why this is so important for your blog – WAU

Find out how to make posts more user friendly in the eyes of readers and optimize the quality of your texts with the concept of scannability!

What do you think is important for content to achieve get your persona’s attention? Believes that your blog has the potential to win both readers and search engines?

With so much content available online, it is necessary to take the right measures to stand out, pass credibility and gain the trust of the reader. Among them, ensuring that your text is scannable is inevitable.

Do you have doubts about the subject and do not know if you are doing it properly? In today’s post, we will unveil some mysteries about the scannability of content!

Below, we explain why it is important and show the online reading pattern. We also present the main benefits it offers and what needs to be done to put it into practice. Check out:

Why is scannability important?

Currently, we can consider two main reasons that are transforming a person’s reading experience.

So that you understand the first, think about how many tabs are open in your browser at the same time.

It is common to “jump” from one to the other and read dynamically the content present in each of them, in order to ensure that the material is of interest to you, whether on a social network or a blog post.

And the second is related to the lack of time, since because we are doing several activities simultaneously, it is necessary to find ways to optimize our performance.

Given this scenario, it is common for the habit of reading to have changed, isn’t it? It is in order not to waste precious time on something “irrelevant” that people currently do what is known as the F reading pattern.

F reading pattern

You may not even know it, but the behavior of a person reading printed material is different from when reading something online.

Due to the specificities of the physical material, the reader’s eye is directed first to the upper left corner of the page, then to the lower right and back to the upper left. This eye movement is known as the Z reading pattern.

On the other hand, the online content reader presents a different way of viewing content and one of the reasons for this, in addition to those already mentioned above, may be the proximity to the screen of the monitor or mobile device used.

The first step taken when entering a page is dynamic reading, in order to quickly assess whether what is there is really valuable or not.

If the visitor of the blog has the impression that its content is not relevant to him or is unable to identify what will be covered in it, he will easily close the tab and perform a new search, so that he can find another blog or website that will leave him more satisfied.

If your text passes this first evaluation, it will continue reading and follow some steps:

  • two horizontal readings are made: the first paragraph is read and also the second;
  • To avoid doubts, the reader does a vertical scan on the left side of the page, checking the rest of the content.

This pattern of behavior is known as F reading. And, make no mistake, all of this is done quickly, naturally and automatically.

Taking this habit into account when producing a text is very important to make it scannable, as this will make all the difference in the experience of your blog visitor, in addition to helping them stay on the page for longer.

The ideal, therefore, is that you favor these focus points with meaningful and attractive information, in order to win the reader.

A widely adopted method is the inverted pyramid, in which the key contents of each topic are presented right at the beginning of the text or each paragraph.

From this contextualization, our intention is to show how the scannability influences the reading experience of the visitor of a website or blog.

But what are the benefits of adopting it? This is what we will show next:

What are the benefits of scannable content?

Well, if you read on, you’re probably interested in better understanding the importance of scannability for your blog.

In this topic, we will present some benefits to prove that investing in this strategy is a smart and very advantageous attitude.

But first, take a minute and think about what you do when you have a question. You probably follow the following steps in this type of situation:

  • accesses a particular search site;
  • choose keywords and do a search;
  • analyze the results and choose the site or blog that seems to be more reliable;
  • scan the content and check if it has the answer to your question.

In a model situation, this experience would be positive at first and you would not have to repeat the entire process to have access to quality information. But that doesn’t always happen, right?

Scanning, therefore, is a way to prevent the reader from abandoning its content because it does not understand what it says.

And it also provides other advantages, such as:

Positively influences SEO strategies

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When planning to produce a text, it is important to take into account aspects that are attractive to both people and search engines.

At SEO strategies, when they are adopted in conjunction with the tactics used to make a text scannable, make the chance of success of a post greater.

Consider the example we gave about how the search for a solution to a question works. In it, we say that you determine some keywords when searching, right?

When it appears in a natural way in a text, preferably in the first paragraph, whenever possible in one of the intertitles and at the end of the content, this helps the search engines and the target audience to understand the subject portrayed in the post.

