Make Your Message Easy To Read

So, you finished your website - it is full of unique content, and you offer a product or service that many people want. You even managed to get a lot of traffic in a short time.

But nothing happens.
No sales. Not even inquiries!
Why?

There might be several reasons. For example too many graphics can make your pages load up slowly. Your stats revealing the number of visitors don't tell you how many of them run away, unwilling to wait for the full glory of your java and animated effects.

But let's assume that your page loads up really fast. Why are hose hundreds of people still not buying anything or at least inquiring about your product or service?


How about your readability factor?
Convincing people to your ideas takes time and patience - which usually cannot be accomplished in just a few sentences. You want your visitors to linger and read every word of your marketing message - or at least as much as possible, right? But is your message *easy* and *inviting* to read?

Most of the websites are not. No wonder that people are not responding to their pleas -- they never read enough to be convinced to anything!

With the vast amount of information on the internet competing with your pages, making them easy to read should be your number one priority. Here is a checklist that will help you:


Stay away from patterned backgrounds
Who started this strange trend of publishing text on a patterned background anyway? Here is my advice: leave the wallpaper where it belongs -- on the wall!

Would you read this article if it was printed on a floral background? I don't think so - and even if YOU would, the majority of people would not. It is too tiresome and people don't like to get tired just by reading.

You might be tempted to use at least a delicate background, sort of watermark with your company logo. My advice: think twice. No matter how nice it looks, even that gray marble, or white clouds on a blue sky pattern will make your message more difficult to read. I suggest using background only to frame your text.


Be Careful With Color
There is a reason why "black on white" is synonymous with the clarity. It works. Of course some pages designed in reverse print (white on black) are great but for every one that is effective there are hundreds of others are not readable.

I've seen on the web every possible combination - yellow on red, red on green, gray on gray (would you believe it?). Webmasters so often are trying to reinvent the wheel. Don't be one of them. Forget about being unique - when it comes to presenting your text, the more conservative you are with your font and background color, the more pleasurable experience for your reader.

And the more inquiries and sales for you.
Simple like that.

Now, that doesn't mean that you should never use a colored font. Do. But apply it sparingly. Think about it like a woman's make-up. Just a little eye-shadow, mascara and a lipstick are fine, but too much of that great stuff on her face and instead of looking attractive, she looks horrible...


Use Wide Margins
Studies proved many times that people lose concentration reading large blocks of text. That's why it is important to break text into small paragraphs and brighten it with some white space and a splash of color - which most of the web designers do.

But most of them forget entirely about the margins. And margins can make or break the readership of your page.

Every book has a margin, every magazine and every newspaper. And for a very good reason. Professional editors know that margins increase readership. So, even though they also increase the cost of print significantly, they wouldn't dream about publishing a page filled with text from edge to edge. They print their stuff with margins.

Follow in their steps. And just think how lucky you are. Adding margins to your webpages doesn't add anything to your production cost!


Stay Away from Caps
Setting a sentence in capitalized letters is considered on the internet screaming. But even though this expression is widely known, you might get tempted to do it anyway thinking "oh, what the heck - let me scream, at least they will hear me and someone will pay attention."

It is not going to happen. Even though they will hear your scream, they will not listen. Text set in all caps is so difficult to read that readers will be annoyed and simply ignore it. Here is why:

The human eye is trained to read by recognizing shapes of the letters. For example take a word: "day" -- you can just give it a glance to recognize three distinctive heights of the letters and read the word in an instant. Unconsciously...

But set the same word in all caps: "DAY" and we have a different story. Now you need to pay much more attention!

    TAKE A LOOK AT THIS MESSAGE. WHEN TEXT IS WRITTEN IN ALL CAPS THE EYE MUST STRAIN TO RECOGNIZE EACH CHARACTER SEPARATELY BECAUSE THEY ALL HAVE THE SAME HEIGHT. IT IS EXTREMELY TIRING AND IRRITATING - OUCH!
Now you see what I mean - right?

Making your pages easy to read is one of the most important aspects of the publishing game and easy to accomplish. All you need to do is forget about being unique. Think simple.