Writing content and blog posts for the Internet is a difficult task, as readers have a short attention span and become easily bored or overwhelmed with lengthy content. Research has shown that most Internet users scan content quickly to get an overview of the subject matter and important points, before deciding whether or not to read the whole piece. Writing web content that can be easily scanned and evaluated by readers is the key to capturing their attention and convincing them to read the whole article or blog post. Here are four essential tips for creating scannable blog posts and web content.
Keywords are essential ingredients in all web copy, as they enable search engines to categorize content and display appropriate results to their users. Choosing the right keywords will depend on the topic and focus of your content, as well as your readership. Brainstorm ideas and try to see the topic through the eyes of your readers. Consider the words and phrases that will jump out at them and compel them to read your copy. Performing keyword research can help to maximize the effectiveness of your content, so take the time to investigate current trends and relevant search topics.
The first thing a reader sees when viewing your content is the headline. If your headline grabs their attention, they will take a look at the subheadings for each section of your post. Subheadings break up your content into manageable chunks and can be used to introduce, summarize or explain the content of each section or paragraph. Make subheadings stand out by using keywords, active verbs and bold text. Subheadings can also be used to pose questions, state surprising facts or make bold statements that will draw the attention of your readers.
Paragraphs should contain just one main idea, concept or significant piece of information, particularly if you are covering complicated subjects, as this makes it easier for the reader to digest your content. Paragraphs should be short and well-presented, as large or clunky blocks of text are difficult to read on a screen. Adjust line spacing and indentations to suit your content, leaving generous margins and plenty of white space to break up the text.
Formatting elements, such as bold, italicised and underlined text help to emphasize certain words and phrases to make them stand out. Highlighted or coloured text can also be useful. However, take care when using these formatting techniques, as they can lose their effect when they are overused. When used sparingly throughout your content, formatted text can draw attention to keywords, important ideas and the main points of your blog post or web content.
Creating scannable blog posts and web content enables your readers to evaluate your text and decide whether or not they want to read the whole post. Choosing the right keywords, using compelling subheadings and formatting your paragraphs, layout and text appropriately can all help to create scannable content that will appeal to your readers.