Contributes to improving the user experience (UX)

A scanable text therefore conforms to the reading pattern in F and this makes the reading process more enjoyable.

Thinking about your blog visitor’s experience is very important, as he will not hesitate to drop your page if he is not prepared to please you.

In addition to the scannability, it is essential to take into account other determinants for the user experience (UX):

  • frequently check how your blog or website is performing and if the use of many applications and widgets is not hurting you;
  • save images always in PNG;
  • ensure responsive design, allowing the user to access your page efficiently from any device;
  • always use clean templates and codes.

Increases the number of conversions

If your post complies with SEO strategies and prioritizes the user experience, of course the result is an increase in the number of conversions, right? Perhaps.

These factors are important, but you must also offer rich and quality content, which has information that is of interest to your persona.

When writing a text, it is ideal that you keep in mind if you are going to add something to the reader, how you are going to answer his doubts and if the material is thought provoking enough to attract him.

How to make content scannable?

You may now be asking yourself, “OK, I understand the importance of scannable content and what benefits it provides, but what should I do to put all of this into practice?”

Very simple! Just follow the steps we list below!

Set the text size

A 500-word text does not require the same level of depth as a 2000 e-book. Each of these contents has different strategies and objectives – which is not to say that one negates the importance of the other.

Quite the opposite. First of all, you need to assess how in-depth the topic discussed should be and whether it can be well presented in shorter, more objective material. It is useless to write many pages if the information is repetitive and inconsistent.

It is important that you are aware of how long each type of content usually takes to read:

  • 500 words: 2 minutes;
  • 1,000 words: 5 minutes;
  • 1,500 words: 8 minutes;
  • 2,000 words: 11 minutes;
  • 3,000 words: 16 minutes.

Also, remember the time your reader has to devote to your text. If the content is long, but well developed, with original and relevant information, this will not be a problem.

If you want to know exactly what the ideal size of your posts should be, download our free infographic and optimize your online publications!

Bet on different content formats

In a survey conducted by Hubspot, 42 Content Marketing for 2017.

And several mention the importance of using other content formats in a post to captivate the reader.

The survey points out, for example, that video materials will account for more than 74% of internet traffic.

Another point of emphasis given is that using images strategically can contribute to increase a person’s time spent on a page.

Therefore, always try to invest in other content formats within the same post, such as podcasts, infographics, videos and images.

Use bullet points, italics and bold

These devices are widely used to highlight key information, make reading more fluid and to structure important data.

They should be used sparingly, for example, one tip is to bold the keyword throughout the text.

Link building

Want to make your content richer? Don’t ever give up doing link building.

While external links are essential to prove data and research, giving more credibility to your text, internal links allow the reader to stay longer on your blog and have access to other content.

Align text to the left

Remember the F reading pattern? By formatting your text and aligning it to the left, you are helping to make it happen on your blog. Thus, the user experience is positive and reading becomes more fluid is nice.

Divide text into intertitles

The intertitles they are indispensable resources for the scannability of a text, since they are the ones that divide the material in different parts and subjects.

For example, in a text of 500, ideally, it should have at least 3 H2 intertitles. In addition, they must be standardized, have no more than 6 words and do not speak openly what will be portrayed in the topic, in order to arouse the reader’s curiosity.

An intertitle can be used in different ways, such as:

  • present advantages to the reader;
  • verbs in the infinitive;
  • present questions;
  • agree with the title;
  • be structured in a list format.

Write short paragraphs

So that the reading does not become tiring, it is recommended that your intertitles do not have “blocks of texts” or long paragraphs. Try, on average, to maintain a standard of 50 words and 4 lines.

What tools to use to check if the content is scannable?

To be sure that you are investing in the right strategies and that your content is scannable, you can count on the help of some tools.

If you are using WordPress, Yoast is a plugin that makes your text perfect in Google’s eyes.

In addition to it, you can also count on other tools that check the readability of your material, such as Tests Document Readability,