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Home / All  / Lifestyle  / People on the web don’t read your texts, they scan them

What does “scan” mean? This means that people open the text, look at the title, read the beginning of the first paragraph, then jump to the second paragraph, scroll down to the first subtitle, glance left, right, go back up, and so on — all in all, total chaos, eyes flying in all directions.

Almost no one reads everything, patiently, line by line, it rarely happens.

Just because people clicked on the title of your text doesn’t mean they want to read what you wrote. First of all, they want to see if it’s worth reading it at all, how much time they have to dedicate to it, and if it will be interesting.

How do they decide that? By first flipping through the entire text. In that first “flyover” of the text, they decide whether to start reading at all, and even later, if we do not follow these rules, they can quickly leave.

First, the width of the line must be about 80 characters. 70, 90, and that is ok but stay within those limits.

This depends on the design of the site itself. So, you can’t influence this whenever you write, but you have to make sure that the “break” of the site is like that.

The more you increase the width of the line, the text will be less legible, and people leave. If it is too narrow, then the eyes are constantly jumping from row to row, and thoughts cannot be grasped.

Paragraph height is extremely important. Aim for paragraphs to be no longer than 3-4 lines, and you can occasionally insert some slightly longer, 6-7, to add dynamics.

For the sake of that dynamic, feel free to insert a paragraph that is one line high. Or even a single word.

“Example.”

All of this contributes to people saying, “this text seems interesting” when they scan it with their eyes, and it also holds their attention later.

Bold essential keywords in the text because people first come across them when they “scan” the text. But don’t overdo it. A text that has too many bold words and phrases sends the message “everything matters”, which means that nothing matters.

A common mistake is writing the text in a small font. When choosing a font for titles and subtitles, the font is not as important as it is to have a so-called typographic contrast.

Good typographic contrast means that your subtitles and titles are significantly larger than the main text.

Always write through the inverse pyramid is an essential rule in writing for the web, and 90% of marketing messages are not read because the one who wrote them did not write through the “inverse pyramid” (nor do they know what that is).

In traditional journalism, one learns that the inverse pyramid refers to the structure of the entire text. So, at the beginning of the text are the most important facts and the main conclusion, and as the text progresses, there are more and more “boring” things that are less important.

Always look at your text as other people look at it. Open it as superficially as possible, scan it, does it all seem tempting. Because your readers do the same. Be skeptical of your text at first glance, just as they are skeptical.

Think of your text as “a pile of rubbish unless proven otherwise in the first 5 seconds”, so take a look and decide for yourself whether that text is promising or not.

People are used to Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks. It is the most comfortable way for them to read. That is why it is best that your text stylistically resembles the timeline from social networks, in terms of the content with which you present your story.

Timeline on social networks is a mixture of everything. If your text seems like a mixture of everything at first glance, the chances are good that people in the first scan will say “ha, this seems interesting, let me read it!”