Improve Your Website with Skimmable Content

Take a look at the pages of your website – are they a “wall of text”? In other words, do the pages have just paragraph after paragraph of content that all looks the same? If so, you’ll get a more impactful website, and one more likely to be read, by making your content “skimmable”. I’m not sure that’s a word, but what I mean is that the content needs to be broken into chunks, visually. This has a couple of effects:

  1. Make the content more inviting, less intimidating. Many people do not like to read, so they find a wall of text to be off-putting.
  2. Allow the reader to get a feel for the content without having to read every word. This lets them establish they are in the right place and that the content interests them without investing in reading all of it.

As an example of what I mean, check out the images below. The first one shows the content of my SEO page as a wall of text. The second one shows the same page after making the content skimmable. Notice how much more you get out of the second version, even with just a glance!

Website content which is not optimized for users.
An example of Wall of Text

Website content optimized for users
The same content, but not it is optimized for usability, or “skimmable”

How to Make Content Skimmable

The idea of skimmable content is to break the content into more digestible chunks. You can do this with the following tools:

  1. Use bullets and numbered lists when possible. If you are listing a series of things, consider doing it this way because bullets are very easy to skim.
  2. Use bold textto allow the eye to easily find keywords.
  3. Use headlines or subtitlesto break the content into sections.
  4. Use captions on your images. Many people will read captions before they read any other page content.
  5. Keep paragraphs relatively short. Keep in mind, many people will read your content on mobile devices where the screen is not as wide. This makes all paragraphs look much longer.

It really is very easy to put in practice. And, as a bonus, making these changes to your website will help you with SEO in several ways, not the least of which is to give you an opportunity to update content that may not have been touched in a really long time.

If you’d like assistance making your website more user-friendly with skimmable content, Webster Digital Marketing can help. Contact us today.