Reading online is hard. I know it. You know it. Or you may not. But you’ll know it when you come a big fat piece of chunky block text.
It’s taxing on your eyes.
DID YOU KNOW: We read slower online than we do in print? But we spend most of our lives online; suffering from a now-common illness … mobile permanently attached to hand 24-7 (MPATH247) syndrome.
You reading me?
I am one of these people who suffers this god-awful tech disease.
But not only do I have phone attached to hand, I have a laptop affixed to my, well, lap and an iPad stuck to some other part of my body. Or at least only arm’s length away.
But as I’m surfing and scrolling I’m noticing one thing more and more, or lack of it: Formatting.
Without formatting … I can’t even begin to explain how important it is to a website page or blog post. But, it makes your words…
- Easier on the eye
- More readable
- Stand out (because so few people do it)
- SEO friendlier
- Ultimately, look good online
With that I want to share my top tips when it comes to formatting your wow words online … it’s all part of word styling, my friends, and it’s so simple (even my Dad can do it!)
PS: My Dad is awesome by the way. Over the years he has taught himself how to bold and italicise words, cut, paste, print, download, email and do internet banking. That’s amazing for someone who didn’t grow up with MPATH247 syndrome.
Top 5 formatting favourites even your Dad can do:
- Bold: One of the best inventions. Use it sparingly, but use it to make your words stand out. Don’t just use it on keywords either, use it to draw reader’s eyes down the page to your call to action.
- Italics: Another way of subtly drawing your readers down your page, breaking up the text as you go. It’s another way to make your words wow.
- Bullet points or numbers lists: This does a few things. It breaks up your block text because no one like a chunky blog of text, it puts more white space around your characters to make it easier on your eye and it breaks up the page so it’s easier to read. Also it’s considered different text in the eyes of search engines when they are crawling your content.
- SUB HEADERS: Another way to break up your text into more manageable pieces of cool content. A great place to use your keywords too. You can capitalise these for a standout effect. But I would be sparing with caps anywhere else in your text. They are actually hard to read and slow your eye down.
- TRY: Go read a paragraph of capitalised text and see how slow you read it compared with sentence case.
- White space: White space is the best. How nice does a page look when it has ample white space. Putting in a few extra returns never hurt anyone and it makes content easier to consume because it’s simply easier to read.
PLUS: He’s another free tip…V.I.S.U.A.L.S. You want one or two on every page or post. Don’t leave home without one.
That’s as easy as it gets and it doesn’t need to take up too much more of your time.
Your readers – and the search engines – will thank you for making your content easier on their eyeballs.
And you want to keep eyeballs, don’t you?
Have I missed anything you would add…shoot me a message below.
* This is an area I’ve covered extensively in my book Wow Words on the Web, it’s at the printers as we speak.
Pre-purchase your copy here.