Five Ways to Improve Scannability For More Views
You spent hours researching and creating the perfect article, but once it was online, your views didn’t meet your expectations. As an online writer, you need to do more than present a well-researched and written piece. You must convince the viewer in less than 15 seconds that your article or webpage says something of value to them. The best way to convince people to read your article is to improve the scannability of your page.
Start with a compelling yet precise headline.
Don’t give your viewer a teaser. They’re too impatient to read through the muck to find out what it is you have to say. Go to Google, type in the topic you are writing about and see how others have titled their articles. The ones that make the first page always clearly state the article’s purpose. Make your headline interesting, brief and specific to your topic.
Lead with a valuable first paragraph.
Your first paragraph should be short and convince your reader that what lies beyond your lead is of value to them. Do this by getting to the point. Don’t dilly dally or waste their time with a garble of superfluous verbiage. Tell them exactly what the article is about in concise language.
Sub-headlines keep the viewers reading.
Sub-headlines allow the viewer to know if the next section is valuable to them. It also allows them to get the gist of the entire article without having to read all the information. If the viewer feels they need this information, they’ll keep reading.
Ensure each paragraph says something of value to the viewer. Former BBC Journalist, Allan Little, has this to say about good writing and brevity:
- Be direct
- Use precise words
- Write in short sentences no longer than 16 words
- Simplify your writing, not your idea
You should also stick to one topic per article. Instead of overwhelming the viewer with extra information, link that information to another page. Maintaining one topic per page creates interactivity on your site and allows the viewer to choose the information that is important to them.
White space creates needed breaks.
Nowadays people are increasingly viewing web pages via mobile devices. Screens are getting smaller. Having a bunch of black text can be difficult and confusing to read. White space not only creates a more professional look, but it guides the viewer’s eyes moving them through your content.
Simple ways to increase white space are:
- Bullet points
- Photos and other visual aids
- Pull-out quotes
As writers, we value information and so do our viewers. Still, it is best not to inundate viewers with too much information. You have a mere 15 seconds to convince them that your information is what they need. Make sure you give it to them in a way that is valuable, brief, scannable and easy to view and navigate. Doing this will improve your chances of having your entire article read. Isn’t that what we want, to write something that people will read?