Unless a reader is sitting down with their Kindle app or a piece of long form journalism, most web visitors are unlikely to spend more than a few minutes on a web page. Many of them scan content, picking out only key words and phrases. Making sure that your content is scannable will ensure that readers absorb the most important info, and click through your site to read further.
What are the most important elements of scannable content?
- Brief sentences and paragraphs.
- A short and informative headline that lets the reader know what to expect.
- A piece that begins with your conclusion, and extrapolates from there.
- Bold text for emphasis.
- Bullet-pointed lists, like this one, when more than three points may be made on a topic.
- Links to relevant content.
- Clear understandable language.
- One main idea per paragraph.
- Use the active voice instead of the passive voice.
- Use a casual, conversational style.
What do you need to avoid when assembling scannable content?
- Distractions, like hard-to-dismiss pop-ups or crowded page graphics and content.
- Long sentences and dense paragraphs.
- Overly formal phrasing.
- Unstructured content that is difficult to follow.
If you don’t have an experienced content writer on your team, speak with your web design company about creating content that is easily scannable and put forth your most important information. Great content turns visitors into customers!