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