Derby Hub’s Koobr discusses the importance of website readability, and how you can maximise the overall effectiveness of your website copy.
At its most basic premise, your website is a directory for the purpose of serving your customers with important information; who you are; what you do; how you do it — everything a prospective client would want to know about your business. This means using the right words in all the right ways.
Inspiring copy (or text) can go a long way toward engaging readers and encourage them to buy into your brand. But often we forget about one of the main pillars of successful copy — readability. If your content isn’t reader friendly, there’s no amount of clever wordplay that will get your message across.
3 ways to improve website readability
A study by the Norman Nielsen Group revealed that, on average, we only read about 20% of the words on a webpage before deciding on its usefulness — which is typically determined within about 59 seconds. If they can’t find what they’re looking for in that amount of time, or can’t discern any semblance of who you are and what you do, they will most likely go someplace else.
That’s why it’s important to revisit your website copy from the point of view of your customers, rather than looking at things purely from your own perspective, and ask whether or not readers will successfully infer meaning behind the core message at hand. Here are 3 things you need to be on the lookout for:
Good formatting is the foundation of reader-friendly copy. If the wording on your web page isn’t laid out in a succinct and coherent manner, it’s going to make it a lot harder for people to digest your message quickly.
Always try to break your message down into sections: A header; a sub header; and a supporting paragraph — leading with your main point in its simplest, most concentrated form, and then delve into specifics as you increase the amount of text. This way of copywriting is what’s known as the inverted pyramid style because the most impactful (instantaneous) part of the message is at the top and is diffused with supplementary information as you get to the bottom.
Form and void
It’s important to consider the space occupied by your copy. Backgrounds should provide ample contrast to ensure better readability. Black text on a white background is a classic example of what works best, but other combinations are just as effective. However, some colour combinations, such as blue on red, and white on yellow, can have the opposite effect.
Also, avoid busy background images as these can just as easily distract and decrease readability. Make sure to only place text on areas with sufficient empty or white space.
You want to use a typeface that works with your brand identity, but it also needs to be easy to read. There are plenty of hyper-stylised fonts out there that may look striking, and may even accurately reflect who you are, but it’s no good if that particular style makes it difficult for readers to decipher what’s written on your webpages.
That’s not to say you can’t play around with the typeface and add a bit of personality. When done correctly, including bold versions of your font can help to establish a tone of voice, or emphasise certain words that are most important in your message.
Koobr is recognised today as one of Derby’s leading agencies and specialises in graphic design, website creation, digital marketing and brand development. You can find out more about our services by visiting us at Koobr.com