Make It Scannable Or Lose Your Readers
I was recently reading the blogs and my bloglines and noticed that they all had one thing in common. All the posts were scannable. I could quickly read and pick out the best points! This is one of the reasons I put them in my blog lines.
That is, All The Blogs were Scanable except one. When I went to blog-herald in my bloglines, I realize that they tended to have huge chunks of content. With nothing breaking it up. They didn’t use paragraphs much, lists, bold, underline or even links! In fact I couldn’t even read the whole article. It could have been a great article for all I know, however I wasn’t able to give it my full attention, and since it wasn’t scannable it lost me as a reader.
What does this mean for you? You should always make your content scannable. The internet isn’t a book. You can’t expect people to read your information if you don’t make it easy for them. Make it easy for people and they will stay. Otherwise they will leave. In fact, making your content scannable is first on my list of 10 Ways To Make A Great Site
So how can you make your content scannable
1) Use Paragraphs - Break your thoughts down into paragraphs. Nice short paragraphs of 3-5 sentence are best. Make the first sentence a summary for the rest of the paragraph
2) Use Lists - Use lists whenever possible. They are easy to write, easy to link to, and especially easy to scan
3) Use Bold - Good use of bold in your posts will make it easy for readers to pick out the best points, and to decide if they want to read the rest of the article
4) Use Good Anchor Text - Good use of anchor text will let your users quickly determine if they want to follow a link or not. It is also essential for good search engine rankings.
So how bout yourself? Any tips you can think of that you use to make your posts easy to read? Let me know in the comments.