Let’s be blunt. Online reading is different than reading a newspaper or a book. When people read online, they often don’t read at all. They scan. They look for keywords and ideas that jump out at them and make them take notice.
You probably “read” the same way. The next time you pull up a blog post or heck, even this article, do you read every sentence word for word or do you scan it and try to pick up the main points quickly?
I’m betting that you scan and look for the main points. Why? Because we all do it. We’re busy. We lead busy lives and often reading a full article word for word doesn’t offer any more value than simply scanning it for the highlights.
What Does That Mean to You As a Website Owner?
It means that it’s important for you to give your readers information to scan. You want to highlight the key points. You want to call attention by using formatting. And you want to make your article so darn easy to read that your visitors actually do get the gist of your article and take action on it.
Simple Formatting Means Success
Take a look at how this article is formatted. Go ahead.
You’ll notice short sentences.
You’ll notice short paragraphs.
You’ll also notice two other things, and these are key. You’ll notice that I use bold formatting for my headlines and subheadings – and notice that I’m also using subheadings. They’re great places to put key information, ideal for scanning and for search engines.
You’ll also notice that I use bullets or numbered lists. We’ll, I haven’t used them yet; but here we go:
5 Simple Ways to Make Your Content Easy on the Eyes
- Short paragraphs
- Short sentences
- Lots of white space. Too many words crammed together make it difficult to read. Break it up.
- Bold lettering – used sparsely but with impact in mind
- Bullets or lists to provide a quick list of the key points
Oh, and here’s a bonus tip for you – use graphics whenever it seems appropriate to help make your content more visually interesting. Add a photo, chart, graph or even a relevant screen shot.
Pay attention to the articles and blog posts you read online and how you read them. Write your content in a way that makes it easy for your readers to enjoy and absorb.
Finally, test and track which content is read the most often. You may find that your readers respond to certain formatting styles more than others. For example, they may like lists or tips instead of “how to” articles. This is a golden nugget of information because you can then modify your content style and formatting to fit your audience’s preferences!