Human beings are visually oriented; we love shiny things that catch our eyes.
As a marketer, you need to take advantage of that.
You can do that through image and video, but you also need to pay close attention to how you display text on a page.
If you have a big wall of text on your page, people are going to bounce.
And they're going to bounce fast.
So, we're going to look at what exactly a wall of text is and how you can use visual flow to break up your copy to make it more visually appealing.
But first, what exactly is a wall of text?
What Is A Wall Of Text?
If you don't know what a wall of text is, consider yourself lucky.
Walls of text are the destroyer of every metric you can imagine: time on page, bounce rate, conversion rate.
You name it, a wall of text will kill it.
But what exactly is a wall of text? Maybe you've seen something like this before.
What's your first instinct when you see something like this?
Do you want to read it?
If you're like most people, you probably either scroll right past this type of article or you click back and into another site.
Walls of text are difficult to read and are a terrible user experience.
So, how do you fix it?
Visual Flow (& How To Create It)
Because of the issues created by walls of text, Anik uses what he calls "visual flow".
In short, visual flow is breaking up the text in logical ways to make it more visually appealing for the reader.
And it's actually simple.
There are a few strategies you can use to create visual flow on your page to help guide readers through your copy.
These include the following:
#1: Break Up The Text
The easiest way to make a wall of text more pleasant to read is to never create the wall in the first place.
Look how much better our example looks broken into smaller paragraphs.
Just by breaking up the text into shorter paragraphs, we've already taken a big step in the direction of creating better visual flow.
#2: Create Waves
After breaking your text into paragraphs, the next step is to create waves.
Just like waves in the ocean are smooth, calm, and relaxing, we want the waves in our copy to make the reading experience smooth, calm, and relaxing.
What I mean by waves in the copy is using paragraphs and lines of varying lengths like this:
Try not to go over 4-5 sentences in length for your paragraphs and do your best to make your text wave-like by varying between long, medium, and short paragraphs.
#3: Use Font Changes
There are a lot of simple edits you can make in your text to create contrast throughout your text.
A few ways to do that are:
- Making links a bold color
- Bold text
- Underlined text
Those simple edits can make a big difference:
Notice how the edits draw your eyes to particular places and add emphasis.
Just be sure to not add too many text edits - too many make your text look unprofessional and difficult to read.
#4: Include Images
Images are a great way to supplement the copy and drive the message home.
Images can include diagrams, charts, or photographs—anything that adds value to the copy:
As with text edits, don’t go overboard.
Keep the use of images minimal and minimize the amount of text in the images for the best results.
#5 Use Bullet Points & Numbered Lists
The last thing you can do to make your text easier to read is to use bullet points and numbered lists.
Doing so gives you better visual flow, and it makes the reading more logical for your audience:
Notice how the bullet points break up the text, bring your attention to those points, and make it easier to consume.
Think of this variety in the flow of the copy as the copy’s visual rhythm—people connect with and enjoy a good rhythm.
And now, with these points in mind, let’s take a look at some real examples of visual flow.
Two Examples Of Poor Visual Flow
The following examples show poor visual flow, which tend to result in boring, monotonous, hard-to-read copy.
Let’s take a look.
Visual Flow Fail #1: Written Sales Letter (WSL)
This is an example of a written sales letter.
The goal of this WSL is to capture and keep the reader’s attention so the marketer can make a sale by the end of it.
However, this WSL struggles to accomplish good visual flow for a number of reasons:
- It's monotonous and boring
- The paragraphs are all roughly the same size
- Many paragraphs are one sentence
- The sentences are too long
- The bold text is not a subheader
- The image doesn't add much to the text
Overall, the copy looks like a wall of text and that’s just unappealing. Most people who look at this page wouldn’t bother to read it.
This WSL will NOT grab onto and hold the reader’s attention.
(RELATED: Sales Letters 101)
Visual Flow Fail #2: Facebook Ad
This next example of poor visual flow is from a Facebook ad.
Although a Facebook ad is a different type of copy than a WSL, the same strategies apply. The copy still has to have visual appeal and variety.
Here is the ad:
Just like the WSL, this ad struggles visually for several reasons:
- Text looks like a block
- Links aren't visually appealing
- Image is dull and grey
- Image contains too much text
- Copy in ad and image combined are too much for readers
Overall, this Facebook ad has too much text and not enough visual stimulation.
Two Examples Of Good Visual Flow
Now, let's go through some examples of good visual flow.
Since we’ve gone through the strategies, the difference between good and bad visual flow should be more apparent now.
Visual Flow Win #1: Written Sales Letter (WSL)
Here's another WSL.
This time, it's clear the visual flow is good. You'll notice the text is easier on the eyes than the previous WSL.
This WSL is a win for several reasons:
- Good variation in the length of paragraphs
- The sentences are shorter
- Good use of bold and italics
- Good use of subheadings to help people skim
Ultimately, this example is easy to look at and read, which will ultimately help with conversions and sales.
Visual Flow Win #2: Facebook Ad
Now, here's an example of good Facebook ad copy.
It’s long because it's posted right on the Facebook page as a status update.
Compared to the previous Facebook ad, this ad is a win for several reasons:
- Great visual variation
- Good use of short, medium, and long paragraphs
- Good use of bullet points
- Good use of capital letters, quotation marks, and other text variations
- Clear call-to-action
This ad is easier to read than the previous Facebook ad, which makes it more engaging for someone just scrolling through Facebook.
How Will You Use Visual Flow In Your Copywriting?
The absolute #1 skill any internet marketer can have is copywriting - the ability to sell through effective communication.
And the of the most important elements of your copy is the way it looks on the page.
If it's visually unappealing, nobody will read it. To achieve good visual flow, all a copywriter needs to do is the following:
- Four line maximum for paragraphs
- Use a combination of short, medium, and long paragraphs
- Break up your text
- Use bullet points
- Vary the text formatting (i.e. bold, italics, underline, etc.)
- High-quality images
- Avoid too much text in images
When writers use these strategies, their copy has good visual flow and rhythm. Copy with good visual flow and rhythm draws eyeballs and guides readers all the way down to the call-to-action.
Anyone who's serious about copywriting and internet marketing MUST understand visual flow.
It’s like a secret weapon.
(NOTE: Want even MORE info about how to use copywriting to grow your business? Grab your spot in this FREE course to learn about the tools and strategies you (and your business) have been missing out on.)