The goal of your website should be to guide the consumer through your page and have them take the action you desire, whether that action be a newsletter sign up or a sale.
Websites that make their visitors work to read them always turn a large percentage of potential consumers away. Text colors that clash with the background color, undersized fonts, and big blocks of text are some common problems that can determine whether or not the website is successful.
Here are 5 tips that will help you increase the flow and readability of your website:
1. Make the font size big enough to read. No matter who your target audience is they don't want to strain their eyes trying to read tiny text. The standard internet text is Arial size 2 (12 pt). You can use other fonts and sizes if you wish but keep in mind that Arial size 2 is popular because it's easy to read.
2. Format your text using CSS. Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) are the way to go - use one style sheet and control how text looks on your entire site. Make a change to the style sheet and your whole site is updated. It makes things a lot simpler.
3. Spell check everything. Misspellings make your website look tacky and unorganized. Nothing irritates visitors more than having to guess what your message is because the web page has spelling errors. It makes you look like you don't care enough to get it right. Take a minute and use the spell check tool. Unless your writing a 200 page book, it should take you about 1 to 5 minutes to spell check your work.
4. Make the text contrast with its background. Black text on white background is the easiest to read. In most cases, the more contrast, the better. Black-on-white or white-on-black are examples of the highest contrast you can get. But be forewarned, white text on a black background creates a "glow" which often times negatively affect your website. Red on Blue creates the glow effect as well. You can use colors if you like, but as a rule of thumb if you have to squint to read your text, there's not enough contrast.
5. Break up blocks of text. No matter how good a writer you are, people don't want to read endless pages of text. Using sub-headlines between paragraphs and bullet points is a great way to break up those text blocks.
Generally, you should only use bullet points once throughout your web page, but in some cases using bullet points more than once might be necessary. If you're selling a product or service you should always list the benefits. Bullet points change the pace of the writing and slow down the scanning.
Making your websites content more legible is easy and it doesn't take a lot of time. Your website will look more professional and your visitors will tend to stick around longer, making those visitors more likely to become a customers.