Scannable content is a term used to describe how easy it is for search engines and visitors alike to read your website. This process can be made effortless by creating content for readability on screens.
Between seventy-three to seventy-five percent of readers scan over the content they read versus actually reading the entire blog or long-form article.
There are a few ways to create scannable web content. These guidelines listed below will help you create web content that will allow people who visit your site to skim through your site. That way, they can find the information they are looking for quickly.
One of the first things you notice about content is its layout. Whether it is a list, paragraph, or sentence, specific points of interest will catch your eye.
This fact may vary for some individuals, but readers as a whole follow common trends when reading content. They will skim past central elements that do not catch their attention at first glance.
That is why you need to make sure that the content in your web designs follows these visual trends. That way, people get what they are looking for and spend more time on your site. They will consume only the relevant information on your page, rather than having to search through irrelevant material while looking for something meaningful.
Typically, human beings are impatient.
Most people don't know this, but web designers have been creating interactive websites since as early as 1993 with Mosaic - the first browser. The idea behind these sites was not only providing information through written words. They were also trying to make navigation through those texts possible via scannable content.
Web developers did this to help consumers find what they wanted quickly, without having too much scrolling involved. This fact still rings true today.
It takes just seconds for people to decide if your content is worth their time. Readers will look at the title. They will scan a few lines of text. Then they will make up their minds about whether they want to read on, or hit that back button.
The first thing that people will judge content by is the design. If they cannot find it, or if the font size and spacing are too small, then chances are you will not get any clicks on your page.
Once someone has clicked through to read some of what you have written, they will decide within seconds whether to spend time reading your blog.
So, make sure that your blog posts are scannable by using these five tips before you publish another blog on your site.
Your headline is the first thing that people will notice, and if it does not pop, your blog design may need some tweaking. The wording in your headline should be compelling and offer a clear benefit to readers as they scroll down your page.
Subheadings are equally as important when creating scannable content. They need to define what that section is about and make the reader want to read the text under the heading.
Your introduction is your elevator pitch for the entire article. A compelling intro will hook the reader and make them want to read the article in its entirety, and not only skim the content.
A well-written blog will tell readers to "read on" without actually using those words. You will need to be creative when it comes to encouraging your reader to continue reading.
Reread the intro to this blog carefully. You were encouraged to read the "guidelines listed below to help you create web content..." There was a concise direction to read this article to learn what these guidelines are. Yet, no one said, "read on."
Short sentences in your content will keep readers engaged. Readers will not feel inundated with information while they read your article, the way long sentences would make them feel. Keep your sentence length 20 words or less for readers’ sake.
Brief, clear paragraphs also help readers feel your content is accessible. A good rule of thumb is to create space within and around your text. Adding more line breaks helps readers not to be overwhelmed by the volume of content on the page.
There is another technique to help readers skim over the information they are looking for, and this is by using bold text and bullet points. This gives them a chance to scan through their desired topic with ease, rather than reading one long paragraph with no formatting at all.
By drawing their eyes to your content with bold text and bullet points, you increase the likelihood that your readers will engage with your content. Not only are they more likely to read your content, but they will also comment and/or share your post with others.
The best thing you can do is keep the grammar simple in your blog. By doing so, you are making your blog easier to read for most people.
Avoid using complex language. Most readers find advanced words distracting when trying to understand a post.
The target is to write for the average grade level (AGL) of 7.5. So, you need to write content understood by most 7th graders.
Also, write casually, as you would talk to a friend. This way, you generate more interest in your content. The Flesch-Kincaid readability score will tell you if your content meets these standards.
At Jax Digital, we want to help you create concise content that is objective, and more importantly, scannable. Whether you need help with SEO or wish for someone to design web content that generates more engagement, get in touch. We are the company that will work hard to create a dynamic website worthy of our brand.
If you need some help creating scannable content for your website, contact us here at Jax Digital.