Best practice tip: Write for humans, not solely for search engines.

 

Site readability is a must when you have a website. Studies have shown that web readers don’t read everything on a page and that we consume content by skimming through chunks of text. As you would have on a physical store, customer experience is key to good business, and your business website should be user-friendly as you can make it.

Aside from having search engine-optimized content, you also need to have readable typography, concise text and supporting images on your page.  Some tips:

  • Text contrast. If you have a light background, it’s common sense not to put white text on top of it. No matter how good their eyesight are, people won’t be able to read it.

  • Brevity. Keep your paragraphs short so that your visitors can absorb as much important information as possible. Use the inverted pyramid method when writing. Prioritize important information at the beginning then follow it up with supporting details. End with relevant, but not as important data. You can include a  “read more” or “see details” that they can click for more info.
  • Tone. Decide what your goal in writing is. Whether you’re describing a new listing or discussing how your service differs from other agents, go for a tone which potential clients will find more appealing.
  • Headings to divide text. A Nielsen study1 has shown that readers are more likely to read web text that has been split into categories. Information in chunks is much easier to understand and you can do this by using headlines and subheadings. Bullet points also work. As do putting text in boxes or beside a graphic icon.
  • Keywords. Catch readers’ attention by using key terms in your titles and section headings.
  • Clean layout. Allot enough margin space on your page and space between paragraphs, too. Your web designer knows best so trust his suggestions on layout and color palette.

Finally, remember that good grammar and structure always make your content easier to read. Make as many drafts as you need to before publishing your text. With all these tips in check, you’re sure to give a whole new meaning to reader experience.

1 Jakob Nielsen

Posted on September 19, 2011 by Eve

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