Many of us have pages on our website that are text-heavy. The simple answer might be to break up the content and separate it across multiple pages, but there’s tremendous SEO value in keeping all of it confined to a single URL.
The problem is that most visitors are turned off by large, chunky paragraphs and a long, grey river of words. In order to hold their attention and ensure they stay with you, look for ways to break up the text in a functional and aesthetically pleasing manner.
Here are six tips for skillful ways to do that:
1. Integrate Multimedia
In an effort to appeal to visually and auditorially oriented learners, you might include multimedia elements on text-heavy pages whenever that’s possible. By incorporating a video that recaps what the text says — as in this example from Convince & Convert – you can make the page more attractive and shareable.
2. Provide Bullet Points
Instead of filling up a single paragraph with a series of data points or tips, spread out the content with bullet points to create some visual relief for readers. This page from Kelly & Soto Law is a nice example of this approach. Notice how bolded bullet points make the content less intimidating and easier to scan.
One thing you have to be careful about when including bullet points is not to cheapen the rest of your content. People tend to be drawn toward these elements and to the exclusion of everything else.
Still, the most important information should be included in the bullets.
3. Use Colored Subheadings
Subheads not only provide visual relief, but they allow you to divide up content and move seamlessly from one topic to the next. For the best results, make your subheadings a little bigger and bolder, and render them in a different color from the rest of the text. The Kelly & Soto Law page is worth referencing for this tactic, as well.
4. Get the Line Length Right
Did you know the length of the text on a single line also has a measurable impact on the readability of your pages? This might seem like a small thing, but it can turn readers off if you don’t get it right.
According to Smashing Magazine, the total number of characters (including spaces and punctuation) should fall somewhere in the 45-to-85 range. The ideal number is believed to be 65 characters.
5. Use Hyperlinks
Hyperlinks serve a variety of purposes. Although they’re primarily used to source ideas, quotes, and statistics, they can also be employed to improve the flow of your content.
Hyperlinking a few words or sentences in each paragraph creates contrast across your text. It’s simple and concise, but does an effective job of drawing attention to words you want the reader to focus on. Some would argue it’s even better than bolding a word (though that works, too).
6. Think About Mobile
The final suggestion is to anticipate the needs of mobile users. Your web pages have to be responsive in order to ensure consistency across the board. Otherwise your desktop readers will see your content one way, but mobile users will have a different experience.
Prioritize User Experience
When you’re developing website pages and composing blog posts, it’s so easy to focus on the technical SEO components that you may forget your audience. If you review your website, this might become painfully obvious.
In an ideal world, your site would be both user-friendly and SEO-friendly. You certainly don’t want to ignore SEO, but there are ways to thrive without a strong SEO presence.
It’s impossible, however, to build a successful online business without a user-friendly website. Breaking up those text-heavy pages is a step in the right direction.