3 Tips to Increase Readability of Your Website Content

November 5, 2008

Your target market surf the Internet to quickly find information they need. Remember that your website functions primarily as an advertisement. With the pervasiveness of media, expect your target market to be doing a lot of things while surfing online.

Multiple browser pages and tabs are likely to be open. Their television sets may be turned on. At the same time, they might also be listening to music and flipping through a magazine. While all that is going on, their friends call them on their mobile phones. Seconds later, they receive a text message.

No one really pays as much attention as advertisers would like them to. This is why the advertising and marketing industry continuously explores new ways to learn about the media consumption and purchase habits of particular market segments.

The Internet is a good advertising medium. Advertisers have all the room to craft better-targeted campaigns. If your website is relevant and focused on your niche, you’ve already captured half of your market’s attention. However, this isn’t enough to make them click the purchase button. The greater challenge is to make site visitors stay long enough to get to know your brand better and eventually make a purchase.

Your website is your ally
The technology behind creating a website is such that you can do almost anything you want. The key is knowing which elements work to your favor and which ones don’t.

The most important element of any site is content. Several researches on online behavior reveal that people read contents in an “F” pattern. They skim through the first 2 or 3 lines and then sparingly read through the first few words of the succeeding lines. This is your only chance catch their attention. Interesting pictures and colors can help, but they need to be relevant. Besides making sure to have niche and relevant content, below are 3 other tips that although simple, can help make significant improvements on your site content.

1. People like it short and sweet
Make your point as early as possible to keep their interest going. Don’t be afraid to break up your lines of text. One paragraph after another could tire out your visitors. Keep in mind that reading on a monitor produces more eye strain than reading on paper. Make online reading easy for them. This is also a good way to make sure that you only make them read what is necessary.

2. BIGGER IS BETTER, but not when you overdo it
Size is crucial. No one will read anything that is unreadable. The acceptable font size is between 10 points and 15 points. Anything bigger will make everything look long, discouraging readers to go on. Make sure your background provides enough contrast for your font color.

Your font choice can send subliminal messages about your brand. Classic serif and sans serif fonts are the best. You can explore how you can pair up serif and sans serif fonts to separate headings from the body.

3. Keep graphics to a minimum
Although animations and flashy graphics look nice, they distract users from the point your site is trying to make. Pictures are helpful as long as they are relevant and only attract attention when necessary.