By David Holland

January 25, 2017


How to Create Scannable Content that Converts

Whatever your goals might be — revenue, branding hype, customer base increase — name it but you know your content has to perform well to help you achieve these. Creating scannable contents has been proven by businesses to help achieve better conversion and increase reading engagement among target audience.

“Scannable”  as a term in digital marketing simply means something that you can easily read and understand by skip-reading, without having to consume the entire content bit by bit. A scannable content is ideally easy to the eyes, cleverly written, short and precise.

Why you should keep your content scannable?

If you have an online business or put simply any presence on the Internet where you want people to read what you’ve written, to understand your message and take the action you desire, then content scannability is an important strategy that you need to master.

You already know the basics to creating digital content: catchy headlines, reliable sources, flawless grammar and targeted messages. Scannable content on the other hand, means reinforcing that your content and message are read even if the reader does not have time or interest for it.

It’s the Internet and although we might be unaware of this but we are trained to ignore, skip over and disregard things which look too time-consuming, uninteresting or un-valuable.  With these, making content scannable is the solution.

Whatever that content materials you are going to publish the next time, make them scannable. Here are the essentials to creating scannable content.

Write like you are talking to the reader one-to-one

Assume we are face-to-face right now and I’m talking to you about ‘scannable content’. Just like your usual day, you are in a hurry because you  have something else to do. Would you rather have me go through detailed explanation until you’re bored and ask me for a hot shot of espresso or should I instead, cite you the main points?

I am almost certain that you would prefer the latter. Why? Because it’s straightforward, it’s quick and it is simply what you needed. You don’t want me to bluff or pull off conversation about the greatest selling content out there.

Just like this one-to-one conversation where time and straightforwardness are put forward, content scannability must be able to demonstrate the key points of a topic; speeding the information delivery.

Credible titles and introductions

Writing for anything, may it be for the Internet or offline reach, needs to have titles and introductions powerful enough to captivate the target reader’s’ attention. Keep titles and introductions short, non-bluff and catchy. Think of writing your every sentence as something that will push the reader to read the next.

Unless your audience are literature lover, make sure to use simplified words instead of deep archaic. Whatever promises are said in your title, those should be demonstrated within the content. For example, if your title promises 5 easy to make vegan meals, then information within the content should be about 5 easy to create vegan meals.

Subheading, bullets and numbers for effortless reading

Sub-headings help navigation and reading easy to the eyes. Let’s get back to our vegan meal examples. You can create a subheading for quick navigation. Example is a sub-heading called Chips and Nuts as Vegan Snacks.

Breaking texts into subheadings help readers immediately scan through sections they are interested in. For example, among subtitles for vegan recipe, if a reader is only looking for snacks then his attention can be solely focus on sub-headlines where it says vegan snacks.

Texts that needs to stand out can be highlighted by hyperlinking, colors, bold and italicization..

Short sentences. Short paragraphs

Keep the ideal word count when it comes to content’s overall length. Study shows 400-600 word content gets read the most compare to those that are lengthier.

People tend to bounce away from contents that look to crowdy.Creating shorter sentences and paragraphs will also make your content more look pleasant to the eyes.

Inject objectivity and imperfections

Your readers are clevers and they know when something is just too good to be true. If you want to build credibility among your audience, then spicing up your content with objections and the “cons” power ups trust.

An example would be when you are writing a product review which also happens to be a part of your affiliate business. Now people would want to know everything about this product and if it is worth buying.

Trust me, they will not that a product review is just too good to be true when they don’t see even the slightest objectivity on your review.

Sprinkle a tad of external sources

Reliable sources are good add-ons to scannable content. Add up external sources to build trust among readers.

Depending on the content you are creating, call-to-actions are also essential. For example, “read more” for a blog’s preview or “contact us for a free appointment” for a booking business should be more visible than any other text within the content.

The bottom line:

Content scannability is basically about how pleasant and presentable the content is to the eyes. Knowing to create scannable content in today’s age of click, tap-and-go increases the chance of being read and your message delivered.

About the author

Nice bloke with practical ideas. Former Procter & Gamble, Kraft and IBM sales and marketing executive. Became a business owner 20 years ago. Started multiple businesses including EXELA which is the most successful Keap® & Infusionsoft™ reseller in the EMEA region.

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