How to Stop Content Skimming (and Get People to Read at a Snail’s Pace)

One of the issues we find as content creators is that many people skim through content.

They’ll either:

A. Just look at the URL or headline and deduct their own ideas

B. Jump around and look past a lot of the smaller details we cover

When people skim through the content we are losing valuable opportunities to send people to valuable, affiliated resources.

You want them to slow down… waaaaaay slow….

content skimming


It’s a given that people are going to do this regardless but there are ways to format your articles so it’s more engaging.

Here is a quick set of tips to make your articles in a fashion people don’t want to skim:


1. Keep the post lenght short (within reason)

People have a lot on their plate so it’s important that you don’t make the content too lengthy. Get to the point as soon as you can to make sure that they get the main points.

Longer articles tend to rank better… but tacking on 1,000+ words for a basic 1-2-3 step guide is unecessary.


2. Form a structure and break up the post

If it’s a lengthier article then make sure that you’re frequently using sub-headings so that if a reader wants to skim around there will be sections that catch their attention.

Try to avoid big bocks of text.


3. Use a font that’s easy on the eyes

You may have written tons of papers in school using 12 point font but that’s not the case for the Web; consider bumping the font size up to 14-16pt to make it easier to read.

It’s usually best to stick to sans-serif.


4. Add some formatting to draw attention

Be sure to utilize italicization, bolding, and underlining to draw attention to parts of your work that matter.


5. Don’t go too crazy with the links

Try not to overdo it with the links otherwise you’ll send the reader down a rabbit hole of content and miss the opportunity to convert them from the original article.


6. Add images to break the flow

Visuals have stopping power for skimming because they catch the eye so be sure to add them throughout your posts; do the same with video when they’re appropriate.



Though this article doesn’t put these into effect…

…it shows that length plays an important role.

It’s short, set as a list, and gets to the point.

I’m able to convey the message effectively.

Wouldn’t you agree?

You probably still skimmed (that’s what we all do). Hopefully I caught enough of your attention so you’ll start reworking your content for better headlines, body, and CTA’s. If not? Well… best of luck, then, because people aren’t stopping skimming anytime soon.