Imagine you spend hours on planning, typing, and publishing website content but realize it is not on the first page of search engines. Too disappointing, right? Then you start finding faults in your writing style, but all in vain!
Well, maybe it’s not you, it’s the screen! In fact, reading on a computer is 25% slower and more demanding than reading from paper. For this reason, most people use scanning as a technique. Creating a’ good piece of writing’ isn’t enough in this era where we are constantly fed with loads of information in a jiffy.
Do you know almost 80 percent of internet users skim digital content instead of reading? Well, it is because when someone visits your website for the first time, they want to know immediately if it will be worth their time reading what you’ve written. When reading online, users scan the page for specific elements like headings, numeric data, and other visual signals.
Having said that, do you also feel your business website needs more optimization in terms of content? A user-friendly & responsive website with good content ranks well, catches the attention of online readers, and pushes them to spend more time reading. Hence, optimizing your web content with scannability is the need of the hour.
What is the meaning of Scannable Content?
Scannable content is like making your writing super easy to skim through. It’s about using cool tricks like clear headings, short paragraphs, and bullet points to help readers get the main ideas without diving into all the details. Imagine it’s like a quick map for your eyes, making it simple and snappy for people who don’t want to read every single word but still want to grab the important stuff. It’s a friendly way of saying, “Hey, here’s the good stuff – check it out!”
What is the Importance of Scannable Content?
- Attention Span: Internet users have short attention spans. Readable content makes it easy for online folks to quickly grasp the main points without investing much time.
- User Experience: Skimmable content enhances the overall user experience. Visitors can easily find relevant information, leading to higher satisfaction and engagement.
- Mobile-Friendly: With the rise of mobile devices, it has become more important than ever. Mobile users often browse quickly, and scannable content ensures that they can absorb key information efficiently.
- SEO Benefits: Search engines often prioritize content that is easy to read and navigate. Easily understandable content, with clear headings and bullet points, improves the structure and readability of your text, potentially boosting your search engine rankings.
- Accessibility: Scannable content is more accessible to a diverse audience, including those with disabilities. Clear headings and concise information benefit users who rely on screen readers or other assistive technologies.
- Social Media Sharing: Content that is easy to scan is more likely to be shared on social media platforms. People are more inclined to share content that they can quickly understand and that provides value to their followers.
- Brand Image: Well-organized content contributes to a positive brand image. It conveys professionalism and demonstrates that you respect your audience’s time.
- Increased Readability: Breaking down content into easily digestible chunks, such as headings, subheadings, and bullet points, improves overall readability. This encourages users to stay on your page longer and consume more of your content.
Read further to learn the art of creating your web content scannable.
20 Principles to Create Impactful Scannable Content
1- Make Your Content Breathable with More Whitespaces.
White spacing allows text to breathe outside of a busy visual design and helps consumers focus on what’s really important.
A mountain of content is likely to overwhelm your readers. Your writing will feel less thick and simpler to read if you include whitespace or sections without any text. An example for your reference is given below.
2- Text Formatting for Instant Attention
Use Bolds, italics, underlining, and font size changes to highlight your main ideas. Formatting changes automatically draw readers’ attention, increasing the likelihood that they will read those words.
However, too much of it means nothing, so stay moderate
3- Narrate a Story with Subheaders
Make your point clear in the first few phrases, if not in the title and opening line. Later on, you can elaborate on it. Burying our major ideas deep within the text could harm the website’s ranking.
Most readers will rather skim the text to find a few important details that grab their attention.
You can satisfy this request by putting multiple subheaders throughout the body of your article. This rationalizes it and creates a flow to your content.
4- Bulleted or numbered list
Your viewers will appreciate you for using bullet points and commas to separate your ideas rather than laying out your list in sentences.
Readers will catch essential information due to the content’s smooth breakdown.
5- Short Paragraphs
You can improve the scannability of the content in a few simple ways. Write no more than three or four sentences to convey a message in a paragraph. And attempt composing a few paragraphs that include just one sentence. Refer to the example below:
The secret is to limit each paragraph to a particular piece of information and no more than four sentences. Keep in mind that white space is your friend, and make liberal use of it to divide text into manageable paragraphs.
6- Precise Sentences
Any sentence longer than sixteen words is generally considered to be too long. Divide a lengthy passage of text into more manageable, concise sentences.
So that anyone can effortlessly grasp even the most difficult concepts with the aid of it.
7- Website Responsiveness
Responsive websites offer consistent and smooth user experience across different screens. Navigation menus are frequently modified for touchscreen interactions on mobile devices, so users don’t need to adjust the screen to read content. See the examples below:
Google reports that 61% of internet users are unwilling to return to a mobile website if they have problems accessing it, and 40% of visitors visit a competitor’s website instead.
