Many people believe “content is king” for a long time.
Afterward new opinions arise. Content is not king, it’s something else.
Debates spark. Who’s the real king, is it content, design, promotion, creativity, context?
Some people get confused and not sure which one is the right one. Well, don’t be. You can appoint your WordPress text widget as a king if you like. It doesn’t matter.
Because what really matter is the King of Kings. No, I don’t mean Jesus.
What I mean is HUMAN.
Let me proof my point.
I must warn you. By knowing this fact and taking advantage on it, your blogging experience will go to the next level. And you’ll become conscious in every step you make, even to the extend in every word you write.
Why is human the King of Kings?
Because human is the center of everything. Think about it.
- How you design your site,
- How you choose your site’s elements and where to put them,
- How you create your contents,
- How you promote,
all are made in accordance to the way of the human brain works, how human behave, and their habits.
You want to be in the flow with what’s natural to human, instead of against it. Because you want:
- To enhance your readers’ experience.
- To evoke certain action from your readers.
Some people have already take advantage of this understanding, while for some others may feel like an eye opening.
Let me proof it to you by bringing up some interesting facts.
1. Why media pumps up more bad news than good news?
Answer: because they know how human brain works.
The brain is overloaded with billions of information received from our 5 sensors. It can’t process all of them. So it pays more attention to the ones that are crucial. Things related to our survival.
The part of the brain that is responsible for screening danger is called Amygdala. There are two of them. Their position is around the intersection of our eyes and ears. When it senses danger, it sets our brain in alarm.
For example, when we heard noises from downstairs in the middle of the night, we become cautious in an instant. Maybe there’s a thief inside the house. Maybe in reality it just a cat, but our brain prepares us for the worst.
That’s why bad news, such as:
- There’s a kidnapper in town,
- Meteor may hit the earth,
- Religion conflicts
gets our attention.
And attention is exactly what the media want. More attention means more money.
Derek Halpern’s little experiment (socialtriggers.com) also shows that this fact is to be true. He did a split test. He sent two emails. Each email sent to the half of his subscribers. Everything was the same, except for the subject line.
One subject line said: When is the perfect time for meeting – client call or webinar
The other: When is the worst time for meeting – client call or webinar
The negative subject line received 38% more clicks than the positive one.
In this case, you can see how the type contents published by the media taking the advantage of the way of how human brain works.
2. Why do bloggers use headings, bullet lists, bold text, hyperlinks, etc.?
According to Jakob Nielson’s research, 79% people scan any new web pages they came across. It means people’s eyes jump to find a particular information.
For you who don’t know Jakob Nielson. He is a Ph.D. in human–computer interaction from the Technical University of Denmark in Copenhagen. He is also a former consultant at Google and wrote a lot of books.
Now, what happens if your readers find that your content is hard to be read?
Answer: They don’t read it or less likely to read it.
Jakob wrote a post: How Users Read on the Web. His research shows that by applying some of scannable text techniques:
- Highlighted keywords.
- Meaningful sub-headings (not “clever” ones).
- Bulleted lists.
- One idea per paragraph (users will skip over any additional ideas if they are not caught by the first few words in the paragraph)
- The inverted pyramid style, starting with the conclusion
- Half the word count (or less) than conventional writing
increase the usability metric by 124%.
This is why professional bloggers write using those techniques.
So, again it proves that the way of bloggers write is influenced by the way of human behavior in reading the web.
3. Why blogger put an email opt-in at the end of a post?
As you may already know, not all people read the whole content you’ve written.
If you use WordPress you can easily track this by using the SumoMe plugin and use their content analytic feature.
Here’s an example of one of my article, at the beginning there’s 151 people, but when it reaches almost to the bottom, only 77 people left.
The ones that got to the bottom, must be very interested with our content, right? If not why they stay for so long.
While their interest still runs high. That’s the right moment to offer them, do they want more content by subscribing. That way you increase your possibility in getting their email addresses.
As you can see the layout of the opt-in form is dictated by human behavior.
4. What about a video email opt-in?
This is a type of opt-in that get triggered when someone want to watch or continue to watch a video.
There are 2 ways I’ve seen people doing this:
- The author places an image that looks like embedded Youtube video with a big play button on the center. When someone clicks it, he gets sent to an opt-in form to sign up. The person needs to complete the form if he wants to continue watching the video.
This tactic is used by Chris Luck from Luck League and he claims that this strategy increases his opt-in rate up to 68%. Much better than the double opt-in strategy.
- Brian Dean from Backlinko also uses this kind of method in one of his video I’ve watched. But the optin form shows up in the middle of the video and on no page redirection.
Now, based on what is this strategy created?
Answer: behavioral inertia.
For you who don’t know what inertia is, the word comes from Newton’s First Law of Motion: in simple words, object tends to keep on doing what they’re doing.
That’s why when you were on a moving train and it stopped you jerk to the front. Because you were still in motion.
Now, behavioral inertia means once you’re set to do something, you’re likely to finish the cycle. So when someone already click the button to watch a video, he is more likely to opt in so he can watch it.
Again, a strategy that’s based on human behavior.
5. Why do bloggers love to showcase the big numbers on their blog?
The answers are:
- It’s a social proof that something is good or interesting.
- People want what everyone thinks is good or interesting.
- Human action is influenced by his group.
For no.3, this is actually backed up by a research conducted by Solomon Asch, a psychologist (1906-1996). Generally, his experiment showed how one’s opinion (or action) can be influenced by the majority.
Here is a Youtube video showing the experiment, click here.
I’ve seen also another experiment proofing the theory. It was an elevator experiment. You can search it on Youtube.
When people step into an elevator, the natural behavior is to stand to face the door. But what happens if all the people in the elevator face the other side except the test subject. Will he change his position according to the group? The answer is yes.
The test subject follows the group behavior, even though he knows that’s not normal. That’s the power of social influence.
As you can see now, some elements in a site are created based on human behavior again.
As you can see it doesn’t matter if people say content is king, or something else is king, they all are created based on human and for human.
Now, next time you decide to change anything in your blog, you can ask yourself, how should I change it and how this change will serve my audience.
Hopefully you enjoy this post and you may give your comment below.
Is there someone you can think of, that may benefit from this post. Please share this post to him/her. Thank you.