According to useit.com only 16% of people read web sites word for word. So once we know this – how should this affect how we write a blog article, how can we get our point or message across via our article.
The answer is make it scannable.
Online, most people read by scanning the page for individual words or phrases, headings and other visual cues. Reading from a screen is more tiring and about 25% slower than reading from paper – so scanning becomes a technique that many readers use.
It is an interesting exercise to test if your own Blog is Scannable? Ask a friend or colleague who is not familiar with your site to take a quick look at a few of your posts. Only give them 30 seconds on each post, at the end of each 30 seconds – ask them what the post was about. This will give you a sense of how scannable your blog is.
Tips to Make your Blog Scannable
- Lists – Use bullet point or numbered lists in your articles – these are much easier on the eye than an essay style.
- Formatting – Use bold, CAPITALS, italics, underlining and styles to emphasize points. Not too much formatting – you don’t want your article to look messy.
- Headings and Sub Headings – Use large, bold words that act as visual cues of what is happening in the content are effective ways of drawing readers further into articles.
- Images – your reader’s eyes are drawn down the page by pictures. Place them by your key points and you have more of a chance of getting the reader to spend time on your article.
- Borders – and boxes around key points can get the attention of readers.
- No Waffling – try to be brief and clear and keep to the point.
- Be Creative – Find ways to highlight your main point throughout your post.
- Don’t overwhelm your audience – don’t constantly bring in new material to your article as this can be overwhelming for readers. If you want to cover lots of ideas that relate to one another, you should write a series of posts that link to each other.
If your blogs are not easily scannable then you run the risk of losing your reader not just for that article but altogether.