How to Increase the Memory Retention Rate of your Readers by 65%

SEO Mind picture

Having readers is great. Having those readers remember your content is awesome. I just found out the science on how to increase your reader’s memory retention rate of your piece of content by a whopping 65%. Here’s how to do it.

Webmaster’s Note: This entry is a part of our series Breaking Down Content Marketing

Content is everywhere. It’s common. If scarcity dictates value, then content should already be as cheap as trash. But what makes content so powerful? What has put it in the pedestal – even knighting it with the honorable title of “king“?

Two things about content that you should know.

  1. It can be as bad as crap
  2. It can be as good as royal

What makes the difference?

Check this out:

Content that is king is something that is of high value. Something that has been set too high that the content producer needs to go through extensive research, hours of interview, days of testing, months of data gathering, and so on and so forth.

Because everyone can write a bunch of words in a bunch of hours. Remember: scarcity dictates value.


Even if you have awesome content, what’s the use when after a few days, no one can remember what you wrote?

Statistics Say…

That if you write a piece of content, three days later your readers will only be able to recall 10% of it. That’s a measly number. You don’t want that.

If you post a specific image, three days later your viewers will only be able to recall 35% of that image. That’s 25% better but we’re still not there.

BUT if you combine that image with words that compliment it, your visitors will be able to recall 65% – that’s a huge difference from the measly 10% recall rate!
That’s not all – our brains are also able to process visual input 60,000 times faster than just plain text. If you see an image, you are able to identify it much faster than reading a text and using your imagination to process what the text is trying to say.

What does all this have to do with you and content marketing?

All I’m saying is, if you want to be successful at content marketing, you have to improve your reader’s memory retention and recall rate of your stuff! One of the best ways to do it is by adding awesome, relevant images to the main points of your blog posts. Let me give you an example:

Play Image with WordsThis image strongly backs up the word ‘Heirarchy

Word to Picture EmphasisMaking it much stickier to a viewer’s memory.

I personally prefer creating awesomely designed Powerpoints to help my students at SEO Hacker School have the best retention and recall rate of our lessons. Here’s one for you. Don’t worry. It’s on the house.

It’s not too difficult integrating visuals in your content. There are tons of avenues where you can find awesome images. Some of which are:

That’s just some to get you started.

“Sean, I thought you were going to talk about more technical stuff for content marketing?”

While I would love to tell you my secrets to content marketing, I’m afraid to say that there are none. The ‘secrets‘ I keep are the little things like:

You may say that all of these things entail hard work. You’re right. It takes practice, conscious effort and sensitivity to detail to be able to pull off a content-centric marketing strategy that will boost your SEO efforts. I’ve been doing these things for the past three years. And it’s all been worth it!

The good thing is, you can learn from all of the things I’ve learned through reading and application. There are two more lessons in our Content Marketing series that are extremely critical. It will entail the marketing part of your awesome content. Make sure to sign up in our Growth Hacks newsletter to be able to receive them.

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Tips for Keeps: Make sure to use awesome images to compliment your content. Powerpoint slides are an awesome way to do this. Slideshare (what I use for uploading and sharing Powerpoint slides) is free and is a powerful content marketing platform – utilize it.

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  • The only thing I disagree with here is the tense… in that the implication is this is GOING to happen, when I think it’s BEEN happening for years, and is just going to get worse.

    You’re totally right in your response though – quality & consistency is the way to go.

    • h3sean

      I assume you’re talking about the tense of how I described that there would be lots of crap content coming out?

      You’re right – things are just going to get worse.
      And things are also just going to get better. It’s just a matter of perspective and where you’re digging out your intake of content ;)

      • No, I mean that it’s been bad for a long time. This post sort of impies that it’s only now getting bad, when I’ve been seeing this trend for at least several years now already.

        And I wish I could agree with your comment about it “also going to get better”, but I don’t see any evidence of that. I’ve had to seriously be cut down on the feeds I subscribe to because of the onslaught in awful / low quality content they’ve been pushing out.

  • h3sean

    I believe so. Images that portray your article are powerful.

  • Love to put more on pictures so that audiences would easily understand and to remember…

  • tushar

    a really superb article…

  • h3sean

    Good insight Thomas. And we all know that it will only work if it’s emotionally engaging.