Business Writing 2019-10-24 00:00

Build Your Article with Paragraph Chunks

Person writing on computer

  1. Short and Sweet Paragraphs Improve SEO
  2. What Is a Paragraph Chunk?
  3. Prepare Your Content for Chunks
  4. How Chunks Work for SEO

Short and Sweet Paragraphs Improve SEO

Paragraph chunks help search engines understand your content topics. Based on artificial intelligence (AI), search algorithms now scan content for topics rather than keywords. Organized topics in your content increase search results because the topics are easy to identify. When you write in paragraph chunks you increase the search ability of your content. You can improve your web content writing with paragraph chunks.

Create paragraphs that address topics one at a time. You’ll make your content easy for readers to understand as they go from paragraph to paragraph. Each topic in the content has one distinct paragraph. Arrange the sequence of paragraphs into a logical flow. Then, conclude your article with a final paragraph that interprets the information you present.

Readers find it easier to comprehend and remember information when it is broken down into meaningful chunks. Negative space around the paragraphs makes it easy to identify each piece of information. Readers retain more meaningful information when you break it into chunks.

What Is a Paragraph Chunk?

In writing terms, a chunk is a manageable bit of information. Using chunks is a method that develops evidence-based writing. A paragraph chunk addresses one specific topic in a single paragraph with five key sentences.

  1. Topic Sentence (TS) - A statement of the paragraph’s topic and an opinion.
  2. Concrete Detail (CD) - A fact, example, evidence, or quotation that illustrates the opening statement in the topic sentence.
  3. Commentary (CM) - An opinion, insight, analysis, interpretation, personal response, feeling, evaluation, or reflection on the topic.
  4. Commentary (CM) - Additional response. Use this second commentary to answer a question.
  5. Concluding Sentence (CS) - A single-sentence summary to give the paragraph a finish and a feeling for the reader.

Each paragraph chunk provides information in an understandable and easy to digest format. The reader can remember the point and supporting details when they are presented in small bits of information.

Prepare Your Content for Chunks

Writing content chunks works when you prepare an outline for your content.

  • Think through what you want your readers to know and what questions they will have that the content should answer. Each topic should address a specific user need and answer the question they will have.

  • Think through the questions readers will have so your comments address their concerns. Why is this detail important? How does it solve a problem?

  • Rank the topics from most important to least important. Then, place them on the page according to the ranking. Place the most important topic at the top of the page.

By the time you outline and organize your topics in a hierarchy of importance, you are ready to write your content. Because you have an outline and a 5-sentence structure, you’ll speed through writing.

Marcia Riefer Johnston, author and technical writer, encourages writers to consider seven different information types of chunk content.

1. Concept

Helps the reader understand a concept and may include definitions, examples, analogies, comparisons, and diagrams. Answered question examples: What does this mean? Explain this to me.

2. Task

Guides the reader through a series of steps to take to achieve a result. Answered questions: How do I…? What are the steps? What do I do?

3. Reference

Data for the reader such as a chart, list, or table. Information can be anything a reader may want to look up like statistics, dates, names, places. The basic question answered: What are the facts? Where do I go? Who do I contact?

4. Process

Basic process information. It’s similar to task but does not involve the reader. Includes multiple departments or people to illustrate stages. Answers questions like: How does it work? What happens at each stage?

5. Principle

Guidelines, best practices, policies, warnings, regulations. Question answered: What should I do or not do?

6. Narrative

Storytelling for engagement. Question: Who did what when?

7. Ornamental

Appeal to emotion without information. Slogan, logo, background images. Question: How do I feel about this?

Each sentence makes one or two points. Don’t overload your sentences. The same goes for paragraphs; even a one-sentence paragraph can be a chunk of information. Use them to stress a point.

Chunks of information, important to SEO, do not need to be text. Images, charts, infographics augment your written text. Use these chunks to augment your written paragraph chunks.

How Chunks Work for SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) provides answers for distinct queries for people searching online. Discrete bits of information like chunks help boost search results. Search engines recognize the topic. This helps deliver your information to customers and potential customers who search on the web.

The same principle that applies to reader information retention of short chunks applies to search algorithms. Each chunk of content is a distinct bit of information. And, these bits of information are topics. When a search engine looks for related topics within a page, the more distinct the information chunks, the better search engines can identify and correlate the information.

The white space that separates paragraphs for readers also indicates a separate topic for search engines. Chunks facilitate delivering the right information to a person searching for an answer. Each paragraph chunk has the potential to answer a specific question and show up in search results as the answer.

Repurpose individual chunks. Use them in social media posts to build awareness and help readers understand. Short pieces of information are easy for search engines to identify and help customers retain the information. Very few site visitors read long passages of text on screen.

Computer screens, especially on mobile devices, allow a limited view of long documents. Concise chunks save the site visitor from scrolling. Chunks deliver information immediately to answer a search query. The site visitor does not need to remember what has scrolled off-screen.

Chunks improve search optimization by delivering the right information to a site visitor as soon as they reach the response to their query. Design your paragraphs to answer questions for specific queries. Using the chunk method, you will write text designed to meet search engine queries in a short, memorable paragraph.

Remember, using paragraph chunks can be extremely helpful for improving your SEO. Try it now!

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