People rarely read Web pages word by word; instead, they scan the page, picking out individual words and sentences.Nelson Norman GroupSince I’ve decided to focus my time and energy on writing, I’ve been visiting a lot of writing blogs. There’s one thing I’ve noticed happening to a vast majority of them: too many words. Yes, I know you are a writer, but you also want people to read don’t you?
The reading habits of a user on the Internet are vastly different to reading habits in real life (physical paper and books). When we read online we want it now and we want it quick. Don’t just take my word for it, the marketing research company – Nelson Norman Group did a survey on how users read on the web and in short they found that they basically don’t. 79% of readers tested always scan an online page. You can see the full report here.
If you create your blog post in such a way that readers can scan your page, they will not only enjoy your writing more, but actually read more of it.
Try these 5 tips to help improve your blog post’s readability.
- Use fewer words. Make the words you use count. If you can’t stop the word train, try formatting your post like a Press Release – put the most important information at the top and filter down to the least.
- Highlight your words or bold the important first sentence.
- Use bullet points and lists. Utilise white space. This gives your reader’s eyes a break. Too many words jammed into one small screen can be tiring.
- Use subheadings. Break up your post into sections.
- Use a quote to pull out some important information. Put valuable information in a block or pull quote. See the above quote I grabbed off the NNG site? It stands out and is easy to read.
Hot Marketing Tip – Put a summary of your list into a picture for Pinterest and other social sharing dynamics.
Try these tips for your next blog post and see the difference it makes.
Do you have any other tips you have found to improve the readability of your post?