Five Tips on Writing Easily Scannable Web Copy
Most Internet users don’t read the majority of what they view online, says John Morkes, a usability expert and director of the Human-Computer Interaction Group at Trilogy Software. In fact, he continues, 79 percent of all Internet users just briefly skim most of the material they see on the Web. In her book, “Web Copy That Sells” (American Management Association, www.amacombooks.org, $21.95), Maria Veloso gives five tips on how you can write copy that takes advantage of your customers’ method of viewing your Web site.
1. Use bulleted lists to summarize content.
2. Highlight selected keywords or phrases by using bold or italic fonts or by underlining, writes Veloso. This will help scanners move through your Web copy more efficiently.
3. Write meaningful subheads rather than amusing or clever ones. This will direct customers to points they find important.
4. Present only one idea per paragraph.
5. Use the inverted pyramid style of writing. “Present key points and conclusions first, followed by less important information and background material,” Veloso writes.