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It’s not crazy to say that the majority of people, when browsing content, will not read all the content word-for-word. For one, I don’t read word-for-word. It’s wasteful. I look at the content, scan it until I find the content I want to read, and then read just that section. I don’t see the reason to read content I’m not interested in and many people are in the same boat, as a scanner.

Making content that is scannable has huge success factors to your website and content. People will stay on your website for longer, click onto other articles to digest more information, and generally engage with the content more. Taking this into consideration, here are some of the ways you can make content scannable for your traffic.


Write a Great Headline

The first stage to scannable content is having an effective headline, If the web user is unsure what your content is going to be about, already you are going to struggle to encourage the web user to read. Including items such as ‘X’ ways to do this or asking or answering a question is a good way of grabbing the reader’s attention.


Keep Paragraphs Short and Sweet

This makes sense that the shorter the paragraph, the easier it looks to read. It will take less effort and time for web users to read it. This makes shorter paragraphs look more appealing to the web user, making the content more scannable. Paragraphs break up the content and the topics that are being spoke about. The more paragraphs there are, the more topics, to the web user, that they can scan through.

As a rule of thumb, paragraphs can be kept to around 100 words maximum.


Use Subheadings

Subheadings are a great way to further break up the content. However, more importantly, they are the easiest type of content to scan through, due to their size. They summarize what the content below it is going to be about, in the clearest form to the web user.


Use a Range of Different Formatting

Using different formatting is another way to break up your content. It can seem quite dull and boring to be using the same content format for the whole of your article. You might need headings. You might need to quote something. You might need bullet points or to make a list. You might need certain content made bold, italics or underline.

The more formatting variation you include in your articles, the easier it is to scan the content. This is because you are further differentiating important content to less important content, so it is easier for the web user to scan what the content is about and whether or not they should read it.

Will created Ask Will Online back in 2010 to help students revise and bloggers make money developing himself into an expert in PPC, blogging SEO, and online marketing. He now runs others websites such as Poem Analysis, Book Analysis, and Ocean Info. You can follow him @willGreeny.

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