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Why Scannable Content in Website Design Matters

Let’s face it. The vast majority of people surfing the web today are scanners. With so much content floating around on the internet to consume, that’s really all they have time for.

If you take a look at some of the top performing websites out there (think Apple, PayPal, and Warby Parker), you’ll notice that they all share one thing in common–they make it extremely easy for website visitors to scan the content.

As a marketer, your most valuable commodity on the internet is your audience’s attention. By incorporating scannable content into website design, you’ll be more successful in earning your audience’s attention, which will ultimately help to drive more conversions.

There’s definitely an art to creating scannable content, though, and below are some valuable tips for writing this type of content:

1. Be concise and to the point.
When you’re writing content for your website, it can be tempting to be too wordy and add fluff. After all, people love to talk about their businesses almost as much as they do themselves.

Here are some bad habits that you’ll want to avoid when writing website copy:

  • Giving too much detail
  • Repeating the same point over and over
  • Using the passive voice
  • Throwing in too many adverbs (especially those ending in -ly)

While these bad habits will increase the word count, they offer very little value to your readers and make your content more difficult to scan.

To deliver concise content to your audience, you’ll need to do some serious editing to reduce wordiness before hitting publish.

2. Write for scanners.
According to Nielson research, 79 percent of people surfing the internet are scanners. That being said, why not make reading your content effortless for scanners?

Here are several ways that you can make it easier for your audience to scan your content:

  • Use clear subheadings
  • Bold key takeaways
  • Use bullets to break up text
  • Embrace whitespace
  • Create single-point paragraphs
  • Use an inverted pyramid to walk readers through your content

3. Use objective language.
Too many marketers out there claim to offer the perfect gift or the best price. By using such promotional language, you’ll quickly lose the attention of your audience.

Instead, if you’re more objective, you’ll be more effective in earning credibility and trust with your audience.

Here are some ways that you can be more objective with your writing:

  • Be fair and balanced with what you say
  • Support your claims with facts
  • Avoid exaggerating

By embracing all 3 of these best practices for writing scannable content, you’ll see a noticeable difference in the way that your content resonates with your audience. And, when your website content is getting more attention from your audience, you’ll ultimately see a spike in conversions.

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