If I could give one piece of advice to you it is this: Simplify your content!
I know, I know, you have readers who will read everything you’ve written no matter what. That’s great! We all need fans like this. But I’m talking about people who don’t know you yet, your potential customers.
When a new visitor comes to your site, they don’t know you, they don’t know your content, and they’re not invested in staying on your site until they know if it is relevant to them.
The only way to make sure they stay on your site long enough to know if they’re in the right place is to make your content clear, concise, and easy to read.
Here are a few online reading behaviors to keep in mind when writing your website copy:
- People view web pages differently than print – do not fool yourself into thinking what reads well on a written page will read well on a computer screen. It doesn’t.
- On websites, visitors scan first then decide if they want to read more.
- Your visitors are reading half of what’s on your page, if you’re lucky.
- Visitors typically spend less than a minute on any given page.
- You have approximately 3-5 seconds to show your visitor they’re in the right place.
You might be thinking, “Hey! That’s not true. I read every page I go to and I read the full articles”. While this might be true for you, it is simply not true for most people. Following the suggestions below will help ensure your audience is compelled to stay on your site and consume your information. A win-win for everyone!
1. Simplify your content – Tool: hemingwayapp.com
Your readers aren’t dumb but they are in a hurry. Simplify your content, strip the jargon, and make it easy to consume your information.
2. Break it down visually
Use lists, sub headings, and paragraphs.
3. Guide their eye
Use bold words and images strategically to break up content, illustrate a point, and move them down the page.
4. Tell them what to do next
Understand the internet is vying for their attention every step of the way. Be sure to tell them what to do before they leave your site.
Engaging with visitors is one of the more fun aspects of having a website. Making it easy for them is your first step towards building positive rapport that keeps them coming back – or better yet, hiring you!