Why Does Whitespace Matter on the Web?
Have you ever looked at a resume that’s wrought with so many words, the page is taken up by black letters that ultimately don’t mean anything anymore because there’s too much to look at? Hopefully, this doesn’t describe your own resume, but it might. If it does, heed our warnings about whitespace; it all started with resumes—back when paper (actual paper) was still a thing. Some archeologists can still uncover actual paper during their digs, but the rest of the world has shifted its gaze to the whitespace that happens on digital paper. What was once an essential ingredient for job-seekers has turned into a must-have element for customer-seekers.
Well, in truth, there’s actually not a lot of difference between people who are looking for jobs and companies who are looking for customers. In the end, in all comes down to a simple equation: how can you deliver everything you need to say in a space that makes sense to your readers?
The answer is whitespace.
Sure, this might sound counterintuitive. After all, you’re trying to sell yourself to your audience, and that sales pitch will require a lot of words that naturally take up a lot of space, right?
Not so fast.
You can say what you have to say without filling the entire page with words. In fact, you might be doing your brand a disservice by filling your pages with so many words that people feel overwhelmed and leave immediately. (Pro tip: this will impact your bounce rating. A high bounce rate means people come to your site and, well, bounce as soon as they get there. Google will frown upon these actions, ultimately ushering you to the dark, smelly corners of the SERPs. It takes an insane amount of effort to bounce back from search engine expulsion once the algorithms have put you in detention.)
So, why does whitespace (also known as negative) matter in the content-writing realm?
Whitespace Gives Brains Room to Breathe
Huge blocks of words are so 1990. This is a digital era—one in which we’re all connected to our devices at all times, and we’re short on time and attention spans. We need to be able to scan articles, pick out important information, and go on about our business.
This is nearly impossible when words are butted up against other words.
By creating content that comes with built-in whitespace, you’re providing your readers’ minds with a bit of breathing space. They can stop and absorb the things you said in section one, or simply scan your piece until they hit the pivotal points in part five. A space between each section is akin to a deep, mindful breath. Once the readers have read one part, they can stop, inhale, exhale, and move onto the next.
As a writer, you’re really just facilitating real-time meditative practices.
Whitespace Helps Draw the Eye to the Points You’re Trying to Make
H2 and H3 headers are critically important for most content that’s on the web these days (for the reasons mentioned above), but they often lose their appeal if they’re hidden amongst the rest of the words. A piece of whitespace between chunks of content enables you to showcase the points you’re trying to make to readers with ease. Headers stand out, telling people exactly what that section is about without worry that your essential information will just get lost in the mix.
Whitespace is Aesthetically Appealing Without Being Overwhelming
Have you ever opened an article that could have been really informative, but as soon as it came on your screen, the overwhelming amount of words caused you to hit backspace immediately? Sure you have. We all have. That might have been the most informative article you ever read, but it never got the chance because it’s presentation was built with an anxiety-inducing lack of whitespace. When used correctly, spacing enables readers to feel more comfortable with the pieces of information you’re presenting to them. It’s approachable and aesthetically pleasing, rather than being intimidating and formidable.
WriterAccess is filled with thousands of content writers who are ready to tackle you whitespace endeavors and put words out to the world in a way that makes sense. Ready to see what we can do? Get started today!
Kristin B is interested in anything that teaches her something new or gives her a different perspective on something she already knew. She’s a self-proclaimed Learn Nerd, which means the world is her educational oyster, and she’s always seeking opportunities to learn from life’s experiences and her clients’ assignments.