When writing new content keep in mind how you typically read (or ‘scan’) a web page for the first time. Typically, people spend the first 8 to 12 seconds scanning the page to see if it contains what they are looking for.

Studies show people scan the pages using an “F” pattern or “F Behavior”.

Visitors will not read your web page word-for-word (especially in their initial stages of research). This means that you need to write your page so it is easy to scan . Use headings to signal what the text is about. Subheadings, lists and bullets are a great way to break up the text and make it even easier to scan, as long as it is done within reason and not overdone.

Place important words at the start of subheadings, paragraphs or bullet points so that they form the stem of the “F” down the left side of the page; these words will be easy for the reader to spot and find what they are looking for in the text.

If you want your pages to rank well you will also have to design the pages to cater to the Search Engines as well. Be sure to include a Page Header (“H1” tag) as well as sub headings (H2, H3, etc.). These show the Search Engines the importance of information as it is presented.

Finding a balance between pleasing the Search Engines and your reader can be quite tricky and often takes time to develop but is well worth the effort.

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