7 Tips for Creating Scanner-Friendly Content
Numerous studies have been conducted to analyze how people read content online. After tracking users’ eye patterns, the results are in: online users tend to scan content rather than read it. What does this mean for your website? It means you have to make your content scanner-friendly to accommodate the reading habits of Internet readers.
How can you make scannable pages? Here are 7 tips to help you out.
1. White Space- Everyone say it with me “White space is my friend.” Every single inch of your website doesn’t have to be crammed with information. In a way, what you don’t put on your website is as important as what you do include. Take advantage of white space as it eases the strain on your visitors’ eyes. Additionally, including white space on your website makes your content look shorter and less intimidating.
2. Bullet Points- Bullet points are great for a couple of reasons. First, bullet points with bold headings are easy to scan. It allows your visitors to quickly scan through an article to understand the main points. It also keeps you focused as a writer. It’s like an outline; bullet points prevent you from getting off point.
3. Numbered Lists- Numbered lists provide the same benefits of bullet points. It’s easy-to-scan, quick to read, and engaging to your audience.
4. Single Column Layout- One of the biggest mistakes I often see is websites with 2 or more text columns. Multiple columns are the opposite of scanner-friendly. They force readers to go top to bottom then top to bottom again. Your readers simply won’t put up with it, and they’ll leave your website instead.
5. Brief Paragraphs- Your website isn’t a lengthy dissertation that people want to sit and read for several hours. Break the content into several short paragraphs so that your content doesn’t seem as long. Use the brief paragraphs to guide your readers’ eyes to the call to action at the end of the document.
6. Bolded Copy- One particularly effective technique for maximizing scanability is using bold typefaces throughout your text. Not only does this help your readers browse the document faster, but it’s also a wise copywriting move because it emphasizes the benefits of your services. Bold the words that let your readers understand the benefits of doing business with your company. Bolding a few select keywords won’t hurt either.
7. Incorporate Images- Many SEO experts have scared everyone away from using images on their website. They have everyone so focused on keyword placement and avoiding anything that doesn’t contribute to furthering a site’s SEO strategy that people are creating bland websites that no one wants to see. There is absolutely nothing wrong with including images on your website. In fact, properly placed images make your content easier to scan and more welcoming for your visitors.