When was the last time you read every single word of a webpage? If you don’t do it, you can’t expect your website visitors to do it either. Research from CEO Tony Haile of Chartbeat reported that people do not read content on the web in a way that we think they do. As a matter of fact, we only have 15 seconds to hook a reader. As a business, web designer, or even blogger, this information is crucial to the survival of your website.
No matter how stellar your content is, it must be skimmable. Content that is skimmable must be formatted in a way that is appealing to the eye and easy for a reader to scan their way through while still picking up all the key points and information.
8 simple tips and tricks to revitalize your site:
Get a TLDR button (Too Long Didn’t Read)
Digiday uses a TLDR, or Too Long Didn’t Read, button that allows users to toggle between the full article or a summary of the article.
theSkimm is popular for taking current events and news and downsizing them into bite size nuggets of information that is easy and quick for readers to digest. They avidly use subtitles to achieve skimmable content.
Create a highlights section
CNN features the main points of its published articles in a section titled “Story highlights.”
Use a slideshow with quality visuals and short captions
Forbes does a great job presenting articles in a visually appealing way. By using galleries, they feature their content using visuals, which are proven to hold readers’ attention longer, and captions with topline information.
When Mashable publishes an article that uses numbered lists, it uses the total number of items in the list as the article title. By doing so, they give readers insight into the content and length of the article.
Publish summaries that link to larger articles
Buzzfeed Newsletters are sent in eblasts to its subscribers. These newsletters provide topline information contains links to larger articles. Note their use of bullet points too!
ReadThink uses a highlighting feature that is crowdsourced by readers. As readers go through the article, they highlight the important points, which makes it easier for later readers to skim the content.
Publish a roundup of content that has been posted throughout the previous week (or given time)
The Week curates all the top news headlines of the week and presents the information in a way that limits quantity but does not sacrifice quality.