s also incredibly frustrating to the consumer. Pages that load fast make users happy, and happy users stay on your site longer and are more likely to convert to happy customers.
  • Ability to select AMP content. As the word gets out about the meaning of that little green lightning bolt symbol, consumers will begin to choose AMP pages over non-AMP pages. Most users don’t care whether the menu on a page is simple links or fancy buttons; they want fast, easily digestible content and are going to be willing to forgo all the bells and whistles in favor of a better user experience.

Whether Google is ready to admit it or not, the last point in each section above makes it clear that AMP pages will become ranking factors for mobile search eventually. If AMP sites pass Google’s mobile-friendly test, and users are consistently casting their votes by choosing AMP over non-AMP pages, it seems to be only a matter of time before we begin seeing a change in the SERPs.

Let Design & Promote AMP Up Your Site With Mobile Optimization In Chicago  

If you’re ready to improve site speed, traffic, and user experience on your mobile site, contact Design & Promote to learn more about our services for mobile optimization in Chicago.


Gone are the days when a consumer would sit down at a desktop, indulge in a lengthy research session, and then make a buying decision. Today, consumers are on their mobile devices throughout the day – as many as 177 times per day, in fact – researching, going, doing and buying in small chunks as the need arises. Google calls these “consumer micro-moments” and it’s vital that you’re in front of your customers in these precise moments.

Consider this, 87% of Millennials have their smartphone by their side day and night. It is the first place they turn to when they want to know something, want to do something, want to go somewhere, or want to buy something.

Is your brand showing up in mobile searches at all of these touch points throughout the sales cycle? If not, you have a tremendous opportunity to shake up your mobile marketing strategy to win consumer micro moments.

Here’s how.

First, You Have To Be There

When a consumer performs a mobile search, they want the best information as quickly as possible. They’re usually not searching for a specific brand – in fact, 90% of users aren’t sure what brand they want to buy from, and 1 in 3 end up buying from a different brand than they originally intended.

To find out how much your brand is showing up in mobile search results, have your web design agency prepare a “share of intent” metric for you. This will tell you what percentage of times your brand shows up in search results for searches relevant to your product or service. Obviously, the higher the number, the better. If you discover gaps, increase your ad coverage for those searches and you will begin showing up in key consumer micro moments.

What exactly are those moments?

I-Want-To-Know Moments 

This is when a consumer is at the research stage. They are curious about something and want quick, useful information. “Useful” being the operative word here. This is not the time for a hard sell, nor is it the time to sneakily direct the user to an unrelated page. Provide helpful, relevant, timely information and the consumer will ultimately reward you with brand loyalty.

I-Want-To-Go Moments 

This is when a consumer wants to physically go somewhere. An example of this type of micro moment is “near me” mobile searches, which have doubled in just the past year. 61% of consumers say they’re more likely to buy from brands that use location services to customize a user’s search to their location – for example, listing nearby stores with a search for product in stock.

I-Want-To-Do Moments 

This is when a consumer wants to know how to do something. These are classic “how to” searches and can encompass everything from replacing a toilet to mastering the latest eyeliner trend. It should come as no surprise that video content reigns supreme in these micro moments – in fact, almost half of smartphone users say they are more likely to buy from brands that provide instructional video content on their mobile site or app.

I-Want-To-Buy Moments

The king of all micro moments, this is when a consumer is ready to make a purchase. Hopefully the consumer has already engaged favorably with your brand at some point in their sales journey. The only thing left to do is make the buying process fast and easy – whether the user wants to buy online, via your mobile site, app, or physical store.

Site And App Performance

The best mobile marketing strategy in the world will fall flat if your mobile site or app doesn’t perform well. While many factors play into speed and functionality, you basically have less than 3 seconds for your site to load before a user leaves. Likewise, once they get to your site, the information they need should be easily found with minimal clicks and data entry.

