Website Health

Tip of the Week: One Simple Trick Boosts SEO and Lowers Bounce Rate

Breaking up copy with paragraph spacing and subheads is such a simple thing that has a great impact on SEO and bounce rate.

A pink graphic for "Tip of the Week"


Especially on the Internet, people don’t like reading one long block of words without a break. As a writer, it kind of pains me to say that, but it’s true. When we’re reading on our computers and laptops, scrolling on a screen, reading one long string of words is difficult. Our eyes start swimming, we lose focus, and then we leave the website.

The good news for content creators is that we can still communicate the messages we want to send by breaking up that long wall of text into more manageable pieces. That makes readers more likely to stick with your site through the entire page or article, lowering your bounce rate and giving your site more authority with Google. Creating smaller text blocks also gives you the opportunity the create short titles that you can use to help your SEO, or Search Engine Optimization. This simple trick helps your blog readers, and it helps attract Google’s attention, too. Here’s how to do it:

Look for Natural Paragraph Breaks

When deciding where your breaks should go, just think about where your ideas are naturally changing. Use paragraph breaks a little more liberally than you normally would in paper-based reading — online, a paragraph break every three to ten sentences is usually appropriate. That little line of space gives our eyes a break when reading on screens and allows us to process the beginning of a new thought.

Use Subheads Liberally

In addition to paragraph breaks, look for places you can break up the text even more by adding a subhead (like I’ve done in this blog). As a writer, it can feel redundant, but because so many people are scanning instead of deeply reading when they’re processing content online, the subheads help to reinforce topics. Adding subheads also helps boost your SEO, because Google gives them a little more credit than the rest of your copy (be sure you choose a subhead code instead of just bolding the text in order to get that boost), and they’re an easy way to work in more keywords.

Add Images to Break up Text

In-text graphics and pictures aren’t always appropriate, but feel free to use them when they help your copy. Sometimes images can communicate better than words, and they almost always enhance the words and engage the reader. They can really help in breaking up a long block of text.

Breaking up copy on a website with paragraph spacing and subheads is such a simple thing, but it’s a great way to retain your readership, lower your bounce rate and boost your SEO. If only everything in life were so easy!


About Carrie

Carrie has been copyediting and writing for fifteen years. Her skills were forged in the newsroom at The Birmingham Post-Herald and she’s a huge book nerd (she moonlights as Southern Living’s book reviewer), but a love of paper and ink hasn’t stopped her from mastering the digital world as well: She’s had a blog pretty much since they existed, and she’s run social media for companies big and small. Carrie’s always ready to take on a new communication challenge, lecture us about the proper use of semicolons, or defend the fact that her Instagram account is filled with selfies.

See more articles from Carrie Rollwagen

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