Is your content getting read? Probably not. You may not know it, but your visitor’s attention span is dwindling every year – fast. People are hungry for information, and if they don’t get what they are looking for right away, they’ll move on.
Creating content that not only attracts visitors to your site, but also provides them with quality information about your business is crucial for conversion.
How can you give visitors what they want? Make your content skimmable.
Skimmable content allows your readers to get in, get what they need, and get out, while retaining valuable information about your business. Many business owners flood their site with lengthy, descriptive text. While it may be a great piece of work, it won’t work for your business.
Here are 6 simple tools to make your quality content more skimmable.
Headings are crucial for skimmable content. Rather than making your visitors dig deep into lengthy text to find answers, present them on a silver platter. Not only will your readers appreciate the ease of reading, they will also stay on your site longer.
A heading should not just be any statement. A heading should be a carefully thought out, catchy phrase that begs your visitors to keep reading. A series of headings throughout your content will make it look less intimidating to the reader, which will help you convert them into customers.
To create an engaging heading without thinking too hard, remember this simple acrostic.
H – Helps The Reader
E – Emotional Appeal
A – Asks A Question
D – Do’s & Don’ts
I – Invites Further Reading
N – Not Boring
G – Gets More Readers
Who doesn’t love a good acrostic.
2. Short paragraphs
Most people are scanning, not reading your content. By making your paragraphs shorter, your visitors will be actively engaged in the text.
Of course, this does not mean dumbing down your content, it simply means crafting it in a more concise format.
A large chunk of text can easily be broken down into a few 1 – 3 sentence smaller chunks. Short snippets, rather than lengthy paragraphs, encourage further reading.
Your visitors will see this as less information they have to filter through, which will increase your chances of having your article read from start to finish.
Lists are the ultimate skimmable content. You can use them as the basis of your text to tease visitors onto your page, or have them embedded in your text to highlight important facts.
Why should you use lists? Let’s make a list about it.
- Lists will stand out from the rest of your text
- They act as a visual break for your reader
- A list will break down lengthy paragraphs into bite-sized information
- They are easy to scan
Using numbered steps is a great way for your website’s visitors to become emotionally connected to your company. By spelling out the details of your services into simple steps, your readers will feel as if they are a part of the process.
Steps will make your readers feel more comfortable choosing your business over competitors. They will know exactly what to expect, and will be more confident in your company.
This is why shows like How It’s Made and CSI are so popular. Viewers are pulled into a journey with the characters and feel as if they are involved. At the end of each program, they are left with a sense of understanding. This is something that is easily transferable into your website’s content.
5. Bolded Statements
Highlighting a key word or phrase is a great way to draw attention to important facts about your business. Your readers’ eyes will jump right to your bolded phrase as soon as it hits the screen.
If there is a message that your readers need to understand, this is the perfect way for it to be heard.
By bolding, highlighting, or italicizing multiple lines of content, you are bound to confuse your readers. Trying to draw attention to everything will end up drawing attention to absolutely nothing.
Linking out to other pages of content on your site is a must. Rather than fully describing a term, process, or concept in your text, embed a link to one of your other pages that gives further information.
Your readers will know exactly where to find more information later, but will also be able to continue reading through your content with ease.
By guiding your visitors to further information about your business, they will stay on your site longer. The longer they are on your site, the more they will learn about your business and the more likely they are to become customers.
As we know, adding links into your text is not only good for readers, but it’s also good for SEO. Kill two birds with one stone with a simple addition of a link in your text.
It’s time do a quick skim through your sites current content. Does it pass the skimmable test? Hopefully skimming through this post has helped you realize how effective skimmable content can be.