Writing Blog Posts That are Scanable
When people read websites and blogs, the majority don’t read, they scan. According to studies by Nielsen Norman Research Group, only 16% of people read. As we write, we should remember that our format should be easy to scan. So how do we write real estate blog posts and pages that are easy to scan?
Scannable Website Content
I’ve written before about how people read in an F-Pattern.
We should keep in mind several key features that are necessary in a post:
- Use Headings and subheadings to separate sections of your text. It helps scanners get to the information that they really want. It also helps with SEO.
- Love the Bullet Point. People are more likely to look at lists with bullet points than lists without them. 70% vs. 55%, according to Nielsen’s findings.
- We should use a simpler vocabulary and syntax, not because people are dumb, but because they scan. Using mostly simple sentences is ok, with a complex sentence thrown in once or twice in the post.
- In the same manner, paragraphs should be short. Two or three sentences.
- Use Your White Space, give the eyes a break between topics. When people get to a website and see a “wall of words”, most of them move on.
- Use photos, graphs and images to break up the written content. People are drawn in by eye candy. Use them in a zig-zag style, down the page, to draw people into reading your content.
- Use bold words sparingly, but in places where you want people to fixate and read your main points.
- The same goes for links. Make sure your text in the link is not only keyword rich, but enticing to the reader. Don’t use too many links as it tends to look spammy. Using one per paragraph is a good limit.
All of these tips are very useful in crafting a visually appealing post. But before you tidy up your post, make sure that you have something good to say. People still won’t make it through much of your content if you have nothing to say that is worth their time. Make sure you put the most important content at the top of the post. When people see right up front that it’s what they want, they will stay and read more.
Make sure your content is what you promised in your title. This is a must for building trust with your reader. Don’t over promise and under deliver.
When I write a blog post, I try to keep in mind that people are taking time out of their busy day to look at what I’ve got to say. I want to answer their questions as well and as directly as I can because I value their time. They don’t have to spend time reading my blog… there are about 800,000 other web pages on any given topic that they could be looking at. So if they find my site, I’m not going to take that for granted!