A successful brand is one who researches their consumers’ potential micro moments and optimizes their mobile marketing strategy to ensure they are showing up and providing the needed information at precisely the right time. If you want to win consumer micro moments, contact Design & Promote, a Chicago web design agency specializing in internet marketing strategies designed to get brands noticed.

All statistics: Being There in Micro-Moments, Especially on Mobile – Think with Google. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/articles/being-there-micromoments-especially-mobile.html


Most blog structures are flat or horizontal in nature. They lack organization (even if each new post is associated as a “category”), and the more you blog, the more cluttered it becomes, and the more disjointed it feels as readers are jolted from one topic to the next.

If this isn’t what you want your readers experiencing, creating a silo structure for blogs is the solution.

What Is A Silo Structure?

In the simplest terms, a silo blog structure allows you to categorize your content in a common-sense way for both readers and search engines. It makes internal linking easy and logical and allows readers to “drill down” to more in-depth information within a topic.

Take a look at the example below. There are two silo pages (Superfoods and Healthy Fats), and below each are some main category pages (types of superfoods and types of healthy fats). Below that we expanded just the healthy fats silo for the sake of space and to drill down to examples of foods that contain the different types of fats. Next we talk about the health benefits of the foods. Finally, we attempt to answer specific questions readers might have and provide useful tips and recipe collections.

blog silo structure


Implementing A Silo Structure For Blogs

Logically, the blog silo structure makes sense, but many companies seize up at the thought of implementing it. While it’s ideal to create a silo structure for blogs during the planning phase, which requires longtail keyword research to identify what type of content your readers are looking for, it is possible to reorganize your existing blog based on the topics you have already covered. The upside to reorganizing an existing blog is that by creating a hierarchy type chart like the one above, it will help you fill in the gaps and identify topics that would fit above, below or beside your existing content.

Linking, Navigation And Search Engines

Once you have your silos, categories, topics and subtopics in place, internal linking becomes a breeze as you find yourself naturally linking to posts up and down within the silo. Just remember to go back to old content and link it to new posts where applicable.

For navigation, efficient silo structures use a sidebar navigation that expands as the reader drills down from a main category to more specific topics and subtopics. This provides laser-focused results for the user looking for “health benefits of coconut oil”, versus returning all of the posts you’ve ever written and categorized under “healthy fats.”

Search engines will see the same thing and reward you with higher rankings for having a topically relevant blog with comprehensive coverage on the queries within a topic. This means when someone searches for the “health benefits of coconut oil,” your post will be in the top results.

Design & Promote Can Help You Create A Silo Structure For Blogs

If you’re thinking about adding a blog to your site, or you want to reorganize your existing blog, Design & Promote can help. We create silo structures for blogs that get noticed – by readers and search engines! Contact us today to learn more about our web design and development services.




Online Marketing Archives - Design & Promote


Writing Scannable Content Helps Hook Readers

People are constantly bombarded with blog content these days, and it’s a real challenge to write copy that stands out […]

content marketing firm chicago

A Content Marketing Firm Helps Get Your Sales Team On Board With Content

As a marketer, one of your main jobs is likely developing content that is useful to your customers, especially if […]

how to write blog titles

6-Step System For Writing Blog Titles That Drive Traffic

  Your blog titles are like news headlines. That’s important to understand because research shows that six in 10 people […]

better mobile optimization in chicago

Better Mobile Optimization In Chicago Achieved With Faster Mobile Pages With AMP From Google

Earlier this year, Google launched its new AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) project. By now, mobile users should be starting to […]

consumer micro moments chicago web design agency

Chicago Web Design Agency Helps You Win Consumer Micro Moments

Gone are the days when a consumer would sit down at a desktop, indulge in a lengthy research session, and […]

Blog Silo Structure

What Is A Blog Silo Structure – And Do You Need One

Most blog structures are flat or horizontal in nature. They lack organization (even if each new post is associated as […]

Search Engine Optimization

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