Is your website readable? Do you have your reader in mind when writing copy? People tend to want to write website copy for themselves, using terms and wording that is only familiar within their industry or company/organization. This is especially true if you are a policy organization or consulting group. But did you know that,
“On the average Web page, users have time to read at most 28% of the words during an average visit; 20% is more likely.”
How your readers really process information:
- Chunking (readability) – chunking usually refers to breaking up content into small, distinct units of information (or ‘chunks’). You can divide your web content with headers, images, bulleted lists, and short paragraphs.
- Word recognition (comprehension) – the concept of stop words is important here. If the reader is unfamiliar with the words you are using or the words are ambiguous and have more than one meaning, you risk your reader closing the tab and moving on to the next site.
- Universal design (legibility) – Make sure your text links are a color that everyone can recognize. Also it’s important to create headings, title tags to improve website navigation for people with vision, memory, and mobility impairments.
Important SEO tips to remember:
- Write for power skimmers – think of a billboard and speeding past them on a highway. Which one will you remember? Try to use language, images, layout and color to make your material stand out.
- Consider the headline formula – Use the who, what why formula or ask a question
- Use Numbers in the headlines – Numbers grab attention and make content more attractive to the reader, e.g. 6 Tips for Creating a Successful Branding Campaign.
- Free and Easy – Two magic words. People like to hear the words quick, easy, guarantee and free.
- Take advantage of images and pictures – Make an effort to include original photos and images in your content. There are some great sites out there that cater to nonstick photography.
- Use sub-headlines – Again chunk your information so that the reader doesn’t have to try very hard to take in your information.
- Quotes – People like quotes. The set your ideas apart and give your ideas credibility.
- Bold and Italic – Use them to emphasize your points.
- Stay true and honest – Never alter or misrepresent your work to your reader. You will lose the credibility you’ve worked so hard to create.
Dive more into website readability and SEO writing: