TLDR (or TL;DR as it used to be known) means ‘Too Long;Didn’t Read’.
So why should you care?
Well TLDR is really important when you are composing your blog posts and web content and I’m about to tell you why.
In this post;
- No one likes a wall of text
- Split up your text
- Text for your homepage
- Telling people what problems you solve
- TLDR for blog posts
- TLDR is important to keep readers engaged
- Chuck in a bulleted list
Truth is no-one likes a wall of text
Have you ever been faced with a wall of text and just decided that life’s too short?
That’s TLDR in action.
A massive wall of text on a webpage is offputting.
Sure if you are sitting in the garden with a white wine spritzer and a copy of catch-22 then you can spend some time enjoying the experience of reading, but if you just want to find a recruitment consultant then you haven’t got enough life left to make it worth while.
Research has shown that our attention span reduced from 12.5 seconds in 2000 to 8.25 seconds in 2015 and the trend is continuing.
This means that as a blog writer you need to make sure your posts are snappy and to the point.
Otherwise your readers will drift away
Split up your text
So what can you do about it?
Well for a start you can practice writing in short, snappy sentences.
Long paragraphs of text aren’t attractive at all so you need to avoid them and make sure you use easily accessible language because the average reader won’t be wanting to read acres of jargon.
Make sure you break up your text with relevant images too that illustrate your point.
Text for your homepage
So here’s the thing – Google says you need plenty of text on your homepage to tell it what it’s about but in reality your users won’t read it. So what do you do?
You start off by getting to the point above the fold.
Above the fold means the bit you can see without scrolling.
If you check out my homepage it says quite clearly above the fold – expert professional services marketing.
If you’ve come to the wrong place then you’ll know straight away but if you have come to the right place then you’ll scroll to…
Telling people what problems you solve
Look, we don’t want to read a page full of jargon, we just want to know what you are going to do for us.
So get to the point as quick as you can, the problem, the solution, who it’s for.
So don’t dance around your handbags for half an hour before getting to the point because your TLDR readers have already left the building.
I’d suggest that above the fold you go for your most important services.
Then as the user scrolls down you provide more detail.
And when they click onto another page you can expand your thought process.
TLDR for blog posts
Have you noticed that I answered the question right at the top of the post?
I did this for two reasons.
The first is for the TLDR people. They don’t have to read any further than line 1.
If you are going to buy from me then you probably want to know much more than just the simple answer to the question.
So I am happy to give TLDR people the answer to their question because I know that they probably aren’t going to engage with me anyway.
The second reason is for Google.
Google likes posts that answer questions, and it likes to use the answers on it’s featured snippets panels.
So if you answer the question that people are asking quickly and succinctly in the first sentence then you are much more likely to be highly placed.
Chuck in a bulleted list
Did you see at the start of the article that there was a bulleted list?
This is designed to help readers get to the bit they want to read without scrolling or reading through the rest of the article.
Seriously though, with so much great information available why would people scroll past?
But they do!
Oh and set up page anchors so if you click on the item it takes you to the relevant section. Find out how to do page anchors here.
TLDR is important to keep readers engaged
So in summary then the principle of TLDR is important if you want to keep readers engaged in your blog and if you want site visitors to read more on your site.
On your home page make sure you get to the point right away and make it above the fold.
For blog posts, answer the question your readers are asking straight away as this will help engagement and will also boost your SEO score for the page.
And make sure you split your text up into manageable chunks and include the odd image here and there.
Here’s the ad
If you’d like help with your site, whether it be copywriting, marketing or anything else then give me a shout and let’s chat.