80% of web users scan web pages, when they do read they read 25% slower than off screen readers.
The key is to write content that can be easily scanned , this can be done by adopting some of the following suggestions.
- Highlight key words and use bulleted lists where appropriate to the content, this helps to open up large block of text.
- Try not to cut and paste content directly from a printed document – an approximate rule is to cut it down by 75% , this is a must if you expect your users to read it on a screen.
- The inverted pyramid technique is a great approach to writing good content. Start with the conclusion, and then go on to explain the full story.
- Aim to stick to one idea per paragraph.
- Always keep links phrases concise and clear. Ask yourself if they make sense if read out of context or as a series of links? At all costs avoid these terms: click here, more info, follow this link and this website, they are meaningless when read as a list. A screen reader will just hear the words click here with no idea where the link will take them. Click here implies the use of a mouse which may not be the case. Using descriptive words or phrases in links help users to understand what to expect and is of benefit to the search engines.
- Are heading and subheadings meaningful – can user quickly scan the page and understand what they’re looking at or looking for.