The 5 Secrets to a More Readable Website
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In my last column, I stressed the importance of producing quality content, but a website packed with amazing content and top search-engine rankings won’t do your business any good if your visitors don’t stick around long enough to read it.
After all, isn’t the purpose of great content to convert visitors into leads and then eventually into sales and revenue?
The majority of website visitors know within the first three to five seconds if they are going to leave right away or stick around for a bit. To make a great first impression, your website needs to look great, be easy to navigate and present its content in a way that is easy to read.
If you provide a great user experience, your website visitors will read your content, share it on social networks, sign up for mailing lists, convert into leads and even make purchases. Here are five tips to help start the process:
1. Focus on evergreen content. Produce content that will still be interesting in the future. Your target audience will continue to be introduced to your content years down the road.
It is also a good idea to go through old pieces of content and refresh them with updated stats and information if needed. If a visitor lands on a piece of content that is outdated or contains old statistics, they will quickly leave.
2. Use formatting that is appealing to the eye. You could have the most informative and compelling content, but if it is formatted poorly, your visitors will skip right over it. Use simple fonts and colors that are easy on the eyes.
Make sure to break your content up into little paragraphs that are easy to digest, and use numbered lists and bullet points to highlight information. You can also use images, charts, graphs and infographics to compliment the text. Extra visual elements do a great job of capturing and holding the attention of your visitors.
3. Simple navigation goes a long way. Let’s not forget what the main goal of your content is: to produce leads, sales and revenue for your business. Assume that every website visitor who comes in contact with your content will be so impressed that they will want to learn more about your business and make a purchase.
You want to make sure that someone reading your content can quickly access your navigation menu and do one of the following with a single click of their mouse: learn more about your business, contact your business or complete a purchase transaction. If they can’t quickly accomplish any of these because of complicated or poorly designed navigation, they will leave and find an easier website to navigate.
4. Mobile-friendly layout. With so many people using the Internet via their smartphones and tablets, it's very important to have a mobile-friendly website. Your visitors will not read your content if they have to zoom in and constantly scroll from side to side to read the text.
Pull out your smartphone, view your website and put yourself in your visitor’s shoes. If the layout isn’t easy to navigate then you need to make some changes. The cost of upgrading to a mobile-friendly design is well worth it.
5. Allow access to your content from every page. Your content is a very important component of your website, so make sure that it is accessible from every single page. If a visitor lands on your homepage, can they quickly identify your blog content? If they land on one piece of content, can they easily access more without looking too hard?
Make your blog accessible through your main menu and also include preview excerpts from the last few posts on every page. Every visitor that lands on your website should be able to identify and access the juicy information with a single click.
Improve the effectiveness of your content by implementing these simple tips. Making it easier for each visitor to read your content will increase your conversions and ultimately your revenue.