You should be aware of the fact that majority of the users 79% scan the pages of a website and do not read it word by word. The content of your site needs to be such that it can be easily scanned. Search results are appear according to the key words so it is always beneficial to make the keywords stand out by highlighting.
As compare to a print document the number of words highlighted should be three times. The usage of <strong> tag as compared to the <EM> tag should be preferred as STRONG is regarded as boldface, which is the ultimate way for highlighting words.
The usage of colored texts or backgrounds is also eye catching as it ups the face value of the site but what should be remembered is that the color blue should not be used for words as it is reserved for hyperlinks. The hyperlinks actually stand out on account of being colored so they should be substituted to act as highlighted keywords.
Remember however that words carrying key information should be highlighted only as when the document is being scanned then the eye can catch only about two to three words that have been highlighted. So there is no need to highlight entire sentences or long phrases. Keep it in mind that you need to differentiate your page from other pages so highlight those very words that make this difference apparent. Also highlight such words that contain the essence of a paragraph etc.
When using the <EM> tag then know it that it is for italics and can be used to make figure captions or emphasized sentences stand out. But it is important that it is not used for large blocs of texts as the italics format is difficult to read online. Lists that have been numbered or bulleted are easily caught in the scanning eye and can draw the user?s attention towards the important points.
It is important to keep only one main idea in one paragraph and for the next idea use the next paragraph. This is essential because the user might skip over the second point in the process of scanning. The page should be started with the conclusion and also contain a brief summary of its remaining contents. This is the inverted pyramid style.
If the right words have been highlighted, the lists properly bulleted, paragraphs divided point wise, tags attach according to the specifications then the site becomes a top quality information hub which easily convinces the users of its credibility.
The scanning that any user does should bring out the precise highlights of the content on a site and for this purpose a proper pattern of highlighting should be followed.
It is important to be precise and to the point while putting in both textual and graphic material on the web document. If you get to the point as soon as possible while explaining something in your textual material then this will definitely increase your scannability.
If you have your personal logo then do include it in all the pages, it should be at the top left hand corner. Also do not forget to include a site map that will definitely be caught by the scanning eye and will make it convenient for the user to know the contents of your site pretty easily.