tl;dnr: The length and formatting of your content matters. People read differently online than in print (and mobile is even more different).
Ever click through a link and then find an article that was way too long and hard to read? If you’re like most people, you quickly left. How people read content online is quite different than how they read in print. And the circumstances around their information needs will also dictate how they read a page and how long you have to get your point across.
Stick to the Point
Unlike when you sit down to read a book for pleasure, reading online almost always has a purpose. Thinking about that purpose for each piece of content and then quickly addressing that purpose in the first paragraph can help you meet your reader’s needs (and the more likely they’ll be to keep reading). Write the conclusion/summary first and then elaborate on it for more information.
Format for Scanning
When people first come to a web page, they quickly scan it to see if it solves their purpose. By using subheadings, short paragraphs and bullet points it’s possible to format your content to be more easily scanned. Large, long blocks of text are a big no-no online.
Think About Mobile Use
When someone is on a mobile device, they often have a different purpose in mind than if they’re in front of their computer. If you are a business, they may be looking for directions or a phone number, so they should be easy to find on your mobile site. Mobile screens are also much smaller, so people see less of your page. Make sure the important information is at the top and clearly visible.
How do you format your content for online reading and for mobile use?