Edit Your Copy for Scanners

Elements that enhance scanning include headings, large type, bold text, highlighted text, bulleted lists, graphics, captions, and topic sentences.

1. Make it visually clear which element is the headline, which one is the subheadline, and those that are subheads.

2. Subheads break up your content, making it easy to digest. Use them as a mini-headline that introduces the next block of content. Reading your subheads should be enough for the scanner to know what your copy is about. Make them meaningful.

3. Bullet lists make your content easy to scan. They are different from the rest of the text, providing a visual break for your reader. Remember that they are much more than just a formatting trick. While you are editing, make sure you are using bullet lists to:

  • Highlight the features and benefits of your product.
  • Emphasize pain and danger.
  • Show the results.
  • Define your target market.
  • Show the reader what he gets.
  • Tell the customer how the product work.

The most important points should go at the top, keeping the third most important point to add at the end of the list. The words and their order are also important. Review the section about bullet points to see if you have missed something.

4. Review that your sentences and paragraphs are short.