People read websites differently to the way they read print material.
Web Writing versus Print
When you read a newspaper, you probably nestle into a comfy chair with a cup of coffee and a half hour to spare.
You head to your favourite section and absorb the information.
But when it comes to business websites, we’re results-focused creatures. Why? Because we search for business services with a goal in mind.
To find the information we want fast, we tend to scan, rather than read.
Exceptions, Exceptions, Exceptions
Of course, there are variations to the law of scanning. For example, older people are less likely to scan content than younger people. (Old habits die hard!)
And if we’re researching a product or service, we may spend more time perusing information.
What does this Mean for your Business?
The goal of your web writing is to get people to buy, inquire or share. Of course, your goal will depend on what service or product you offer.
That means you want to write the persuasive stuff first – the information people need to make a decision about whether to act.
And that’s where the law of scanning comes in. Here are 5 tips to make your web writing easier to scan.
5 Ways to Make your Web Writing Scannable
- Keep it sharp – short sentences are easier for people to scan.
- Targeted – focus on one topic per page. New topic? Start a new page on your website.
- Be bold – bold key phrases to break up text (but don’t go too crazy, as it can be distracting to readers).
- Bite size is the best size – use short paragraphs. Large chunks of text are harder to scan.
- Sub-headings – break up chunks of text with sub-headings. It helps people find specific information faster.
Read this article for more DIY web writing tips.
Verb Web (lovers of words on the web)