8- Embrace Long-form Content
Longer content had a 76.8% higher chance of going viral than shorter content in a study on virality by Professor Dr. Jonah Berger.
There isn’t a specific duration that will guarantee your content goes viral. However, this research suggests that longer information might boost your chances.
9- Focus Keyphrase in SEO Title
Give your online readers clear information by adding a focus keyphrase in the title. It will serve two purposes. First, it will be beneficial for your website rankings.
Second, it will readily serve the much-needed information to your potential customers in the first go. Some instances for focus keywords/keyphrases.
10- Inverted Pyramid
The most important information is presented at the top of a web page using the inverted pyramid writing style.
Readers are drawn in when vital data is presented first. This acts like samples handed out by a food business. Customers will desire more if they enjoy the sample.
11- Headlines With Brackets and Numbers
According to HubSpot, including brackets in your headlines can increase the number of hits and shares you receive.
To boost the curiosity of your customers, you can add a specific number to your title. The bracketed text provides a sneak peek into the type of content as suggested in the below examples.
12- Include ‘Stats’ Factor
Tables, Graphs, Bar Graphs, Pie Charts, etc., enable users to scan the information within a few seconds. Add some color combinations to highlight different data to make it super understandable and scannable.
13- Visual Content Strategy
Enriching your website with images and videos will enhance the readability and make the overall content user-friendly. It helps to break the text monotony and provides the exact picture of what you’re trying to explain to your online audience.
14- Get More Eyeballs with Block Quotes or Pull Quotes
Without a doubt, these will beautify the website or the content piece by breaking the monotony of normal text. Further, you can add some key messages or information you want more attention to.
This is the format of our blockquote. You’ll most likely find a different blockquote style on your website.
You can distinguish your quotes from the rest of your content by giving them a border or altering their background color. Well-crafted pull quotes can generate interest and encourage further exploration.
15- Avoid Overloading with Ideas
Stick to explaining a single concept at a time; introducing too many ideas will only confuse the user. The “one idea per paragraph” principle simplifies the reading experience, allowing readers to follow the narrative or argument more effortlessly.
Dedicating each paragraph to a single main idea makes the content clearer and more digestible. Breaking down dense paras into smaller, focused sections enhances readability, ensuring each point is conveyed precisely.
16- Internal Links and External Links
Offer your readers useful links to other pages on your website so they can find out more about you. Give readers a second source to learn more about the subject and support your claims using links to other reliable websites.
Both internal and external links act as signposts, aiding in the effortless navigation of information and enhancing the overall scanning experience for the audience.
17- Accurate Facts & Figures
Research the surveys and studies to mention it in your blogs so that your potential readers get an approximate idea about a specific topic or ongoing trends.
It will boost credibility, fostering trust among readers. This instantly enhances the scannability of content, as users value reliable information, encouraging prolonged engagement and reinforcing the blog’s overall quality.
18- Better UX
According to 77% of web development agencies, a poor user experience on a website represents a weakness for their customers. Hence, focusing on website design is a prerequisite for businesses.
Scannable content makes websites easier for people to use. It’s like having a well-organized backpack where you can quickly find what you need. With clear titles, short paragraphs, and pictures, it’s like having a map for your eyes. This way, you can understand things faster without feeling tired. It’s like making a fun game out of reading!
19- High-Value Content with Simple Language
The simpler the content, the easier it is to grasp and engage your online audience. According to a study by Nielsen Norman Group, the average user reads at a level similar to the 7th or 8th grade.
As a result, you can greatly increase your website’s readability and accessibility to a wider audience with the use of basic language and sentence structures.
20- Don’t Forget the Human Touch
Keeping a conversational tone in blogs is important because it makes the content more relatable and engaging for readers. When you write like you’re having a friendly chat, it feels like you’re talking directly to the reader, creating a connection. This helps to hold the reader’s interest and makes the information easier to understand.
“So there you have it, folks! We’ve unlocked the secrets to scannable content – the superhero of easy reading. By sprinkling in clear headings, bite-sized paragraphs, and a dash of bullet points, we’ve made your reading experience as smooth as butter.
A well-designed website is a fruitful combination of various essential parts, like readable content, user-friendly design, navigation, and functionality. Following the above principles, you can ensure your website remains functional and user-friendly.
Making constant improvements and tweaks to your website is essential if you want to see outstanding outcomes and provide outstanding performance. Constant improvement of content, checking usability, and going above and beyond for your users!
Do you want your business website to have scannable content and to appear at the top of Google searches? Then, take advantage of our top-notch content marketing services.
Now go ahead, scan away, and let the information flow like confetti at a party. Happy scanning, my reading pals!“