Believe it or not, people will skim through the content regardless of whether it’s extremely valuable to their immediate needs.

It could be a life-changing idea but everyone jumps around when reading online text.

The problem is skimming.

Alot of your vital information (and call-to-actions) get passed over therefore you lose out on converting the visitor.

The aim of this article is to dive into what makes for great formatting.

The goal is to get your visitors not only read the content but take action.

 

STOP. Don’t Skim.

Headlines – these are what most people read and then make their way to the next.

We all do it because we’re strapped for time.

We choose to avoid big blocks of text because they require a mental commitment.

The first lesson:

Treat your headlines as if they were the most important bits of information.

Make it so that even if someone skims they’re able to get the main message of the content.

This may be tricky but quite possible.

Remember:

You don’t need to make it a short sub-heading – it can be as long as you want.

Also – break up your sentences a bit more.

 

Make it BOLD

Bold test is easy to pick up because it stands out (naturally).

We’d discourage you from using too much bolding but would mention that it’s very valuable if you know the right keywords you want an individual to read (to hook them into the other text).

 

Italics works wonders

Italics can do a great job at emphasis.

  • You don’t want to go to that website
  • You don’t want to go to that website

The difference? The latter is one that subtly references a website whereas the first is just a general statement. Reading the second plants the idea that you know what website is in reference so there is immediate association.

Use your italics properly and you can change the whole mood and tone of your message.

 

Lists

  • Bullet points
  • And numbered lists
  • Get read.

We don’t think it needs to be fully explained because it’s inert that text that breaks from the block formatting will naturally draw our attention.

Bullet points are easy to consume.

It’s why most readers will skim around until they hit these points – so make sure a lot of your good information is within these lists.

Likewise, you may want to bold the main element of the items listed in the list for easy scanning.

 

Use those Links

Sites and themes tend to go with a complimentary color palette.

That’s perfectly fine but we, humans, have come accustomed to certain formats with links…

…mainly: blue and underlined.

There’s really no reason to break from the tradition and best practice.

Though, match your style if it’s too jarring for your taste.

 

Block “Quotes”

WordPress and most themes/designs will come with a block quote format so you can pull out those snippets of information that really matter – or just testimonials/opinions.

Block quotes break the visual symmetry and creates an effective format for your call-to-action.

Try to use them sparingly.

Quoting a source is fine or if you really need to draw attention gets a pass.

 

 

The conclusion (and one more thing you should know but you’re probably already off the page so oh, well)

A lot of your articles end with some quip about what they have learned and what to do next –  most people are already on their way out.

Instead of having a blaring “this is the end” section…

…lead out of the last paragraph or inject some form of “awesome” tip that shouldn’t get passed up.

 

There you have it – go out, do some edits, try out formatting – make it happen.

 

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