Have you ever landed on a website and just couldn’t figure out what to read first?
Not because you can’t decide which from all the interesting things you should read first, but because you can’t focus on anything?
I’m talking about those seas of letters and colors splashed over your computer screen.
Have you read any of these pages? My guess… you just closed the window.
Now think of your own website!
What if people bounce off your pages because they just can’t read your content. And not because it is not good, but because it is unreadable.
It really doesn’t matter the value of a text unless it gets to be read by someone. So the first
purpose you should have when writing a text should be to make sure that it’s going to be read.
There are a few really, really easy things you can do to avoid loosing traffic on this account.
Check them out:
1. Brainstorm a great title
The title is the first thing people see on a webpage (or so it should be) and it’s the decisive factor in determining whether the visitor stays or not.
For achieving success with your title it must meet four conditions:
• It must be visible – choose a bigger font size for your titles than for the rest of the text, use bold fonts and make sure it stand out from the rest of the page.
• It must be readable – people loose interest when they encounter long titles, so don’t extent your title idea to much
• It has to be comprehensive – try to capture the essence of your content within the title, so people would know what to expect from your website
• And not least, make it provocative – the main purpose of the title is to convince the visitor to read more, to enchant her and make her curious.
2. Structure the text by paragraphs
Structure your content well and think of both aspect and comprehensiveness .
First, make the text bloc readable by separating its ideas into smaller paragraphs. The smaller and more focused the paragraphs, the easier they are to read. Big texts are scaring people away. No one wants to spend an entire day reading a novel about a topic, no matter how interested they are in that subject. Your visitors look for fast and useful content. So make it look that way.
Second, you should make sure your content is really useful (or at least people would understand what are you trying to say). This means you must make a clear and concise exposure of your ideas and display it in a logical order. Don’t jump from one idea to another or mix things up, or your readers will gain nothing from you other than a head ache.
3. Set comprehensive subtitles
Setting subtitles is very useful because it gives people another push into reading more.
You know how people “scan” the pages of a website before starting to actually read? I find myself doing it quite often… 😀
Well, with subtitles you seduce your visitors into deeper reading. You take them to the next step of reading and present them with a more detailed image of your content. You must capture their attention and give them a little pick view into what is further, but not too much! Just enough to make them curious.
4. Use bullet points and lists
When it comes to websites the perfect message is a short message. If your website text
contains words, phrases or paragraphs that you can remove, then you should remove them! Don’t leave unnecessary stuff laying around on your pages just to make them look pretty.
The essential from your content should pop up at a first glance and a good method to structure and simplify it is by using lists and bullet points. These are very easy to read and take just the essential stuff from a text leaving aside useless words.
5. Use the proper fonts
A special attention you should pay when choosing the font you use on your website and its size. More important than selecting an interesting style for your websites font, you should consider it being easy to read and not tire your eyes when looking at it.
And also, give up the idea of squeezing in as much text as possible by lowering the font size. It will only make your content hard to read and drive your visitors away. Instead, cut off the unnecessary text and leave only what is really important and choose for it a decent font size that won’t drive your visitors crazy.
6. Use pictures and graphs
A picture is worth a thousand words . You hear this very often but do you apply it? If you don’t it is about time to start using it. Find pictures, screenshots or drawings that suggest the ideas you are also expressing with words and place them on your pages. You will be amazed how attracted and curious people will be by these.
A picture not only sends a message in a second but it also makes a page look prettier and more welcoming. Think how dull a page is with nothing but writings on it and how appealing it becomes after placing pictures on it!
7. Make it navigable
There are so many important things you want to tell your visitors but you can’t put them all in one landing page. But it doesn’t mean either that they shouldn’t be able to quickly find them.
You have to structure the content of your site and make links available from your landing pages to the other sections of the website.
Also you can use menus, sidebars, lists or whatever fits you best but just make sure that your visitors have ways to reach your content.
Bottom line is that if you want your content to be read, make it readable!
What’s your advice?
What do you do to make your website content more appealing to your readers? Share your methods with us by comments or tweets!
Photo credit: nhuisman