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How to Optimise Your Articles for Skimmability

Man Taking Notes on Readability

According to HubSpot, around half of us will check out a company’s blog before deciding whether to purchase. That’s a lot of people.

Optimising your blog for skimmability is vital if you want to keep readers engaged and give a good impression. It makes it much easier for people to find the information they’re looking for and keep them reading until the end, where your CTA is. That’s your call to action. The more people that see your CTA, the higher your chances of converting potential clients or customers.

Even if people aren’t looking to buy your service or product, making your articles skimmable can help build a positive image of your brand. So, how exactly can you make your articles easy to skim? While there is no secret formula, most people find success combining a range of key tips and formats. Below, you’ll discover five tactics you can use to take your web content to the next level – whether it’s a blog post or news article.     

Skimmable content and SEO

As well as looking visually appealing, skimmable content can indirectly help your SEO efforts too. The longer you keep your audience reading, the lower your bounce rate. A lower bounce rate will please Google, and your article will likely rank higher on search engine results pages. Audience retention is a crucial indicator to Google whether people enjoy your content, so keeping it engaging is vital to your success.

Thankfully, nailing this skill with some practice shouldn’t be too difficult. Keep reading to discover how to take your content from eyesore to eye-catching, all with a few simple adaptations.

Tips to make content skimmable

Great – you have clients and customers visiting your blog. But now you have the challenge of keeping them engaged. If people don’t like your content and don’t find it easy to read, how will they feel about your brand? This is why your business must get it right. Think about the last time you clicked on a blog post stuffed full of long paragraphs and corporate jargon. How did you feel? You probably clicked off.

Your content needs to be skimmable to stand out in an already crowded market – otherwise, your brand will struggle. Here’s how to achieve that.

1. White space

Adding enough white space is arguably one of the most essential parts of making skimmable content. This means keeping paragraphs short – no longer than three to five sentences, each no longer than 25 words. You should also ensure there’s enough white space between each line of text and each paragraph.

A great example of this is Brian Dean’s SEO analysis blog post on Backlinko. Each paragraph is short and sweet, and he uses plenty of infographics to display complex information and break up text sections.

2. Font size

The “best” font size is all down to preference, but it shouldn’t be too small. It also depends on what device the user is using and will be different for desktop and mobile. Stick to anywhere between 12 and 16pt for mobile and 16pt to 20pt on desktop. Test it yourself to see how it looks and reads, and tweak it until it is perfect.  

3. Bullet points

Utilise bullet points to break up information into points and lists. This will make content easier to read and understand. 

4. Be clear

Although it’s tempting to display your expertise through the use of jargon, it’s essential to remember who your target audience is. Who will be reading your text? Are you helping professionals in your field, or are you selling to someone who doesn’t have much knowledge of your brand or topic?

Keep your message clear and concise, and avoid implementing technical language. Explain information in simple, easy-to-understand terms. You should use tools such as Hemmingway or Grammarly to keep sentences short and punchy. Both of these will help readers skim through your content.  

5. Provide an overview

Provide an overview of what you’ll cover in each section of your blog post or article. Use bullet points or numbered lists so it’s easy to follow. This way, readers can easily find what they’re looking for. It will also make content more skimmable as users scroll, as they can keep an eye out for important headings.

Although it may take slightly longer to implement these techniques, it will help you create easy-to-read content tailored to your audience. Of course, you should also ensure you organise information in a logical order so it’s easy to skim. After all, you don’t want your audience to be confused by the time they reach your CTA. 


Written by Saskia Ainsworth (Happy Headlines, X)

Saskia

Saskia is a freelance content writer and copywriter who has worked professionally for various publications over the last four years. Her bylines include Glam, House Digest, Women, Utopia, TheThings, and the legal firm Edwards Hoyle. With a passion for all things SEO, she’s used her skills to propel content to the top of SERPs and deliver content that engages readers. She also actively writes journalistic pieces for her news site, Happy Headlines, and has even self-published her own novel.