There are four easy ways to arrest the eye movement of the reader.
1. Use Crossheads
Crossheads are small headlines run after two or three paragraphs. Each crosshead introduces a new or a different point in the story. The eye of the reader stops when it hits the crosshead, and may encourage the reader to browse the paragraphs right beneath the crosshead. The crossheads are set in a bigger point size than body copy so that they stand out on the web page.
2. Use Sideheads
Sideheads are words that sum up the main point in the paragraph. They are published in bold so as to catch the eye of the reader, and are placed at the start of the paragraph. Unlike crossheads, the sideheads are set in the point size used to set body copy. They too give a reason to the reader to stop.
3. Use Bulleted Lists
Bulleted Lists are a great way to catch the attention of the reader. Firstly, their setting is different. Their width is less than the width of the body copy. Secondly, each point in the bulleted list is set off by a bullet or a check mark, making the reader stop. Thirdly, bulleted lists summarise the main points, and improve readability. The reader too realises this, and will be tempted to stop and read information published as a bulleted list on a web page.
4. Use colour hyperlinks
Hyperlinks make users hover over a word or a phrase that is of interest, undecided whether to click on the hyperlink or not. Colour hyperlinks stand out, and attract the attention of the reader even more. It is therefore a good policy to use colour hyperlinks on a web page. However, a word of caution here is necessary. Don’t overuse hyperlinks. They can distract, and affect readability.
Read also: The ultimate guide to quality web writing