Our lawyer blogging services blog presents an article on how to deal with the problem (or opportunity) of “scanning.”
There are many choices on the Internet that it would be impossible to read everything that interests you. To compensate, many people wind up just scanning through articles. It has become a common practice which has brought forth the demand for writing scannable law firm blogs.
Scanning is not something that is taught in schools, but it is something most people do on a daily basis. Therefore, bloggers must be prepared to catch the eye of the casual scanner. When people are scanning an article, something might grab their attention and cause them to read on to the end. Those attention-grabbing components are what make articles scannable.
When writing your next law firm blog, there are certain areas you should concentrate on in order to make your article scannable. Here are some ways that will turn scanners into readers:
- Use Bullet points to attract attention. Bullets do a great job of separating text and making the article more pleasing to the eye. Scanners often identify bullets right away.
- Use sub-headings. This can be a multi-word phrase that sits atop a paragraph. It lets scanners know what that next paragraph is all about. Using a catchy sub-heading will catch the scanner’s attention.
- Use numbered lists. Top 10 lists or Top 20 tips are all catchy ways to engage the scanner. Numbered lists are very popular and add easy and scannable elements to your articles.
- Use bold and italics. The use of bold and italics not only makes certain words stand out, it gives a nice diverse look, which is attractive to scanners. Don’t go overboard with these though. Too much bold and italics will deter the scanner.
- Use different size fonts. Don’t do it too often, but once in a while it won’t hurt to increase the size of a few words. This will pop out at scanners and cause them to take notice.
- Use short paragraphs. This means two to three sentences with four being the max. Scanners do not favor long, clunky paragraphs that can be a strain on the eyes. Make sure there is plenty of space in your article to create a natural flow.
- Use the proper length. Scanners rarely like to read more than 600 words so that should be your limit. Consider 400 words as your minimum as it is just the right length to keep scanners intrigued.
- Use conversational language. Scanners do not like reading textbooks. They are on the lookout for easy flowing text that is not difficult to read. Remember, you are not trying to write Shakespeare.
- Another important part of writing scannable content is to link quality content. Scanners often click other links which may be useful and then the scanning process begins again.
A good idea is to link your own content within the article. Try linking back to a previous article you have written. The anchor text should also contain a phrase and not just a word so that it sticks out to the scanner.
Another important tip to follow is not to overload scanners with too much information. If you try to make too many points in your post, it could lead to people clicking off before they’ve had the chance to read more than a few sentences.
If you are looking to convey quite a few ideas, consider doing so in multiple blog posts. You could then link one post to the next. One main idea per blog is generally enough for scanners. Good luck and thanks for scanning.
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